iOS 15.5 reportedly includes support for unreleased Macs

The rumor: While iOS 15.5 might look like a minor update on the surface, compatibility for some new products is also there, according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Power On).

Sam’s take: With many details about what we’re supposed to get at WWDC so scant, I would bet that Apple has something up their sleeve. Remember how the Mac Studio was almost a complete surprise at the March 8 event? Listen, all I’m saying is that development of M2 Macs has been ramping up, and Apple has an event on June 6.

Apple’s 9 new Mac computers with a M2 chip inside, revealed

The rumor: Apple is planing to release a slew of new Macs with variations of the M2 chip inside, according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Bloomberg).

A rundown of the 3 new Macs expected later this year…

  • Redesigned MacBook Air: M2 chip with a 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU
  • Redesigned Mac mini: M2 or M2 Pro chip are coming down the road (but there’s also a M1 Pro Mac mini in testing, and this is likely the version that will drop in 2022)
  • Low-end MacBook Pro revamp: same M2 chip as new MacBook Air, likely in the old MacBook Pro form factor

There are more M2 Macs coming, too, we just don’t know when…

  • Updated 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros: M2 Pro or Max chips, with the M2 Max being upgraded to a new 12-core CPU and 38-core GPU
  • Revamped Mac Pro: M2 Ultra chip faster than what is currently found inside Mac Studio

Sam’s take: This is a LOT of Macs, and I can’t remember a time in history where Apple has ever been this focused on regularly updating their computers like this. It’s probably because the Mac is doing better than ever, and growing at rates that were never thought to be possible. And it’s for good reason: Apple Silicon is simply incredible, and there are now options out for almost every segment of the market. Essentially, I can’t believe we’re here, but I’m stoked that we are: the Mac is officially back.

Apple may announce 2 new Macs on June 6 at WWDC

The rumor: Apple is planning to drop new Macs within in the next couple of months, according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Power On).

Sam’s take: With all of the hardware that Apple is said to be dropping this year, they’ll surely spread it out and not save all of it for the Fall, right? WWDC seems like a great time to launch some new Macs, especially if some folks are being offered the opportunity to attend in-person.

Exclusive: This is Mac Studio and Apple’s new display, coming at March 8 event

The exclusive: Following the first reports of an all-new desktop and monitor from Apple, AppleTrack is now sharing a first look at the upcoming devices.

  • According to people familiar with the matter who spoke with Luke Miani, the Mac Studio resembles 2 Mac minis stacked on top of each other, with silver sides and a white top with rounded edges similar to the newest MacBook Pro models
  • The people, who asked to remain unnamed, tell us Mac Studio is around the same footprint as the M1 Mac mini, but about 4 inches tall
  • We’re told Mac Studio is accompanied by a new display, measuring roughly 27-inches diagonally, with a similar design to the Pro Display XDR (but it’ll have slightly thicker bezels and no circular lattice pattern on the rear)
  • Both Mac Studio and the new display are scheduled to launch as early as tomorrow, March 8 at Apple’s event…but the company’s plans are historically fluid and subject to change

Luke Miani’s take: This exclusive reporting corroborates prior reports and adds more concrete information about the design. This new look carries on the Mac mini philosophy of minimalism, without eccentric milled aluminum holes like Mac Pro. Expect Mac Studio to feature a wide array of IO, with more USB-C ports than on the current M1 Mac mini. Based on the information we received, we are expecting the new Mac and display to launch at tomorrow’s “Peek Performance” Event.

Apple planning to release new Macs in March, plus May/June

The rumor: Apple is planning to drop new Macs multiple times in 2022, according to Mark Gurman (85.5% accurate, via Power On).

  • “I don’t believe the iMac Pro launch is too distant either. While we’ll get new Macs in March, I’m told Apple is already gearing up for another round of Mac releases around May or June” Gurman says
  • Gurman suggests the new Mac Pro could debut around this time (at WWDC) and ship later in the Fall

Sam’s take: More and more, Apple’s Silicon releases are looking like regular, scheduled updates each year…rather than the incredibly sporadic releases we became accustomed to in the past. I’m here for it.

iPad and Mac supply shortages expected in second half of 2021

The news: During Apple’s quarterly earnings call today, Tim Cook confirmed that two product lines would likely experience shortages in the second half of 2021 (via MacRumors).

  • “The constraints come from semiconductor shortages that are affecting many industries and it’s a combination of the shortages and the very high level of demand that we’re seeing for both ‌iPad‌ and Mac.” says Apple CFO Luca Maestri
  • We first heard of a rumored shortage last week, but even Apple doesn’t seem to be sure of the extent just yet

Our take: Apple didn’t specify what products exactly would be experiencing the shortage: just iPad and Mac broadly. Guessing this applies to the new 24-inch iMac…but again, not entirely sure yet. And Apple doesn’t seem to know exactly how bad it will be yet either.

Apple ‘M2’ processor reportedly begins production ahead of next MacBook release

The rumor: Apple’s first major upgrade to their own silicon has started production, according to Nikkei Asia (rating pending).

  • The new tentatively named M2 chip may be ready to ship by July, meaning it will likely power the new MacBook models set to launch in the second half of the year
  • “Sources said it will eventually be used in other Mac and Apple devices beyond the MacBook” Nikkei notes

Our take: Two big takeaways in the story for me: 1) Apple may jump to M2 before something like M1X or M1Z and 2) that we likely aren’t getting new MacBook models ahead of the Fall.

Some iPad and MacBook models delayed due to global chip shortage

The rumor: Apple has pushed back the production of some iPad and Mac models, according to Nikkei Asia (rating pending).

  • What’s happening with the Mac? “Chip shortages have caused delays in a key step in MacBook production — the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before final assembly”
  • And bad news for iPad, too: “Some iPad assembly, meanwhile, was postponed because of a shortage of displays and display components, sources said”
  • Nikkei Asia notes that Apple has pushed back some component orders from the first half of 2021 until the second half of this year

Our take: I don’t think this applies to the upcoming iPad Pro…but this could certainly be an explanation for why we haven’t seen an Apple event announced just yet. This global chip shortage is quickly becoming a big issue for even large players like Apple.

TextSniper brings text recognition to images, PDFs & more (sponsored)

The app: TextSniper extracts text from images and other digital documents in seconds, bringing true text selection anywhere you need it.

  • OCR anything: TextSniper is blazingly fast and great for text recognition from YouTube videos, PDFs, images, online courses, screencasts, presentations, zoom meetings, etc
  • Simple and easy-to-use interface: Just hit CMD+SHIFT+2 and select the screen area to recognize. That’s all.
  • Privacy-focused: TextSniper doesn’t collect any data as text recognition is processed on a device and does not require an internet connection
  • Easily turn recognized text into speech: Helpful for people with dyslexia, visually impaired, or language learners to get the correct pronunciation
  • Multi-language support: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Traditional and Simplified Chinese

Download TextSniper for $6.49 right here or on the Mac App Store.

Our take: As someone who recently graduated from college, this would have been a godsend a year ago. I’ve tried it out and it works too well to the point where don’t know how they’ve done it. TextSniper gets the job done in seconds every time.

Future Macs may gain Face ID and cellular connectivity

The rumor: After previewing the major upgrades coming to MacBook Pro, iMac and MacBook Air later in 2021, Mark Gurman (89.1% accurate) has also hinted at other major features coming later down the road.

  • Face ID was reportedly meant to be included in the major iMac redesign later this year, but has been pushed back to a future model instead
  • Apple is also testing cellular connectivity (5G?), a feature that has never been natively available on the Mac

Our take: Of any instance to put Face ID in a product, it has always made the most sense to me in the context of the Mac. You’re already looking directly at your computer and it would be a seamless way to authenticate yourself, rather than always looking down and scrambling to find the Touch ID sensor…or typing in your full account password. But Gurman says this and cellular connectivity aren’t coming soon.

Numerous redesigned Macs likely coming in the second half of 2021

The rumor: Apple plans to significantly upgrade a number of Macs in the second half of 2021, according to L0vetodream (88.9% accurate) and Ming-Chi Kuo (78% accurate).

  • While Kuo suggests design changes are coming only to Macs with Apple Silicon, L0vetodream suggests Intel Macs will see redesigns as well
  • 14/16-inch MacBook Pro models and a smaller Mac Pro are expected
  • Apple debuted the M1 chip in MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini earlier this month

Our take: Seems like the second half of next year will be huge for the Mac. I am extremely excited to see what Apple can do with their silicon in optimized designs.