MacBook Pro with updated GPU is now available

Apple recently unveiled a bunch of new products during a press event in New York. But the company also quietly shared a press release with new configurations for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Customers can now get a MacBook Pro with an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 or Vega 20 graphics processing unit.

Before this update, users could only get Radeon Pro 555X or 560X GPUs. Those options are still available, but you can now pay a bit more money to get much better GPUs.

As the name suggests, Vega is a new generation of graphics processors. The iMac Pro comes with desktop-class Vega processors — the Vega 56 and Vega 64. The Vega 16 or Vega 20 are less powerful than the iMac Pro GPUs. But they also fit in a laptop and consume much less power.

In particular, Radeon Pro GPUs use GDDR5 memory just like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X. But Vega GPUs now take advantage of HBM2 memory, which provides more bandwidth and consumes less power.

It leads to a direct bump in performance. Apple says you can expect as much as 60 percent faster graphics performance. But we’ll have to wait for the benchmarks to know that for sure.

Vega GPUs are only available on the most expensive 15-inch MacBook Pro configuration that starts at $ 2,799 with a Radeon Pro 560X. Upgrading to the Vega 16 costs another $ 250, while the Vega 20 is $ 350 more expensive than the base model.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Apple could release an updated MacBook Air

According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has been working on multiple new Macs. In particular, Apple could be planning to release a new entry-level laptop to replace the aging MacBook Air.

This isn’t the first rumor about a MacBook Air refresh. While Apple has released a 12-inch retina MacBook, it’s not nearly as cheap as the MacBook Air. It’s also not as versatile as it only has a single USB Type-C port.

And yet, the MacBook Air is arguably Apple’s most popular laptop design in recent years. Many MacBook Air users are still using their trusty device as there isn’t a clear replacement in the lineup right now. According to Bloomberg, the updated MacBook Air could get a retina display. Other details are still unclear.

After Apple updated the MacBook Air in March 2015, the company neglected the laptop for a while. It received an update in June 2017, but it was such a minor update that it looked like the MacBook Air was on life support.

It sounds like neither the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro (the one without a Touch Bar) nor the 12-inch MacBook have fostered as much customer interest as the MacBook Air.

Bloomberg also says that the Mac Mini is going to receive an update. The story of the Mac Mini is quite similar as the product has been neglected for years. Apple last updated the Mac Mini in October 2014 — it’s been nearly four years.

And the fact that Apple still sells the Mac Mini from 2014 is embarrassing. You can find tiny desktop PCs that are cheaper, smaller and more powerful. They don’t run macOS, but that’s the only downside.

It’s clear that laptops have taken over the computer market. Desktop computers have become a niche market. That’s why the updated Mac Mini could focus on people looking for a home server and who don’t want to mess around with a Raspberry Pi.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Android P Beta 2 brings updated system images and 157 new emojis

A month after releasing the first beta version of Android P at I/O (and right in the middle of Apple’s own developers conference), Google has just released Beta 2 of its upcoming mobile operating system. The update is available to users enrolled in Google’s developer program, who have access to a Pixel device. Those who’ve already downloaded Beta 1 will get the new version automatically.

The latest build features new system images and tools designed to help developers create apps for the upcoming version of the mobile operating system. Adaptive Battery is on-board here, leveraging DeepMind to decide which apps should get the most system resources. App Actions helps developers make their apps more prominent in places like Search, the Google Assistant and the Google Launcher, while Slices provides a way to offer elements of an app without having to open it up. 

Also of note is the addition of 157 new emojis. The list includes two gender neutral emojis, offering additional options for the Family and Couple With Heart emojis, joining last year’s addition of a gender-neutral Adult emoji.

There’s a Red Hair and Superhero emoji, both of which are available in two genders and five skin tones, a bagel with cream cheese, a llama and a lobster. Sounds like a fun crew.

A handful of existing emojis have also gotten a facelift here, including Bacon, Turtle, Cricket and Salad, which drops the egg to go full-on vegan. Google notes that the new emojis may be further updated prior to Android P’s final release.

More information on the updates for devs can be found here. 


Android – TechCrunch

Apple could use ARM coprocessors for three updated Mac models

Apple iMac Pro power button According to a Bloomberg article, Apple could be working on three new Mac models for this year. All three of them could feature an ARM coprocessor to improve security. Apple isn’t switching to ARM chipsets altogether. There will still be an Intel CPU in every Mac, but with a second ARM processor. Currently, the MacBook Pro features a T1 chip while the iMac Pro features a T2 chip. On… Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch