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Early 16-inch MacBook Pro complaints include speaker ‘popping’ and display ghosting

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro finally righted Apple’s keyboard debacle, and it’s a beast of a machine in terms of performance. But early buyers have still managed to uncover some bugs with the latest MacBook Pro — and one hardware characteristic that might put off some people. 

As noted by AppleInsider (and backed by this long MacRumors forum thread), owners of the 16-inch MacBook Pro are complaining about an intermittent “popping” sound coming from the speakers. It’s noticeable after audio playback is stopped. From AppleInsider:

If you get the problem, what happens is that when you’re playing any audio or video, when you stop it, skip to another part, or close the window, you get this sound. It’s similar to the clipping you can get when audio peaks too high, or when speakers are abruptly switched off and on.

Here’s a video demonstration of the issue:

Definitely the kind of thing that would grate on you over time from a $2,400 laptop. Apple’s support team has responded to some people by telling them that the company is aware of the issue and at work on a fix. 

Other customers are less than pleased about an apparent slow response time from the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s wide-color display, which can result in a “ghosting” effect when scrolling text. That, too, has earned a multipage thread at MacRumors, though there are also people who are unbothered by the display’s scrolling performance or don’t seem to notice it in regular use of the laptop. And if you mostly use your machine with it hooked into an external monitor, this perceived fault might not matter to you. 

But those upgrading from a 2014 or 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro — the crowd that steered clear of the butterfly keyboard, in other words — claim their previous displays didn’t exhibit this problem (at least not to the same degree). Some are going as far as to return the device over this situation. Apple is rumored to be working on Mini-LED MacBook Pros and iPad Pros for release in 2020, so the 16-inch MacBook Pro panels might be the last of their kind in Apple laptops — at least in the pro lineup. 

As someone who has used 13-inch MacBook Pros over the last few years, I’ve noticed some text and icon trailing at times, but haven’t really ever thought of it as as problem. In a world of 90Hz phones, 120Hz iPads, and even smoother gaming monitors, is this just a situation where the MacBook’s 60Hz refresh rate is sticking out? 

The speaker quirk does seem a bit more prominent, however. Just remember that Apple’s holiday return policy is now in effect, so you’ve got until early January to keep using your MacBook Pro and see if Apple resolves the popping sound with a macOS software release or firmware update. 

The Verge has reached out to Apple about both of these concerns. I’ll update this article should the company offer comment.

Source: The Verge

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Apple announces best app store apps and games following private event in New York

Apps of the year

Apple today announced its selection of best apps and games for 2019 after inviting developers and members of the press to a related special event in New York. The company follows the tradition of choosing apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV that stood out this year.

This year, Spectre Camera from Lux Optics was named the best iPhone app. Spectre Camera was developed by the creators of the popular Halide camera app. It uses AI technology to capture professional photos with long exposure in a fast and straightforward way.

For the iPad, first place went to the Flow app created by Moleskine. It’s an advanced drawing tool that offers various types of brushes for users to take notes or even make incredible drawings. Flow has customizable gestures and unique combinations of strokes and colors.

The best Mac app of 2019 chosen by Apple is Affinity Publisher from Serif Labs. Professionals know the company well for its advanced apps for image editing and illustration. With Affinity Publisher, they’ve introduced a new way to create amazing layouts for books, newspapers, magazines, posters, and more.

Apple also nominated The Explorers as the best 2019 app for Apple TV. The app is a fully collaborative digital catalog of nature’s images. Photographers or videographers can join the community to submit their work. All content can be admired by anyone on their iPhone, iPad, and even Apple TV.

Games of the year

Games are also an essential part of the App Store, and so they have their own category in the awards. Sky: Children of the Light, developed by thatgamecompany, is the best game of 2019 for iPhone. The journey game was featured at an Apple event as part of the Apple TV 4K demonstrations due to its amazing graphics.

Hyper Light Drifter from Abylight is the best 2019 game for iPad, according to Apple. The action-adventure RPG game has been awarded several times for its unique visual arts.

Among the games available on the Mac App Store, GRIS from Devolver won first place this year. The story of the game involves the journey of a girl lost in her own world, with a vast universe of puzzles created with detailed art.

For Apple TV, the best game of 2019 is Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, created by DotEmu. It’s a remake of the original game created in 1989 in which the main character, a half-human, half-lizard, faces a series of challenges in different scenarios. The graphics were made with bright colors that make the battles more intense.

Apple also chose the best game available on Apple Arcade, the company’s new subscription gaming platform. Sayonara Wild Hearts was the 2019 choice. Created by Annapurna Interactive, each level of the game takes place in a music clip in which the main character must run and face obstacles on the way to the end with a stunning soundtrack.

Trends of the year

In addition to the best apps and games of the year, Apple also made a list of others who did not win first place, but also made their mark on the iOS App Store.

The first list, “The Storyteller Within,” features apps that helped users tell stories, whether through text, photos, videos, podcasts, or drawings. Check out the apps below:

The “Blockbusters Reborn” list is made up of famous franchise games that were released for iOS. Check it out:

You can check out the full list of the best 2019 apps here.

What did you think of the list? Did you know all the apps? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.

Source: The Verge

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Latest macOS Catalina beta hints at new 16-inch MacBook Pro

Rumors have been circulating for months that Apple is readying a new, 16-inch MacBook Pro model — some reports claiming as early as this year — and we might have just gotten a first look at it, thanks to a new image hidden in the latest macOS Catalina 10.15.1 beta that was uncovered by MacGeneration. 

The file apparently refers to a new MacBook Pro model designated “MacBookPro16,1” (which in and of itself just indicates that it’s a new model — the 16 here is likely just a coincidence based on how Apple does its model numbering), and features a thumbnail image for what definitely looks like a larger MacBook Pro with thinner bezels than the current 15-inch model’s icon. 

MacRumors has confirmed that the files — which depict the new model in both silver and space gray colors — are present in the current beta. This means that if the image is accurate to the finished design (and not just a placeholder), then we could be getting our first good look at the newest MacBook Pro.

While the image is definitely of a larger MacBook with thinner bezels, there’s no way to tell from here whether the most requested change — a new scissor-switch keyboard that’s rumored to be debuting on the 16-inch model to replace Apple’s heavily maligned butterfly switches — is present as well. 

It wouldn’t be the first time Apple’s accidentally leaked a new product design with beta icons, either: the company confirmed the iPhone X’s redesign with a beta icon, as well as the iPhone XS Max and iPad Pro redesigns last year. Most recently, Apple’s rumored noise-canceling AirPod Pros might have made an appearance in the iOS 13.2 beta. 

Apple’s been rumored to be working on a 16-inch MacBook Pro that would debut a new design for some time, with Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that the larger model will introduce a new keyboard that will trickle down to the rest of the lineup in 2020. Historically, Apple has had a second fall event in October where it has tended to focus on iPad and Mac updates. Combined with the beta images, it could mean that we’re just a few days away from Apple formally announcing the new laptop.

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The biggest announcements from Google’s 2019 Pixel event

Google’s big 2019 hardware event has concluded. The company announced a bunch of products, including the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, new Pixel Buds, Stadia, Nest Wifi, Nest Mini, and Pixelbook Go.

If you want to see our insights on the minute-to-minute updates from the event as they happened, check out our live blog. But if you just want the headlines and takeaways with the context that you need, we’re putting them all below.


Google’s Pixel 4 uses hybrid digital and optical zoom with both its lenses. It’s shipping with four new features: Live HDR Plus, allowing you to see what your photo, complete with the HDR effect, will look like after processing.

The camera app offers dual-exposure controls, allowing you to adjust brightness and shadows so you can get the look that you’re aiming for.

Google has been using machine-based white balancing to provide more accurate colors in tricky shooting scenarios. Snow, for instance, tends to look blue with some SLRs, but Google is working to ensure that photos look realistic on Pixel 4.

Lastly, Night Sight has been improved, and the company showed off the Pixel 4’s ability to take pictures of the stars. It’s using a combination of machine learning on on-device hardware to accomplish better shots than what the Pixel 3 can achieve. The Pixel team says that it’s committed to making the Pixel 4’s camera better over time with software updates.


The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have been revealed — officially, this time. Google started off by talking about its Soli radar chip, which it says enables gestures that you can use to command the phone without actually touching it.

Both phones have a 90Hz refresh rate OLED display, meaning that scrolling around on social media and through the news will appear much more fluid than it usually does on a phone. Both will also come in several color options, including white, black, and orange.

It also detailed a recording app that can transcribe voice recordings. And it’s not just capable of transcribing, it can dive into recordings to find mentions of any word or sound.

Preorders begin today, and the phones will ship on October 24th.


Google Nest is introducing its new mesh Wi-Fi router system. It’s called the Nest Wifi, and compared to the Google Wifi currently on the market, it stands out with rounded cylindrical design. Plus, it comes in a few color options. Also what sets them apart is the ability to double as a smart speaker, a la Google Home. Google Nest is introducing two versions of the Nest Wifi: one that is a router that plugs into your modem, and the other (called a “Point”) that can double as a smart speaker.

It will be available starting on November 4th.


Google Nest’s latest smart speaker is the Nest Mini. It looks like a Google Home Mini, but a few things seem to have been changed. There’s now a hole on its underside so you can mount it to your wall, and it appears to use a sensor to turn on indicator lights when you move a hand toward it. Google Nest says that it will cost $49.99, the same price as the Home Mini.

It will be available starting on October 22nd.


Google has announced a new flagship Chromebook called Pixelbook Go. Despite the similarity in name to 2017’s Pixelbook, it doesn’t seem to be a follow-up. Instead, this one’s design looks (at a passing glance, at least) like to a modern MacBook — until you flip it over. Its bottom is covered in a ribbed texture that presumably makes it easier to hold.

It’s available for preorder now in just black for $649, and not pink will be available to preorder soon.


Google has announced its next-generation Pixel Buds, called the “all-new Pixel Buds.” These are truly wireless headphones that allow for hands-free access to Google Assistant with the “Hey Google” wake word. They support long-range connectivity, and Google claims that they can remain connected to your phone through three rooms, or up to a football field’s length.

Google says that each charge lasts five hours, and its wireless charging case can last up to 24 hours of playtime. These will be available in spring 2020 for $179.


Google announced that Stadia, its cloud gaming platform, will launch on November 19th. It will be playable on TV via Chromecast, Google’s Pixelbook lineup, as well as Pixel phones.

Source: The Verge

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Google’s Pixelbook Go laptop leaks in extensive photos

Ahead of Google’s big hardware event next week, 9to5Google has gotten access to what it claims is a prototype of the company’s new Chromebook, the Pixelbook Go. 9to5Google previously revealed specs and other details on the device last month.

As expected, the Pixelbook Go has a 13.3-inch 16:9 screen in either 1080p or 4K resolution, two USB-C ports, and options for Intel Core m3, i5, and i7 processors. Other specs are said to include up to 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a headphone jack, and the Titan C security chip seen in the Pixel Slate.

The Pixelbook Go appears to have an unusual ribbed texture on the bottom, which 9to5Google describes as “somewhat similar to a washboard or the roof of a dog’s mouth,” so make of that what you will. The model that the site got its hands on has a coral color on the bottom with a matte finish on the top panel that’s reminiscent of the “Not Pink” Pixel 3.

It’s clear that the device is a prototype — the Google logo has been swapped out for a placeholder, and another wordmark reads “ProductName” above the keyboard. Still, it’s an extensive look at what Google is likely to announce next week, so it’s worth checking out 9to5Google’s full gallery.

Google’s event is happening on Wednesday in New York City, and we will of course be there to bring you all the news on the Pixelbook Go, the even-more-leaked Pixel 4, and no doubt much more.

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What to expect from Microsoft’s Surface hardware event

Microsoft is holding a big Surface hardware event in New York City on Wednesday, October 2nd. The company has been teasing this event continually on Twitter, and is even inviting Surface fans to attend. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be in attendance, alongside Surface chief Panos Panay. It seems like we’re on the cusp on a significant event, perhaps as big or bigger than the Surface 2015 event when the Surface Book, Microsoft Band 2, Surface Pro 4, and three Lumia phones were introduced.

There haven’t been any major leaks about what we might see on Wednesday, but rumors suggest we’ll see some refreshes of popular devices like the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, alongside a new mysterious ARM-powered Surface. The most significant part of the day could be Microsoft ushering in its dual-screen plans for Surface and beyond, and a new Windows variant to make those plans a reality. Let’s explore what we’re likely, and unlikely, to see on Wednesday.

Surface Pro 6 in matte black


Microsoft refreshed the Surface Pro lineup with the sixth edition last year in a new black matte finish, but crucially without USB-C connectivity. We’re expecting to see the Surface Pro 7 arrive on Wednesday, complete with USB-C support. How Microsoft adds USB-C to its Surface Pro 7 isn’t exactly clear, but we’re hoping the company simply replaces the Mini DisplayPort with USB-C at the minimum and keeps a USB-A port for compatibility. Patents from earlier this year suggested that we might even see some type of new Surface Type Cover with a future Surface Pro.

Outside of USB-C, it’s highly likely the Surface Pro 7 will include Intel’s latest 10th Gen processors, and perhaps even some new color options (according to rumors). There could even be a new Surface Pen with wireless charging, as a recent FCC filing revealed a new stylus is on the way.


Microsoft has been rumored to be working on an ARM-powered Surface for months now, and it’s likely we’ll see the unveiling on Wednesday. Unlike previous Surfaces with Nvidia Tegra ARM chips inside (Surface RT, Surface 2), Microsoft is rumored to be working with Qualcomm on this particular Surface. That means the device will likely be powered by Qualcomm’s latest 8cx chip, which was first unveiled nearly a year ago.

We haven’t seen many ARM-powered Windows laptops throughout 2019, but Samsung surprised us with its new Galaxy Book S recently and a promise of 23 hours of battery life. If Microsoft creates a Qualcomm-powered Surface then it could be the push that other OEMs need to take this type of device seriously. Windows on ARM still lags behind regular Windows 10, thanks to some app compatibility and generally poor performance from previous Qualcomm chips, but the Snapdragon 8cx could change things.

Little details have leaked about Microsoft’s Surface ARM plans, and it’s not really clear what type of device we’ll see this processor in. Microsoft leaker WalkingCat has revealed that Microsoft could introduce a “Surface Pro with thinner bezel and LTE,” hinting that this might be the ARM-powered device that has been rumored. LTE is a natural byproduct of using Qualcomm’s chips, and you’d expect a different design to the traditional Surface Pro. If the rumors are accurate, then it would be surprising to see Microsoft use the “Surface Pro” moniker on an ARM-powered device.

Surface Laptop 2


Microsoft looks set to launch new Surface Laptop 3 models on Wednesday. While the existing Surface Laptop 2 comes in just a 13.5-inch edition, it looks increasingly likely that Microsoft will launch a 15-inch model. Rumors have also suggested that Microsoft will use AMD processors in the Surface Laptop for the first time. If you put the AMD rumors and 15-inch rumors together then it’s likely we’ll see a larger Surface Laptop 3 with AMD chips inside.

It’s not clear if the smaller 13.5-inch model will be refreshed or even include AMD chips, but it would be surprising to see Microsoft just launch a Surface Laptop 3 in one new size and no refresh on the smaller model.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 might even appear without the infamous Alcantara fabric covering. WalkingCat has hinted that Microsoft could launch a Surface Laptop 3 without Alcantara, and even include removable SSDs as an option. If both changes are true, they’d appeal to a number of commercial customers who need to swap out drives and don’t want to look after the Alcantara fabric like a luxury handbag.


The big surprise of the day will likely be Microsoft’s tease of the future of Windows. We’ve known for a while that Microsoft has been working on a dual-screen Surface device, codenamed “Centaurus,” and the October 2nd event could serve as the first unveiling of this new type of hardware. Microsoft has been building a new dual-screen device for more than two years, and it’s designed to be the hero device for a wave of new dual-screen tablet / laptop hybrids that OEMs are expected to launch throughout 2020.

Microsoft demonstrated this new device during an internal meeting earlier this year, showing that work on the prototype has gone beyond the early stages. A key part of this hardware will be Windows Lite, the codename for a new Windows variant that will power dual-screen devices. Also known as “Santorini” internally, Windows Lite is more of a Chrome OS-like version of Windows designed specifically for dual-screen and foldable devices.

Intel has been pushing OEMs to create dual-screen devices, and a lot of the hardware could look similar to Microsoft’s original Courier concept or even include foldable displays in the future. The Windows Lite interface will be similar to Windows as it exists today, but it will be more of a mix of what Microsoft does with its Surface Hub shell and the limited functionality of its Windows Phone Continuum user interface. The underlying parts of Windows Lite are built on Microsoft’s new Composable Shell (C-Shell) and Windows Core OS, a more modular version of the existing Windows Shell that powers many parts of Windows 10.

How much Microsoft reveals about its dual-screen Surface plans and even Windows Lite remains to be seen, but we’re expecting to see some type of teaser on Wednesday. These devices aren’t expected to be ready until next year, so we won’t likely see final hardware or even software, but just a brief glimpse of the future of Windows.

Rumored Surface speaker


Alongside the more traditional Surface devices, we could be about to see some type of Surface speaker. Microsoft surprised us all with Surface Headphones last year, and a new patent suggests the company is working on a portable speaker for Microsoft Teams.

The portable speaker itself appears to have a similar design to Google’s Home Mini, with fabric wrapped around the top and volume buttons with the ability to make, receive, and mute calls. That hints that this is related to Microsoft Teams and meeting rooms, and one of the inventors is a principle design manager for Microsoft Teams devices. The device also appears to have a removable base, perhaps to allow it to charge and be positioned around a meeting room.

Microsoft also demonstrated a prototype for a new consumer version of Microsoft Teams earlier this year, dubbed Microsoft Teams “for life.” It’s designed as an extension of Microsoft’s chat app for friends and family. Microsoft is experimenting with features like sending location, shared family calendars, and document sharing. We may see this new version of Teams alongside a potential Surface speaker.


There’s clearly a lot planned for Wednesday, but we’re not expecting any updates to other Surface products like the Surface Book 3 or Surface Go. While a 15-inch version of the Surface Laptop 3 could certainly rival the Surface Book, we’d still expect to see this product updated at some point in the near future. Likewise, a new Surface Go doesn’t seem likely for Wednesday, especially if Microsoft is about to unveil an ARM-powered Surface Pro.

Microsoft is also rumored to be working on Surface-branded earbuds to take on Apple’s AirPods. Amazon just launched its own Echo Buds with Alexa built in, and Microsoft unveiled its first Surface Headphones at its Surface event last year. We haven’t heard any additional rumors about these potential Surface earbuds appearing before the end of 2019, so it would be surprising to see them on Wednesday.

The Verge will be covering Microsoft’s Surface event live, with a dedicated live blog and all the news as it happens. Microsoft’s Surface event starts at 10AM ET / 7AM PT on Wednesday, October 2nd.

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Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 may include a new 15-inch model

Microsoft is planning to refresh its Surface lineup next month, and there could be a bigger version of the Surface Laptop 3 in the cards. WinFuture reports that Microsoft will unveil a new 15-inch version of the Surface Laptop 3 next month, with the same 3:2 aspect ratio. We’re expecting Microsoft to launch an AMD-powered Surface Laptop 3, and it’s possible that this chip could be found on this rumored 15-inch model.

If the report is accurate, that will mean Microsoft’s Surface Laptop could further compete with the company’s Surface Book device. Microsoft currently offers both 13.5- and 15-inch versions of the Surface Book 2. We understand it’s unlikely that Microsoft will unveil a Surface Book 3 at the event in New York City next month, though.

Microsoft is also expected to reveal a new Surface Pro 7 with USB-C support, a Qualcomm-powered Surface, and a tease of its dual-screen Surface and Windows plansThe Verge will be live from Microsoft’s New York City Surface event on October 2nd, so stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of Surface and Windows.

Source: The Verge

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Apple will live stream its iPhone 11 event on YouTube for the first time

Apple is planning to stream its iPhone 11 event on Google’s YouTube platform on Tuesday. It will mark the first time that Apple has ever streamed one of the company’s events on YouTube, and it will greatly expand the number of people able to view the stream. Last year Apple extended its iPhone event stream to Twitter, and the company has been gradually increasing the availability of its stream in recent years.

Windows 10 users started to gain access to the stream back in 2015, thanks to Microsoft’s Edge browser. Apple’s event streams used to be limited to Safari and Edge on the desktop, but Apple also opened them up to Chrome and Firefox last year at WWDC.

We’re expecting Apple to unveil three new iPhone models on Tuesday, and The Verge will be live from the event covering every piece of news as it happens. You can check out what to expect from Apple’s iPhone 11 event right here, and the event will start at 1PM ET / 10AM PT on Tuesday September 10th.

Source: The Verge