Sun. May 19th, 2024

Apple Reality

Apple’s Spring event this year, we’re probably looking at March – but while a lot of Apple YouTubers are saying that it will be hyper focused on the AR/VR headset (which I maintain is likely to be called Apple Reality, would we really need the PRO on V1?), and there have been new rumours about what the device will feature.

Beyond the already reported triple displays giving focused and peripheral vision, the device is expected to feature 120 degrees of vision for full immersion, an H1 style chip to give extremely low latency connection to AirPods and an M2 level chip for processing. Maybe even two of those.

Recent reports have stated that Apple Reality could well feature carbon fibre construction to keep the weight on your head extremely light – any chance Apple could carry that over to the AirPods Max I wonder… or even a future MacBook Air? It would also feature an onboard battery with additional battery packs being able to be worn on the belt or waistband and connected via MagSafe, presumably the Mac version for extended life.

VR That’s Accessible.

Inside the headset, magnetic mounts will allow custom made prescription lenses to be added for anyone who needs assistive eyewear, and that these, or the regular lenses will adjust automatically to your eyes when you place the headset on. Even the straps will apparently be interchangeable easily, presumably using a similar system to the Apple Watch straps. Nice.

I’d also assume, and this is just an assumption, that the foam around the eyes will be removable magnetically just like the ear cups on AirPods Max, meaning you could have multiple sets perhaps for different users in the home without sharing the sweat. Nice.

Of course, the thing that’s still up in the air is what on earth Apple is doing with the software. I don’t imagine that there will be the Nightmareverse that Meta has created, but right now we know more about technology than function, and that is likely to be where Apple absolutely excels here. Let me know in the comments what you’re expecting.

Mac Pro Latest

Now the Mac Pro. The system that ruined Apple’s plan for a 2 year transition, as it’s still not arrived. And latest rumours that we’ve touched on before say that it’s going to look just like the Intel Xeon version from 2019 – but with an Ultra level chip inside, not the Extreme we hoped for and without user upgradable RAM. So what’s the point?

Marcin Kowalczyk

@icavedave #icaveanswers Max Tech in their video “M2 Ultra Mac Pro – The wait was WORTHLESS!?” said that Mac studio is going to be put on hiatus in terms of chip upgrades because of it being “too similar” to the “non-extreme” Mac Pro.  I find this hard to agree with. What are Your thoughts?

Well I’m not convinced that just because the Extreme chip isn’t coming that we won’t get a pair or even 4 ultras, just not on monolithic silicon. That would make the most sense to me, possibly even with the individual SOCs on their own PCIe Cards, and possibly replaceable as Apple Silicon develops. That would be kind of along the lines of what the PowerMac G5s did way back when dual processors first arrived.

The expandability otherwise will be in terms of IO and storage on those cards, but I have another theory about the probable timing of the Mac Pro which is apparently being tested on the 13.3 version of MacOS Ventura, meaning somewhere around the spring is likely for release.

I wonder though if the headset and Mac Pro being announced together is really for developers though, perhaps there’s some kind of specific IO cards for connecting Reality Development kits to Mac Pros for those creating software for these, which could well be a part of the reasoning. That said, Europe will probably force them to be USB-C connected, though I don’t remember seeing VR headsets on that list.

MacBooks Pro?

I do also think there’s a decent chance of seeing the M2 Pro and Max MacBook Pros at the event, as I can’t see Apple press releasing these even if its a simple spec bump given that we’ve not seen either of these chips before. The Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro however could get press release launched soon after the event or given a brief nod too.

And speaking of MacBooks, we’re now hearing Apple is actively developing touchscreens for their portable Macs, but don’t hold your breath is it sounds like 2025 is the earliest we’re likely to see them on sale.

MacOS would need some serious overhaul in terms of interface to make touch practical in terms of touch targets, so things like the minimise, maximise and close traffic lights would need modification, perhaps a long press could pop out a larger version for fine control.

While Steve Jobs himself said that touch screens on Laptops didn’t make sense ergonomically, I think there are some good use cases. First, if you’re just using your Mac to watch some content while doing other things, in the kitchen for example, it can be very convenient to just hit that Skip Ad button on YouTube for example – if you’re not actively using the Mac, trying to find the cursor and scroll over to the button you want can actually be a bit of a pain compared to just jabbing at it with a finger.

I’d personally though find Apple Pencil support more useful I think, and still have the dream of a pencil enabled iMac that can fold down to a drawing board slant like Microsofts Surface Studio – as much as it pains me to say it that’s something Microsoft nailed in terms of design. Just a shame it runs Windows.

3nm Pricing

Team Kinetix

#iCaveAnswers as TSMC have suggested that a 3nm wafer will cost up to 20% more than a 5nm wafer, do you think Apple might put a binned A17 in the iPhone 15 Pro, and an unbinned A17 in the iPhone 15 Ultra? This could further differentiate them, justify an extra premium, and minimise waste on an more expensive production process.

Or will they just charge more for everything because; Apple?