Archive of Retina MacBook Pro Rumors

Following its March 9 media event where it introduced "Force Touch" trackpad technology for the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and upcoming 12-inch MacBook, Apple opened up the feature to third-party developers by delivering developer APIs starting with the third beta of OS X 10.10.3. The APIs will allow developers to support the ability of Force Touch trackpads to sense multiple levels of pressure and perform different actions depending on how hard the trackpad is being pressed.

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Apple has already taken steps to build Force Touch support into its own apps, as outlined in a support document. At the simplest level, the new Force Touch trackpads support a new "Force click" functionality, which allows a user to click on an item and then press a bit harder to activate a secondary function such as pulling up Dictionary or Wikipedia entires on selected text in Mail or Safari, a map preview when selecting an address, or Quick Look previews of files when selecting icons.

Beyond the single-level Force click, the new Force Touch trackpad also supports more advanced features through sensing multiple levels of pressure, allowing users to accelerate zooming in and out of maps or vary the speed of fast forward and rewind in QuickTime and iMovie. iMovie also supports "bumpy pixels" in which the trackpad gives subtle vibrational feedback during the editing process to let the user know when the end of a dragged clip has been reached or when cropped clips are in proper alignment.

While Force Touch is currently limited to the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, the feature looks set to expand throughout Apple's product lineups, with the company's other notebooks gaining the technology as update cycles allow and the Apple Watch supporting it as a key interface mechanism at launch. Apple is also rumored to be bringing Force Touch to the iPhone later this year.

On the Mac side, Ten One Design today announced an update to Inklet, its popular third-party drawing software, that will bring "enhanced pressure control" to MacBooks with the new Force Touch trackpad. The company believes it is the first Mac developer to launch support for Force Touch.

Through Inklet's software, users have been able to draw and edit images within applications like Pixelmator and Photoshop for a while, by determining "stylus pressure" to differentiate between when to use thin and thick lines. Ten One Design notes that the introduction of the Force Touch trackpad makes its app not only more precise in designating pressure sensitivities, but more reliable as well.

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We think Inklet is the first 3rd party application to support the Apple’s new Force Touch trackpads. This means you’ll have amazing pressure control on newer machines, and in a pinch you can even use your finger.

Having a trackpad capable of measuring force is a big deal. Even though Inklet has always been capable of determining stylus pressure, this update makes measuring pressure simpler and more reliable. Kudos to the team at Apple who designed this precise and useful instrument.
Beyond Force Touch support, Inklet's update also bring "improved pressure response" to MacBooks with the traditional multi-touch trackpad, along with the usual minor bug fixes. The company says Inklet will prompt users to update the app "sometime within the next three days", although users wanting to check out the new features sooner can hasten the process with the "Check for Updates" prompt in the Inklet menu.

Those yet to download the software can do so for $24.95 for the base app, or $34.90 for the app bundled with the company's Pogo stylus, from Inklet's official website.
boot_camp_iconApple's newly refreshed MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models no longer support running Windows 7 with Boot Camp, according to Apple's Boot Camp support document. Boot Camp on the new notebooks only works with Windows 8 or later, so it is impossible to use Boot Camp to install Windows 7 on the machines.

For those unfamiliar with Boot Camp, it is Apple's software designed to allow Mac users to install Microsoft Windows on their machines.

Apple also dropped Windows 7 Boot Camp support in the 2013 Mac Pro, suggesting the software would cease to be supported by future Macs, but Macs released in 2014 continued to offer Windows 7 installations. The 2014 MacBook Air and the 2014 MacBook Pro will be the last Apple notebooks that support Windows 7.

Though Boot Camp no longer supports Windows 7, the operating system can continue to be used on these newer machines with virtualization software like VMware Fusion and Parallels.

It is not surprising that Apple has opted to phase out support for Windows 7, given its advanced age. Windows 7 first became available to the public in 2009 and was followed by Windows 8 in 2012. Despite being six years old, Windows 7 continues to be the most heavily used Windows-based operating system.

Mac users were not happy with Apple's decision to cease Windows 7 support in the Mac Pro, and it's likely the dropped support in the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will also be met with resistance. Windows users have not yet embraced Windows 8 due to both its cost and its interface, which deviated significantly from the design of Windows 7.

Windows 10, coming later this year, may encourage stalwart Windows 7 users to upgrade, as it melds Windows 7 design elements with Windows 8 design elements for a happy medium that might satisfy a wide range of tastes. Windows 10 pricing has not been unveiled, but it will be a free upgrade for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users.

(Thanks, Daniel!)
Twelve South today revealed the BaseLift for MacBook, a "super-thin, microfiber-layered pad" that attaches to the bottom of any MacBook and can instantly fold up, similar to an iPad Smart Cover, to provide an elevated screen and angled keyboard to users on either a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Once attached, BaseLift for MacBook stays connected to the MacBook, and is thin enough to fit into "most bags and laptop cases" along with a user's computer.

BaseLift
"If you have a MacBook, get a BaseLift," said Andrew Green, Creative Director of Twelve South. "Without a doubt, it's one of the best MacBook accessories we've ever invented. It is so simple and adds so much comfort for just $39, that everyone with a MacBook should have one. When I'm on a MacBook without a BaseLift now, I miss it terribly -- and that's the true test of a great accessory."
BaseLift aims to be more than a MacBook stand, with Twelve South claiming that the device acts as a buffer between the initial chilliness of a MacBook and even the heat given off when heavily using the device.

The BaseLift fits any current model of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the default BaseLift Pad aimed at the 11" MacBook Air and a few optional "Fit Strip" accessories included for users on 13" and 15" models. The company promises that the adhesive SurfaceGrip technology used to attach the accessory to a MacBook won't leave a sticky residue if a user ever chooses to remove the BaseLift Pad from the device.


The BaseLift for MacBook can be purchased right now from Twelve South's official website for $39.99, and is available in a red-black option. Although the new MacBook is not directly mentioned, the dimensions of the BaseLift suggest the product could be used on Apple's just-announced ultra-thin MacBook.
A growing number of users have turned to the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors discussion forums and Facebook in recent weeks to voice their complaints about the anti-reflective coating on Retina MacBook Pros becoming scratched or wearing off. The long-standing display issue appears to affect several MacBook Pros, including mid-2012 to mid-2014 models sold between June 2012 and present.

MacBook Pro Coating
The anti-reflective coating appears to be wearing off under a variety of circumstances, including the pressure of the keys and trackpad on the display when closed, and the use of third-party cleaning solutions and microfiber cloths. While the issue is typically isolated to small areas of the screen, some users have shared pictures showing the anti-reflective coating wearing off across virtually the entire display.
"I had the exact same problem, and I followed the cleaning instructions on the Apple website: a lint free cloth and a small amount of water," writes MacRumors forum member wj2. "Was trying to remove a mark in the corner of my screen and a shiny scratch appeared on the bezel. It grew in size and it looked like the coating on the bezel was coming off like everyone is saying. Started happening at the top of my display by the camera also. I looked it up and stumbled across this same forum and realized that it was a problem that I should take up with Apple."
Affected users have received mixed responses from Apple. While some Retina MacBook Pro owners covered under a one-year limited warranty or AppleCare Protection Plan have been able to get their notebook repaired through the Genius Bar for no charge, others have been told that cosmetic damage is not covered under warranty and offered to have their notebooks repaired for a service charge costing hundreds of dollars.

Retina MacBook Pro Coating
While the anti-reflective coating issues are not new, with complaints dating back to at least August 2013, the problem has been gaining momentum in recent weeks. The issue has received over 100,000 views and 600 responses between the Apple Support Communities and MacRumors discussion forums, and dozens of users have submitted pictures of their damaged Retina MacBook Pros throughout March in a Facebook group set up to discuss the problem.

Update Mar 17: An unofficial website called "Staingate" has launched where affected users can join a database and submit photos of the display coating wearing off on their MacBook Pro.
Earlier this week, we shared some Geekbench benchmarks for the Broadwell processors in the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the new 13-inch MacBook Air, which pointed towards speeds that were comparable to mid-2014 models.

At the time, we noted the results might shift once more data came in and the machines got past their initial housekeeping tasks, and Primate Labs' John Poole has now shared additional benchmarks for all stock versions of the new machines. The new data indicate that performance improvements may indeed be somewhat better than initially thought, though still relatively moderate.

On the new MacBook Air, both the default 1.6 GHz Core i5 chip and the 2.2 GHz Core i7 chip available as an upgrade performed somewhat better than their predecessors on the 32-bit single-core test, but there were more significant gains in the multi-core test for the higher-end processors.

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According to the new averages, single-core performance increased 6 percent from Haswell to Broadwell. Multi-core performance on the i5 chip increased 7 percent, while multi-core performance for the i7 model increased 14 percent.

Due to the more meaningful jump in multi-core performance between the 2.2GHz Core i7 chip and the 1.6GHz Core i5 chip, Poole recommends that MacBook Air buyers go for the processor upgrade.
If you're thinking of buying the new MacBook Air I would strongly recommend the i7 processor. It has 20% faster single-core performance and 25% faster multi-core performance for only a 15% increase in price.
Benchmarks of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro showed slight gains over previous-generation models, but the differences were not quite as pronounced as on the MacBook Air. Single-core performance increased between 3 percent and 7 percent from Haswell to Broadwell, depending on the model, while multi-core performance increased 3 percent to 6 percent.

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I have no recommendations regarding the processor for the new MacBook Pro. The performance differences and the price differences between the processors are roughly equivalent.
Intel operates on a "Tick-Tock" chip manufacturing model. Tock upgrades represent a new microarchitecture, while tick upgrades like Broadwell are generally an improvement on tock architecture, leading to improvements in efficiency. As a tick upgrade, the minor speed improvements Broadwell brings are no surprise. Intel's last tock upgrade was Haswell, and its next tock upgrade will be Skylake, coming later this year.

Apple's new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and new MacBook Air models are available immediately from the online Apple Store and from Apple's retail stores.
At its "Spring Forward" event on Monday, Apple announced a brand-new MacBook and updated 13-inch MacBook Pros with a fully redesigned trackpad called the Force Touch trackpad.

Like on the Apple Watch, Force Touch allows the device to distinguish between a light press and a deep press, opening up new methods for interaction. For example, while a light press could be a simple click, a deep press while browsing in Safari could bring up a Wikipedia entry in a pop-up window.

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The Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook and new MacBook Pros achieves this through a total reinvention of the way the trackpad works. Apple ditched the "diving board" structure of older trackpads for a new design with four sensors, called Force Sensors.

These Force Sensors allow the user to click anywhere on the Force Touch trackpad. The "diving board" design on previous trackpads made it difficult to click toward the top of the trackpad, forcing users to move their fingers toward the bottom of the trackpad to click.

The Force Sensors are bundled together with the Taptic Engine, which is also featured in the upcoming Apple Watch. The Taptic Engine senses when a user clicks on the trackpad and issues haptic feedback to let a user know that their action was successful. As noted by TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, this is because the trackpad itself doesn't move. While the Force Touch trackpad sounds like it clicks and feels like it clicks, it doesn't actually click.
There is a set of vibrating motors underneath that provides ‘force feedback’, also known as haptics in some applications. This feedback fools your finger into believing that you’ve pressed down on a hinged button, the way your current trackpad works. This feedback relies on phenomenon called lateral force fields (LFFs), which can cause humans to experience vibrations as haptic ‘textures’. This can give you the feel of a ‘clickable’ surface or even depth. The Force Touch feature of the new trackpad allows you to press ‘deeper’, giving you additional levels of tapping feedback. The effect is done so well that you actually feel like you’re pressing down deeper into a trackpad that still isn’t moving at all. It’s so good it’s eerie.
While the Force Touch trackpad was a main highlight of Apple's introduction of the new MacBook, the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro is actually the first Mac to ship with the feature. iFixit has already performed a teardown of the new MacBook Pro to get a closer look at the workings of the Force Touch trackpad after removing the machine's well-glued battery.

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Following the announcement of the brand new line of MacBooks, Apple today revealed a slight update to its MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro lines.

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Both the 11" and 13" MacBook Air models will be upgraded to 5th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, Thunderbolt 2, and Intel HD Graphics 6000.
Today the popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Air all received significant upgrades,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest processors, more powerful graphics, faster flash, longer battery life and the all-new Force Touch trackpad. We’re also bringing the latest processors and graphics, and faster Thunderbolt 2 to the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, as well as up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.”
The 13" MacBook Pro will receive the brand new Force Touch trackpad introduced on the new MacBook today at the Spring Forward event. Other new additions to the Pro lineup include: 5th-gen Core i5 and i7 processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 3.4 GHz, 2x faster flash, "faster integrated" Intel Iris Graphics 6100, and an improved 10-hour battery life. There was no mention of an update to the 15" MacBook Pro line at today's event.

The updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines can be purchased starting today on Apple's online store, Apple's retail stores, and various Apple authorized retailers.

Follow the rest of our March 2015 event coverage for the latest Apple Watch information.
With just one day to go until Apple's "Spring Forward" media event in San Francisco, there are still plenty of unknowns about what the company will be showing off beyond a focus on the Apple Watch. As a result, we've put together this summary of what we expect to see, what we might see, and what we probably won't see at the event.

Apple Watch


Given the time-related tagline of "Spring Forward" and today's start of Daylight Saving Time in the United States, it's clear the Apple Watch is the focus of tomorrow's event. We got a first look at the device last September, but now with just a month to go until launch, it's time for Apple to provide final details and shape the marketing message. Expect more details on launch dates and pricing of course, as well as some updates on performance aspects such as battery life.

Also expect apps to play a significant role in the event, with Apple allowing a few developers to show off what they've been able to accomplish over the past few months since guidelines and developers tools for the device were made available.


Pricing will undoubtedly be one of the most interesting topics to be covered, with the company so far refusing to disclose any information beyond a $349 starting price. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has made his final predictions, arguing the stainless steel Apple Watch collection will be more expensive than people think.
[T]he steel Apple Watch, that’s something that most people still look at as for them. And so they expect the starting price to be around $500, and the various leather and metal band options to cost $100-300 more.

But if the starting price for the steel Apple Watch is $500, I don’t see why Apple Watch Sport exists at $350. $150 difference does not justify the difference. If they were that close in price, there’d only be one of them. [...] With Sport and steel Apple Watches, everything you can see or touch is different. Different metal (aluminum vs. steel), different finishes (matte vs. highly-polished), different displays (glass vs. sapphire), different case backs (plastic vs. ceramic and sapphire).
With that in mind, Gruber predicts the steel Apple Watch collection will start at $749 while the gold Apple Watch Edition collection starts at $7500. He expects Apple will charge a small premium for the 42mm size compared to the 38mm casing, and various band options will quickly drive up the cost of the steel and gold models.

Gruber is of course only one voice among many who are speculating about pricing, but he offers a clear and thorough argument for his pricing predictions, serving as a solid basis for debate and discussion.

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Apple has launched a repair program to fix MacBook Pro machines sold between February 2011 and February 2013 that have problems with distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts.

As of February 20 in the United States and Canada (February 27 in other countries), users with affected machines will be able to visit an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider to receive repairs for their MacBook Pros at no charge. Customers will be able to bring their MacBook Pro to an Apple Store or service provider or send it in via mail for repairs.

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An affected MacBook Pro may display one or more of the following symptoms:
-Distorted or scrambled video on the computer screen
-No video on the computer screen (or external display) even though the computer is on
-Computer restarts unexpectedly
Affected products include 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pro models manufactured in 2011 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro models manufactured between Mid 2012 and Early 2013. Users can see whether their computers are affected by using the "Check Your Coverage" tool on Apple's site.

Apple is contacting customers who already paid to have their machines repaired either through Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to arrange a reimbursement. The company asks customers who paid for a repair for the issue and did not receive an email to contact Apple.

Apple will provide repairs until February 27, 2016, or three years from the MacBook's original date of sale, depending on which coverage period is longer.

Some early and late-2011 MacBook Pro owners with discrete graphics cards have been experiencing GPU failures and crashes for years now, causing screen glitches and image distortion, among other problems.

MacBook owners petitioned Apple to begin a repair program for the machines on change.org and even went as far as filing a class action lawsuit after an extended period of time without a repair program.

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The lawsuit asked that Apple acknowledge that an issue exists and repair affected machines, which the company appears to be prepared to do with the launch of today’s repair program covering both repairs and reimbursements for repairs already made. It is unclear how the new program will affect the class-action lawsuit brought against Apple by 2011 MacBook Pro owners.

(Thanks, Philip!)
Intel today announced the launch of a full set of "Broadwell-U" processors, opening the door for updated versions of Apple's MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The chip launch is essentially in line with a leaked timeline from last July that also pegs the release of more powerful Broadwell chips appropriate for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro as late as July or August of this year.

As outlined by AnandTech, the new Broadwell-U chips include a set of four 28-watt chips ranging from 2.5 GHz to 3.1 GHz in base frequency and featuring new Iris 6100 integrated graphics. The Core i5-5257U, Core i5-5287U, and Core i7-5557U chips appear to allow for direct upgrades from the Haswell-U chips currently used in the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. While the new chips include only a 100 MHz CPU speed increase over their Haswell counterparts, a number of other improvements, especially with regard to graphics, should make for significantly improved performance.

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Broadwell-U chips appropriate for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (top) and MacBook Air (bottom)
(Source: AnandTech
)

On the MacBook Air front, Intel is offering four different 15-watt Broadwell-U chips that would be appropriate for the lineup, with all of the new chips carrying improved HD 6000 graphics. Base clock speeds range from 1.6 GHz to 2.2 GHz compared to the 1.4 GHz and 1.7 GHz options available in the current MacBook Air, and associated upgrades in Broadwell should yield significant performance improvements for the new chips.

Looking at potential release dates for Apple's Broadwell systems, Intel tells AnandTech that the new Broadwell-U chips are already shipping to vendors, with the first systems based on the new chips expected by the end of the month. Systems based on chips using Iris graphics may be more toward the end of the current quarter.
As indicated over the weekend and yesterday, Apple today launched refreshed 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros.The new notebooks feature faster versions of Intel's Haswell processors, as all 13-inch models now come with 8GB of RAM standard while all 15-inch models now feature 16GB of RAM. The high end 15-inch model also received a $100 price cut, going from $2599 to $2499.

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New models include:

13-inch:
- $1299: 2.6 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB flash storage
- $1499: 2.6 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB flash storage
- $1799: 2.8 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB flash storage

15-inch:
- $1999: 2.2 GHz quad-core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB flash storage
- $2499: 2.5 GHz quad-core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB flash storage

Build-to-order options now include a 3.0 GHz dual-core i7 processor on the 13-inch model and a 2.8 GHz quad-core i7 processor on the 15-inch model. Users can also now add up to 1 TB of flash storage for both the 13-inch and 15-inch models.

Alongside the refreshed line of Retina MacBook Pros, Apple's 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro received a price cut, going from $1199 to $1099. However, the machine has not been updated with faster internals and remains the same model introduced in June 2012.

Today's minor refresh is primarily a stopgap measure until Apple can launch a more significant update to its Retina MacBook Pro line once Intel's next-generation Broadwell processors hit the market. Broadwell chips appropriate for the MacBook Pro may, however, not arrive until mid-2015. Apple is also rumored to be working on a 12-inch Retina MacBook for 2015 which is said to feature an ultrathin chassis, a fan-less cooling system and a revamped trackpad.

Apple's refreshed Retina MacBook Pros are available today through the company's various retail locations and online store, with all standard configurations showing a shipping avaliability of "within 24 hours." The new notebooks will also be a part of Apple's back-to-school program, which gives qualified educational purchasers an Apple Store gift card of $100 with the purchase of a new Mac.

Update: Apple has issued a press release announcing the update.
“People love their MacBook Pro because of the thin and light, aluminum unibody design, beautiful Retina display, all day battery life and deep integration with OS X,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The MacBook Pro with Retina display gets even better with faster processors, more memory, more affordable configurations and a free upgrade to OS X Yosemite this fall.”
Apple also highlights the price drop on the non-Retina model, noting the machine is popular with Windows switchers.
Following yesterday's reported spotting of in-store digital signage from an Apple retail store in China showing upgraded specs for the Retina MacBook Pro, MacG.co now claims [Google Translate] the update is set to arrive tomorrow, July 29. The information comes from a reliable source who has accurately predicted MacBook Air, iMac, and iPod touch updates in recent months, although the source was off by a few days on the iPod touch update timing.

Few details on the new Retina MacBook Pros are available from the source other than that the update will include both 13-inch and 15-inch models and that only minor changes to the internal model number (J44a and J45a respectively) point to a simple speed bump.

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The in-store digital signage had shown details on three 15-inch MacBook Pro models, all carrying "Haswell refresh" processors clocking in at 200 MHz faster than their counterparts currently used in the Retina MacBook Pro line. Those new Haswell chips were introduced by Intel last week, and we noted at the time that the list of three dual-core and three quad-core processors appeared almost custom tailored for a Retina MacBook Pro update.

In addition to the processor upgrades, the signage also pointed to a bump in RAM for the low-end 15-inch model, moving from 8 GB to 16 GB.

While the Retina MacBook Pro upgrade appears imminent, the minor update is in large part a stopgap measure as Apple and other manufacturers await Intel's much-delayed Broadwell family of processors. Broadwell chips appropriate for the Retina MacBook Pro may not be ready until as late as mid-2015.

Update 1:22 PM: MacRumors has received word that seven new model numbers are indeed incoming to retail stores, likely corresponding to the three stock configurations of the 13-inch model and two for the 15-inch model, along with a maxed-out "ultimate" configuration of each as is commonly carried in-store.