Over the years, the Apple eco-system has become renowned for its integration between all of its devices, from the general communication between your Mac and your iPhone or Apple Watch, to more recent innovations like Handoff, AirDrop, AirPlay, FaceTime, iMessage and SharePlay.

For these features to work, your devices need to be logged into the same iCloud account. Some of these features are only available on newer Apple devices, use Google to find out whether your devices are compatible, or ask Mac Aid if it is all too confusing.

iPad users should try out SideCar, which lets you extend your workspace by using your iPad as a second Mac display. And Sidecar can also bring the ease and precision of Apple Pencil to your favourite creative Mac apps.

With Continuity Camera you can use your iPhone to shoot a photo or scan a document and have it automatically appear on your Mac. Just choose Insert a Photo from the File menu, then choose Take Photo or Scan Documents. Take a photo of something on your desk and instantly see it in your document. Or scan a receipt, and a straightened version is immediately available in the Finder as a PDF. Continuity Camera works in the Finder, Mail, Messages, Notes, Pages, Keynote and Numbers.

Camera Remote on your Apple Watch allows you to remotely control the camera on your iPhone. Just launch Camera Remote on your Apple Watch and the camera app on your iPhone will open. Camera Remote allows you to take a photo, set the timer interval, swap between front and rear cameras, turn your camera flash on or off, and other settings.

Auto Unlock lets you automatically log in to your Mac when you’re wearing your Apple Watch. Turn this feature on in the Security and Privacy settings in the system preferences on your Mac.

Universal Clipboard lets you copy images, video or text from an app on your iPhone or iPad. Then paste into another app on your nearby Mac — or vice versa. It’s like magic!

SharePlay and the new Meetings feature of FaceTime easily allow non-Apple users to join in video calls and combined with SharePlay, you can have a video call with your friends or colleagues regardless of whether they use Apple devices or not. It allows you to:

Handoff is a very useful built-in feature that allows for you to be working on your Mac, iPhone or iPad and then switch to another device to exactly where you were on the device you’ve moved from.

AirDrop, is one of the most useful features Apple ever developed and makes non-Apple users jealous to this day. Take a photo or video and then just tap the share icon, select your iPad or Mac and it instantly transfers the file to the device. No emailing the file or uploading it to the cloud. Brilliant!

AirPlay is one of the oldest of all of these features. The ability to simply be able to share your screen to a compatible screen or device is just so easy! We’ve tried Google’s Chromecast version of AirPlay and it will most of the time give some kind of connection error. AirPlay is just always seamless!

Do you use all of these features? Would you like to learn how to use some of these features in your day-to-day life? If so, contact Mac Aid today and we’ll ensure that your devices are setup to work with all of these features and train you on how to effectively use them.

 

Released in mid-March, the Mac Studio is Apple’s most powerful M1 Mac to date. Paired with the new Apple Studio display, this potent little powerhouse is set to become the go-to for many studio professionals and high-performance users.

For those of you who may have been waiting for a re-designed 27 inch iMac with an M-series processor, it seems this one is for you, as the 27 inch iMac has been discontinued.

Apple’s offering for power users needing a potent desktop solution is now the Mac Studio and an external display. Given that many have long been dissatisfied with the all-in-one solution of an iMac, and would have preferred to choose their own monitor, or have the potential to upgrade their monitor or Mac separately, this is a great solution.

Let’s start by talking about hardware. The Mac Studio comes with either the M1 Max or the new M1 Ultra as processor options. The M1 Max offers significantly higher performance compared to the original M1 chip found in the MacBook Air, M1 Mac mini and iMac, but that gap is made even bigger when discussing the new M1 Ultra, which doubles the specs of the M1 Max.

The Ultra is made by combining two M1 Max chips using “UltraFusion.” Apple says due to its custom-built internal architecture, macOS sees the M1 Ultra as a single processor. UltraFusion is also what allows Apple’s multi-chip interconnect to offer 4 times better bandwidth than other companies’ similar tech.

The M1 Ultra brings total RAM up to a max of 128GB alongside a 20-core CPU, up to 64-core GPU, 800GB/s memory bandwidth, and super-fast 7.4GB/s for the SSD storage.

Working with multi-gigabyte graphics, 4K or 8K video projects, complex Photoshop or demanding Lightroom workflows, or complex After Effects or Final Cut rendering projects are where you will really benefit from the extra CPU, GPU, and RAM of an M1 Ultra Studio.

But for most users the M1 Max Mac Studio will cover all of your needs.

To keep that package cool there is a unique thermal architecture that pulls air in through the airflow channels on the bottom using double-sided blowers and pushes it out through additional perforations on the back of the unit.

On the front of the Mac Studio M1 Max, there is an SD card slot, along with two USB-C ports, which are swapped out for two Thunderbolt 4 ports for the M1 Ultra. On the back of the Mac Studio, connectivity options include four Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, one 10-Gigabit Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack with support for high-impedance headphones. The computer supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.

All the Mac Studio hardware components are fixed, so you’ll need to carefully configure it how you want it from the start.

Here’s how the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra compare in the Mac line up:

Mac Studio

MacBook Pro 14/16 inch

M1 Mac mini/iMac

Mac Pro

CPU

M1 Max or M1 Ultra
up to 20-core

M1 Pro or M1 Max
up to 10-core

M1 – 8-core

Intel Xeon – up to 28-core

GPU

Up to 64-core

Up to 32-core

8-core

AMD Radeon Pro W6800X Duo

Storage

Up to 8TB

Up to 8TB

Up to 2TB

Up to 8TB

RAM

Up to 128GB

Up to 64GB

Up to 16GB

Up to 1.5TB

As with all Apple products currently, supply of M1 Max and M1 Ultra Mac Studio is likely to be severely constrained. Mac Aid are here to help and advise if you would like to consider Mac Studio. We will do our best to arrive at a spec that will suit your needs, and that can be delivered in as short a time as possible.

The introduction of the Apple M1 processor last year was a breakthrough that transformed the performance and battery life of many of the most popular Macs. Now Apple has unveiled the new M1 Pro and M1 Max bringing game-changing upgrades to their pro laptops.

We all want the ability to work as efficiently as we can and with the CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max delivering up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than Apple’s M1 and the GPU in M1 Pro up to 2 x faster you are far less likely to be slowed down by your machine. Meanwhile the new M1 Max goes one better and is up to an incredible 4 x faster than M1!

M1 Pro and M1 Max introduce a system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture to pro systems for the first time.

These chips are by far the most powerful chips Apple has ever built.

They feature fast unified memory, industry-leading performance per watt, and incredible power efficiency, along with increased memory bandwidth and capacity. M1 Pro offers up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth with support for up to 32GB of unified memory. M1 Max delivers up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth — 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1 — and support for up to 64GB of unified memory. That’s 4x the amount of memory of the latest released PC laptops. Meaning graphic and processor-intensive workflows that seemed unimaginable on a laptop previously are now possible.

In addition to this, enhanced media engines with dedicated ProRes accelerators are included specifically for pro video processing. All this on the beautifully vibrant, Extreme Dynamic Range, Liquid Retina XDR display. The best display ever on a notebook.

The M1 Pro and M1 Max boast incredible battery life (up to 21hrs on the 16 inch model) and can deliver the same level of performance whether plugged in or using the battery. With such a powerful battery one would expect things could get a little heated during use however this machine actually keeps its cool very well, meaning if you need to put it on your lap – as the name laptop would imply – you don’t risk scorching your legs.

The 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pros see the re-introduction of some of the ports which pro-users have been missing on recent MacBook Pros. With three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, an HDMI port and an SDXC card slot. There is also the return of Mag Safe charging and the reintroduction of physical function keys instead of the Touch Bar, whilst retaining Touch ID.

These MacBook Pros are a heftier design, without the tapered design that made previous MacBook Pros appear slimmer than they really were. So they can appear to be a little on the chunkier side compared to their recent predecessors. And it seems that like many of us, they do appear to have gained a few covid kilos – nothing too drastic though only about 200gm. This added weight is barely noticeable really and very easy to overlook with all the M1 Pro and M1 Max have to offer. The M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros represent another huge step forward by Apple.

Interested in taking that step and upgrading to the new M1 Pro or M1 Max MacBook Pro? Both are available in a 14 & 16 inch models and can be ordered through Mac Aid, your authorised Apple Reseller today! Call us to find out more about which model would best suit your needs.

The recently released macOS Monterey promises to help users connect in new ways as well as work more efficiently, and seamlessly across their Apple devices. So what has changed?

In order to create a smoother workflow, changes to Safari including a compact tab bar option and Tab Groups are new in Monterey. Tab Groups helps you to organise your tabs in a way that works for you and syncs them across all your Apple devices meaning you can continue your current project from anywhere, as well as easily share tabs with others. The compact tab bar option not only takes up less space, giving you more room to browse, but also takes on the colour of the site you’re on helping you to really focus on what you need to on the page.

Notes has long been a go-to app to capture quick thoughts and information and Monterey’s introduction of Quick Note is sure to make it even more so. With Quick Notes you can make a note while in any app by scrolling your mouse cursor to the bottom right corner of your screen and clicking the black pop out square. Thoughts and ideas can be jotted down at any moment and you can add links from other apps making it even easier to quickly note down a location from Maps or save a website you’re interested in from Safari. You can now tag notes giving you a faster way to categorize them and making them easy to find later with the new Tag Browser.

For those of us who can be easily distracted, Focus can really help you keep your attention where it needs to be. With Focus you can choose to allow only the notifications you want to disturb you meaning you can get your work done or perhaps spend quality time with others without unnecessary interruptions. Focus mode also syncs between your devices so you really can keep your focus on what’s important.

Connecting from home whether for work or on a personal level has become a very real necessity for all of us in recent times and the Monterey upgrades to Facetime & Messages will make this a better experience than ever before.

FaceTime calls now sound more natural and lifelike with the introduction of spatial audio and there are two new microphone modes giving users greater control over the sound of their voice. The introduction of Voice Isolation means background noise is no longer such an issue as it can be minimised making just your voice be heard loud and clear. On the occasions you do want everyone to hear everything Wide Spectrum allows all noise to come in.

The brand new SharePlay feature in FaceTime enables you to have a conversation while still listening to music or watching a movie or TV show. It also gives you the ability to share your screen so you can all watch or listen together syncing playback and controls so everyone’s reactions to the same thing can be seen at the same time.

The addition of the Shared with You section in the Photos, Safari, Apple News, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV apps means you can easily find shared content, see who actually shared it with you and respond directly from the app you’re in without having to go back into Messages.

What else is new with macOS Monterey?

Monterey is a great evolution of the macOS. However we always suggest that clients delay upgrading to the newest operating system initially so that Apple can iron out any teething problems.

If you do decide to upgrade to macOS Monterey, make sure to capture a Time Machine backup immediately before the upgrade, and never do a major OS upgrade like this if you have impending deadlines or other time-sensitive needs of your Mac.

macOS Monterey is available now as a free software update on Macs with Apple M1 processors as well as compatible Intel-based Macs, but before you go ahead and install, we recommend you contact one of the team at Mac Aid to ensure macOS Monterey is right for you and your Mac.

As all of us here know, Mac users are very passionate about our Macs. But sometimes, even the most devoted Mac enthusiast will find times where they need to use programs that simply aren’t available or are no longer supported on the Mac, or maybe even a custom-built PC based application that you have to use for work.

This is becoming less frequent than it was, as more and more applications become web-based. A great thing about a cloud service where you login through a browser window is that it will work everywhere, but lack of Mac OS compatibility is something that still happens

The correct solution for you will depend on the applications you need to run and which Mac you are using. Things are a little bit different when it comes to Intel vs M1 Macs, which is something to keep in mind. If you have an M1 or are planning the upgrade, some additional research will make sure you end up with everything you need.

Bootcamp. Allows you to install Windows onto your Intel Mac. At startup, you will be able to choose whether to boot into Mac OS or Windows. Note that this is only an option if you are running an Intel based Mac with a pre Big Sur OS, as this isn’t an option for M1 based Macs. Bootcamp is for those who want to keep their Mac hardware but need to run Windows full time.

Parallels is a popular and user-friendly option that lets you install another OS onto your Mac and run it within Mac OS. It essentially gives you a window into Windows (or Linux and others). This is an excellent option if you don’t need to run windows all the time. For instance, if you only need to run a couple of apps, you can jump in and out as needed. You do need to keep in mind that when running a virtual machine, you are running two operating systems simultaneously, which will use additional RAM, storage and CPU resources, so you need to make sure your Mac is up for the task. If you have an M1 Mac, you also need to be aware that you will have to install the ARM version of Windows, which comes with some limitations.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services can be an excellent option for businesses needing to run Windows based applications. This involves running a Windows server, and staff log onto the server into their own instance of Windows and use it just like a Windows machine. The server provides all the processing power, so everything happens server-side, and nothing occurs locally, it’s like streaming the desktop. Something like this can be the answer when a popular piece of software stops supporting Macs.

Looking to the very near future, we will be keeping a close eye on and keeping you up to date with Windows 365. While not commercially available yet, Windows 365 promises to deliver a cloud-based, personalised Windows 11 PC experience to any device, including Macs and iPads.

We understand that there are some circumstances where having a Windows machine might be the right choice for you, which is why we have recently become authorised resellers of the Microsoft Surface range. We have put in a lot of time and research to bring you what we believe is the best Windows option available. With sleek design, power and long battery life, these machines do not disappoint.

Whatever your needs are when it comes to running Windows, get in touch with us to discuss the right option for you or your business. Our name might be “Mac Aid”, but we are very conversant with specifying, installing and supporting Windows based systems as well.