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Mac OS X

Top 5 MacBook Pro Accessories Under $10

If you own a MacBook or MacBook Pro that has USB-C ports, these are the top 5 accessories you can get for under $10! (due to fluctuation, prices not guaranteed)

  1. Ailun USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapters
  2. Sabrent USB 3.0 hub
  3. USB SDHC/microSD card reader
  4. USB-C to Lightning cable
  5. AmazonBasics laptop sleeve

Best Mac Apps 2017: Must-Have Apps for MacOS!

What makes a Mac great? The awesome apps you can use on it. Here are the best Mac apps of 2017! (in alphabetical order)

1Password: Easy-to-use and secure password manager for all your passwords.

Alfred: Boost your productivity with hotkeys and keywords. Search your Mac and the web effortlessly and control your Mac using customized actions.

Amphetamine: Keep your Mac awake. Simple.

AppCleaner: Automatically uninstall Mac apps along with all the junk files that usually get left behind.

AstroPad: Turn your iPad into a graphics tablet for Mac.

BackBlaze: Backing up your Mac is extremely important. BackBlaze offers a simple and secure way to back up all your files at a low cost.

Beamer: Stream videos on your Mac to your Apple TV or Chromecast.

BetterTouchTool: Configure many gestures for your Magic Mouse, Macbook Trackpad and Magic Trackpad and also mouse gestures for normal mice.

Boom 2: System-wide volume booster and equalizer for Mac.

CarbonCopyCloner: Create bootable backups of your Mac.

CheatSheet: Provides the list of keyboard shortcuts for whatever app you have open.

Chrome: Google’s free and fast web browser.

CleanMyMac: Clean and optimize your Mac’s storage drive to free up space.

CopyClip: Clipboard manager for your Mac that stores all that you have copied or cut in the past.

Downie: Easily download Internet videos from over 1,100 different sites.

DaisyDisk: Helps you recover disk space by finding and removing large useless files.

Dropbox: Free cloud storage solution up to 2GB (iCloud alternative)

Duet Display: Turn your iPad into a 2nd monitor for your Mac.

Duplicate File Finder: Quickly finds duplicate files on your Mac to reduce clutter and remove unnecessary files.

Evernote: Cloud-synced notebook and notes to store everything you need to remember.

Flux: Makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

GIMP: Open source photo editor. Photoshop alternative.

Google Drive: Free online data storage and online office suite from Google.

Handbrake: Video converter and DVD ripping app.

Hazel: Automated organization app for your Mac.

Helium: Always keeps a media file playing in the foreground over any other app that’s open.

HitFilm Express: Free and powerful video editor. iMovie or FCPX alternative.

ImageOptim: Free image compressor to reduce file size for photos.

LibreOffice: Open-source office suite for Mac. Microsoft Office alternative.

Onyx: System maintenance tool for your Mac.

Parallels: Easiest way to virtually run Windows inside your Mac.

Plex: Free media server for when you want to watch your movies from anywhere.

ScreenFlow: Best screen recording software and video editing software for Macs.

SmartConverter: Simple video and audio file converting app.

Spectacle: Resize Windows with quick keyboard shortcuts.

Spotify: Popular music streaming and online radio app.

Stamp: Migrate your playlists from various different music streaming services.

SublimeText: Intuitive text editor for programmers and coders.

TeamViewer: Remotely connect and control your Mac or other authorized computers from anywhere.

Time Machine Editor: Allows you to customize Time Machine backup intervals and other settings.

Transmission: Lightweight and easy-to-use torrent client.

Unarchiver: Open any zipped file.

VirtualBox: Run Windows and other operating systems virtually on your Mac.

VLC: Best overall media player that plays nearly any audio/video file.

Don’t Buy the 2016 MacBook Pro Until You Watch This

When Apple first announced the 2016 MacBook Pro I did a video over the top 5 letdowns about the new laptop based on what Apple showed us during the announcement.

Now I’ve owned the 2016 MacBook Pro for almost 3 months, and I’m here to share my experience and give you an update to those letdowns that I was expecting. Is it as bad as I thought it would be? Stick around to find out and at the end of the video I’ll tell you whether you should buy it or not.

Money, Baby

First, let’s address the cost. So many people including me were up in arms about the 2016 MacBook Pro being way overpriced for what you get. I bought the 13″ Touch Bar Space Gray model with a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD, which came out to be right around $2,000 USD.

Let’s put that into perspective.

At the time of this recording for $250 less, on Amazon you can get a 2016 Dell XPS 13 with a newer generation 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, double the amount of RAM, same size SSD, but a higher resolution display that’s also a touch screen.

If you’ve seen my Dell XPS 13 vs MacBook Pro video in which both laptops have 6th gen Skylake processors, you know that not all user experiences are created equally just by basing it off of specs alone. But when you’re talking about an exact dollar-to-specification ratio, the 2016 MacBook Pro is certainly overpriced compared to other laptops in its class.

Oh, Performance

The big question is: How well does the 2016 MacBook Pro perform given its seemingly lower specs?

For me, the toughest task I perform on my laptop is editing 4K videos. Since I use Final Cut Pro X, which is optimized for MacOS, I can export a 5-minute 4K video in about 4 minutes on the 2016 MacBook Pro. That’s actually pretty impressive. The lack of a dedicated GPU is its biggest hurdle when rendering videos but overall, Final Cut Pro X works well enough for me to use the MacBook Pro as a video editing machine, albeit not the greatest one.

Other than video editing, as with any other computer with an SSD, normal day to day tasks are handled with ease. Everything from web browsing to office applications are all fast. There’s no lag or stuttering when opening apps or having multiple tabs open in Chrome. The cold bootup time is about 24 seconds which is longer than I expected, but with one of the MacBook Pro’s best new features, Touch ID, getting back into the laptop from sleep mode is dang near instantaneous which is nice.

On the GeekBench tests, which measures overall performance, my MacBook Pro scored a 7606. LaptopMag.com tested two different models of the Kaby Lake Dell XPS 13, with the Core i5 model scoring 7159 and the Core i7 model scoring 7915. That means the 2016 MacBook Pro 13” i5 model falls right in between the i5 and i7 on the Dell XPS 13, which is pretty good since the MacBook Pro has the previous generation CPU.

Overall, I think the 13″ MacBook Pro is the perfect balance of mobility and performance.

New Features, Bruh

As for the new features, the 2nd gen butterfly keyboard is extremely nice to type on in my opinion. I enjoy it very much, and the super large trackpad is a dream. It’s way better than any other trackpad I’ve used.

Battery life has been kind of average, nothing spectacular. On a normal day for me which includes watching YouTube videos, streaming Spotify, browsing the web, typing documents, it lasts about 7 hours on a full charge. I do love how fast it charges from 0-100% in about 90 mins when the lid is closed, though.

What about the “coolest” new feature, the Touch Bar? I called it a gimmick when I first heard about it and honestly, it pretty much is. It really is just a coolness factor for the most part.

Sometimes it is useful in native apps like Final Cut Pro which is nice for me because I use that to edit, but for web browsing I use Chrome, and I’m not going to switch to Safari just because it’s optimized for the Touch Bar.

Given that the Touch Bar changes depending on what app is open, it’s not easy to wire your brain to use it. If you want a quick way to message emojis it’s great. But other than that, the Touch Bar is overhyped and underused.

The other big change is the port selection on the MacBook Pro. It only has USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. No USB-A ports, no SD card slots, no HDMI port, which is kind of a travesty for something labeled as Pro. But hey, at least they remembered to put a headphones jack in. (Too soon?)

Out of the box you cannot connect any of your current USB-A devices or even your latest iPhone which is crazy. If you get the 2016 MacBook Pro, I hope you like using adapters. These USB-C to USB-A adapters are probably a necessity.

On the bright side, USB-C with its universal design and incredibly fast transfer speeds is certainly the way of the future and having four USB-C ports will be really convenient when all devices go that route. But right now, it feels unfriendly.

Worth It?

Is the 2016 MacBook Pro worth it? Well we know it has an awesome design, it has a solid build made of high quality materials, it has a fantastic display, nice sounding speakers, great keyboard and trackpad, good reliable performance. But it is expensive, lacks port variety, and has seemingly lower specs than most of its competitors.

I think you should only consider buying it if you:

  • Don’t mind taking adapters along with the laptop wherever you go or if for some reason you don’t need a variety of ports.
  • Absolutely want the Touch Bar and you think you would get use out of it.
  • Have a high budget and don’t care about the latest and greatest specs.
  • Plan to keep this laptop for 5+ years.

If you don’t meet all those conditions but you still want a MacBook Pro, I would suggest looking at a 2015 MacBook Pro instead. Sometimes you can find a good deal on a refurbished one.

The 2015 model will have older specs but the performance will be similar to the 2016 model and you’ll have a wider variety of ports, along with the MVP MagSafe connector, and most of all you’ll save some money.

Let me know what you decide and if this video helped you out, please give it a thumbs up I would really appreciate it. Also subscribe if you haven’t already. My name is Andy. Thank you for watching and I’ll talk to you in the next one.

How to Wipe & Restore a MacBook Pro/Air to Sell

How to wipe a MacBook Pro/Air and restore to sell on eBay or give away.
3TB WD External Hard Drive: http://amzn.to/1CbqyC3
How to backup a Mac with Time Machine: https://youtu.be/cqmPi3fnl4E

There are some things you need to do before you sell your Mac in order to wipe your personal data off securely and reinstall OS X. You’ll want to back up your computer, sign out of your Apple accounts, erase the hard drive, and restore OS X. This video shows you the steps you should follow.

If you already have your new Mac, you can use Apple’s Migration Assistant to move your files over. However, I don’t have my new Mac yet so I’ll start with the backup.

1. Create a backup
Connect an external hard drive to your Mac (or you can use a Cloud storage solution if you have enough space available) and backup all your important data such as photos, music, videos, documents, etc.

2. Sign out of Apple services
Open iTunes. From the menu bar at the top of your computer screen, choose Store, Deauthorize This Computer. When prompted, enter your Apple ID and password. Then click Deauthorize. While still in iTunes go to Store, Sign Out. Next sign out of iCloud. If you use Find My Mac or other iCloud features on your Mac, you should first archive or make copies of your iCloud data. After that, choose Apple Menu, System Preferences, click iCloud, and then deselect the Find My Mac checkbox. In System Preferences, click iCloud, and then click the Sign Out button. When you sign out of iCloud, you’re asked whether you want to remove iCloud data from your Mac. Your iCloud data will remain on any other devices that are using the same Apple ID. If you’re using OS X Mountain Lion or later, sign out of iMessage by going to the Messages app, choose Preferences, Accounts. Select your iMessage account, then click Sign Out.

3. Erase your Mac hard drive and reinstall OS X
If you’re transferring your Mac to a new owner, you might want to erase your built-in startup disk before reinstalling OS X. Before you erase and reinstall, make sure you have backed up your important files. If you’re using a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, make sure the power adapter is connected and plugged in while performing these steps.
You can use these steps to erase the files on your startup disk and install a new copy of OS X:
Before you begin, make sure your Mac is connected to the Internet.
Restart your Mac. Immediately hold down the Command and R keys after you hear the startup sound to start up in OS X Recovery.
When the Recovery window appears, select Disk Utility then click Continue.
Select the indented volume name of your startup disk from the left side of the Disk Utility window, then click the Erase tab.
If you want to securely erase the drive, click Security Options. Select an erase method, then click OK.
From the Format pop-up menu, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Type a name for your disk, then click Erase.
After the drive is erased, close the Disk Utility window.
If you’re not connected to the Internet, choose a network from the Wi-Fi menu.
Select the option to Reinstall OS X.
Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions to reinstall OS X.
After you reformat your hard drive and reinstall OS X, the computer restarts to a Welcome screen and asks you to choose a country or region. If you want to leave the Mac in an out-of-box state, don’t continue with the setup of your system. Instead, press Command-Q to shut down the Mac. When the new owner turns on the Mac, the Setup Assistant will guide them through the setup process.

 

2016 MacBook Pro Rumors: What to Expect

What new features will be in the new 2016 MacBook Pro? Here’s what I expect to see.

The current 13″ Retina MacBook Pro was last updated in March 2015. The 15″ Retina MacBook Pro was last updated in May 2015.

It’s rumored that the new 2016 Retina MacBook Pro models will be announced at the March 21 Apple event. If they don’t get announced in March, they will probably be announced during the 2nd week of June at WWDC.

The new Retina MacBook Pros will most likely feature Intel’s latest 6th generation Skylake processors. Currently the 13″ MacBook Pro still has Broadwell from 2014 and the 15″ still has Haswell from 2013. Hopefully the 15″ MacBook Pro doesn’t get released later than the 13″ like last year because by then Intel will probably release their 7th-gen processors. PC competitors have already released machines that are featuring the Skylake processors. New Skylake archiecture will lead to faster CPU performance, massively improved internal GPU, and better power efficiency leading to longer battery life.

Will there be a new MacBook Pro design? The last redesign was in 2012 so we are due for a new design. Here are my expectactions based on the rumors for the 2016 MacBook Pro:

  • No major redesign, same shape but slightly thinner and lighter
  • Low-profile keyboard similar to MacBook
  • USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3
  • Same resolution but with new minor features like DCI-P3 color space
  • Color options of silver, space gray, and gold similar to MacBook
  • Thinner bezels
  • Keeping Magsafe charger

What do you think?

 

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