When it comes to the Mac, Apple is making it reeeeeaaally hard to be a fanboy

MacBook Pro 2016

Apple recently released new MacBook Pro models with great hype. As someone who is in the market for a new Mac in the next year, I watched the keynote with a pretty good amount of excitement and anticipation.

At the conclusion of Apple’s keynote presentation, I found myself staring at the screen with a dazed and confused look on my face.

For years I’ve had a MacBook Pro for taking work on the road. I do light design and image retouching on it, as well as email, web browsing and writing. At the home office I use a top of the line iMac with 32GB of RAM, Core i7 processor and upgraded video card for the heavy lifting in Photoshop, InDesign, etc.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my impending upgrade the last year or so, and decided that I could probably live with just one fully upgraded MBPro and buy an Apple Thunderbolt Display to use when I’m at home. This would save a lot of hassle with file syncing and twice the time spent upgrading and maintaining two computers.

But then Apple Event happened last week and I feel like I’m stuck in a place I don’t want to be. I absolutely love the macOS, but I’m left wondering how Apple and the rest of the world ended up so far apart on their definition of a Pro user.

The new MacBook Pro with its Touch Bar looks cool at first glance, and I can totally see how the average consumer might find it too cool to pass up. The problem for me (and by me, I mean most pros) is that anything found in the Touch Bar can be found in the menus—and probably has a keyboard shortcut associated with it. If it does, I probably know it and use it regularly. So I look at that fancy colorful Touch Bar, shrug my shoulder and… pfffft!

But that’s just one feature, right? Then I look under the hood and find more pfffft! than I think I can chew. A limit of 16GB of RAM. How do they call a Mac a “Pro” computer when you limit it to 16GB of RAM? The reason, according to Apple’s Phil Shiller, is that they wanted to keep the power-consumption down to preserve batterly life.

It’s a PRO computer. Most pro users sit at a desk most of the day, with the MBPro plugged in. Don’t even get me started on the comparatively low-end video card Apple chose to include. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that it’s not a pro-level video card. Period.

MacBook Pro 2016 ports
The ports… that’s a big issue. Look, I get that technology moves forward. I never complained when Apple chose to switch to Lightning ports on the iPhone. But that’s mostly because I don’t have to plug anything into my iPhone other than the charger. My Mac is another thing completely. Not only do I plug my USB-A iPhone into it, but my USB-A microphone, USB-A DSLR camera cable, USB-A Bluetooth headphones (for charging) and multiple USB-A storage drives. With the new MBPro, some users will spend up to $200 on dongles to connect existing devices to the new MBPro. That’s just crazy.

LG Ultrafine DisplayApple no longer makes stand-alone displays, opting instead to work with LG to produce a fully compatible 5K display that has an iSight camera, plenty of ports and gorgeous image quality. The price is better than Apple’s former offering, too. So there’s really no problem there, other than the problem of perception.

But the big white elephant in the room is that rumor sites claim that Apple will be updating the MacBook Pro next year with faster processors, RAM upgradeable to 32GB, better video cards, battery-efficient OLED screens and more. Of course, some of those rumors don’t match up with reality. So who knows what to believe.

I’m not sure what to make of the current MacBook Pro, or the rumors that Apple is already working on the device pro users wanted. I get that Intel is to blame for the low-power processors and the effect it has on Apple to provide more RAM and video cards, but then why even release the laptop upgrade? Why not just wait a few more months and release the better device when it’s ready?

It makes me wonder what the next iMac or Mac Pro will be, or even IF they will be. What I know for sure is that my plan to go with a single Mac, the MacBook Pro, are on hold until next year… and even then I may have to alter those plans depending on what Apple does.

I used to be a pure Apple fanboy, but that description is no longer valid—at least not in the year 2016.

macOS Sierra 10.12.1 Combo Update available for download

macOS Sierra

Apple has made a combo updater for the latest version of the macOS operating system available for download.

The macOS Sierra 10.12.1 update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.

This update:
– Adds an automatic smart album in Photos for Depth Effect images taken on iPhone 7 Plus
– Improves the compatibility of Microsoft Office when using iCloud Desktop and Documents
– Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from updating when using a Microsoft Exchange account
– Fixes an issue that caused text to sometimes paste incorrectly when using Universal Clipboard
– Improves reliability of Auto Unlock with Apple Watch
– Improves security and stability in Safari

Download macOS Sierra 10.12.1 here.

Exclusive: Free 3D white vector patterns

3D White Abstract Vector Patterns
Vecteezy has offered-up a beautiful pack of nine 3D abstract patterns in vector art format, exclusively for GraphicMac readers. These all-white patterns can be tiled to fill a large background, and are fully editable.

Each file in the pack comes with 9 separate files in AI, EPS, PNG, SVG and PSD format (including a Photoshop .pat file so you can import the patterns). You can download the 3D White Abstract Patterns here.

Be sure to check out all the other awesome vector art files available at Vecteezy. They offer tons of great free and premium vector art.

Download YouTube videos with Airy 3.0 (Enjoy 30% off with coupon code)

Airy 3 main screen
Ever want to download the audio or full video from a YouTube video and couldn’t figure out how to do it, or the silly little browser extension you have simply stopped working? I’ve written about Airy in the past, it’s a fantastically simple YouTube downloader for the Mac that just works.

Airy allows you to download as many YouTube videos as you want, including entire channels or playlists—two new features new in Airy 3.0. You simply paste a YouTube video URL into Airy, or use the Airy bookmarklet in your favorite browser to add the current video to the Airy download list, and boom—video(s) downloaded. And if you have to move on to other things and quit Airy before your videos are finished downloading, don’t worry. Airy will remember where it left off and continue the downloads the next time you launch the app.

The cool thing about Airy is that it not only allows you to choose the size/quality of the video (including 4K and 8K Ultra HD videos), but also offers the option of downloading only the audio portion of the YouTube video in MP3 format. Very slick!

Airy YouTube video downloader
Airy’s interface is simple. There are no frivolous features or doodads to complicate things. It does one thing, and does it extremely well. And unlike those pesky, ad-infested browser extensions, the developers seem to keep Airy working even with updates to YouTube’s back-end, browser updates and OS upgrades.

I’ve had to place YouTube videos in numerous PowerPoint/Keynote presentations, and have downloaded countless videos I’ve wanted to save for offline viewing. I’ve tried dozens of apps and browser plugins. Airy is by far the best in my experience.

Airy 3.0 is available for OS X 10.7 and up, including the macOS Sierra beta (and I’m sure the shipping version later this fall), and costs $19.95. You can get Airy for 30% OFF using the following code: THGM-DSC which drops the price to below $14.

FINALLY: macOS Sierra offers Folders On Top to Finder’s list view

macOS Sierra Folders on Top
I can’t say definitively this wasn’t in El Capitan (because I have no machines running it anymore), but I noticed that in macOS Sierra, we finally have a Keep Folders on Top in List View option built-in to the system. You can find the feature in the Finder Preferences (When on the desktop, hit Command + ,)

No more SIMBL app hacks required!

30% OFF CloudMounter

CloudMounterIf you missed my review of CloudMounter, the app that integrates popular cloud-based file storage/syncing services with the Mac’s Finder, take a look at it—it’s an awesome app for the Mac.

If you’re interested in buying it, you can SAVE 30% by heading over to Eltima Software’s CloudMounter purchase page and using the code CLM-3O-GMac (it should already be applied if you use the link). The code is valid for discounts on any Personal, Team or Company license.