Archive for January 17, 2023

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Apple M2 Pro and M2 Max

Apple (Hacker News, MacRumors, Reddit):

Apple today announced M2 Pro and M2 Max, two next-generation SoCs (systems on a chip) that take the breakthrough power-efficient performance of Apple silicon to new heights. M2 Pro scales up the architecture of M2 to deliver an up to 12-core CPU and up to 19-core GPU, together with up to 32GB of fast unified memory. M2 Max builds on the capabilities of M2 Pro, including an up to 38-core GPU, double the unified memory bandwidth, and up to 96GB of unified memory. Its industry-leading performance per watt makes it the world’s most powerful and power-efficient chip for a pro laptop. Both chips also feature enhanced custom technologies, including a faster 16-core Neural Engine and Apple’s powerful media engine.

[…]

Built using a second-generation 5-nanometer process technology, M2 Pro consists of 40 billion transistors — nearly 20 percent more than M1 Pro, and double the amount in M2.

[…]

With its powerful CPU, M2 Pro can compile code up to 25 percent faster than M1 Pro, and up to 2.5x faster than MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 processor.

Previously:

Update (2023-01-18): Geekerwan (via Hacker News):

We designed our own battery test model and run it against windows laptops. And we also benchmarked them using SPEC CPU, as well as real-life performance test, and more.

MacBook Pro 2023

Apple:

Introducing the new MacBook Pro and Mac mini supercharged by the next generation of Apple silicon.

Apple (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Apple today announced the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro featuring M2 Pro and M2 Max, Apple’s next-generation pro silicon that brings even more power-efficient performance and battery life to pro users.

[…]

Building on the unprecedented power efficiency of Apple silicon, battery life on MacBook Pro is now up to 22 hours — the longest battery life ever in a Mac. For enhanced connectivity, the new MacBook Pro supports Wi-Fi 6E, which is up to twice as fast as the previous generation, as well as advanced HDMI, which supports 8K displays for the first time. With up to 96GB of unified memory in the M2 Max model, creators can work on scenes so large that PC laptops can’t even run them.

[…]

These new capabilities build on the versatile connectivity options already in MacBook Pro, including three Thunderbolt 4 ports for high-speed connection to peripherals, an SDXC card slot, and MagSafe 3 charging.

Still the huge trackpad and three Thunderbolt ports, unfortunately, despite four on the new Mac mini.

Tim Hardwick:

Previously on the 2021 MacBook Pro models, the HDMI 2.0 port only supports a single 4K display with a refresh rate of up to 60Hz.

But the more advanced HDMI port on the new MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips means they now provide support for 8K displays up to 60Hz and 4K displays up to 240Hz.

Previously:

Update (2023-01-25): Jason Snell:

If you’re someone with an M1 MacBook Pro, you shouldn’t feel particularly envious of these new models. Unless you’ve been feeling buyer’s remorse about not spending enough on that laptop to make it more powerful, I can’t see why you’d upgrade from an M1 MacBook Pro to an M2 model. On the outside, these computers are essentially identical.

[…]

If you’re upgrading from an Intel laptop, you’re going to love the new MacBook Pro. However, you may notice that upgrading from the base configurations is more expensive than you might have expected. Due to the integrated nature of Apple’s processors, memory is not upgradeable after the fact—so you’ll need to choose your memory up front, and choosing a larger configuration will cost. Likewise, storage is tightly integrated, and Apple’s storage options rapidly rise in price.

Derek Wise:

Like the base level M2 MacBook Air, the base level of the latest 14″ MacBook Pro seems to feature fewer NAND chips – at a higher capacity – than the last generation. This results in SSD read and write performance that’s dramatically lower than the previous generation.

See also: MacRumors.

Update (2023-01-27): Dominic Feira:

The really annoying thing is that none of these differences show up in the specs. If they were just up front about it, it would suck, but it would be at least somewhat defensible.

The fact that we have to wait for 3rd parties to determine the differences is just stupid.

Sam Rowlands:

The thing is, the two YouTube reviews of the M2 Pro (14" & 16") that I watched, ended with something along the lines of “Buy a refurb M1 Pro 14" or 16" as that’s better value for money”.

Apple really isn’t helping their reputation with stunts like these.

Update (2023-01-30): Om Malik:

I connected the new laptop to this network and saw my connected speeds go from 350 Mbps down and 400 Mbps up to over 800 Mbps down and 800 Mbps+ on the uplink. My network provider — Google’s Webpass can only provide 1 Gbps, so this is as fast as what I am getting on my Wired Ethernet connection.

Mac mini 2023

Apple (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Mac mini with M2 features an 8-core CPU with four high-performance and four high-efficiency cores, along with a 10-core GPU — perfect for users looking for superfast performance and incredible productivity at an even more affordable starting price of $599.

[…]

M2 Pro brings pro-level performance to Mac mini for the first time. Featuring up to a 12-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, along with up to a 19-core GPU, M2 Pro has 200GB/s of memory bandwidth — double the amount in M2 — and supports up to 32GB of memory.

[…]

Mac mini continues to deliver extensive connectivity with a wide range of ports. The M2 model features two Thunderbolt 4 ports and support for up to two displays. The M2 Pro model includes four Thunderbolt 4 ports and support for up to three displays. Additionally, the M2 Pro model can support one 8K display, a first for the Mac. Both models feature two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a Gigabit Ethernet port with a 10GB option, and an upgraded headphone jack to support high-impedance headphones. For wireless connectivity, both new models also feature the latest standards with Wi-Fi 6E5 for up to 2x faster throughput than before, as well as Bluetooth 5.3.

Federico Viticci:

My favorite announcement: four Thunderbolt ports on the M2 Pro mini 😍

Tim Hardwick:

Apple has stopped offering Intel-powered Mac mini models following the launch of new Apple silicon models featuring its new M2 and M2 Pro chips.

[…]

The Mac Pro is now the only Intel-powered machine that Apple sells, as the company continues with its transition to Apple silicon.

Previously:

Update (2023-01-18): Wesley Hilliard:

The M2 Pro Mac mini bridges the gap between entry-level and high-end. Here’s how it compares to the baseline Mac Studio.

Meek Geek:

Agree that the Mac mini’s $100 price drop to $599 is nice. Alas, 8GB RAM is criminal on such a powerful desktop computer.

Kyle Howells:

The MacBook Pro AR files were compiled on October 11th 2022! Mac mini was October 18th 2022. @markgurman was right. November event was canceled.

Update (2023-01-25): Dan Moren:

However, upgrading the stock configuration of the M2 Pro Mac mini can close that price gap in a hurry. Move up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, and you’re just $100 shy of the Studio’s introductory price—and that’s not even including that more powerful CPU and GPU option. All in all, a maxed-out M2 Pro mini will run you $4,499, surpassing the cost of the Studio’s standard M1 Ultra configuration—heck, now you’re in Mac Pro territory.

In short, the Mac mini is really two products. The base level $599 M2 mini is basically the equivalent of the MacBook Air: a pretty affordable machine that’s capable of handling almost any daily task thrown at it. The M2 Pro mini, on the other hand, is a mid-range Mac desktop that’s aimed at what you might have once called the prosumer market: a powerful Mac that can go the extra mile—for a price.

[…]

If there’s a disappointment with the design of this latest revision, it’s that Apple seems to believe ports on the front of its machines are a luxury to be reserved for those who want to spend two thousand dollars on a Mac.

Joe Rossignol:

A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the same configuration with the M1 chip has two 128GB chips. This difference explains why the new model has a slower SSD, as multiple NAND chips allow for faster speeds.

We have confirmed with the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test benchmarking app that SSD read and write speeds for the new 256GB Mac mini are each around 1,500 MB/s, which is anywhere from 30% to 50% slower than read and write speeds for the equivalent previous-generation model, although benchmark results and real-world performance can vary.

Twitter Claims Apps Blocked for Violating API Rules

Adam Demasi:

Here’s a spreadsheet I saw shared around that confirms this targeted a specific set of popular clients[…]

Erin Woo:

The mysterious outage of Tweetbot and other third-party Twitter clients that began Thursday night was an intentional suspension, according to internal messages viewed by The Information. The suspension cut off the ability of people to use Twitter on outside apps, forcing them to go to Twitter’s own app.

The reason for the suspension couldn’t be learned.

Abner Li:

Other internal (Slack) communications seen by the publication reveal that Twitter is working on “approved talking points” for partners, but it’s not clear when they would be ready.

[…]

Since then, Twitter, including the usually vocal Elon Musk, has not announced the removal of third-party apps.

[…]

The Information notes that “most of Twitter’s employees, including most people working on Twitter’s developer platforms” have been laid off.

John Gruber:

Twitter can of course do what it wants, and Musk owns Twitter so he can do what he wants. But pulling the plug on these clients and ghosting everyone on communications about it is so absurdly disrespectful. Zero respect for the users for those apps, zero respect for the developers behind them — many of whom had been building on the Twitter platform for 10-15 years. Just a clown show.

Paul Haddad:

Even without these leaks if you add up the lack of communication, only impacting the top 25-50 Twitter API clients and clients showing up as suspended in the dev. dashboard. The only conclusion at this point is that it was intentional and not any kind of bug.

For the record, still no official or even unofficial communication from anyone within Twitter.

[…]

And I really want an official public statement. We have a large number of sub. renewals for year 3 of Tweetbot coming up in a couple of weeks. If we’re permanently cut off I need to know so we can remove the app from sale and prevent those.

Craig Hockenberry (Hacker News):

Twitterrific is something that we’ve all poured our love into for the past 16 years. I’m not usually one to toot my own horn, but we literally crafted the early experience on the service. We often hear that folks joined up because of our app. Our work was definitive and groundbreaking.

[…]

Like my mom, the API has been declining for awhile. Endpoints were removed, new features were unavailable to third parties, and rate limiting restricted what we could do.

[…]

What bothers me about Twitterrific’s final day is that it was not dignified. There was no advance notice for its creators, customers just got a weird error, and no one is explaining what’s going on.

Ged Maheux:

I absolutely cannot wait to see the twisted justifications Musk and Twitter spit out for suspending SOME but not all 3rd party clients. John’s right, this whole affair is utterly disgraceful from top to bottom. I’m looking forward to putting it all behind us once and for all at this point.

Emma Roth (Hacker News):

Tweetbot is down again. The Twitter client briefly became available in the midst of an outage that locked users out of major third-party Twitter clients.

Paul Haddad:

And now dead again, along with some old unused API keys, which proves that this was intentional and we and others were specifically targeted.

Ross Woodruff:

Nope it’s not shutdown, they’ve specifically just revoked the API keys for the most popular apps.

Federico Viticci:

Let’s pour one out for third-party Twitter clients:

Apps that shaped UI conventions, pioneered a market, and in many ways reinvented how we communicate online[…] These apps didn’t deserve to end up like this.

John Voorhees:

Even after Twitter had its own suite of apps, the third-party app market flourished. Tweetbot by Tapbots came along in 2011 and quickly became a favorite of many users, distinguishing itself with its steady stream of new power-user features and thoughtful design. But it wasn’t long before Twitter’s relationships with third-party developers began to sour. It started with a vague set of rules introduced in 2012 that preferred CRM and analytics apps over clients like Twitterrific and Tweetbot. The ups and downs over the years that followed are too numerous to count, but the consequence was that for many years few new Twitter clients were developed.

However, relations began to thaw with the announcement of version 2.0 of the Twitter API, which went into effect in 2021. Not only did the API update make new features available, but Twitter promised to loosen restrictions on third-party developers. That led to renewed interest in third-party client development, resulting in innovative new features in apps like Spring, which was a runner-up in the Best App Update category of the 2022 MacStories Selects awards.

As it turns out, Twitter’s developer detente was short-lived.

Ken Kocienda:

I honestly feel sorry for the developers who invested their time and effort into making 3rd-party twitter clients. Thanks for all your work over the years.

Mark Jardine:

Before we were on the app store, we used Twitter to share the above YouTube video of our first app. The reception was amazing. My video showed up on a bunch of Mac/iOS blogs. It was so exciting. We ended up creating a Tapbots account on Twitter to post news about our apps and engage with customers.

The original Tweetbot logo was from a bird I drew specifically for our website to point to our twitter account. Since the character was already made, I wanted to use it for Tweetbot.

Jason Snell:

As Ben Thompson wrote on Monday, allowing third-party clients that don’t show ads is something that doesn’t make business sense, so it’s not surprising that Twitter’s new management decided to pull the plug. (The company could’ve decided to build on a concept involving third-party clients and an API, but it would require a level of technical commitment it has never really been able to spare—and there are few if any examples of peer social-media companies offering unfettered APIs to create alternate interfaces to their services.)

[…]

Numerous third-party client apps are still functional… just not the biggest names on the biggest platforms. A classless operation, an unnecessary PR own-goal, and a botched technical roll-out.

Twitter Dev:

Twitter is enforcing its long-standing API rules. That may result in some apps not working.

Filipe Espósito:

The statement doesn’t say what rules are being changed, and why the company didn’t inform Twitter’s third-party client developers in advance about this change.

Juli Clover:

There has been no word on which API rules the blocked Twitter clients have violated[…]

Tapbots:

Tweetbot has been around for over 10 years, we’ve always complied with the Twitter API rules.

If there’s some existing rule that we need to comply with, we’d be happy to do so, if possible. But we do need to know what it is…

@TwitterDev, you know how to reach us.

Shortly after this all started last week, I received an e-mail from Twitter about its API:

Are you ready to kickstart your build using the Twitter API?

Now is the perfect time to check back in with your developer account to start a project, monitor your usage, find technical support, and see what’s new.

Ged Maheux:

We have been respectful of their API rules, as published, for the past 16 years. We have no knowledge that these rules have changed recently or what those changes might be.

Manton Reece:

But one problem with pinning everything on Elon is that it leaves open the possibility that maybe Twitter would be fine if the company was led by a different CEO who continued the Twitter API status quo. I don’t think so. Twitter wasn’t going to last forever because massive ad-based silos will always be at odds with the open web. Twitter’s recent implosion greatly accelerated what would need to happen regardless.

[…]

Remember back in 2012 they announced that apps could not have more than 100k users, even if popular apps at the time were exempted. There were other restrictions too, largely ignored. Third-party Twitter apps were living on borrowed time, strung along with false hope every few years as Twitter’s leadership drifted back and forth on whether to encourage developers or cut them off.

Brent Simmons:

The internet’s town square should never have been one specific website with its own specific rules and incentives. It should have been, and should be, the web itself.

[…]

With the fall of the Twitter consensus I am energized. I remember what it was like in the 2000s; I remember the liveliness and sparkle of those days on the web.

See also: Techmeme, Zoe Schiffer et al., Dithering.

Previously:

Update (2023-01-18): John Gruber:

Give them a point for brevity, I suppose, but there’s literally no one on the planet who believes a word of this. Third-party clients weren’t violating any existing rules, and there’s no “may” about the fact that they stopped working because Twitter revoked their authorization credentials.

Ged Maheux:

I really do hate to pile on (no I don’t) but I spoke with a reporter at Reuters today about this whole situation and both she and I agreed that nothing about any of this episode has made any sense what-so-ever. It’s just baffling what’s going on and how they’ve handled it.

Sean Heber:

My charitable guess is that Twitter had an internal upper limit as to the number of user tokens they’d freely allow to be associated with a given app key before triggering a manual “make sure these are still legit apps” process. But then all those people who did the verifying got fired. And then someone looking for a promotion noticed and mentioned it to the boss. And then management said[…]

Chris Clark:

While we’re posting Twitterrific eulogies…

Update (2023-01-19): Mike Rockwell:

I feel like Elon might be completely unaware of the third-party app thing.

Given his willingness to address controversies, it seems odd that this is the one he would not address at all. He hasn’t even jokingly referenced it, that I’m aware of.

It seems more plausible to me that Elon wanted more cost-savings and some middle manager made the decision to pull the plug on the API for devs that were using it heavily but generating no or little revenue to the company.

Twitterrific:

As of this afternoon, Twitterrific for Mac has been suspended from Twitter without explanation.