I was trying to figure out why Safari’s Reader animation was smooth on my retina MacBook display (“1680×1050”), and super smooth on my old iPad Pro (1668 x 2224), but jerky/stuttering on my USB-C-connected external 4K monitor in any resolution except “1280×720”. This even happened on simple web sites with very few photos.
Pushing high-res external monitors primarily depends on VRAM size and bandwidth. Integrated graphics have to use system RAM as VRAM which is slower compared to dedicated VRAM. If you only had 8GB system RAM then the shared VRAM would further strain the entire system since less system RAM is available to apps.
Now, the new G7 graphics have more computational performance and are coupled with faster 3733 LPDDR4X system RAM which provides more bandwidth so performance on an external display should be at least somewhat better. However, a discrete graphics card would bring much more improvement. So if pushing high-res external monitors is your goal, I’d recommend you either 1. upgrade to a 16-inch MBP or 2. get a eGPU.
On long web pages, especially when using a high resolution (4K+) external monitor, scrolling takes a long, long time. Feels like you’re dragging the page through molasses.
I found a quick fix for this, buried in Accessibility preferences:
Open System Preferences > Accessibility
Scroll down to Pointer Control
Hit Trackpad Options… and move the Scrolling speed slider to Fast.
Why this isn’t in Trackpad preferences, I don’t know. It used to be, back in 2011. I guess Apple decided the Trackpad preferences were getting too overloaded and hid them deep in Accessibility settings.
Amazon just listed the Apple Watch Series 3 for $169 – on sale. This is a great starter watch for anyone interested in dipping their toe in the waters with Apple’s tech. (They will need an iPhone to use it, though.) Series 3 runs smoothly with watchOS 6, and will be supported by the upcoming watchOS 7. (which includes sleep tracking)
These watches actually come with blood oxygen detection built in, but it isn’t enabled yet due to FDA restrictions. Once the FDA eases their rules, this will be great for early detection of COVID-19-like symptoms.
I tried the iPad-only life for months. Here’s what I found: The iPad gets you about 90% of the way to a laptop. It’s the last 10% of what you might need that is frustrating. For example:
You can listen to music, but if you want to easily trim that media so you only hear the best parts, the Music app on macOS is what you need.
Even if Safari identifies itself as a desktop browser, there are still sites that don’t fully work with it.
I had a PDF that was attached to an email that I was unable to rotate on the iPad without a paid 3rd party app such as GoodReader.
Another email attachment I wasn’t able to see in iPad Mail until I went to the cloud email portal (which barely worked on the iPad).
Tax software on the iPad is even more clunky, expensive, and data-loss prone than on macOS.
I was unable to change the text size of data entered in PDF form fields, thus making a printout of the form unreadable. Had to use a Mac.
My wife used to love her iPad Pro (it was a lot better than the Windows notebook that made her break down in tears), but now she’s selling it because she outgrew Swift Playgrounds. She wants to make a real app in Xcode.
You may say now that you don’t need to do these things, that these are all edge cases, but you will run into your own edge cases where the iPad falls down and get frustrated. Maybe in a few years, the software will be better. But I suspect the Mac will be best for most use cases for many years to come.
I base the Series 6 CPU performance estimate and price based on the history of Apple Watch speeds and prices. And yes, the Series 5 and SE have the same CPU speed. We see an up to 20% jump in performance with the Series 6.
Personally, I’m getting the Series 6, because I want the sleep tracking and blood oxygen detection features. Update: Sleep tracking is included in the Series 3 and higher starting with watchOS 7. But if I didn’t care about these things, and had to buy a watch now, I’d get an SE.
I use iCloud Photos Library to store my original photos in the cloud, to save space on my Mac. Today I tried to download the full resolution version of a few of my older photos and they refused to download, coming up with an exclamation point error on screen and telling me to try again later.
Checking the console log didn’t reveal much: just a message from cloudphotod about the sync session/download failing. No explanation of why, just some error codes – a different error code for each failed download.
I dug around on the Internet and found a way to supposedly fix the photos sync, by using the Photo Library Repair Tool. This tool is built into the Photos app: Hold down the Option and Command keys while launching Photos. Then follow the prompts:
This worked great for me. I was able to download my old photos again in full resolution after the repair was complete. It took a few hours, but I was able to use my computer in the meantime. Note that your search index for photo keywords will need to be rebuilt, so you will need to wait for that too if you want to search your photos. This search index rebuild happens automatically, in the background.