Making a portable Mac Mini

This is a fantastic do-it-yourself project, inspiration for the maker in you.

The whole thing is fascinating (if you have that DIY gene) but one bit that sticks out: 2:39 in, where Scott has the epiphany to use an iPad mini instead of a small HDMI display. The length of the iPad mini is exactly the same as the width of the Mac mini. Coincidence? Intentional on Apple’s part?

Universal Control options in System Preferences

Chance Miller, 9to5Mac:

Apple today released the third betas of macOS Monterey 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4. These updates contain the long-awaited Universal Control feature, and today’s macOS Monterey 12.3 beta continues to iterate on the feature — specifically in regard to controls in System Preferences.

Follow the headline link, scroll through the images to see the latest iteration of the Universal Control settings. These controls are easier to find, more obvious.

Can’t wait until Universal Control hits the public, non-beta releases.

Universal Control on macOS Monterey

Universal Control is now available in the latest iPadOS and macOS Monterey betas. If you’re not familiar, below is an embedded video of Craig Federighi, from last June’s WWDC, showing how it works (via 9to5Mac). Definitely worth watching.

To make this work, all you need is the same thing required by the Handoff and Continuity features: Bluetooth and proximity. Just enable Bluetooth on your devices and make sure they are close enough for Handoff to work.

Can’t wait for Universal Control to hit the iPadOS and macOS Monterey public releases.

Apple Support: How to use Slide Over on your iPad

Another great video from the Apple Support video team. This is so clearly presented, does a great job explaining both the value of Slide Over and the mechanics.

I wish there was a set of videos like this built right into iPad, like the mini-videos that appear on your Mac in System Preferences > Trackpad, as you scroll over the various gestures.

Gruber: The Tragedy of Safari 15 for Mac’s ‘Tabs’

John Gruber:

Our long national iOS 15 Safari nightmare ended last month, praise be, but the lesser of the two bad Safari designs unveiled at WWDC persists and actually shipped: the new tabs in Safari 15 for Mac. Safari 15 on iPad suffers similarly, but it’s the Mac version I’ll concentrate on here.

This is an excellent showcase of Safari’s broken tab metaphor. Don’t miss the short little video in the middle highlighting the jarring look of shifting from one tab to another and back again.

John focuses on the Mac in his post, but his comments might just as well apply to Safari for iPadOS 15. Though there are differences between the two implementations of Safari tabs, both joyously break the tab metaphor. If you think about the origins of the tab model, it’s a drawer full of vertical files, where the tab juts up, attached to a specific folder. As you paw through the folders, it’s clear which folder the tab is attached to. The tab and folder are clearly part of the same object, visually connected.

In this new model, the tabs are floating on their own, no longer physically connected to the pages they represent. This new model breaks the physical tab metaphor in a number of ways, chief of which is the lack of a unifying block of color attaching the tab and the page. For most pages, the current tab is one shade of grey, and the other tabs a slightly different shade of grey. Occasionally, the background color will bleed through the tab, offering another tab color to confuse your brain even more.

I see the iPad tab model and Mac tab model as being equally broken. The iPhone model, with the address bar at the bottom, really works well for me. I especially love the hint to the right and left of the address bar, letting you know you can slide side-to-side to get at adjacent pages. This “hidden tabs” model feels like an improvement over previous models.

The iPad and Mac Safari tabs have lost touch with the functionality of the tab metaphor. Color me disappointed. Props to Gruber for taking the time to dig into such detail on each individual point.

Great sequence showing “jelly scrolling” on the new iPad and explaining why it happens

The video below shows the iFixit teardown of the new iPad mini. If teardown are not your thing, skip to 1:20 in for a great shot of the iPad mini “jelly scrolling”. Best video of this I’ve seen.

As you watch it, note the left and right sides of the screen alternating their refresh. That’s the effect. Slightly annoying, perhaps, but it is what it is, and for me, it’s more interesting than it is a problem.

Apple responds to iPad mini “jelly scroll” concerns

We posted about iPad mini jelly scrolling a few days ago.

From the linked Ars Technica post, here’s Apple’s response:

In response to our inquiry, Apple has told us that the “jelly scroll” issue on the 6th-generation iPad mini is normal behavior for LCD screens. Because these screens do refresh line by line, there is a tiny delay between when the lines at the top of the screen and lines at the bottom are refreshed. This can cause uneven scrolling issues like the ones observed on the iPad.

And Ars’ take on this response:

We maintain that this effect is noticeable on the iPad mini in a way that it is not noticeable on other 60 Hz LCD iPads we’ve tested, like the iPad Air 4 and the latest $329 iPad. There’s also a clear dividing line down the middle of the screen in portrait mode, as observed in our testing and in the video linked below—it’s not a problem isolated to the extreme edges of the display. The upshot is that the company doesn’t believe there is a hardware or software issue to “fix,” and that the screen apparently is the way it is.

Bottom line, Apple is saying, “Is what it is, get used to it”.

iPad mini 6 exhibits ‘jelly scrolling’ display refresh issue

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

The iPad mini 6 launched this week to much fanfare, thanks to its radically modern redesign and latest-generation A15 processor.

However, as customers receive their new iPads, a prominent issue is being spotted again and again. Colloquially referred to as ‘jelly scrolling’, it seems that one side of the iPad mini display is refreshing slower than the other side, which appears as a noticeable wobble effect down the middle of the screen when content is moving quickly — like scrolling a web page.

Here’s video showing what this looks like in slo-mo:


I see this on my iPad mini, though I didn’t notice it until I started reading about it. Of course, now I can’t not see it.

This doesn’t bother me, particularly, but I do hate to see this fly in the ointment of a terrific product launch. Since this issue involves the way video refresh is done, not clear if this is simply a software fix, like the Unlock with Apple Watch issue appears to be.

Here’s hoping.

The iJustine, Tim Cook post-Apple Event interview

The whole interview is fun, worth watching. But my favorite bit is right at 2:47 in, where Tim holds up the iPad mini. It’s the purple one, the model I just ordered and hope to have in my hands sometime next week.

Here’s a still frame of Tim and the mini. I think this gives an excellent sense of the size of this iPad. Clearly well bigger than the biggest iPhone, but small and light enough to manage in one hand. Yet with the same power as the brand new iPhone 13 Pro. A beast!

M.G. Siegler on the continued lack of a default Weather app for iPad

M.G. Siegler:

For the 11th straight year that Apple has been making iPads, there will be no native Weather app for the device. This despite the fact that such an app launched on day one with the iPhone, fourteen years ago. And despite the fact that a Weather widget, made by Apple, has existed for a few years now. With iPad OS 15, that widget is getting the same upgrade that it got in iOS 14. That is, it’s moving to the home screens of millions of devices.

OK, sounds good, a weather widget on the Home Screen, what’s not to like?

And when they click on it, they’ll see… this bullshit.

Pausing so you can follow the link.

Honestly, it’s embarrassing. Apple has outsourced its soul to an absolutely awful weather.com webpage. On load, you’ll see crappy ad after crappy ad. Keep scrolling and you’ll quickly be subsumed by shitty click-bait-y ads. “Kill the Goblin!” And go further still and it’s full-on porn-y spam. Apple is sending millions upon millions of their users to this experience. Apple!


That default Weather widget is about to land on tens of millions of iPad screens with the launch of iPad OS 15 this fall. And with that, Apple will be sending tens of millions of dollars (maybe more?) indirectly to weather.com — which, incidentially is now owned by IBM. Insert the Steve Jobs giving the finger image here.

Just for you, M.G., here’s that famous photo.

Side note: The photo was taken by Jean Pigozzi, and shared with Andy Hertzfeld, who shared it with the world.

Is weather.com paying for this placement on iPad? Why is the iPhone weather experience so different from iPad? Have long wondered this. Anyone know the real scoop?

New iPad OS 15 beta brings redesigned Safari tab interface

Follow the link for images of the old vs new tab design, as well as the Settings interface for switching between them.

You can also see these two things on Twitter (here’s my Settings tweet, and here’s one showing the new tab layout).

I do appreciate the new setting, which separates the issue of the all in one address bar from the design of the tabs themselves. Here are some thoughts on the tab design:

The rounded rects feel retro, outdated. The tabs feel like blobs, floating in space. An individual tab does not feel strongly rooted to the page below it. If you have multiple tabs open, it’s not immediately clear which tab is connected to the page below it.

The current tab is marked by a different shade. Unfortunately, this effect is subtle, not at all obvious-at-a-glance. All of these point combine to make it difficult to get a sense of where you are (which tab is active) and where to tap to make changes.

Beyond this are some behavioral issues, which I see more as tweakable beta issues, not foundational design problems. When I tap on a non-active tab to switch to it, the destination tab is selected, and then, after a slight pause, the tab layout changes. This comes up consistently when I try to select a background tab to close it. I tap the tab, then head to the close “x” to tap on it. By the time I get to it, the tab layout has changed just enough for me to miss and cause another tab to come to the front.

There are other tweaky behavioral issues, but I think if the iPadOS Safari team can address the tab design issues, the rest will sort itself out over time.

My two cents.

Federico Viticci: Three weeks with iOS and iPadOS 15

This is a glorious immersion in the iOS and iPadOS 15 betas, willed with detail and thoughtful opinion.

It’s a bit of a long read, but easy to get through. It just flows.

Too much content to highlight, but here’s one great example:

I set up a Home Screen dedicated to the iOS review I’m working on, and I filled it with widgets and shortcuts related to my big annual project; then, I set up a Focus called iOS Review that silences all notifications and hides all my other Home Screens. Now, when I sit down with my iPad Pro to work on the iOS Review and enable its Focus mode in Control Center, all I see is this Home Screen, and it’s glorious.

This is a terrific use case for Focus. This article is full of stuff like this, giving a true sense of the new betas.

12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) review: All souped-up with nothing to do

Michael Simon, Macworld:

Despite few negatives and a 4-star score in this review, I wouldn’t actually recommend the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to anyone who wasn’t already dead set on buying one. The screen is nice but not noticeably better than last year’s. The chip is fast but not noticeably faster than last year’s. The front camera is improved but not noticea—OK, the front camera is a lot better. But that’s not really a reason to spend a thousand-plus dollars to upgrade.

Read the review. If you ignore the headline and the conclusion (quoted above), it makes a great case for how phenomenal the new iPad really is. There’s the FaceTime camera and Center Stage. The incredible speed boost. The display upgrade. There’s a lot to love here, especially if you make use of apps that place a demand on the iPad processor.

But, to be fair, like most Apple hardware that has evolved over time (iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV), if you own the previous model, the leap in performance might not justify the expense of moving up by a single model. That’s just life in the ecosystem.

The M1 iPad Pro superpower

Sebastiaan de With, Halide blog:

Let’s take look at what’s new with the M1 iPad Pro cameras. In taking a quick look at what’s new, we’ll share a discovery: your iPad has a superpower that not even Apple has told you about.

Superpower? You have my attention.

I’m one of those people that got the nearly-thirteen inch iPad Pro, which is an absolute spaceship of a tablet. It certainly does not evoke thoughts of anything micro, but that’s precisely where its strength lies.

iPad basically comes with a microscope. That’s right: you can take some pretty incredible macro shots of things without any accessories. The iPhone 12 Pro (or any iPhone, really) has a different lens design and only focuses to about 8 cm (that’s over 3 inches) away from the camera lens. iPad Pro easily focuses on things much closer to its sensor.


Interestingly, with the LIDAR sensor assisting autofocus it can sometimes be a bit hard to try this fun attribute of the camera — With Halide for iPad, you can drop into manual focus mode and to get ultra-close-ups of everyday things. Try it out for yourself if you have an iPad!

Yet another compelling argument for jumping on the iPad Pro train. Look at those closeup photos. I use a macro lens on my mirrorless Sony camera, but the display is what holds me back. It’s hard to get the focus just right.

But when the screen is one of the best in the world, and ten times as large? That’s a game changer.

Zoom adds support for new iPad Pro Center Stage

Zoom blog:

Attention all iPad Zoomers! You’ve got some great new features coming to the Zoom app on Apple’s latest iPad Pro models, which were announced at Apple’s Spring Loaded event on April 20.

Two new features – support for Apple’s Center Stage and expanded Gallery View – will help you better participate in calls, potentially stave off video fatigue, and better connect over Zoom.


Previous iPad models can display up to 25 video tiles in Gallery View, but those using Zoom on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can now see up to 48 video tiles (6×8 in Landscape Mode), allowing them to better connect in large meetings.

Don’t have the latest iPad Pro? No worries! Many iPad models are also getting expanded Gallery View, and those users will see a few additional participants on a single screen, depending on the device.

To bring more or fewer people into view on any iPad, simply pinch the display with two fingers to zoom in and out.

Nice to see Center Stage adoption happen so quickly. You’ll need Zoom 5.6.6 or later, hitting the App Store this week.

Matti Haapoja: Crazy fast M1 iPad Pro editing

The whole video is both interesting and entertaining. But jump to about 5:23 in and check out the playback of the 4K drone footage. Buttery smooth.

I get the same feeling watching these M1 iPad Pro videos as I got when I first started playing with my M1 MacBook Air. What a performance leap.

Austin Mann: M1 iPad Pro for photographers

I always look forward to Austin Mann’s camera reviews. But, in this case, he’s showing off the flip side of the lens, the M1 iPad Pro used as a photography tool.

Specifically, scroll down about a quarter of the way down the review and hit play on that first video (it’s portrait mode), check out that performance as Austin steps through, and then fast scrolls through a large collection of 60 megapixel images.

And, with Thunderbolt, this is true for internal or external storage. Blazing fast. No lag. Amazing.

iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV 4K in stores Friday


Beginning May 21, customers can get their hands on the all-new iMac, the M1-powered iPad Pro, and the next generation of Apple TV 4K at Apple Store locations and authorized resellers around the world. Customers who already ordered their new products will begin receiving deliveries Friday.

Wondering if they’s have stock of the new Siri Remote, as a standalone product. They could keep ’em on an impulse buy rack, right next to the cash register (yup, I get it, no racks, no cash register, but still.)

M1 iPad Pro more than 50% faster than previous generation in early benchmarks

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here’s the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of 1,718 and 7,284, respectively. By comparison, the fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the A12Z chip has average single-core and multi-core scores of 1,121 and 4,656, respectively, meaning that the M1 iPad Pro is around 56% faster.

That is crushingly fast. That is a bigger leap than the benchmarks comparing the Intel vs M1 MacBook Pro.

Why the new iPad Pro’s MiniLED display is a big deal

David Nield, Gizmodo:

One of the marquee features of Apple’s 12.9-inch Pad Pro for 2021 is its Liquid Retina XDR display, a screen tech that you might have previously seen mentioned in relation to the super-expensive Pro Display XDR monitor that Apple also sells. But what exactly do all these terms mean?


Nowadays, just about every bit of Apple hardware qualifies as Retina, which is why you’ll now see extra words like “liquid” tacked on as well—the Liquid part of Liquid Retina on the iPad Pro listings just means even more pixels per inch, and even less chance of your eyes seeing any pixelation no matter how close you bring the screen up to your face.


In the simplest terms, XDR is an enhanced version of HDR (High Dynamic Range) that extends its benefits.


The key to HDR is having a very high contrast ratio, or the difference between the blackest blacks and the whitest whites that a display can put out. With XDR, Apple has pushed that range even further. The Apple Pro Display XDR can manage 1,000 nits of full-screen, sustained brightness, and a peak of 1,600 nits, resulting in a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

My current iPad (the 2018 “education” iPad) is 500 nits. My M1 MacBook Air display is only 400 nits. So the leap to 1,000 nits, with a peak of 1,600 nits is a bit mind-blowing.

There’s a lot more of this in the article. After reading it, makes me want to order the new iPad Pro just to experience this screen in my day-to-day iPad life.

Have an iPhone 12 Pro or iPad Pro? Check out the new AR Spaces in the Clips app


Clips, Apple’s easy-to-use video creation app for iPhone and iPad, gives users even more fun options to record captivating videos. With all-new AR Spaces powered by LiDAR on iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro models, creators can transform a space by adding immersive visual effects that map to the contours of a room, and can be easily shared with anyone.


With AR Spaces in Clips 3.1, users can easily scan a room and see a live preview of effects that bring dynamic lighting, falling objects, and immersive scenes to life. Using the rear camera on a supported iPhone or iPad, users will see effects appear on walls, floors, surfaces, furniture, and objects.

This looks like a lot of fun. Depends on the LiDAR Scanner introduced on last year’s iPad Pro and found on the iPhone 12 Pro as well.

The iPad Pro interview

Matthew Panzarino interviewing Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak and Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering John Ternus about the new iPad Pro:

Last year’s model is still one of the best computers you can buy, with a densely packed offering of powerful computing tools, battery performance and portability. And this year gets upgrades in the M1 processor, RAM, storage speed, Thunderbolt connection, 5G radio, new ultra wide front camera and its Liquid Retina XDR display.


Apple has essentially ported its enormously good $5,000 Pro Display XDR down to a 12.9” touch version, with some slight improvements. But the specs are flat out incredible. 1,000 nit brightness peaking at 1,600 nits in HDR with 2,500 full array local dimming zones — compared to the Pro Display XDR’s 576 in a much larger scale.


“One of the things that iPad Pro has done as John [Ternus] has talked about is push the envelope. And by pushing the envelope that has created this space for developers to come in and fill it. When we created the very first iPad Pro, there was no Photoshop,” Joswiak notes. “There was no creative apps that could immediately use it. But now there’s so many you can’t count. Because we created that capability, we created that performance — and, by the way sold a fairly massive number of them — which is a pretty good combination for developers to then come in and say, I can take advantage of that. There’s enough customers here and there’s enough performance. I know how to use that. And that’s the same thing we do with each generation. We create more headroom to performance that developers will figure out how to use.

“The customer is in a great spot because they know they’re buying something that’s got some headroom and developers love it.”


“How crazy is it that you can take a chip that’s in a desktop, and drop it into an iPad,” says Joswiak. “I mean it’s just incredible to have that kind of performance at such amazing power efficiency. And then have all the technologies that come with it. To have the neural engine and ISP and Thunderbolt and all these amazing things that come with it, it’s just miles beyond what anybody else is doing.”

The use of the same processor in a smartphone, a tablet, and a desktop is no small things. Intel made a living building custom processors for different enclosures, tuning their chips to get the most performance per watt for each specific device type (Here’s Steve Jobs talking about the origins of this strategy). With Apple’s M1, they’ve flipped this strategy on its head.

“Your battery life is defined by the capacity of your battery and the efficiency of your system right? So we’re always pushing really really hard on the system efficiency and obviously with M1, the team’s done a tremendous job with that. But the display as well. We designed a new mini LED for this display, focusing on efficiency and on package size, obviously, to really to be able to make sure that it could fit into the iPad experience with the iPad experience’s good battery life.


One of the marquee features of the new iPad Pro is its 12MP ultra-wide camera with Center Stage. An auto-centering and cropping video feature designed to make FaceTime calling more human-centric, literally. It finds humans in the frame and centers their faces, keeping them in the frame even if they move, standing and stretching or leaning to the side. It also includes additional people in the frame automatically if they enter the range of the new ultra-wide 12MP front-facing camera. And yes, it also works with other apps like Zoom and Webex and there will be an API for it.


It also goes a long way to masking the awkward horizontal camera placement when using the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.


I ask how they would you characterize an iPad Pro vs. a MacBook buyer? Joswiak is quick to respond to this one.

“This is my favorite question because you know, you have one camp of people who believe that the iPad and the Mac are at war with one another right it’s one or the other to the death. And then you have others who are like, no, they’re bringing them together — they’re forcing them into one single platform and there’s a grand conspiracy here,” he says.

“They are at opposite ends of a thought spectrum and the reality is that neither is correct. We pride ourselves in the fact that we work really, really, really hard to have the best products in the respective categories. The Mac is the best personal computer, it just is. Customer satisfaction would indicate that is the case, by a longshot.”


“Contrary to some people’s beliefs, we’re never thinking about what we should not do on an iPad because we don’t want to encroach on Mac or vice versa,” says Ternus. “Our focus is, what is the best way? What is the best iPad we can make what are the best Macs we can make. Some people are going to work across both of them, some people will kind of lean towards one because it better suits their needs and that’s, that’s all good.”

Great interview.

iOS security fixes could soon be delivered separately from other updates, beta code suggests

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

A new section added to the iOS software update menu indicates that Apple will provide standalone security updates for iPhone and iPad users. Users would be able to choose whether they want to install only security updates or full iOS updates.

Follow the headline and check out the first image to see the new choices that appear when you go to Settings > General > Software Update, then tap Automatic Updates.

You’ll see two, independent switches:

  • Download New Updates
  • Install Security Updates

Similar to what’s offered on the Mac, you can choose to apply all updates, or just one or the other. For example, I can imagine installing all security updates automatically, but not running new general updates without doing a bit more research first.

For me, both switches were enabled by default. I’m leaving them that way.

Hands-on with a pretty cool iPad dock

Great video from Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac. Jump to about 1:10 in to skip the unboxing.

This is a pretty cool gadget if the iPad is your main computing device. It’s a solid stand, continuously rotatable and tiltable, with (about 2:45 in) a bunch of ports (that’s the hub part). And there’s even an add-on so you can charge your Apple Watch.

I do love the concept, but this is an expensive bit of kit. $480+. Gulp.

And, like an iPhone case, once you move on to a new generation of iPad, chances are, this stand won’t work with the new shape of the new iPad. Watch Jeff insert his iPad (3:50 in). This hub was designed specifically for a particular iPad. No one size fits all. But my gut tells me a one size fits all design would be possible. And that would have been a home run for me.

Still, iPads do have pretty long lives, and if you are living that good iPad life, this is worth a look.

How to find your pointer

OK, this is silly, but fun and worth trying. Best on your Mac, but even works on your iPhone/iPad, as long as you keep your finger on the screen.

Can’t miss iPad tips

[VIDEO] OK, so that headline promises a lot. I was definitely skeptical when I fired up the DailyTekk video (I believe this is the first one of these I’ve shared – won’t be the last).

Between the video’s great vibe/production values and the nature of the tips themselves, this is definitely worth your time. Check it out. Video embedded in main Loop post.

Apple says iOS 14.4 fixes three security bugs ‘actively exploited’ by hackers

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch:

Apple has released iOS 14.4 with security fixes for three vulnerabilities, said to be under active attack by hackers.

The technology giant said in its security update pages for iOS and iPadOS 14.4 that the three bugs affecting iPhones and iPads “may have been actively exploited.” Details of the vulnerabilities are scarce, and an Apple spokesperson declined to comment beyond what’s in the advisory.

From that Apple security note:

Kernel impact: A malicious application may be able to elevate privileges. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.


WebKit impact: A remote attacker may be able to cause arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.

Note that this is an issue for both iPadOS and iOS. So update your iPhone and iPad both.

macOS Catalina running on an iPad Pro

[VIDEO] Not exactly sure how this was pulled off, but this is a pretty cool hack. Apparently, this is running via x86 emulation. Just imagine how this would fly if Apple opened up the ability to run the M1 native version of macOS Big Sur on an iPad.

The video (embedded in main Loop post) is long, mostly because of how slow the process is, so best bet is to scrub through it and look for screen changes. There are major changes at about 3:48, 5:46, and 18:33, just to get you started.