If you’re a Chrome user, good news: the latest beta version of Google’s excellent web browser finally takes full-advantage of the speed and performance boosts of your Mac’s 64-bit chip. Prepare for a speedier, more stable web browsing experience. And more new features besides.
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Google today rolled out a new Chrome beta for OS X — officially dubbed Chrome Canary — which finally takes advantage of the 64-bit processors built into the latest Macs. The change should mean better performance when browsing the web, but it isn’t quite ready to become your daily driver just yet.
Your smartphone and tablet will soon offer noticeably better performance than a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, thanks to NVIDIA’s new Tegra K1 processor, the successor to last year’s Tegra 4. The 192-core “Super Chip” will come in two versions, one of which is built upon a next-generation 64-bit Denver architecture and boasts clock speeds up to 2.5GHz.
After Apple released the iPhone 5s with the A7, the world’s first 64-bit chip, ARM competitor Qualcomm made quite the fool of themselves about it. First, Qualcomm representative Anand Chandrasekher called a 64-bit ARM chip a “gimmick.” Then they ate their words, soft fired Chandrasekher, and announced their own 64-bit chip to ship in 2014.
If that seems like a disorganized, chaotic response, you’re right. But there’s a reason for that. According to a new report, Apple’s unveiling of the 64-bit A7 chip took the entire semiconductor industry with their pants down… and everyone’s now scrambling to catch up.
While Android hardware manufacturers were busy trying to pack as many cores as they could into their smartphone and tablet processors, Apple took a different route and decided to go 64-bit instead. It’s a move that makes the iPhone 5s and the latest iPads some of the fastest mobile devices on the market, and so it’s no surprise that its rivals are getting ready to follow suit.
Intel has promised that you’ll be able to buy Android-powered tablets with 64-bit “Bay Trail” processors next year.
It’s finally here, folks — the iPad mini with Retina display is now available to order from the Apple online store. Prices start at $399 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model, which are currently shipping in 1-3 business days. Those equipped with LTE connectivity start at $529, and they’re shipping in 5-10 business days.
Twitterrific 5 for iOS has received a nice new update that adds a number of new features and user interface improvements. In addition to a redesigned profile layout, there’s a new pull-to-refresh animation, and users now have the ability to view profile banners by tapping on them.
Apple’s iPhone 5s became the world’s first smartphone with a 64-bit processor when it launched this September, but as you might expect, it’ll have plenty of competitors next year. Unsurprisingly, some of those will come from Samsung, which is already planning 64-bit chips and 16-megapixel cameras for its 2014 flagships, according to industry sources.
[Editor's note: This review has been stickied to the top of Cult of Mac. Scroll down for more news.]
Let’s face it, we’ve been waiting for Apple to make drastic changes to the iPad since it released the third-generation device in early 2012. While it did introduce a high-resolution Retina display with that model, and it has made nice improvements in speed and other areas since then, we’ve all been clamoring for improvements to its design.
We’ve got those with the iPad Air — and a whole lot more. The new slate looks just like a larger version of the iPad mini. It maintains its 9.7-inch Retina display, but it has narrower bezels, a substantially thinner design — it is now just as thin as the iPad mini at 7.5mm — and it’s 28% lighter than its predecessor at just one pound.
In addition to that, we get Apple’s incredible 64-bit A7 processor that promises up to two times the power and graphics performance of the A6X, the new M7 motion coprocessor that made its debut in the iPhone 5s last month, and two W-Fi antennas with MIMO technology. And all of this will cost you just $100 more than the iPad 2.
The fourth-generation iPad with its dual-core A6X processor was certainly no slouch, but it looks like one when you put it up against the new iPad Air. Thanks to that new 64-bit A7 chip, the iPad Air is an incredible 80% faster than its predecessor in Geekbench tests, and over five times than the iPad 2 (which is only $100 cheaper).