The 2008 MacBook is better than your modern MacBook in many, many ways [Review]

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macbook review ports
Look and weep, modern MacBook owners.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This is Apple’s 2008 aluminum unibody MacBook, model A1278. It replaced the white polycarbonate MacBook, but was itself replaced by, or rather rebranded as, the MacBook Pro, which was more or less the same computer1.

Apple introduced this magnificent MacBook on October 14, 2008, and produced them until June 8, 2009. And it was one of Apple’s best notebooks ever. It had a fantastic keyboard, and many comfy extras that today’s skinny MacBook owners can only dream about, from a battery indicator light to an almost hot-swappable hard drive (or SSD).

It’s so good that it’s still viable today as a daily driver, with the added bonus that its weight will help keep you fit during lockdown. How do I know? Because I have one right here, and I use it for music recording and production. I’m also using it to write this article. I thought, as my last post for Cult of Mac, that I’d review the 2008 unibody MacBook as if it were new. Let’s go.

Exclusive: iPhone 12 faces delays, with faster 5G limited to key countries

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iPhone 12 might mix iPhone 11 and iPad Pro designs
Prepare for iPhone 12 delays and confusion.
Photo: Ben Geskin

A number of iPhone 12 models currently face delays and may not become available in key markets until later in the year, a trusted source familiar with Apple’s plans revealed to Cult of Mac.

Options also could be limited in the United States and in other countries, where faster mmWave 5G technology is available. Elsewhere, customers may have a complete iPhone 12 lineup to choose from, but with slower 5G technology, according to the source.

Why the 2020 iPhone SE is the perfect iPhone for a rotten time

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Pandemic iPhone: The 2020 iPhone SE seems perfect for the times.
The 2020 iPhone SE seems perfect for the times.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Talk about good timing. Apple unleashed its new budget-priced iPhone SE successor Wednesday, smack in the middle of a worldwide health crisis that’s wreaking havoc on health care, economies and behavioral norms.

With flagship-level specs packed into a familiar design — and priced at just $399 — the 2020 iPhone SE is the perfect iPhone for the current pandemic. It delivers tons of features we can all use during this rotten time, with a price tag that’s totally appropriate.

Apple and Google team up to build COVID-19 contact tracing apps

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Apple and Google join forces using Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Apple and Google join forces using Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Photo: Apple/Google

In a rare moment of collaboration, Apple and Google said Friday they have teamed up to create a contact-tracing program that uses smartphones to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The privacy-focused solution created by the companies will use anonymous Bluetooth “chirps” from phones as a way to tell where an infected person has been and who they’ve come in contact with.

Apple supposedly pencils in April 15 launch for iPhone 9

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iPhone-9-concept
A reported iPhone 9, similar to this conceptual design, could arrive any day now.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

Apple has supposedly penciled in an April 15 launch date for its low-cost iPhone 9.

New claims that surfaced Tuesday indicate the company held an internal briefing this week to decide “tentative” announcement and shipping dates for the new device. Those claims remind us, however, that “we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and things could change.”

Top 5 reasons to love the 2020 iPad Pro

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2020 iPad Pro builds on the 2018 model.
2020 iPad Pro has more RAM, a better camera, an innovative LiDAR 3D scanner and other improvements,
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The 2020 iPad Pro takes Apple’s very capable tablet from 2018, improves the specs and performance, and even adds some great features.

I did hands-on testing of the new capabilities and found there’s a lot to love in the latest iPad.

5 reasons why iPad Pro’s new Magic Keyboard blows our minds

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iPad-Pro-Magic-Trackpad
Everything we wanted the Smart Keyboard to be.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s exciting new Magic Keyboard is going to make working on iPad Pro better than ever when the accessory debuts in May. It’s a huge improvement over the Smart Keyboard Folio in so many ways.

Prices start at $299, which makes the Magic Keyboard an expensive upgrade. For many iPad Pro users, however, it will be well worth it. Here are five reasons why the Magic Keyboard with trackpad blows our minds.

Meet Jerry Manock, the father of Apple’s Industrial Design Group

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Apple’s first proper industrial designer, Jerry Manock crafted the look of the Macintosh and other memorable computers.
Apple’s first proper industrial designer, Jerry Manock crafted the look of the Macintosh and other memorable computers.
Photo courtesy Jerry Manock

Jerry Manock is one of the great unsung heroes of Apple design. As the father of Apple’s Industrial Design Group, Manock made an indelible contribution to the company’s long line of hit products.

He may not be a household name like Jony Ive, but, starting with the Apple II, Manock played a massive role in making the company what it is today. In an exclusive interview with Cult of Mac, the 76-year-old industrial designer recounts many colorful stories about Cupertino’s past — including one that shows even Steve Jobs got nostalgic.

This one trick will make the Apple News app way better

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Scrolling Apple News on iPhone
Scrolling Apple News doesn't have to be about ignoring dozens of articles.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Ever since its launch, people have mostly been dismissive about Apple News on iPhone, iPad and Mac. One big reason is the way it interacts with links on the web, boxing users into the News app instead of letting them visit the open web.

For me, that’s actually a pretty desirable thing, because I really like the News app. It’s much cleaner-looking than many ad-bloated websites, and far less emotional and combative than getting your news on social media.

But making the News app show you the things you care about, with less clutter and noise, requires one simple trick.

Apple’s first Mac with a custom chip expected in early 2021

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MacBook Pro review
It's about time!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s first Mac with a custom processor is expected to make its debut in the first half of 2021, according to one reliable analyst.

Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities reports it will be a 5-nanometer chipset — like the upcoming A14 SoC that will power the next iPhone and iPad Pro. Apple is said to be increasing its orders after the coronavirus outbreak.