Apple today announced M1 Pro and M1 Max, the next breakthrough chips for the Mac. Scaling up M1’s transformational architecture, M1 Pro offers amazing performance with industry-leading power efficiency, while M1 Max takes these capabilities to new heights. The CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max delivers up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1, so tasks like compiling projects in Xcode are faster than ever. The GPU in M1 Pro is up to 2x faster than M1, while M1 Max is up to an astonishing 4x faster than M1, allowing pro users to fly through the most demanding graphics workflows.
M1 Pro and M1 Max introduce a system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture to pro systems for the first time. The chips feature fast unified memory, industry-leading performance per watt, and incredible power efficiency, along with increased memory bandwidth and capacity. M1 Pro offers up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth with support for up to 32GB of unified memory. M1 Max delivers up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth — 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1 — and support for up to 64GB of unified memory. And while the latest PC laptops top out at 16GB of graphics memory, having this huge amount of memory enables graphics-intensive workflows previously unimaginable on a notebook. The efficient architecture of M1 Pro and M1 Max means they deliver the same level of performance whether MacBook Pro is plugged in or using the battery. M1 Pro and M1 Max also feature enhanced media engines with dedicated ProRes accelerators specifically for pro video processing. M1 Pro and M1 Max are by far the most powerful chips Apple has ever built.
“M1 has transformed our most popular systems with incredible performance, custom technologies, and industry-leading power efficiency. No one has ever applied a system-on-a-chip design to a pro system until today with M1 Pro and M1 Max,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. “With massive gains in CPU and GPU performance, up to six times the memory bandwidth, a new media engine with ProRes accelerators, and other advanced technologies, M1 Pro and M1 Max take Apple silicon even further, and are unlike anything else in a pro notebook.”
I nearly bought my first MacBook Pro in 2015. It would have been the first Mac I ever personally owned. But I convinced myself to wait another year for faster Intel chips — and in October 2016, Apple took away almost everything I admired about that Mac in one fell swoop.
The comfortable keyboard? Replaced with a too-thin slab that also became a nightmare for many a Mac user over the years, the butterfly switch mechanism so fragile a speck of dust could lay it low. The handy SD card slot for photographers and videographers, and the HDMI port to easily connect to monitors or TVs? Both axed seemingly in favor of selling us more overpriced dongles.
In the quest for ever-thinner and flashier laptops, Apple had seemingly forgotten why people bought the MacBook Pro in the first place — and pros were happy to point that out. They ridiculed the tiny strip of touchscreen Apple built into the keyboard, decried the relative lack of RAM, the missing ports, and how Apple’s choice of GPU didn’t match up to the Windows competition. I collected a bunch of those thoughts right here at the time, and Michael Tsai has more.
Apple today announced the Apple Music Voice Plan, a new subscription tier for Apple Music designed around the power of Siri. The Apple Music Voice Plan offers subscribers access to the service’s catalog of 90 million songs; tens of thousands of playlists, including hundreds of brand new mood and activity playlists, personalized mixes, and genre stations; as well as the award-winning Apple Music Radio — all through Siri for just $4.99 per month.
Apple Music and Siri are natural partners and already work seamlessly together,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “With Siri actively used on hundreds of millions of devices worldwide, we are thrilled to add this new plan that delivers an effortless music experience just by using your voice and makes Apple Music accessible to even more people around the world.”
Users can subscribe to the Apple Music Voice Plan through Siri by saying “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial,” or by signing up through the Apple Music app. Once subscribed to the Apple Music Voice Plan, users can request music be played across all of their Siri-enabled devices, including HomePod mini, AirPods, iPhone, or any other Apple device, and when using CarPlay.
Apple Music is also adding hundreds of new mood and activity playlists created by Apple Music’s editorial experts that are fully optimized just for voice. Subscribers can ask Siri to “Play the dinner party playlist,”
Play something chill,” or even “Play more like this” for a truly personalized music experience. These new playlists are available to every subscriber of any Apple Music plan — and make using Apple Music, together with Siri, even better. Subscribers to the Apple Music Voice Plan will also have access to Apple Music’s entire lineup of playlists, including favorites like New Music Daily, Rap Life, Today’s Hits, Today’s Country, A-List Pop, R&B Now, and more.
The Apple Music Voice Plan will be available later this fall in 17 countries and regions, including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.