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The rumored Apple iMac21,1 might be powered by a bizarre Intel-Qualcomm hybrid
by Sayan Sen
Image via FRONT PAGE TECH (YouTube) We learned back in February that Apple has been working on redesigning its upcoming 2021 iMac lineup too like it is doing so with its other Mac products. And that's because Apple is expected to be using its own ARM-based M1 processors in its new iMacs as well. The two models, which are the 21.5-inch and the 27-inch, respectively, are reportedly codenamed J456 and J457 according to a report from Bloomberg.
However, last month 9to5Mac discovered a couple of new Apple iMac device IDs dubbed "iMac21,1" and "iMac21,2" in the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta update. While we do not know for sure if these new IDs are the same as those stated in the Bloomberg report, what we can say is that a Geekbench run of the iMac 21,1 model was spotted today by a Twitter user who aptly calls himself 'Leakbench'. While leaked Geekbench scores themselves aren't always reason enough to get excited over, what really caught our attention is the bizarre and uncanny processor that is seemingly powering the system.
The iMac 21,1 seems to be powered by an "ARM Qualcomm" eight-core processor however, it is being detected as a Genuine Intel CPU. The motherboard too is seemingly being detected as an "Intel Corporation iMac21,1". The test was conducted on the macOS Big Sur 11.1 build 20C69.
Geekbench often reports clock speeds incorrectly so it's best not to look at that to determine final specifications, however, other details like the cache amount or cores are more reliable numbers and are much more unlikely to ever change. The processor appears to be an octa-core ARM chip just like Apple's own M1. However, The M1 which is reportedly powering this year's 21.5-inch iMac model vastly outperforms this unknown CPU in Geekbench with nearly double the scores suggesting that the iMac21,1 may be a different product entirely.
But it must be said that we are talking about a potentially unfinished part and probably best not to look too much into these numbers. Regardless, here's how the new weird CPU has performed.
Apple is set to hold its Spring event in four days on April 20 and it's possible that the company talks about the upcoming iMac line. The 21.5-inch iMac seems to be running out of supply and that may be in anticipation to the arrival of next-gen models.
Source: Leakbench (Twitter) via 9to5Mac
Apple Fitness+ now caters to pregnant and older people
by Paul Hill
Apple has announced the availability of Workouts for Pregnancy, Workouts for Older Adults, and Workouts for Beginners to make Apple Fitness+ more inclusive. The company has also added Yoga and Mindful Cooldown with trainer Jonelle Lewis, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Anja Garcia, and the new Time to Walk with Jane Fonda. Each of these additions will be available from April 19.
Commenting on the expansion of Apple Fitness+, Apple’s senior director of Fitness Technologies Jay Blahnik said:
With Workouts for Pregnancy, users will have access to 10 workouts across Strength, Core, and Mindful Cooldown. Each of the workouts lasts just 10 minutes and are designed to accommodate everyone, no matter their stage of pregnancy. The course also provides tips to modify the course with a pillow to ensure workouts aren’t uncomfortable.
With Workouts for Older Adults, Apple has made sure that everyone, no matter their age, can stay active. This collection of workouts focuses on strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and mobility. Similarly to the Workouts for Pregnancy session, each workout is just ten minutes long. For these workouts, you’ll be able to use a dumbbell or your own body weight and a chair or wall.
Workouts for Beginners offers yoga, strength, and HIIT workouts and has been designed for people new to exercising or just getting back into it. All of the options in this category are low impact and are easy to follow which helps to boost the confidence of beginners.
As mentioned earlier, the new content will become available from April 19. Apple Fitness+ is available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. An Apple Fitness+ subscription typically costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year but if you’ve just bought an Apple Watch Series 3 or later you can get three months for free. Existing Apple Watch users can try out the service free of charge for one month.
Microsoft updates Remote Desktop app with native support for Apple Silicon
by Anmol Mehrotra
Microsoft has released a new update for its Remote Desktop app. The update brings native support for Apple Silicon and adds a couple of features like client-side IME support when using Unicode keyboard mode and Kerberos support in the CredSSP security protocol sequence. Apart from that, Microsoft also addressed macOS 11 compatibility issues. Lastly, the Redmond giant notes that it has made some significant upgrades to the underlying shared code.
Here is the full changelog for the update:
If you are encountering any major issues then you can navigate to Help > Report an issue to reach out to Microsoft. The new update bumps the app to version 10.6.0 and is available for download from the App Store. Do note that the Remote Desktop app now requires macOS 10.14 or later in order to work.
Apple and partners create Restore Fund to fight climate change
by Paul Hill
Apple has announced the creation of the Restore Fund, a $200 million pot of money that will be invested in forestry projects to help remove carbon from the atmosphere while producing a financial return for investors. The fund has been created by Apple in partnership with Conservation International and Goldman Sachs.
With the fund, the partners are expecting to fund projects that will remove at least 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually while demonstrating a financial model that can help increase investment into forest restoration. According to Apple, removing 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will have the same effect as taking 200,000 cars off the road.
In terms of the fund’s partners and their roles, Apple and Conservation International are investors in the fund while Goldman Sachs is managing the fund. Additionally, Conservation International will ensure that the projects meet strict environmental and social standards including standards set out by Verra, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the UN Climate Convention. Forests that improve biodiversity through buffer zones and natural set-asides will be prioritized.
Commenting on the project, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson said:
Apple said that the fund is part of its wider aim to become carbon neutral across its supply chain by 2030. The firm will directly eliminate 75% of emissions from its supply chain and products by 2030 and it plans to address the other 25% indirectly by removing carbon from the atmosphere using trees which this fund will help to plant.
Parallels Desktop adds native support for Apple M1 Macs
by João Carrasqueira
Parallels has announced that version 16.5 of its virtualization software, Parallels Desktop for Mac, is now generally available, bringing with it native support for Apple's new M1 chipset. Ever since Apple announced its first Macs powered by in-house ARM processors, more and more companies have had to update their apps to run natively on they new silicon, since Intel-based apps have to be emulated, this resulting in some performance overhead.
The benefits of native support should be especially evident in Parallels Desktop, since virtualization software tends to use a significant amount of hardware resources. In fact, that's why Parallels prioritized adding native support for the M1 chip, as Nick Dobrovolskiy, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Support, says:
Parallels is making some big claims about the performance and power efficiency improvements, but you have to read the fine print to put things in the correct perspective. First, it promises to be 250% more power-efficient on an Apple M1 Mac compared to a 2020 Intel-based MacBook Air. However, it's actually compared an Apple M1 MacBook Air with 16GB of RAM to a model powered by an Intel Core i5-8210Y and 8GB of RAM, which was actually released in July 2019. There is a newer Intel-based MacBook Air with Ice Lake processors, but that's not what's being used here.
It also promises up to 60% more performance on an Apple M1 MacBook Pro versus an Intel-based one, but that's with an Intel Core i9-8950HK and AMD Radeon Pro 555X GPU, again ignoring the most recent generation of MacBooks. Finally, it promises up to 30% more performance on a Windows VM, but again, that's comparing to the same Core i9-8950HK processor, though this time with a Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU and 32GB of RAM, double of what's in the M1-based MacBook Pro used in the comparison. As such, while there may be improvements in performance, they may not be as significant as suggested in Parallels' announcement.
There's also another problem that this update doesn't solve. As we noted in our review of the M1 MacBook Pro, many of the Windows 10 inbox apps don't run on the Apple M1, since it only supports 64-bit ARM apps, while Windows 10 still ships with many 32-bit ones. Also, Microsoft only releases VHDX images for Windows on ARM Insider Previews, so you can't get a stable version of the OS running on Macs just yet.
Either way, if you already have an M1-based Mac, this should at least improve your experience on it.