Saturday, March 26, 2022

MacOS Can Boot From A M1 iPad, Only if Apple (Or An Engineer With A Lot of Hands On His/Her Time) Makes It So

 "Make it so," Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship, the USS Enterprise, commanded in his familiar British accent even though he's French because, I did not know this, that by the 24th Century, French was became an obscure language.

My hope is that Picard can just as easily command the USS Cupertino to get their engineering team finally allow MacOS work on any iPad with the M1 chips and beyond because it makes sense, it is doable, it is in high demand, and it will make Apple a lot of money. 

One reason why I do not think Apple is ready for MacOS to run on an iPad is the experience - there are some UI issues that Apple needs to work out for touch interface. Of course, like most Mac users and increasingly iPad users as well, we have been using our iPad with a keyboard and mouse. 

I have used Windows 10 and 11 on a HP laptop for work and half the time, I do not even remember that the screen has touch features. And I hesitate to use it because of smudges and it was not very intuitive. If Apple is trying to come up with a touch scheme that is different from the iPad experience but will work better with MacOS, I am all for it. 

You know the Apple elitists. If you do not satisfy them, they can be a loud minority. I'm not saying Apple cares at all what they think. Apple will do it own thing. But the media may help amplify those voices. So, Apple will need to make the MacOS on the iPad experience seamless. Not everyone will use a keyboard and mouse with it. 

In the photo above, I am running MacOS in my 2018 iPad mini through a remote access app. And for short durations, it is fine. I have tried it on an iPad Pro with 13" and it works better. I use it with a keyboard and mouse. There is a touch element to the app for me to use MacOS with and it works just fine in a pinch but it is no where nearly as good as using a mouse. So, Apple, if you eventually allow MacOS or a version of it to run on the iPad, I am fine if you only allow physical keyboard and mouse to use it if you have not already figured out a new touch interface that works just as well. 

Right now, I am writing this post (including this sentence) using the MacBook keyboard via Universal Control on MacOS Monterey. 

The other issue is battery life. All iPad Variants of the iPad is limited to ten hours of use. As far as I can recall, Apple has limited iPad battery life since the original iPad to 10 hours of use. Right now, there are MacBooks that have 50% to 100% the battery life of the iPad. 

Despite the current perceived limitations of running MacOS on an iPad, there are million of users who would not mind and want to be able to do more with this revolutionary device. My iPad is with me nearly 100% of the time. And if I can use it in ways that I do on the MacBook, I would love it.

I'll get into some advantages for Apple why iPads should be able to run MacOS. For now, I think it is a matter of when Apple "makes it so" or see iPadOS evolve enough to resemble the MacOS and have similar experience. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

12" OLED MacBook Would Be Possible With M2 Chip Made With the 4nm Process From TSMC

It's been a while since I've visited the 12" MacBook. Based on what I have been reading and doing some light research, I think the M1 on a 12" MacBook would not have been feasible but a 4nm M2 chip would be just what Apple is looking for in order to release a 12" MacBook. 

I'm currently working on this post using my very old 2016 MacBook. It's old. It works fine for the most part but the keyboard is not going to last much longer, maybe another year, and the battery life is not what it used to be. I had thought about getting the MacBook Air with the M1 but given all the rumors about a redesign, I decided to wait. And meanwhile, it'll give me a chance to fulfill my promise to myself to use  my MacBook to become a proficient coder, content creator (being dabbling with Youtube video, animations, and blogging. 

One of the reasons I went with a 12" MacBook early on instead of a MacBook Air or a Pro was that I thought I was going to write on it for a vast majority of the time. And that was true. I think I use my MacBook for writing with some Web surfing, and very little coding. 

If I had been a coder back in 2016, there was a good chance I would have went with a more powerful machine and a bigger screen. That's in the past, I am still very much interested in an updated 12" MacBook.

I had hoped that Apple would come out with a M1 version but now I think about it, perhaps a M2 might be worth the wait should Apple release the chip later this year. Here is a couple of reasons why I think it is worth the wait.

I'm not a chip expert by any stretch of imagination. By double or even triple stretch. What I know is that the M1 chip is made with the 5nm (nanometer) process. It's small. The Intel chips used by the MacBooks were 10nm. I had read somewhere that these nm designations are not as clear cut and could be for marketing purposes but I think the difference between a 5nm and 10nm, no matter how it is cut, is a big difference. Apple has demonstrated by benchmark and power usage. Just compare to how much better the battery life are on the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips are compared to the Intel chips and power utilization. 

When Apple moves from M1 to M2, TSMC will be using the 4nm production process, a 20% difference. I do not know if it means M2 chips are 20% smaller and more efficient than the 5nm M1 but I do know that it'll be faster and even more efficient. 

Had a 12" MacBook use the M1, I imagine the battery life might not see the jump that MacBooks with M1 chips have in terms of battery life. It might mean that if Apple wanted to give the 12" MacBook more battery life, it would have to throttle and slow it down to achieve any meaningful battery life increase. That would totally degrade the user experience. As I start to utilize my MacBook for coding, encoding videos, and more processor intensive uses, I am probably not going to like the a slower M1 machine.

With the M2, a smaller and more powerful chip, Apple can turn the 12" MacBook into an even more mobile power machine. And with M2, the 12" MacBook can achieve a battery life that is impossible on any Intel chip that Apple could fit inside the body of a 12" MacBook.

Here are the battery life for the current M1 machines:

  • Macbook Air - 18 hours
  • Macbook Pro 13" - 20 hours
  • Macbook Pro 14"- 17 hours
  • Macbook Pro 16" -  21 hours
Those are impressive battery life. Let's look at the previous versions with Intel chips:

  • Macbook 12" - 10 hours (barely)
  • Macbook Air - 12 hours
  • Macbook 13" Pro - 10 hours
  • Macbook 16" (2019) - 11 hours
The M1 Mac achieved an improvement of 50% on the MacBook Air to 100% on the Macbook Pro. I am expecting the 12" MacBook with the M2 chip to have an improved battery life of at last 50% if not more.

As for processing power, I hope when Apple would compare the M2 chip to the M1 chip and forget about how bad and power hungry the Intel chips are. There would be no need to dig up the past in this regard.

And whatever screen sizes the M2 MacBooks will ultimately come with, these Apple computers will be ultimate mobile computing machines to be reckon with.



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