iPhone Life Magazine

Apple Defies Expectatio­ns with the M1

- Donna Cleveland Editor in Chief at iPhone Life

Leading up to the holidays, Apple reminded us of its ability to pull off seemingly miraculous feats. We knew the tech giant had plans to build its own laptop and desktop chip called the M1. The vision was enticing—to build computers that performed tasks at rapid speed and with much greater efficiency. We were wary, though, and for good reason. As our CTO Raphael Burnes pointed out, by switching away from Intel processors, Apple is essentiall­y performing a brain transplant on its Macs and MacBooks. For software developers, it requires them to build new versions of their apps to work with the M1. That could take years and an abundance of resources, if they decide to do it at all.

But days after Apple launched a trio of M1 Macs in November, the internet was flooded with positive reviews and promising early benchmark tests. Along with impressive boosts to speed and battery performanc­e, the M1 runs a translatio­n software, called Rosetta II, that Apple executed so well that users can continue using most of their apps without ever knowing the difference. The M1 also runs cool, so much so that the new MacBook Air doesn't even come with a fan (page 12).

Apple managed to prove us wrong with the M1, and so far it looks like the same can be said of the over-ear headphones Apple just surprised us with. Priced at $550, the AirPods Max have a lot to prove. Our Feature Writer Leanne Hays joked that for the price, they'd better be able to transform into a Vespa. While stopping short of that, early reviews say they deliver a home theater experience in a lightweigh­t headset. Through its attention to detail and focus on user experience, Apple still has the ability to create products that inspire a sense of wonder.

Getting More for Less—A New Trend

While Apple didn't shy away from sky-high prices with the AirPods Max, overall, Apple is offering compelling devices at lower prices. You can now get a smart speaker for $100 (turn to page 24 for my review of the HomePod mini), an iPhone with the latest features for $700 (page 8), an iPad with Pro features for nearly half the price (page 16), and an Apple Watch SE that's close to $100 cheaper than we're used to. Apple even chose to bring the M1 to its lower-end Macs first. In the year ahead, Apple will likely refresh more of its premium product lines. But the tech company will have to up the ante considerab­ly in order to make new higher-end products worth the extra expense.

Your Guide to Everything iOS 14

This issue focuses on hands-on reviews of Apple's new lineup. But even if you're holding onto the same iPhone, you can teach your old device new tricks! With this issue's special section (page 29), Feature Writer Amy Spitzfaden-Both brings you the best tips and tricks to get the most out of your iPhone's latest features. You can organize your Home screen in new and exciting ways with widgets and the App Library (pages 30 and 31), beef up your phone's security (page 34), and communicat­e more efficientl­y with Messages app upgrades (page 32). What do you think of the latest iOS 14 features and product releases from Apple? Email editors@iphonelife.com to let us know.

“By switching away from Intel processors, Apple is essentiall­y performing a brain transplant on its Macs and MacBooks.”

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