With the Christmas decorations firmly back in the loft and almost 2 weeks of work under our belts it is the time to reflect on the year that has gone and look forward to what the new year brings.
The past four weeks have probably summed up life as an Apple customer quite nicely. December saw the release of the iMac Pro, a machine clearly targeted at the pro user. It’s not cheap but it contains the most powerful graphics and processors ever in a Mac, along with the most advanced storage and memory.
For photographers, video editors, 3D animators, musicians and software developers who need a high-end professional machine, the iMac Pro is ready to undertake the most resource-hungry of tasks. For loyal Mac users, seeing Apple focus on a machine that wasn’t aimed at the consumer market was a welcome relief.
Then, as we all came back to work, terms like ‘Spectre’ and ‘Meltdown’ appeared. Fundamentally, these were issues caused by modern processors made by Intel and ARM and therefore affect nearly all computing devices, not just Apple. However, the headlines did focus on the fact that nearly all Apple devices were affected.
Over the past year, stories about Macs being more open to malicious attacks have been increasing. Considering the success of the company and how its products have moved from niche to more mainstream, it was really only a matter of time before the attention of hackers and the like started to target the macOS. It is important to note that Ransomware and malicious attacks are growing on other platforms but it is now wrong to think that a Mac is safe from viruses.
A study in July, from Malwarebytes stated that Mac Malware had increased by 230% on the year before. With stringent GDPR regulations coming in this year, the thought of having a Mac with customers’ personal data on without any Anti-Virus software would be risky to say the least.
Going back to hardware, Apple refreshed both the iMac range and the MacBook Pro range. The latter was only refreshed in October 2016 but got another boost in June 2017. What will also please pro users is that Apple also admitted that it kinda got things wrong with the 2013 Mac Pro. The lack of expandability was cited as a major flaw and Apple stated that they were going back to the drawing board. By the end of 2018 we should see a new model that would reflect the needs of its customers.
It will be interesting to see how the new Mac Pro sits alongside the brand new iMac Pro. The fact that the iMac Pro comes with an incredible inbuilt 5K Retina Display always means that it represents great value for money when compared to a machine that will need to run a high end external display. We fully appreciate that when discussing machines that cost upwards of £5k, then value for money is a relative term!
Apple definitely showed that, in 2017, it started to listen to its pro users again and gave real encouragement that the Mac is still a core part of its business. It will be interesting to see if the new Mac Pro captures the desires of the pro market in 2018.
It also seems unlikely that we will go through the year without hearing more stories about security, and how Macs aren’t bulletproof. The increased attacks across all platforms, and the growth of Macs within business and homes, means that the need to invest in a 3rd party antivirus programme should be high on your New Year resolutions.