Apple’s new MacBook Pro M2, Part 2: Maximum productivity
MARCH 27 — The last couple of weeks saw me getting up-to-date with the current state of the Mac OS and its featureset.
Mac OS Ventura isn’t just an incremental update but a polished cog in the very inviting Apple ecosystem.
If you already have an iPad and iPhone, working with those devices with easy copy-paste and AirDrop file transfers is quick and seamless and Apple has polished the rough edges off using iOS apps in Mac.
Apple’s Sidecar that lets you just extend your display to an iPad is an easy, portable alternative to getting a second monitor.
Adding more display
I tried using the MacBook Pro M2 with an iPad Pro from last year as well as the iPad mini and tried an accessory that lets you clip the tablets to the MacBook Pro screen and it was hilariously impractical.
The 12.9-inch display of the iPad Pro was heavy and weighed down the MacBook’s screen, but the iPad mini was actually easy to use and it was actually rather usable in both portrait and landscape orientation.
Why would anyone try this? It’s because while the 16-inch display offers more screen space it’s just not as practical if you are a mobile worker.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro will fit in most standard backpacks while you would need a much larger bag to support the added weight of a 16-inch model.
Adding an iPad by just propping it up on a stand next to your laptop would allow you to, for instance, run a video editor full screen on the MacBook Pro but let you see the other apps on the iPad.
You could then dedicate the whole MacBook Pro screen for video work without browser screens or other apps taking up precious display space.
The beauty of it is that it will be the MacBook powering it all — you don’t need an iPad Pro to take advantage of Sidecar and the Continuity feature that lets you work seamlessly from one device to another.
An iPad mini or even the last two generations of base iPads could also work fine.
What’s satisfying is that the MacBook Pro M2 doesn’t heat up quite as quickly when connected to an actual monitor or iPad.
Previously I could never seriously contemplate connecting a MacBook (whether Air or the MacBook Pro M1) to a monitor as the setups I had got hot/noisy fairly quickly unless I had cooling solutions (air conditioning).
I even connected Sony’s Remote Play to my PlayStation 5 to stream games to the MacBook Pro and it was a seamless, quiet affair.
Your iPhone is a webcam now
The iPhone has an interesting niche user — Vtubers who love the front camera’s TrueDepth camera that allows for accurate face tracking.
With the new update, Mac users can now take advantage of the rear camera and use it for FaceTime as well as the native PhotoBooth app.
Belkin sells a special clip-on accessory to attach iPhones to your display so you use the rear camera as a very high-definition webcam.
Sadly Belkin hasn’t made it available here so again, I relied on online shopping to save the day and found an accessory that attached itself magnetically to the back of the iPhone via MagSafe tech.
It’s pretty useful as I could set the phone to either vertical or horizontal orientation but again, I faced the problem of the iPhone 14 Pro Max being so heavy it weighed the screen down.
Overall I think the experience with the M2 Max processor on the MacBook processor is a lot more improved than I expected.
Still, let’s see how true that is once I stress test it a little more — I have the Unity developer tools downloading as I speak.
On a previous trial with a different MacBook I had tried to run a Unity setup but wasn’t happy with the obvious strain I could see it putting on the setup.
I also need to find time to muck with iOS apps on MacBook (I didn’t enjoy previous attempts) so expect Part 3 where I try to get as serious as I can.