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Apple has unveiled a shiny new MacBook Pro in its latest event. The latest MacBook Pro comes with the Apple-designed M1 chip. The MacBook Pro has 2.8x CPU performance, up to 5x the graphics speed, one of the most advanced Neural Engine for up to 11x faster machine learning; and up to 20 hours of battery life, the longest of any Mac.
Get Slack for Mac – it’s a great collaboration hub for work, no matter what work it is that you do. It allows you to streamline all discussions and decisions regarding your work projects into one space.
It also makes it very easy to share information your team needs, and depending on your plan, will save it all for you (a bit more on that later). Basically, the Slack app for Mac is designed to keep your team better connected.
Here’s a little tutorial on how to quickly get Slack for Mac and set it up to boost your (and your team’s) productivity.
- To launch Slack, open a Finder window, select the Applications folder in the sidebar, then find and double-click the Slack icon. Visit slack.com/downloads.
- Download Slack for macOS 10.10 or later and enjoy it on your Mac. It also uses up an extremely high amount of system resources causing the fans in my MacBook Pro.
- The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 is an important piece of kit, and one that could stand alongside the existing MacBook catalog in terms of performance. Here's how it stands up on paper against.
1. Get Slack for Mac on the website
There are two ways to do this. You can go to theSlack website, and click on Download Slack, via the Resourcessection, or you can download the app via the Mac App Store. This tutorial will be looking at getting the Slack app for Mac to work via download from their website.
2. Install the Slack app for Mac
After the application is downloaded, next you will need to launch the installer.
Later, drag and drop the Slack icon into Applications to ensure that it works properly. You can do this right on the screen or separately from the menu on the left side.
3. Launch the app
Once you get Slack for Mac, locate it in your Applications folder, or use Finder to open it. Once the app is launched another popup window will show on the screen warning you about the app. Click Open and the application will launch.
4. Create a workspace
If you have an existing workspace or have been invited to one, you can simply enter the workspace URL and sign in with your email and password.
If you want to create a workspace of your own, click on Get Started as shown in the picture above.
You will be redirected to the Slack website where you can sign in to your workspace or create a new one by clicking either Find your workspace or Create a new workspace.
Once you do this, you will be able to choose from Find your workspace and Create your workspace, as shown in the picture below.
If you choose to create, type in your email address in the designated field and click on Confirm.
Mention the company name, which will be the name of your workspace and have its own workspace URL as you move on to creating your team.
Once you’re done with the company name, click Next.
5. Invite your team to your workspace
Creating a Slack team is really straightforward – Choose a unique name and password for your workspace, and then you will be able to invite other coworkers and collaborators. You can invite others through their email addresses to be members of your channel.
Digital nomads and freelancers will find it easy to become members of multiple teams, and some groups of friends and families have begun to use Slack as a way to keep everyone in touch, and all their documents in one place – it’s not just for businesses!
Moving on, fill in the email addresses and click Add teammates. If you wish to postpone this for later, then you can skip the step to be redirected to your workspace.
6. Get Familiar with your workspace
Your workspace consists of channels, the channel members and apps that you can integrate with Slack. The communication is handled through the corresponding channels, which can be created by you and other workspace members. You can join or leave channels that are relevant to you at anytime, and you can view the history of all the messages in every channel.
To create a channel click on the + icon right next to Channels if you would like to separate all the projects your team is working on and invite the members who are involved.
You can also customize your Slack workspace through the Slack settings, which can be accessed through your workspace name on the top left corner of the app window.
You can upgrade from your Slack free plan for more advanced features in your workspace. To do so, click on the See upgrade options, which will redirect you to Slack website.
7. Pick a level of membership
Depending on the type of account you decide on, there will be additional levels of access to your teams for freelancers or other outside contributors/contractors who aren’t on your payroll. Slack says the free level will always be free, without any sort of time limit to convert to a paid plan.
The free Slack option gives you limited app integration and only allows you to search your last 10,000 messages. If you only run a small business that doesn’t need extensive records, this should be more than enough (just remember to backup the really important stuff!). Larger businesses will want to opt for the standard or plus plans, that’s a decision that we’ll leave with you.
8. Learn the shortcuts
Working in Slack is much faster if you are able to learn the hotkeys/shortcuts for the commands that you use the most. The company keeps a handy list of all of theSlack app for Mac’s keyboard shortcuts on its blog.
Now that you know how it’s done, off you go! Download, and install the Slack app for Mac and watch your team’s productivity levels soar!
Noise can have a drastic impact on productivity and concentration, as we covered earlier in this post. If you regularly use (or plan on using) Slack to make calls with your team over the Internet, then you should definitely check outKrisp.
This nifty noise cancelling app filters out pesky background noise at both ends, leading to a significant boost in the quality of your conference calls. Try it for yourself, and let us know how you get on in the comments!
Did we miss anything? How did you discover Slack? For which purposes do you use it for most? Let us know in the comments section below…
With both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro having been refreshed in 2020, it's a tempting time to buy – but which is the best balance for your needs?
We'll help you work out which is the better buy for an Apple laptop: the cheaper, lighter option or the more expensive, powerhouse option? We'll explain everything you need to know.
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• Read our full Apple MacBook Air 2020 review
Of course what's right for one laptop buyer isn't necessarily right for another, and so we'll break down the differences between these two ranges so you know exactly what you're looking at. You'll also need to decide how you're going to be using your new computer, so you can make the best decision based on the information we'll give you.
- Best Apple MacBook Air deals – find the cheapest price
- Best Apple MacBook Pro deals – the latest offers
- Best monitors for MacBook Pro – extend your working space
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Design & usability
The MacBook Air is the smaller and lighter laptop of the two.. hence the name. When closed, at its thinnest point it's 0.41 cm thick, compared with 1.49cm (0.59 inches) for the 13-inch MacBook Pro and 1.62 cm (0.64 inches) for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. However, it's worth noting that the MacBook Air is actually 1.61cm (0.63 inches) at its thickest point, so it's actually slight thicker than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. But its tapered design leaves it feeling slimmer and more handle-able overall.
The MacBook Air weighs in at 1.29kg (2.8 pounds), compared with 1.37 g (3.02 pounds) for the 13-inch Pro and 2kg (4.3 pounds) for the 16-inch Pro. Again, note that the difference between the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro isn't huge.
All three models use Apple's latest generation of keyboard, which is a crucial improvement over previous models. You may have heard of reliability concerns around Apple's keyboards over the last few years, but now 100% of its laptops use a new design for the mechanics of the keys, and it's both more comfortable and (based on use so far) less likely to break than previous models.
The keys have a fairly short travel, but you can feel the movement, and there's great feedback, so accuracy is no problem.
All the models have excellent trackpads, too – this is one area Apple nailed a long time ago, and never missteps on.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro finds room for noticeably bigger and more impressive speakers than you get on either the MacBook Air or the 13-inch MacBook Pro… or almost any laptop we've tried, really. They're genuinely impressive, and not in a mealy-mouthed 'well, they're good for laptop speakers' way. They use an advanced design with two opposing drivers in each side, one facing up, one facing down, so that the vibrations from each will cancel each other out, so you get big noise levels without feeling any shake in the frame. Some high-end speakers use this setup, including the Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance.
The MacBook Air and smaller MacBook Pro also have good speakers, but now we're back into for laptops territory. The stereo separation is impressive, though, and you certainly won't feel like you're missing out when it comes to sounds.
The MacBook Pro models also have new microphone arrays that Apple's calls 'studio quality', though we'd still probably suggest a real microphone for your hit podcast. However, in our new world of video-conferencing all the time, they're a big improvement over most built-in mics.
There are also some differences in terms of the ports you've got available, which will get on to shortly. Finally, while all these laptops come in either silver or space grey, only the MacBook Air offers a gold option – and it's a really nice colour.
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: display
The comparison is really close when it comes to the display. Both the MacBook Air and the smaller MacBook Pro have a 13.3-inch screen running at a 2560x1600 resolution – though the Pro does use a wider P3 colour gamut, and is slightly brighter (500 nits versus 400 nits).
The difference doesn't matter much if you're just doing document work (though the extra brightness makes the Pro easier to see in bright light conditions, such as sunlight), but the broader colours and boosted brightness matter for creative work.
The larger MacBook Pro sports a 16-inch screen running at a 3072x1920 resolution (with the wider colour gamut and extra brightness), which gives a lot more room to work.
The single most important thing (in our opinion) is that all three models support True Tone, which changes the colour balance of the screen to match the lighting of the room you're in, so you don't get that off-putting thing of a screen appearing blue when the light around you is yellow. This is kinder on the eyes in the evening – we wouldn't want to live without it.
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: specs and options
Apple gives you a plethora of options when it comes to kitting out the latest MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros. The MacBook Air first: you start off with a 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-gen Intel Core i3 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz), 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. That's for the base version, which costs £999/$999/AUS$1,599.
There is a model that's a step up, though, giving you a quad-core 1.1GHz 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost to 3.5GHz), 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. That costs £1,299/$1,299/AUS$1,599 and we think it's a good option if you want a bit more head-room for your tasks. The base version is good for web browsing, document work and basic photo and video editing, for example, but if you wanted to get fancier with Photoshop, 4K video or programming then we'd suggest the quad-core version. Getting the extra power plus double the storage for that upgrade fee seems like a good deal to us.
You can configure your MacBook Air further – you can go up to 16GB of RAM and a maximum of 2TB of storage. Graphics are provided by integrated Intel Plus chips on all 2020 MacBook Air models, which is a significant step up over previous versions of the Air.
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• Browse all MacBook Air options at the Apple Store UK
• Browse all MacBook Air options at the Apple Store US
• Browse all MacBook Air options at the Apple Store Australia
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is the next step up in power. At its cheapest, you get a 1.4GHz quad-core 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz), 8GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of storage, and integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, all from £1,299/£1,299/AUS$1,999. These lower-end versions of the MacBook Pro 13-inch haven't had a spec upgrade this year – only the keyboard was improved.
However, at the higher end, the MacBook Pro 13-inch has had a very nice upgrade in 2020. Starting from £1,799/$1,799/AUS$2,999, you get a 2.0GHz Intel 10th-gen Core i5 quad-core processor, the latest Intel Iris Plus graphics, 16GB of faster RAM, and 512GB or 1TB of storage.
Can i download a zip file to my macbook pro 2017. • Browse all 13-inch MacBook Pro models at the Apple Store UK
• Browse all 13-inch MacBook Pro models at the Apple Store US
• Browse all 13-inch MacBook Pro models at the Apple Store Australia
The top-end 16-inch MacBook Pro configurations start out at a 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-gen Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz), 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and Radeon Pro 5300M 4GB graphics. That'll cost you £2,399/$2,399/AUS$3,799.
The next model up gets you a 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-gen Intel Core i9 (Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz), 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD and Radeon Pro 5500M 4GB graphics. This version costs £2,799/$2,799/AUS$4,399.
If you really want to trick the laptop out, you can go all the way up to a 2.4GHz 8-core 9th-gen Intel Core i9 processor (Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz), 64GB of RAM, a massive 8TB of storage, and Radeon Pro 5600M 8GB graphics.
• Browse all 16-inch MacBook Pro models at the Apple Store UK
• Browse all 16-inch MacBook Pro models at the Apple Store US
• Browse all 16-inch MacBook Pro models at the Apple Store Australia
We should note that 16-inch MacBook Pro hasn't received a full upgrade in 2020, and is rumoured to get one in towards the end of the year.
That top-end 16-inch MacBook Pro is an absolute beast, but overkill unless you're rendering video or doing something equally demanding – for most casual computing use, the lower specs on the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro will do you just fine.
- Here's our definitive list of the best laptops of the moment
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: features and ports
All these MacBooks are going to come running the latest versions of macOS, Catalina. They'll also get all free updates for the foreseeable future, including the new OS, Big Sur, that we expect to land in October 2020 most likely. From a software point of view, they all have the same features and capabilities, and access to the same applications.
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The less powerful components of the MacBook Air equal longer battery life: Apple quotes 12 hours of wireless web use and 13 hours of iTunes video watching. That beats out the quoted 10 hours of wireless web use and 10 hours of iTunes video watching for the MacBook Pro models.
In practice, it's common for people to see lower battery life than that from the MacBook Pros, but not because of any deception with Apple's figures – it's just that those are the machines people use for more demanding software, and the more hardcore an app is, the more quickly it drains your power.
The MacBook Air features two Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) ports, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack. That matches the cheaper versions of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but if you buy the more powerful versions of the 13-inch MacBook Pro (with the 10th-gen processors) you instead get four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and a headphone jack.
With the 16-inch MacBook Pro, all models come with four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, plus a headphone jack. You might need a dongle or a hub (or two) whichever model you opt for.
It's worth noting that all of the MacBook Pros include the Touch Bar, and the MacBook Air doesn't. The Touch Bar is a touchscreen that runs across the top of the keyboard in place of the function keys, and it can display custom controls depending on the app you're in – or it can display a set of standard controls of your choosing.
These can be quite handy when they're shortcuts or give you access to fine-grained sliders or other options that would normally be buried a couple of clicks deep. But we wouldn't call the Touch Bar essential by any means – a lot of people just don't use it.
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Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models include Touch ID fingerprint security. That makes life much easier for logging in, and for verifying your identity for online security.
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: pricing and verdict
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Both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro will give you a top Apple laptop experience – it's just a question of how much power you're going to need (and how light you want your laptop to be while you're lugging it around).
At the top end, the 16-inch MacBook Pro can be kitted out with ludicrous amounts of power, memory and storage, and it gives you that extra screen real estate to work with as well.
The 13-inch model offers an impressive level of performance from its upper-tier models too, though you don't get the discrete graphics options that you do with the bigger laptop. The cheaper 13-inch models are certainly capable, but it's a shame that internals haven't been upgraded to newer options.
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On the other hand, the MacBook Air is lightweight and a little bit cheaper too (check out the widgets on this page for the latest prices). If you're more of a casual computer user then you can save yourself some money with a cheaper option – remember the macOS software is the same on all these models.
The scale of price and performance is clear to see as you move up from the MacBook Air to the MacBook Pro, despite there being some potential crossover where the higher-tier MacBook Air has a quad-core processor that appears not far off the power of the base level 13-inch MacBook Pro's processor.
But the more constrained chassis of the new Air means that processor will hit its heat limits fairly quickly when taxed hard, while the MacBook Pro has more room to manoeuvre. And if you step up the higher-tier 13-inch MacBook Pro, you get a major boost in speed even while staying at quad-core.
But the good news is that there are plenty of configuration options along the way, so you should be able to find an Apple laptop that meets your needs.
You can find the lowest prices on any given model of MacBook Pro or MacBook Air using our price finders below – you can use the Filters to specify the specs you want.