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Apple’s ‘Pro Mode’ is made for Mac professionals

Apple’s focus on the needs of professional computer users for its Macs and iPads ‘for the rest of us’ continues on news the company is developing a new ‘Pro Mode’ that pushes more performance for some apps.

The PC market will become a high-end market

Apple is focused on pro users because it recognizes that this section of the PC market will be the bulwark against wholesale replacement of computers with mobile devices.

Year by year, mobile systems are becoming increasingly viable alternatives for a growing quantity of the tasks PCs and Macs have traditionally handled.

An iPhone or iPad is all the computer required by many users, as the billion or so iOS devices currently in use prove.

This leaves a shrinking space for low-cost budget PCs and suggests the most robust part of the market is to be found in high-end systems.

That appears to be what Apple is betting on as it prioritizes Mac revenue growth – and this is also why the number of Mac units sold is less relevant than before, given so many PCs are replaced by mobile devices, or even low cost, low profit PCs.

It’s about how many Macs are sold into the more robust and less subject to mobile device replacement professional markets.

Apple’s pro Mac offerings are designed for those markets that are most resistant to replacement by mobile devices: music and movie/video production; games and interactive experience development; professional photography; architecture and design; scientific research and so on.

Such users will benefit from Apple’s purported Pro Mode, as they will be able to accelerate application performance for the tasks that most matter to them.

What is Pro Mode?

Pro Mode sounds a little like an on-demand overclocking technology.

As reported by 9to5Mac, a reference to it is included in the latest macOS Catalina 10.15.3 beta and it is described as something that can be turned on or off on demand by users.

The beta tells us that when in ProMode:

“Apps may run faster, but battery life may decrease and fan noise may increase.”

The beta seems to suggest that fan speed (and Pro Mode) will remain active overnight if not manually switched off.

The latter makes sense in some instances, such as when leaving your Mac to handle challenging rendering tasks overnight.

The report suggests the mode is aimed particularly at MacBook Pro users, citing improvements in the thermal design in the latest devices.

Effectively, the description seems to show systems that can optimize system performance in order to rouse more power and performance from specific apps, but does so on an ad hoc basis, enabling users to pick when to fully exploit the potential. (ie. When the system is connected to power).

Apple’s pro app teams

There has long been demand among Mac users for ways to safely optimize the power and performance of Macs beyond the box spec. At one time, the Mac market included companies (such as the still active Sonnet)whose sole focus was to make components that could boost Mac performance – effectively upgrading existing Macs.

Many Mac users may also have made use of software overclock tools designed to push system performance beyond official specifications.

The problem with such tools being that in some cases this made systems unstable or may even have caused damage, as the heat generated by overclocked systems exceeded the ability of the Mac’s thermal systems to maintain safe temperatures.

(A long time ago, I witnessed people point desk fans at overclocked Macs in an attempt to prevent them automatically shutting down when they get too hot).

Apple has teams of Mac users it works with in order to understand what its professional users need, and this on the ground knowledge now informs decisions it takes when designing new Macs.

This is particularly evident in the new (modular) Mac Pro.

With this in mind it seems quite possible that Apple is developing Pro Mode in answer to requests from those high-end users it works with, who sought some way in which to safely maximize Mac performance for specific high-end tasks.

It will be interesting to see how Apple positions this new software feature (if it ever ships), particularly in light of the new MacBook Pro models it is expected to introduce this year.

It will also be interesting to see if the company includes this capacity within the Mac mini, which is seeing use in pro markets for some demanding tasks.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Apple’s ‘Pro Mode’ is made for Mac professionals

Apple’s focus on the needs of professional computer users for its Macs and iPads ‘for the rest of us’ continues on news the company is developing a new ‘Pro Mode’ that pushes more performance for some apps.

The PC market will become a high-end market

Apple is focused on pro users because it recognizes that this section of the PC market will be the bulwark against wholesale replacement of computers with mobile devices.

Year by year, mobile systems are becoming increasingly viable alternatives for a growing quantity of the tasks PCs and Macs have traditionally handled.

An iPhone or iPad is all the computer required by many users, as the billion or so iOS devices currently in use prove.

This leaves a shrinking space for low-cost budget PCs and suggests the most robust part of the market is to be found in high-end systems.

That appears to be what Apple is betting on as it prioritizes Mac revenue growth – and this is also why the number of Mac units sold is less relevant than before, given so many PCs are replaced by mobile devices, or even low cost, low profit PCs.

It’s about how many Macs are sold into the more robust and less subject to mobile device replacement professional markets.

Apple’s pro Mac offerings are designed for those markets that are most resistant to replacement by mobile devices: music and movie/video production; games and interactive experience development; professional photography; architecture and design; scientific research and so on.

Such users will benefit from Apple’s purported Pro Mode, as they will be able to accelerate application performance for the tasks that most matter to them.

What is Pro Mode?

Pro Mode sounds a little like an on-demand overclocking technology.

As reported by 9to5Mac, a reference to it is included in the latest macOS Catalina 10.15.3 beta and it is described as something that can be turned on or off on demand by users.

The beta tells us that when in ProMode:

“Apps may run faster, but battery life may decrease and fan noise may increase.”

The beta seems to suggest that fan speed (and Pro Mode) will remain active overnight if not manually switched off.

The latter makes sense in some instances, such as when leaving your Mac to handle challenging rendering tasks overnight.

The report suggests the mode is aimed particularly at MacBook Pro users, citing improvements in the thermal design in the latest devices.

Effectively, the description seems to show systems that can optimize system performance in order to rouse more power and performance from specific apps, but does so on an ad hoc basis, enabling users to pick when to fully exploit the potential. (ie. When the system is connected to power).

Apple’s pro app teams

There has long been demand among Mac users for ways to safely optimize the power and performance of Macs beyond the box spec. At one time, the Mac market included companies (such as the still active Sonnet)whose sole focus was to make components that could boost Mac performance – effectively upgrading existing Macs.

Many Mac users may also have made use of software overclock tools designed to push system performance beyond official specifications.

The problem with such tools being that in some cases this made systems unstable or may even have caused damage, as the heat generated by overclocked systems exceeded the ability of the Mac’s thermal systems to maintain safe temperatures.

(A long time ago, I witnessed people point desk fans at overclocked Macs in an attempt to prevent them automatically shutting down when they get too hot).

Apple has teams of Mac users it works with in order to understand what its professional users need, and this on the ground knowledge now informs decisions it takes when designing new Macs.

This is particularly evident in the new (modular) Mac Pro.

With this in mind it seems quite possible that Apple is developing Pro Mode in answer to requests from those high-end users it works with, who sought some way in which to safely maximize Mac performance for specific high-end tasks.

It will be interesting to see how Apple positions this new software feature (if it ever ships), particularly in light of the new MacBook Pro models it is expected to introduce this year.

It will also be interesting to see if the company includes this capacity within the Mac mini, which is seeing use in pro markets for some demanding tasks.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Can You Write off a Home Office? Here’s What the Tax Professionals Say – LifeSavvy

woman checking her planner while sitting in her sunlight home office
SeventyFour/Shutterstock

Today, about a third of U.S. workers have a freelance job. Some use it as a side hustle, while others manage the struggles and triumphs of freelancing full-time. But all of them face the same difficulty each year: figuring out freelance taxes.

One of the most-talked-about deductions for freelancers and small business owners is the home office deduction. However, many questions hide behind that simple term. What counts as a home office? Who qualifies for it? And what would you need to show in case of an audit?

We consulted a few industry professionals to get the final word on how the home office deduction works. Here’s everything you need to know to save a little more when tax season comes.

How to Know If You Qualify

If you work from home, you actually have a good chance of qualifying for the home office deduction.

As financial strategist Clarissa Wilson explains, “Most people think that the home office deduction is complicated and usually forgo having to do the calculations to get this simple deduction.” But the deduction is actually pretty straightforward. All you need to have is a space in your home that you use strictly for business.

That space doesn’t even have to be a whole room. If you have an office set up in some nook or corner of an existing room, that counts, too. However, it can’t be a multipurpose space. “It needs to be your principal place of business and be used regularly and exclusively in your business,” says Remington Trolli, who does bookkeeping and tax preparation for small businesses.

This means that your corner-of-the-living-room office won’t count if you also use it as a breakfast nook when you’re not working. And if you have a main office space outside of the home, like a coworking space, you likely won’t qualify for the home office deduction either.

It’s okay if you do some work outside of your home, but your home office needs to be your primary workspace to count for the deduction. Whether you rent or own your home, you can take this deduction—but only if you have a specific space used strictly for work.

How to Calculate Your Home Office Deduction

man using a calculator in his home office to calculate his home office tax deduction
Natee Meepian/Shutterstock

If you qualify, you can calculate your deduction amount in one of two ways.

The standard method is the more complicated of the two. “[It] requires you to total all home office expenses and report this amount each year,” explains licensed CPA Riley Adams. Basically, you have to figure out what percentage of your home is occupied by your home office. Then, you can multiply that percentage by the cost of your mortgage or rent, utilities, maintenance, and other household costs to figure out how much of those costs go toward your home office.

If you go this route, you’ll need to keep careful records of your household bills all year to do your calculations (and offer evidence in an audit). However, you can make life easier by using the simplified method instead.

In this method, you multiply the total square footage of your home office by $5 to get your deduction amount. For example, a 25-square-foot office would give you a deduction of $125.

“To see which method is more advantageous, you’ll need to calculate both methods,” says Adams. But if you haven’t kept careful records of your home expenses over the year, the simplified deduction might be your only choice.

Should You Take the Home Office Deduction?

The home office deduction is one of the easier tax deductions available to freelancers. If you have a dedicated space for business at home, and you do most of your work there, there’s no reason not to take it.

This deduction can also serve as an essential reminder of why you need to keep careful records as a freelancer. You don’t need to keep all your utility receipts in a file folder, though—try financial software like QuickBooks Self-Employed to make this easy deduction even easier. As a freelancer, every dollar counts, so don’t hesitate to take the home office deduction (and every other deduction you can).





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