August 16, 2022

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Apple may have set taken control of the conversation with its Apple Silicon chipsets, and...

Apple may have set taken control of the conversation with its Apple Silicon chipsets, and it may have picked up critical acclaim from the reviewers of the new MacBook and Mac hardware running the M1 chips, but more problems keep cropping up with no indication when they will be addressed by Tim Cook’s team.

The latest to step into the spotlight is the handling of external displays by all of the M1 powered desktops and laptops. A significant number of third-party external monitors have not been able to reproduce a crisp and appealing feel of the built in displays, with font sizes blurred, widgets resized too small, and incorrect resolutions being applied:

“…now with your latest m1 chip, none of them work anymore. Now i can either use a high resolution with ant size fonts, or i can choose big font size with blurry displays resolution, which is very annoying.” (Link).

“…I have a Dell U4320Q Display with 3840 x 2160, but i can’t use it with HiDPI with my new Macbook Pro (M1). The M1 can only 3008 x 1692 with HiDPI. With my older Macbook Pro can i use the full resoultion with HiDPI.” (Link).

“…the new Mac M1s have problems with handling ultra-wide displays. I have a LG 5K 34WK95U (max resolution 5120×2160) and it doesn’t work well. The maximum resolution I have is 3440×1440… The same display with a 2016 MacBook Pro touchbar works flawlessly using Big Sur.” (Link).

That doesn’t mean the issues can’t be fixed. Speaking to The Register, Hungarian developer István Tóth proves there is at least one option that allows non-Apple monitors to be used to the best of their abilities:

“Tóth reckons the reason for much of this is that the Arm-based Macs use graphics driver code based on iOS and iPad OS, which do not need to support that many displays – and certainly not any they can’t understand. Macs with x86 processors, meanwhile, can enable HiDPI on sub-4K displays as well as allow the user to configure the available resolutions.”

Tóth hasn’t just diagnosed the problem, he’s programmed a solution. BetterDummy creates a virtual display in such a way that macOS triggers the high resolution display modes and removes the UI issues. That virtual display is then used to drive the physical display.

And he notes that his app, although a workaround, uses APIs provided by Apple in macOS, in an app developed on Aple’s Xcode, using Apple’s Swift programming language.

The question now is how long Apple will take to address the bugs and fix it in its own code… and if it will do that before or after the other embarrassing software issues blighting the new ARM-powered MacBook and Mac hardware.

Now read the latest iPhone, iPad, and Mac headlines in Forbes’ regular Apple Loop column…

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