Apple solved the laptop computer with the aluminum, unibody macbook (air ?) with chiclet keys and glass screen/trackpad. That's it. It's over. The laptop computer is solved - and all anyone wanted was a retina macbook air. That's it - that's all we wanted. The same old macbook air with magsafe, multiple USB ports and a graphics port. With retina.
Another example is the Mac Pro (tower) - this is a long-standing form factor in computing that is now solved. There is no doing this better than Apple did it with the last versions (2009 and later) of the mac pro tower. All anybody wanted was a Mac Pro tower with sata3 and usb3 and newer gfx connections. That's it - it was solved.
But we didn't get any of those things, did we ?
Minor iterations of existing designs are not enough for Apple - they have to do new things for economic reasons.
Honestly, as someone who has no interest in an ipad or an iphone or an iwatch and has always worried that focus on those items would cannibalize Mac and OSX ... looking back I wish they had focused even more on the iDevices and just left the Mac products alone - albeit with the little iterations of processor/ram/usb3/sata3/etc.
I have all Macs, and I'd be pretty pissed at the universe if the best laptops feasible in this reality were just my current hardware when you take the limit as versions of USB and Thunderbolt tend towards infinity.
I think you're referring to touchscreen/convertible/etc. ?
I don't think those are laptops. They're interesting and exciting and maybe they are even better than laptops. But they are not laptops.
"I have all Macs, and I'd be pretty pissed at the universe if the best laptops feasible in this reality were just my current hardware when you take the limit as versions of USB and Thunderbolt tend towards infinity."
I'm happy with hammers just the way they are. Sure, I'd like a superlight, super strong hammer made of unobtanium, but the form factor doesn't need to change.
(And, yes, there are open source replacements for all of these that run on Linux. I know, but the UX is not the same!)
I think that's a huge X factor a lot of the latest discussions are missing. People LOVE MacOS apps. They're beautiful. They work well. They're typically fast. They're user friendly. Windows and Linux apps are none of those things. In my experience, Mac users don't mind paying for Mac apps because they tend to be of high quality. Windows and Linux users won't pay for apps unless they absolutely have to because the quality of the available apps varies so much.
While true, a lot of us can live with less beautiful machines and software especially if the prettier machine makes us break our workflow (ie how to vim without an esc button)
Luckily they use an open specification for the database they use which has a python module and I've started building my own interfaces to interact with the keychain in much cooler ways.
It's no 1password.app though. :(
Those Python utilities actually look really useful but as far as I can tell, they only interface with the older .agilekeychain version of the 1Password vault. I've been looking for something similar that understands the newer .opvault format but am yet to find anything that just works.
Biggest one is that the password prompt will pop up and have a blinking text cursor even though it's not actually the active window, just the active window within the Windows layer. Whoops, hope you didn't type your master password anywhere leaky.
This is pretty much the reason I haven't switched to linux; it's not that OSX/macOS is particularly incredible, but that 1Password, Alfred and some other apps don't work on linux.
I also use Dash regularly while I work, often in conjunction with Alfred.
Cygwin is pretty good. With sshd and putty you've got a decent setup.
But there are still little things that osx does better. Virtual desktop support finally showed up in Windows about a decade late. But keyboard shortcuts are still a crapshoot.
Text selection and cursor navigation being uniform across everything is nice once it all becomes automatic.
Osx has its own list of problems... But most of them are solvable in a well supported way.
Running Linux desktop full time.. logging in every day is a roll of the dice. The Year of the Linux Desktop(tm) just isn't here yet.
You really don't even need to install Ubuntu anymore. Other distros, yeah, but you also know your hardware is fully supported at least.
That all said, I think apple are up to more than is immediately apparent. They're spending huge amounts on r&d. From the frankly incremental improvements seen on their existing hardware line over the last several years the majority is going somewhere unseen. We saw patents for hmd/ar related tech a few years back.
I wouldn't be surprised if they do something nobody currently expects and move aggressively into the hmd/ar space.
UK Macbook Pros are the cheapest in Europe dollarwise, so that can't be true.
I recall at some point, some software prices (like the full Adobe suite) were so inflated in the UK that it was cheaper to fly to New York, spend a couple days there, and buy the licenses there, than it did to buy them in the UK.
We (as in, us living in the Bay Area and the US in general) live in a bubble where the iPhone is barely more expensive than other phones and Macs, while expensive, are still comfortably within our reach because our salaries are way above average.
The same thing could happen with the MBP if enough people are as frustrated as I am.
- Limited internal expansion / high speed external bus : In a future world where every computer has USB-C and/or ThunderBolt ports external expansion is going to be the obvious choice for most people. Very few individuals/companies use desktops exclusively so interoperability between laptops & desktops is another factor here. This is also true of internal storage. Fast internal storage + NAS/SAN are clearly the right direction to go here.
- Less CPU / more GPU : You can scale many highly parallel / CPU intensive tasks in the cloud or on a rack of your own servers better than you can buying the latest and greatest Mac Pro every few years. GPU processing is harder to scale outside of the box sitting on your desk. This doesn't meet everyone's needs today but we're talking about the future here. In 5-10 years are people going to be replacing their desktops often for more processing power? Some but probably not enough to make a high end desktop Mac a sustainable product for Apple.
- High base price : This is the real test. Anyone can say they want a high end Mac desktop but how many people are actually going to buy a $3k+ desktop? How often will they replace it? The price probably reflects the minimum amount of profitability Apple wants to continue making Mac Pros. Now it has sat on the shelf for 3 years. Are people still buying it? Like it or not that's a factor Apple has to consider. Can they sell old stock or do they have to update this thing every 6 months for it to be a viable product?
So if this was indeed an experiment we can only speculate about the results. Either the Mac Pro (in it's current form) is not a viable product for Apple or they're going back to the drawing board based on their experience with the 2013 model.
A high-end workstation is going to cost a lot more than that, particularly with Tesla or Xeon Phi coprocessors included. A single 7120A will set you back $4,841 and change.
The point being that the Mac Pro doesn't really satisfy, or target, the workstation crowd any longer.
With two 27 inch lcds, and a thunderbolt external drive, it's been solid development machine. I can also boot an external windows drive to play PC games, with ok performance on the last gen of games. The form factor is great for traveling (I can stuff it in a suitcase and take it anywhere).
Last few weeks it's been kernel panicking a couple times a day (when under heavy stress). And it'd be nice to have upgraded GPU to play the latest batch of PC games (and VR).
I'm pretty disappointed Apple has made zero updates to this model in over 1000 days. Given how much use I'd gotten out of this machine, it's hard to say it's been a mistake purchasing it. But there's also not really much I can do to upgrade it since external GPUs don't really work with Thunderbolt 2.
My guess is the Mac Pro line gets quietly discontinued by next year. 15 yrs ago I bought a G4 Cube, some lessons I never learn.
Processors and RAM are important, of course, if you're doing intensive work, but things like GPUs could be attached separately via Thunderbolt 3. I could see AMD creating a pro-level FirePro external TB3 "card", a box like an external hard drive that you just plug in via TB3 and off you go.
Apparently only one of the FirePro GPUs on the Mac Pro is hooked up in such a way as to contribute towards graphics performance, with the other being solely for compute; an external box designed specifically to hold a FirePro chip and associated hardware (VRAM, VMU, etc) could be styled, cooled, and shaped differently, and could provide a simple add-on for people who want parallel computation.
In other words, we could use TB3 to add on FirePro computation the way we use USB to add on hard drives.
With that kind of philosophy, the Mac Pro could be cheaper and easier to build, more expandable and not less, and appeal to more people. If I could order what was effectively a Mac Mini but with 32 GB of RAM and a Xeon or high-end desktop i7, I would buy ten of them tomorrow, and for people who want to do things like hardware-accelerated computation or transcoding they could buy add-ons that would do that work for them.
This used to happen to me as well(late August/early September). When it was under medium/heavy load it would freeze up occasionally and eventually kernel panic. I completely wiped the drive and reinstalled macOS which completely resolved the problem. I just chalked it up to a weird system file being corrupted.
I didn't know this was possible. Does this work only on the Mac Pro?
For folks like software developers or anyone else who is bottlenecked by single-threaded CPU performance, the Mac Pro is no faster than a machine like an iMac, and not necessarily even much faster than a current laptop.
For folks like photo/graphics/video pros who care about the best large high-resolution display, previous-gen Thunderbolt connectors/protocols and external display hardware weren’t quite ready until the past year. Apple could hack around the problems with the iMac because everything was internal, but the problems hadn’t quite been solved for a desktop tower.
For folks needing beefy GPU performance, the market is segregated between those needing workstation class GPUs and ECC memory, etc., many of whom are running CUDA software that will only run on nvidia chips (oops), and those who want to play video games or similar, and would rather cut costs with consumer-grade hardware.
For folks worried about future-proofing a big purchase, there was a lot of uncertainty about ongoing product support and upgradeability.
And of course for anyone trying to cut costs, there are a variety of cheaper Windows PC towers optimized to particular use cases.
Ultimately, for many customers (say, university computer labs, software developers, photographers, graphic designers, even pro audio and video people), an iMac makes a better desktop machine than the current form of the Mac Pro, whereas for the folks who need absolute max performance, it makes more sense to run their work on some server cluster or something. Pro creative software that used to run primarily on desktop workstations doesn’t necessarily need them anymore in the same way. Video game players who make up much of the PC tower market are happy to stick with Windows.
It’s not that easy to find a cohesive market of folks who really need a super-expandable mid-to-high-end Mac desktop tower, and sell a specific bundle of features to them.
If they release a new Mac Pro within the next year or so, with the same concept/chassis as the first one but upgraded internals, it might become a reasonable fit for some of those customers, or they might have been chased away by now, it’s hard to say.
This bit from the OP also rings true:
> In this case, Apple’s timing appears to have been bad. There’s no way to know for sure, but it seems like Apple decided to dance to its own rhythm, skip an Intel chip generation, and then wait for the good stuff, only to get bitten by slippage in Intel’s schedule. If that’s what happened, it’s hard to blame it on Intel. After all, it was Apple’s gamble.
I think if there had been a couple of additional Mac Pro hardware updates since the original release people would be substantially less pessimistic about it now.
I'd love to see someone start building modular, rackable, workstations resembling the Cray CX1. Unfortunately Apple is moving away from scientific workloads in general.
I've seen commentators (Gruber) make the false claim that Apple COULDN'T deliver a MacBook Pro with good battery life and more than 16GB of RAM because Intel doesn't make it possible. That's horse apples. It would just have to be a thicker product with more battery capacity.
I love Apple and I love my rMBP and my iMac. But I'm actually hoping that this new MacBook Pro fails miserably so that Apple pulls back and refocuses on making true pro products. As a professional who has used Macs exclusively for my livelihood I have absolutely no reason to upgrade from my 4 year old rMBP to a new one. It brings nothing to the table that helps me do my job.
Both MBPs lost half a pound (16% on 13", 11% on 15"). That's not enough thermal room to both fit a faster intel processor and requisite battery increase, and same for AMD graphics on the 15". Granted, that IS enough to go from 16GB to 32GB max RAM, but Apple probably felt faster disk IO (3.1GB/s) would compensate for all but the most demanding workloads. Since a tiny % of users need 32GB, and LPDDR4 is probably going to deliver that when Intel gets around to adding it, they chose to slightly slim down the next chassis as they always have, and in a year or two it'll work itself out. Totally reasonable way to optimize a multi-year product launch.
Honestly I think people are blowing out of proportion what's possible here. Intel is slow to add important features (like LPDDR4), and USB-C is a temporarily annoying transition. Given the typical constraints Apple has always tried to follow (battery life, thermals, build quality, margins), this release says tons more about what Intel can ship than what Apple can.
Snapnator - It's not the same thing, but at least something
Their breaking online preorder sales records indicate that they've made the right choice.
What? I have an iMac and a rMBP. Just because the rMBP has to be portable doesn't mean it has to prioritize thinness and lightness over functionality.
> Their breaking online preorder sales records indicate that they've made the right choice.
Not really. It's an industry trick that Apple and others use. They control how many units are available at launch, and then the next time they launch a product they make slightly more products available and they say "Oh hey look we broke our previous launch record!" What a shocker!
Yes the fact that demand beats supply is an indicator that the market wants this product, but that's because many people are overdue for an upgrade. There has been a lot of outcry about the problems with this product.
The real indicator will be if it continues to sell over the next year or if sales drop after initial launch demand.
I honestly don't expect sales to be that bad because the reality is the majority of people who buy MBPs are not professionals. It's not truly a product focused on Pros, it's just Apple's upmarket laptop.
I for one hope Apple doesn't cave to design by vocal committee.
I trust they made their choices of lower memory for better battery performance well. I trust they didn't implement a full touch screen because they tried it and it doesn't work in practice.
People may whine, but I challenge any of them to name a better laptop, and then use it!
For two weeks I have been looking at Asus Zen Books, Surface 4 Pro, Dell xps 13 Linux edition, etc.
Yesterday I bought a MacBook, even though it was not really what I was looking for. It does not seem very solid so I set a calendar alert for 11 months to buy Apple Care for it. This will be the first time I have ever bought Apple Care. So, the total cost will be about $1500 to get a laptop that should be good for at least three years.
Performance wise, it is better than I expected. It is very quick using IntelliJ, and reasonable using Haskell + Emacs + Intero. I am getting an adapter Monday for my large monitor.
Except for the high cost, I think I will be happy enough with my new MacBook.
What is worth paying a bit extra for is Lenovo's on-site warranty servicing, where their techs will come in to your office within a time interval. It's generally accepted that post-IBM Thinkpads are less "I can take an 18 oz claw hammer to it" than the T40 era tanks but I'm hard enough on my hardware where I managed to bend the corner within 3 months of owning my first-gen MBA 13" by hucking into a TSA container in a morning grog to catch a red eye. (I also have the uncanny ability to kill headphones and fray power cords with ease.)
Hackaday's linkbaity article is somewhat helpful (though a bit late since you seem to have made your purchase already).
As someone already mentioned, with Bash-as-a-first-class-citizen in Windows 10, as well as the general stability of the OS (I've got > 3 months of uptime on my well-abused Inspiron i7 that's coming up on 4 years old and it's as responsive/reliable as Windows 7 was), I have no particular desire to return to running OS X as my daily driver.
 www.retropcmania.com/2009/11/ibm-thinkpad-t60-review-thinkpad-t60-vs.html The rigor with which some of the TP aficionados have analyzed their hardware amazes me.
(I got a Dell Latitude last time and will probably buy another one next year. Good for Linux, lots of ports, ok screen, not so expensive and sturdy. But an ugly plastic box that is not so well designed. The touch pad sucks compared to Apple's, etc. The deciding factor was that I need apt and had problems with the package managers before on MacOS.)
That said - wouldn't photoshop/creative types want more than 16G as well?
I think one of the good points made last week is that at this point, you're into workflow management when you hit limits like RAM because, yes, you could run two more VMs on your laptop if you had 32GB instead of 16GB, but you're already running 4, and then you'd run 6 and complain you couldn't run 10. Your base laptop will always have some limit that you'll need to deal with.
The question remaining unanswered for me is how much developers, like creative professionals before them, are influencers that drive secondary sales. I remember people crying doom for Apple when they gave up being the primary education computer with sweet deals for schools and students, because KEY DEMOGRAPHIC KEY INFLUENCE POINT KEY... and yet it didn't appear to hurt them at all. I actually question the whole "influencer" theory of marketing because of it.
Good points about VMs and edu market.
Open Adobe Premiere and After Effects load up a few 4K sources and start editing and talk to me about 2-4GB ram for 4K....
Even if MBPs had 32GB, you still will hit CPU & thermal limits which matter a great deal in rendering, and which are far less than an iMac. I imagine you're looking at a pretty limited set of use cases where 32GB freed up a speed bottleneck that the CPU didn't then quickly hit. Even more so factoring in these use cases needing to be mobile.
Also, Premiere / After Effects can most definitely take advantage of the improved disk IO, now that its available. As usual, developers will have to adjust to the platforms they're on. Having graphics performance doubled and disk IO up 66% is not a terrible state of affairs for rendering.
I'm not saying 32GB isn't important but there's a pretty understandable logic as to what fundamental constraints they're dealing with and how those compare to the market.
AIUI, Apple made a choice to limit the memory to 16GB based on size and weight, and battery life. They'd need more power if they went with processors that handled 32GB, and that in turn would either diminish battery life or increase size and weight. Apple does have a strong desire for good battery life, size, and weight. That doesn't square with some of their existing or potential customers, but I'm sure they took that into account when they made their choice.
And there were rumors that there are going to be updates coming out next year.
Note the update that this rumor does not line up with leaked Intel roadmaps, so it sounds doubtful. I also don't know the history of Kuo as a rumor source. I'm leaving this in for informational purposes only.
As an aside, I think SSD has changed this discussion quite a bit over the years as well. While still slower than RAM, SSD is so much faster than HDD. We do always want faster, understandably. That said, swapping isn't nearly as bad as it was.
: Yeah, that's an SI unit, I believe :)
Edited to qualify rumors of the 32GB MacBook Pro.
For 1500$ I get quad core i7, 32GB of high performance ram, nvidia 960M, 256GB at 3.1 GB/s SSD AND a 1TB HDD, SD card reader, ethernet, USBs and HDMI port, fullsize keyboard, worse screen and worse battery life, proper airflow, anodized black alubody
Thats a model from last year btw.
From the article.
Not sure why people still pass this around as if it's positive.
Well, there IS a site out there that lists 100% compatible hardware which includes (yes!) working Audio and other hardware.
You can also use a USB headset as I do.
The main strike against it I can think of is the performance hit for nested virtualization if you want to use something like Parallels or Docker inside macOS, but you can virtualize "sideways" without too much more effort in a lot of cases.
My knee-jerk response is that no, they will pay no attention to this and will follow the current course with prejudice.
The world of the expandable, versatile, technically minded mac pro (tower) gave way to the world of the dead-sexy-but-shackled wastebasket mac pro - and I don't see them going back on that.
The one thing that gives me pause, however, is the evolution of the mac mini which changed form factor and became much, much easier to open (your thumbs, vs. weird special prybar tools that were very hard to use) and much, much easier to upgrade, customize and configure.
So their track record is a disappointing one, but it's not a perfect one ...
EDIT: I can't remember the details, but I seem to remember there was also some particular omission in macbook airs that they finally "fixed" ... when it was introduced we were told this omission was on purpose and was better for us, but then later they fixed it ... I just can't remember what it was ... something about the USB ports or ... ?
Whether the trash can Mac Pro gets an update is anyone's guess.
I will be confused if the next iPhone is not using the usb-c standard though. I feel like that is one thing Jobs would have not let happen. One thing he always seemed crazy about was the ecosystem and all things Apple working together.
I imagine they've got the next iMac lined up, and the Mac Pro with Skylake-E / DDR4 and some 14nm AMD chips with HBM2. The iMac today is already a Skylake product, so the things the next one needs for feature-parity are TB3, USB-C, wireless keyboard with touchbar, and a new 14nm graphics chip. Wouldn't be surprised if it also got DDR4 as well. These may come earlier and/or cheaper due to user feedback.
One change I expect that won't be driven much by feedback is price. The thing with releases like the new MBP is they typically command a price premium for a while and are then brought down in price. I'd imagine in a year the 13" MBPs will start at $1299 and 13" touchbar MBPs at $1499, roughly tracking with older prices. As the supply chain ramps up and gets more efficient, the cost of parts will drop. Hitting a target margin is the driving factor in this. Apple really does like new features (like the touch bar) to have broad availability in the lineup as quickly as possible, margins notwithstanding.
Honestly, a lot of the pent up frustration is ultimately the fault of Intel - they didn't dedicate enough R&D on Broadwell to make it a proper next step, they botched the Skylake mobile launch with bad firmware (see: buggy Surface products earlier this year), they didn't include several features important to Apple including LPDDR4 support and DisplayPort 1.3 (necessitating MST Thunderbolt connection for 5k displays) not to mention HEVC encoding, their Core M chips are way overpriced which delays the transition of the MBAir to the Macbook chassis, etc. Not to mention AMD/Nvidia have been stuck on 28nm process for far too long (5 years) due to delays and quality of 20nm process, which necessitated the wait until 14nm parts were ready to do a joint launch with the 15" MBP. It was a confluence of bad timing from third party chip manufacturers.
Also, when Apple launches something, they need them in super high volume. 13" MBPs are the #1 Mac by sales. Many other manufacturers can announce/launch flagship devices distinct from other products in their lineup with the latest chips, but wind up delaying them or just launching in very low volumes. Those manufacturers get the benefit of offering the latest & greatest, without the same level of demand to fulfill, nor level of scrutiny if delayed as would be with an Apple launch.
So unless Apple has some exclusivity with Intel & AMD for new chips, they're necessarily going to be lagging a bit based solely on volume, and have to make up for it with exclusive features (like touchbar) and fit&finish (like new chassis). Apple invests a huge amount in controlling the chip manufacturing process in iDevices including redundancy in the supply chain and (I believe) building different variants on different process nodes in parallel, all in order to push the frontier as far out as possible on capability + volume. But they can't on Mac, which means they're going to be less focused on it. Nothing like owning 100% of success or failure for you to care about it.
There's fair criticisms about USB-C but that's just how Apple does things; maybe they're 6-12mo early on it, but not much further. Same with chassis - they're dedicated to making each generation slightly smaller, and besides easing that constraint wouldn't have changed the current state of intel+amd chips, so they chose slightly lower performance now over larger chassis for years to come. I think they should have started with lower dongle prices; they clearly misread the frustration there.
We'll see what the sales are and how long this storm lasts. MBPs are going to be the driving force in mainstreaming USB-C, at least that problem will go away in a relatively short period of time. Dongles will be a way of life for older devices, but so will drivers not being updated by manufacturers and other annoyances of aging tech.
"As pointed out by Ars Technica's Andrew Cunningham and others, Kuo's outline of chip possibilities does not match up with what is known from leaked Intel roadmaps. Intel is not planning MacBook Pro-class chips in the Cannonlake family at all, and Coffee Lake chips aren't arriving until 2018."
So if apple wanted the low power cpu, they had to limit everyone to 16GB.
For comparison the 13" MacBook Pro has a 50wh battery, so apple's 10 hour battery claim depends on the machine averaging 5 watts of power consumption during normal use. Adding 1 watt of consumption would reduce the battery life by 2 hours.
I think the narrative that Apple presented about not giving the 32GB option because of battery time doesn't make much sense if you consider all the design decisions around these new machines. It makes more sense that Apple thought only a minority of users wanted 32GB and then it backfired.
I can understand the frustration with with lack of other Mac updates somewhat, but really, Intel has not been giving much reason to update the cpu for a while now, so it is somewhat justified. Ram speed, and ssd speed, are more important by far now.
What puzzles me more is the lack of Mac mini action. Isn't this an excellent route for Apple to introduce new customers to the Mac? Why don't they make it compelling, and a tiny bit a loss leader? I know Mac revenue is a minor fraction of apple's revenue now, but on the same token, a reduction in asp for macs would be minor overall as well.
My guess: they don't want the cost and hassle of providing apple-grade support to new Mac users.
This was is interesting because Apple had previously been reducing the costs and expanding the options available for entry level Macs. This makes me think they will be doing a major revamp of the non-Pro line next year that may include moving them to ARM. Moving the higher volume consumer products to ARM first makes sense for a lot of reasons. I think it's even plausible we could see some type of macOS/ARM compatibility come to the iPad next year. In all the hysteria about the Mac recently everyone has kind of forgotten that the iPad is Apple's biggest problem child right now.
I have seen the difference between each generation of i7 and my build times keep going down. For about 5 million LOCs of C/C++ the first takes about half an hour and the 6 gen takes about 3 minutes.
For systems developers this makes the Mac Book Pro a poor choice. But other laptops are almost as good as Desktops until we start needing things like CUDA (or more than 8 cores).
This is a relatively new development. 15 years ago CPU speeds were increasing like mad.
For me it isn't. I started looking at Clevo laptops already.
Depending on the brand you'll always pay a 2-6 times premium for laptop hardware.
Re. battery life; it obviously depends a lot on the model. Some are quite okay, the gaming ones aren't.
It was incredibly heavy to where you unconsciously start deciding to leave it home because of the discomfort of lugging it around.
The battery life was so poor you have constant anxiety about when it will run out or if you will make it through your two classes.
The performance also ultimately wasn't that great and had terrible thermals.
I was left with a laptop that never left my desk. I would have been better off purchasing a cheap chromebook and a mid-range desktop for the same money. The "performance laptop" is compromise incarnate.
Or... you could just bring a charger, and not have to worry?
USB-c is a transitory period as we move to a state of being where "crap does anybody have HDMI to DVI" or whatever is non-existent. We're moving away from physical cables and having to buy different connectors or adapters between products.
It's a pain right now, because manufacturers haven't caught up (and might have an interest in never "catching up"), but the move Apple is making in standardizing ports and removing things like the headphone jack (while giving you an extension cord for backwards compatibility) are all moves in the right direction.
Unfortunately to be replaced with 'crap, does anyone have a USB-C cable that can handle 90W?' or 'is this USB-C cable good enough to handle Thunderbolt? Why isn't my Thunderbolt device connecting' or 'is this USB-C port 3.0 or 3.1?'
Unless we standardise on over-engineered USB-C cables that can handle all possible use-cases ( and thus able to handle 100W even just to connect a mouse ) or introduce some sort of labelling system ( which doesn't move us on from the current cable-zoo ), then there's going to continue to be hair-pulling at the start of Powerpoint presentations in unfamiliar rooms.
A 10W-rated USB-C cable meets spec and power a hub but won't be able to charge a laptop.
A USB-C cable will work for Thunderbolt 3 so long as it is less than metre long and has 'satisfactory' loss. Again it meets spec.
You can connect an on-spec USB-C cable between a laptop and monitor and discover that the monitor doesn't support HDMI in Alternative Mode. Well, actually, you won't discover anything as it just won't work.
Even if all the cables you buy are 100W platinum-plated ypu can still walk into a meeting room to find an on-spec cable that doesn't work for your use-case.
It makes more sense to me that these machines were never intended to be released in 2017 but something happened and Apple didn't have a choice.
And there's going to be existing accessories and Macs that won't be compatible with those that are currently sold, regardless if Apple refreshes the entire line simultaneously.
That's what adapters and new cables are for. Inconvenient, yes. What would be more reasonable in your eyes? How would you propose handling the transition?
When Apple removed the headphone port from the iPhone it added lightning headphones and an adapter into the box. It also announced the AirPods.
But with these MBPs? Nothing. No new USB-C keyboard or mouse. No adapters included in the box. No USB-C iPhone.
I don't think anybody in its right mind would think the dongle situation is remotely good or that the vast majority of people would not need any dongle.
I also don't buy the idea that Apple is "advancing the industry" given the only thing it has done is removing USB-A ports.
IMO it would have been wiser to keep 1 or 2 "legacy" USB-A ports.
Why are you selling the option of having ONLY USB-C or ONLY USB-A as a binary thing?
If you maintain the USB-A, users will keep using it instead of switching to the superior alternative and driving progress.
I want a world of one universal connector and/or no wires/cords. USB-C is the start of this future.
I'd find the "Apple is doing this for our own good with a single unified connector standard" position more credible if the new iPhone used USB-C.
Sadly, almost everything is still USB-A. USB sticks, 2FA tokens, mechanical keyboards, mice, and - oh yeah - iPhone charging cables.
Would I like to move to USB-C? Sure. But as a professional, there's going to be some situations where I need that backwards compatibility, if not for me then for some client. There's going to be a really long transition period, because all that USB-A stuff is still 100% functional.
And if you argue that adapters are the solution, then clearly we still need at least 1 port, so why not leave it? Design is supposed to improve usability. Technology is always a compromise, but for many people, thickness wasn't an issue in the first place.
(BTW, magsafe power cords don't need orientating. Kind of a solved problem)
> If you maintain the USB-A, users will keep using it instead of switching to the superior alternative and driving progress.
This argument is backwards. If it's superior, then people will switch. For many use cases, USB-C offers no practical benefit - in other words, it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
Is one USB-A port too much to ask for, for the sake of backwards compatibility and potential emergency use? On the other hand, ironically people (including me) would pay $$$ for a USB-C iPhone. That application of USB-C is clearly superior!
The iPhone 7 ships with a USB-A cable. You can't connect their flagship phone to their flagship laptop. What happened to "it just works"?
I'm not sure how well this would work in practice. The reasons for the previous changes were that performance of the existing line had reached a dead end, and the new line was noticeably better right from the get-go. Not the case for an Intel->ARM switch.
Though - whether this would be a problem in practice, I couldn't say. Most software probably doesn't demand much. GPU-heavy stuff wouldn't be much affected. Emulated Photoshop would probably be terrible, but major vendors would get advance warning, I'm sure, so you'd have ARM-friendly Photoshop as a launch title.
And, better still, AArch64 is little-endian, and I think it handles misaligned data transparently (and if not, Apple could presumably fix that?) - so for 90+% of software, "porting" to this hypothetical future ARM OS X would require little more than a rebuild.
This wouldn't help Boot Camp much, though... I use Boot Camp quite a lot. Windows compatibility played a large part in my decision to buy a Macbook Pro in the first place! But I wonder how common that is?
Rosetta worked, but I don't know if I'd say it worked well. It was brutally slow to the point of being unusable with some apps on mid/low end Macs.
Their solution for Mac LC was effectively an Apple IIe shrunk down to a PDS expansion card.