I'm going to wait a year, maybe 18 months for feedback before I consider upgrading. Why they couldn't grab a 2012-2015 model and upgrade the guts? No touchbar, smaller touchpad than the newer macbooks, but updated specs? Call it Macbook Developer... We build the software for the "Pros" after all.
I just don't get it.
The niche developer/macrumors posters will never be happy regardless of what Apple does. Better to focus on the 90% of customers who buy products and make up 10% of the complaints then to focus on the 10% of customers who make up 90% of the complaints.
> Better to focus on the 90% of customers who buy products
So either you're wrong, or Apple's PR team is really bad positioning their product. From the Press Release itself in the first few paragraphs:
ideal for manipulating large data sets, performing complex simulations, creating multi-track audio projects or doing advanced image processing or film editing.
Already the most popular notebook for developers around the world, the new MacBook Pro can compile code faster and run multiple virtual machines and test environments easier than before.
MacBook Pro now delivers faster performance for complex simulations and data manipulation.
With the new MacBook Pro, developers can compile code faster and more easily run multiple virtual machines and test environments.
Aren't those all features described exactly for the "niche developer/macrumors posters"?!
This would be similar to, for example, many sportswear brands who say they are for professional athletes, but whose primary consumer base is... not.
In both cases, they may still attract the audience they claim to target, but in practice, that niche market makes up only a small fraction of their total sales.
I think this is actually sometimes about minimalism. I'd rather have one nice, good, high-quality thing than to accumulate junk over the years as I get deeper into a hobby. The longest hike I've done was a three-day section hike on the AT, but I have ultralight hiking and camping gear. I know, in the future, when I have more time, I'll do longer and more frequent hikes, and even now, lighter is more comfortable to carry.
There's also the Paradox of Choice. Upper middle class folks are strapped for time and flush with cash. Would I rather spend two hours reading reviews to find out whether the discount pocket knife is really as good for my purposes as a Benchmade, or just make the purchase secure in the knowledge that I bought a well-regarded brand with excellent customer service? Maybe I overpaid, but the speed and hassle-free nature of the transaction are worth it.
There is a lot of signaling going on, using these product choices. And Apple's at the top of the heap.
It has transitioned from "tech" to "brand".
I've seen people write off William Gibson's more recent work, that takes this on as a central topic for examination and exposition. It may not be as... "awesome" as the universe of Molly and Wintermute. But it's a very good and engaging application of creating writing to this topic. Recommended.
Oh, I really enjoy prep-work. I have to admit, I like using a nice, sharp knife (plus, it's much safer).
I hate doing prep-work at other peoples houses. The knives are just so dull.
So, I spend more money on knives than I should because I enjoy good knives and get lots of good use out of them.
I currently have a 2012 MBP Retina, but am not sure if I want my next laptop to be another MBP or just the regular MacBook. I really like the 15” screen and would have a hard time giving that up. I wish they had a regular MacBook with a high quality screen, battery, and keyboard and not much else.
I suppose it depends on the desktop! I just moved from a MacBook Pro to a Dell XPS 15. I thought I'd replace the MBP with the Dell, but I ended up replacing my desktop machine with the Dell, and still using the MacBook in my dining room.
The XPS 15 I bought has an i9, 32GB RAM, and 1TB SSD for $1100 less than the equivalent MacBook. My workload is primarily Adobe- and WordPress-centric, with some coding and article writing thrown in for good measure.
I do video editing, photo editing, and run code with zero issues. The i9 beats the pants off my Skylake i7 desktop. And it's portable! And the screen is amazing. I have it hooked up to my 5K monitor in my home office, and it's gorgeous.
Since my workload is 98% Chrome, Adobe products, Microsoft products, or text editors, everything was pretty much identical from one platform to another. I turned off automatic updates on Windows 10 (I do this on my Mac too) and had no issues at all migrating over.
I don't think I'll be buying a new Mac at this point.
That's true for most gaming rigs and high-end Windows laptops ;-)
"stalk your ex on Facebook, 37% faster"
"Cat videos on youtube look great in Retina full screen"
"Your stolen music files sound fab thanks to deeper bass response from the stereo speakers"
"chat with your dumb friends for hours, with a new longer-lasting battery"
"call in sick without removing your phone from its case, thanks to bluetooth."
Other than dying batteries, or physical damage (broken trackpad/keyboard) I seriously wonder why the average person needs anything but the most basic laptop when a $99 android phone is in all measures more powerful than a 10 year old laptop but we're doing basically the same activities: surf the web, chat, email. Very, very few people create content. Most consume.
“Managing data and complex simulations” seems to allude to ‘em Excel jockeys who should be using a humble database and/or are running some kind of what-if calculations.
Anything else either quickly gets offloaded to one of my group's servers with 64-80 threads and 100s of GB of RAM or, if it's even bigger, to the local HPC cluster with 1000s of CPUs.
Even without access to existing resources: I'm having a hard time imagining a situation where, if I have a fixed budget of ~3-5k to do computational work, it'd be better for me to spend that on a top-end MBP than a two-piece solution of laptop+linux server.
Edge case, sure, but shrug
How's the rabies situation there? Are people still doing multicompartment SIR models? That kind of stuff is hard to parralelize.
And yeah, people still use compartmental models pretty heavily. A lot of my stuff is stochastic (it's about the beginning or end of epidemics, or in small populations) so that's nicely parallel.
Yes, and, trust me, most developers I know who got newer MBPs are pretty happy with theirs. I know I am and I hope I get one of these newer ones next week. 6 cores and 32 gigs of DDR4 make a lot of a difference. The vi users make jokes about the Esc key, of course (but I'm into Emacs, so no problem for me). One company I know of offered the "classic" model for those who wanted to have it and nobody took the offer.
Among developers, the 10% troublesome to 90% happy rate seems to be present.
I, personally, have different priorities and have no problem with thicker laptops. My next personal one will probably be a maxed out Lenovo or Dell XPS, since they are cheaper than Macs at the cost of features I don't really need (high-fidelity screen, for instance).
I had a new MBP for a few months and hated it.
As soon as an old MBP freed up, I traded in for it. SO much happier, and my friends are jealous.
And I pretty much live in emacs. Where I use the escape key regularly. C-x ESC ESC is one of my go-tos.
My esc key has been caps-lock for the past like 6 years, so that isn't an issue. (HIGHLY recommend this either way)
I don't use the touchbar too much (just like I didn't use the f bar too much), but the sliding action for volume control and a few others is nice.
I just open the macOS preferences, and remap Caps Lock to Control. Then escape becomes a Caps Lock + [ combination. Simple, and no fumbling around for an Escape key.
This also works well on both macOS and Linux, especially when moving about the command line (e.g. Ctrl+A / Ctrl+E to move to the beginning/end of the current line, respectively). See  for more shortcuts. Especially useful is Ctrl+K to cut text after the cursor, and then Ctrl+Y to paste it back.
Of course, the regular control key will do the same thing. But using Caps Lock as control reduces strain, at least for me. In fact, it's the first change I make on macOS, Linux, and Windows.
And on Ubuntu, gnome-tweak-tool makes it trivial to make Caps Lock and additional Control key (if you really need Caps Lock, you can also swap Caps Lock and Control).
When I am forced to move to a new machine I am strongly considering grabbing a Dell or Lenovo and throwing Ubuntu on it. Experience has been that bad.
(a habit I picked up on DEC and Wyse and etc... terminals where the key labeled ESC was in different locations)
Even if they provide 64 GB, it will never be enough RAM. OSX is dogshit at memory management, with massive memory leaks. On my work laptop (-1 generation), I have 16 GB. Normal workloads (i.e. not even developer workloads/compilation tasks) consume memory to the point where I’m constantly swapping. Until they fix their shit, I’m not going to buy a new one, nor will I ask my company (I am good friends with IT) to refresh.
I run Chrome and Slack on Windows and I never have had memory issues. Using Occam’s Razor, it has to be an issue with memory management at the OS level. I’ve also run Chrome and Slack on Linux - 1/10th of the memory footprint. I will write a blogpost in the future about it.
Given a choice between a sexy MacBook Pro design and a pro-developer feature, Apple will choose the sexy design everytime.
> Already the most popular notebook for developers around the world, the new MacBook Pro can compile code faster and run multiple virtual machines and test environments easier than before.
What we want is a functional keyboard. They are losing this market-share quickly but you're right maybe they don't care about this market anymore. They must not since they aren't doing anything about it.
Ah but you can still tell something. If there's anything to the idea that a picture sends a message or that there's such a thing as "visual language," this group of photos is loudly and stubbornly doubling down on "Thin is all that matters."
Customer: "Does the keyboard work this time?"
Apple: "IT'S THIN!"
Considering that the drive toward thinness is precisely what's ruining the keyboards, that tells you plenty, without even reading anything.
When the next generation of north/southbridge motherboard appeared and sound wasn't a priority for motherboard builders only then journalists noticed what they missed.
This is standard operating practice for an international firm like Apple. The first set of images doesn't show certain details because you want it to have broad appeal. Since Apple keyboards come in a dozen or so different configurations for different markets, you show the more vague master images.
Once the global media outlets have had their splash, then the regionals will get images with more details. In this case, the regional keyboards.
Sorry. No conspiracy here. Just good marketing.
(I’ve just looked at some of their locations, and German seems to use photos with German text on screen, while Greek seems to use photos with English on screen).
What we want is a functional keyboard.
This is your opinion, but it's not necessarily the majority opinion. For example, I would rather Apple focus on other parts of the computer than the keyboard. The keyboard just isn't that meaningful to me, and I'm just as productive a developer without whatever platonic ideal of a keyboard Apple could put on the thing.
I think a lot of people vastly overestimate the number of Apple customers who have an opinion about this, because it's relatively easy to see complaints on HN, blogs or tech journalism.
I honestly don't know how any of the other market shares can put up with this failing keyboard either. For students, teachers, scientists .. any one that uses a keyboard frequently... it would have to be real hard to write a paper with keys that fail or keys that start repeating constantly.
This is a good point, which I acknowledge. Maybe I've been lucky with my keyboard. But while you point this out, I think most folks complaining about the keyboard are not acknowledging the other side - that it may not be as important as they think it is either. Hence my original comment indicating my own opinion.
> For students, teachers, scientists .. any one that uses a keyboard frequently... it would have to be real hard to write a paper with keys that fail or keys that start repeating constantly.
For what it's worth, I wrote a ~170 page paper (in LaTeX) on a 2016 MacBook Pro. I cared a lot more about screen real estate than the keyboard, so I added a few monitors. All anyone seems to be able to provide is an exchange of anecdotal evidence for or against the keyboard. If there's a real issue I'm not defending it. But I am saying it might not be worth it for Apple to fix it depending on incidence rate, and it might not be as prevalent as the tech blogging/journalism sphere would have us believe.
If your keyboard ever breaks and you find yourself unable to type, then you will discover why people with defective keyboards think its super important. Until then you can minimize the impact it has on people all day long as they cannot type properly without an external keyboard. I'm sure Apple recalled the keyboard because there was nothing wrong and some bloggers went crazy...
To make this particular point painfully clear, I didn't postulate the problem is not widespread because literally only bloggers have the problem, and there are relatively few bloggers. My postulate was that the problem seems more widespread than it is due to the magnifying effect journalism and blogging has. If you disagree then critique the point I made, not the contrived false equivalence you seem to think I made.
Other than that yes, I've had a broken keyboard on a laptop, and no, I'm not minimizing anything. Devil's advocacy and a request for some quantitative evidence (which was elsewhere provided, and to which I conceded) does not constitute minimization or dismissal of a problem. This especially:
> I'm sure Apple recalled the keyboard because there was nothing wrong and some bloggers went crazy...
is a false dichotomy, and one which I did not make.
It could be the ambiguous way you've phrased this, but if I'm reading this right, then that's what you're not getting: a lot of people actually do have this problem. Not just bloggers.
"millions"? Let's not spout hyperbole here. You can't say that without some backup.
Actually the opposite is true.
Apple itself has said it is a tiny, tiny percentage of users. If they were to lie about this then it would be an SEC violation since they would be lying to markets about potential impact of replacements/lawsuits.
I've used every MacBook model and the new ones have unacceptably bad keyboards. I am in an office with dozens of broken ones and the things have become a joke amongst the developers. The IT department got so tired of Apple's time to repair them that they started just ordering extra keys from third party websites for $20/each.
I worked at Apple with Steve Jobs and I can assure you he would not say that the keyboard isn't meaningful and its fine if its broken. There is a reason all the major Apple bloggers have written piece after piece about their poor reliability and repairability. If your space bar breaks with one piece of dust you need to replace the entire top of the computer including the battery since its glued to it.
This is a deliberate misreading of what I said. My point is that reasonable people can disagree about what a "functional keyboard" is for software development. You're free to disagree with me, but don't accuse me of being under a "reality distortion field." And for what it's worth, the comment of mine that you responded to is talking about design and aesthetic choices. You're primarily talking about hardware faults and reliability.
We want a functional keyboard. This is not about reasonable people disagreeing. If your space bar does not work, your keyboard is broken and typing sucks.
My problem with the keyboard is just reliability - I now keep a can of compressed air at my desk just because a key is going to get screwed up at least once a month. And I have one key that is particularly bad, so I assume some piece of dust is just trapped under the key and the compressed air pushes it somewhere until it eventually falls back into place. I'm waiting a little longer to bring it in for repair in hopes that they start using this new v3 keyboard as a replacement - maybe it secretly fixes the dust issue (And they don't want to say it because that would be admitting that there was a problem.)
But I have heard that they were replacing older keyboards (2016) with 2017 models (You could easily tell because they add new symbols above control/option.) I wonder if they'll be doing replacements with 2018 keys now. It would be really nice - the keyboard reliability is pretty much my only complaint, minus not having a physical escape key.
Personally, I think that the loss of Jobs has created a serious leadership problem, because so much of the company's direction was led by the personal taste of one man. Apple has retained the institutional knowledge and habits accrued during that era, but it hasn't found a satisfactory replacement for the functions that Jobs performed. It has retained an obsessive focus, but it has lost the compass that guided that focus towards the user experience. They know how to do thinner, lighter, fewer ports and so they keep doing it, but there's no why. So many aspects of Apple's corporate culture are uniquely ritualistic, but the meaning of those rituals died with Jobs.
Apple is one of the most valuable and critically examined companies in the world, with 125,000 employees and end-to-end vertical integration across its hardware and software development process. In consideration of feedback from design decisions, like choosing to develop progressively thinner products, removing physical function keys and implementing touchbars, why would Apple make those decisions? More importantly, why would Apple double down on these decisions in a line refresh of the product 18 months after the initial launch? Presumably Apple is well aware of the number of developers who use their machines, and presumably Apple is aware of developer feedback (again: basic competency as an organization).
So let's reframe this question as follows: why would Apple, with all its resources and talent for research and development, choose to double down on a controversial design mandate instead of rolling back the keyboard to the version most widely praised? A very reasonable answer is that customers in the aggregate - developers included - don't care that much about the touchbar or the virtual function keys, and will continue to buy the products.
Regardless of my own opinion about the keyboard design, I try to approach this from the perspective that as a single individual with vastly fewer resources than Apple, I likely have a fundamentally less perfect understanding of Apple's product goals, customer demographic and design initiatives. So if I see an incongruence that seems to have a simple answer ("Why doesn't Apple just do the thing everyone clearly wants"), my instinct is that my priors are incorrect and/or it's actually not simple at all.
Because their approach to design is completely unique. Their industrial design studio is small, insular and incredibly secretive. That studio has almost complete independence; most Apple employees won't see a new product until the design is finalised and ready for launch. They have an overt belief in the wisdom of ignoring user feedback and media criticism, going back to the original Macintosh. They don't think that their role is to provide people with what they want, but what they should want.
That approach is one of Apple's greatest assets. They were right to ignore the people who said that a computer needed serial ports and a floppy disk drive. They were right to ignore the people who said that a phone needed buttons. They're willing to ignore conventional wisdom and the demands of the market in favour of a singular design vision for what technology should be. They're willing to tell their customers trust us, this is for the best. That approach is necessary if you're going to be a highly innovative company that creates entire new categories of product, but it's not right 100% of the time and it can be infuriatingly stubborn.
The strain relief on the MagSafe connector was too short. Any cable manufacturer would tell you that it was too short. Any electrical engineer would tell you that it was too short. The internet was full of pictures of frayed (and sometimes charred) MagSafe cables. The Apple store website was full of one-star reviews for MagSafe power adaptors that had frayed. Apple did nothing for over five years until a class action forced their hand; they offered replacements, but didn't fix the defect.
But I find jdietrich's argument totally plausible. They could have tons of negative user feedback that they ignored. "They" probably being a handful of designers (so the total number of talented people at Apple is basically irrelevant). Apple's always had a certain arrogance. They (believe they) know what customers want better than their customers do: in this case a thinner and thinner laptop. Sometimes they're right. Sometimes they lose their way and I end up with a really expensive MacBook Pro that I hate typing on.
I've certainly seen a few cases inside Google where a small team ignored dogfood feedback from other Googlers ("you aren't the user", basically), then were shocked when they got the same feedback from real users. It's absolutely possible for a small number of people inside a giant organization to make decisions that later bite them. I don't have any particular reason to believe Apple's immune to this.
Think of the thickness thing - Apple made billions of dollars before it wasn't even possible to make razor thin laptops. Is razor-thinness, to the point of losing port connectivity in a Pro device, really necessary or optimal?
It's worth noting that they did change the keyboard on these new models, and I would guess they did so to avoid extending their special keyboard replacement program they have fro the current one.
They don't want to improve the keyboard, because it would make the laptop slightly less thin, and the people with the power, (the design department) don't want that.
Just because Apple has lots of people working there, doesn't mean that the RIGHT people are in charge.
No company is perfect. And although apples religious focus on design has helped it in the past, this time it seems to have hurt thebl company.
And maybe they will learn from their mistakes or maybe they wont.
Your question has already been answered by Apple with the current generation of problematic keyboards.
They already had a mature, reliable keyboard that felt pretty good and was not noisy. It was not "broke" and did not need "fixing".
They presumably chose to "improve" it with the current one so that their computers could be a little bit thinner and that Jony Ive could brag about the new technology in a video during a keynote.
It could be that it would be a huge public image loss to admit that they were wrong about this. No matter how Apple phrases it, it's always look bad to say "we've spent the last 2-3 years telling you this was a technical achievement, turns out we were wrong." One of Apple's biggest marketing angles is "we put the work in and get it right the first time." That's going to be something that people mock them over, regardless of whether or not it's the right decision to make.
It also might open the floodgates on more expensive litigation and warranty requirements in the future. Apple's current warranty that they just rolled out is only valid up to 3 years after the initial purchase. Is a judge more likely to force them to extend it if a lawyer can argue in court "they lacked so much confidence that they reverted their own design?" Are their significant investments into blocking Right to Repair going to be hampered by that kind of public admission?
They've also invested large amounts of money into the current manufacturing process and design. Their recent decision to discontinue the 2015 model might point to this being about manufacturing costs - you could ask the same question of that decision: "why not allow the holdouts to keep purchasing the older model?"
Along with that, it could also be sunk-cost fallacy at play. One way to check if Apple has a problem with sunk-cost is to look back in the past to see if they've exhibited a pattern of doubling down on controversial decisions and rejecting criticism or blaming customers for issues.
It also could just be that the keyboard looks sexier in advertisements, and perhaps Apple optimizes for advertisements over extended customer experience because they have enough built up goodwill and reputation to do so. The devices might sell better right now when marketed as futuristic status symbols, rather than as practical machines.
Finally, don't dismiss the idea that it could just be the result of designers and engineers running wild without enough practical input to reign them in. I'm all for giving companies the benefit of the doubt, and I understand what you're getting at. But you should apply your philosophy in moderation or else someday you'll find yourself defending Microsoft Bob. Companies are made of people after all.
That's ridiculous. The keyboard is probably the most important feature for someone who codes. You're basically saying, "Whatever Apple sells I will buy, regardless of its qualities." That strikes me as a strange stance to take.
No it isn’t. Plenty of people use external keyboards. I do, for one.
I'm not "basically saying whatever Apple sells I will buy", and to think that would indicate you have an unrealistically uncharitable interpretation of my comment. In fact, I explicitly stated elsewhere in this thread that screen real estate matters to me.
If you feel strongly about the keyboard, that's fine. But that's not intrinsic to your capacity as a developer, it's just your opinion about its suitability for your purpose. Reasonable people can disagree over the importance of a keyboard.
If Apple decided to go for a chiclet, or other variety of keyboard, I probably wouldn't care. I'd deal with that. In this case, though, I pretty much have to expect (based on news and class action lawsuits) that it will stop working correctly, in a matter of months, in a way which directly impacts my productivity. I'll use one at work if I have to, but there's no way I'd buy one for home while the keyboard is that unreliable.
I find that people who take themselves very seriously tend to project their preferences on others.
As it relates to laptops for developers-- not agreeing on things like keyboards, matte screens, aspect ratios, touchscreens, etc. - that can elicit very strong absolutist responses from them.
This is true, but not everyone is picky about keyboards.
I started using mechanicals in the 80s, and I know a lot of people think it's the only way to type, but I actually don't like mechanicals any more.
Today, I use a dome keyboard (shudder!) as my daily driver and I can adapt to most keyboards, regardless of feel.
So while I get what you're saying, the OP is probably implying that he/she can adapt to different keyboard types -- as such keyboard type is not a meaningful selection criterion for him/her.
When I search for information about this, I come up with articles like . But none of the data is provided and the analysis isn't exactly...rigorous, to put it charitably.
EDIT: Why in the world has this been downvoted to -3?! This is a reasonable comment to make complete with an example. If you disagree, blindly downvoting isn't informative of anything except that you don't like a comment.
Apple has that information, and they've decided it's a big enough problem to issue a repair program and adjust the keyboard in the new version:
So, in answer to your question, yes we do have an authoritative source - Apple.
I'll concede that the hardware flaws - independent of personal taste about the touchbar or function keys - is a major problem then.
"how many relevant ports does it have? will I have to carry around a dongle to do the same things I can do on my 2015 MBP without a dongle? oh wait.. nope still need dongles."
And then "Wait why is the 13 inch form factor not even getting discrete graphics processing, nor up to 32GB ram?"
A dysfunctional keyboard is a no-no, because I need a functional keyboard. But in general I'm not bothered at all about the other things that are important to other people, such as key travel, etc. So I haven't been vocal about it.
Marketing 101. The majority of smokers weren't cowboys.
That "most popular" is marketing - they have all of the developers running OSX and most of those are probably on MBP or Air, where developers using Windows or Linux are fragmented across multiple models from multiple manufacturers.
This means that developers are more likely to be regularly using software that actually depends on the keys they stripped off to make the touchbar, and/or software with sub-par to nonexistent touchbar support.
At my desk I have a Topre Realforce 88UB 45g keyboard that cost me like £200, a Razer Blackwidow for gaming, and a Microsoft Sculpt to switch it up.
I'm fairly big on keyboards, but I do love the new MBP keyboard.
I can't remember the old one enough now (I had the 2014 model previously), but I know I spoke of it as the best laptop keyboard - so I agree I probably rate it more than this one, BUT I am so used to typing on this now that I really don't think about the keyboard as a con in the slightest - you have to sit with it for a few weeks and you'll be flying - I break 120wpm on this because there is practically no travel.
What I DO hate, is that effing touchbar. Worst design decision on this laptop. I am 'over' it in that I can work fine with it and don't feel like it hinders me anymore, but everytime I look at it I get annoyed they are still sticking with it.
The only two cons of this MBP now it has a spec refresh -> touchbar sucks and not having ONE USB-A slot really pisses me off everytime I reach for the adapter...
Then they started handing out post-2015 MBP to others and so I've used them a bit. There is zero chance now that a MBP will be my next laptop.
are they really though? or are people complaining but still buying it?
Haven't done a survey, but quite a few folks I know who work at Mac shops report that their employers have been steering clear of the new MacBooks and just trying to keep the older models they already have alive, while also looking seriously into the feasibility of switching to PCs running Linux if they don't get their act together.
Making the keyboard reliable would help, but that touchbar is also a legitimate ergonomic concern for anyone who uses software that requires you to be banging on F-keys all day.
This is ultimately what I ended up having to do; not really by choice. My 2015 MBP was stolen, considered looking for a refurb model but found myself test driving an HP Spectre x360-a minute with the keyboard, another few minutes Googling linux driver support on my phone and some other specs. I was walking out the door with the new purchase 15 minutes later.
It's been a couple of days now, I still haven't gotten around to throwing *nix at it, but for a majority of purposes WSL is getting me by pretty nicely enough. A few days of getting a fresh Windows installation and ridding myself of all that retail bloatware, I'm actually not having a bad time with Windows 10 given it's the first time I've dailied a windows machine since XPSP1.
That's how far I'm going to avoid the new mbp because key input means that much to me-given how much time I spend in text fields, but this is a really enjoyable machine so far. After 3 years though my eyes definitely got used to the retina display, and this screen just can't match the color variation or the deep darks-then again it also may be the high gloss touch screen.
Second, it would involve a ton of product testing, and tedious ironing out of rough edges. Every single time an installation or upgrade fails, or runs into a strange error needing obscure forum searches to fix it, that's a problem.
Third, they'd have to seriously cozy up to proprietary software vendors for application support. This one is unfortunately an endless time and money sink, and can't pay off until they have enough users that they don't need to do it anymore. Thankfully F/OSS options provide some limits on this, but not entirely. Many times there are F/OSS options that are usable, but the proprietary ones are better (and worth paying for).
This is just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Its not well researched or thought out, but a starting point for a conversation.
Second, Linux systems have a bit of a jerry-rigged feel to them that needs to be addressed. Things like fd.o and the FHS are intended to help this, but don't go far enough. Compare this to FreeBSD, where every decision about which packages are used in the base install, what the filesystem hierarchy is, etc. is well documented and cohesive. Linux can't go mainstream until, say, a runit-based distro has no references to systemd in its documentation.
It's not a bad move - if you can maximize the return on DisplayPort monitors, USB keyboards, HDMI cables and MagSafe chargers, it makes sense. Keep in mind the company will eventually have to move to USB-C, as the MacBook Air is the only remaining MagSafe laptop and I won't bet on its longevity. OTOH, the old-style MBPs are enough for most uses, as are the Air for anyone who can live within 8GB.
Not necessarily. A minority of machines are Macs, and I wouldn't be surprised if not wanting to deal with the whole USB-C thing right now is yet another incentive for IT to be interested in ditching Apple.
My office is a great example of this. Hundreds of developers here, and I've seen exactly one of the touchbar MBPs in the office. The CIO hates them with a passion, and nobody's demanding them, so it's 2014/2015 MBPs for everyone. There are a lot of Airs, too, but I've seen zero Macbooks.
We have about 20% of people with 2017 MacBook Pros, including, myself.
I was very happy with every single MacBook Air since I had one (which I think might have been 3rd generation?), and in fact purchased every single MacBook Air thereafter. People really liked the original Retina MacBook Pros.
This idea that these Pro customers who regularly spend $3,000 on their computers are a fickle whiny bunch who are never happy about anything and have always found something to be upset about is complete fantasy and ignores the reality of an actual degradation in quality.
We didn't just imagine the extension of the warranty on MacBook Pros with butterfly keyboards: Apple had to take action because the computers were ACTUALLY BREAKING. I own one of these, my t key ACTUALLY FELL OFF. I'm not just trying to come up with arbitrary reasons to hate on Apple, the "t" key is not some ivory tower feature only some 10% niche care about, this is a serious quality problem.
No one is saying they shouldn't innovate and come up with gimmicks to sell new computers. In fact, the T2 gimmick might be perfect: they get to tell "the common user" that the computer now runs Siri without compromising existing behavior -- brilliant! Compare this to the Touch Bar, which while flashy infuriates me every single day as I repeatedly mute and unmute my computer as my pinky brushes the touch bar so delicately I don't even register the feeling on my finger.
We all want a solid and reliable UNIX-based OS, but we also want an OS that won't be treated as a bastard child by hardware and software vendors. As much as we all love the world of free software, sometimes we actually do want/need to use commercial software as well.
Apple has given us what we fundamentally want, so we just put up with all the baggage that comes along with it. After all, what else are we going to do? Use Windows?
Ubuntu has been a fine OS for me. It's not perfect, but it serves its purpose well enough.
But there's something far worse: killer apps (for some professionals and hobbyists) only exist for Mac OSX and Windows. I'm looking at you, Adobe.
I've been using a 8th gen computer for a year and I haven't had any problems. On the contrary the hevc hardware decoder/encoder works on linux, but I couldn't get it to work on Windows.
On the other hand Windows looks more polished than KDE and GNOME.
Curious. Have you tried Gnome Shell or recent KDE or some modern Linux desktop like that for a while?
Because I always assumed MacOS as a Unix with shiny UI as well, however once I worked on one for a year or two I realized it long lost its uniqness. In many ways the UI is closer to Windows 7 than Windows 10 is. And things like Unity/Gnome Shell or even win 10 long went in a more productivity focused UI concept.
Apple still have the tooling for the 2015 Macbook Pro. The NRE costs to put a modern processor in that chassis would be relatively modes, because it's a much larger chassis with a more straightforward thermal design. The market for such a machine might not be large, but it's extremely important for the health of their ecosystem, because developers developers developers.
Personally, I think that the post-Jobs Apple has developed a nasty case of cargo cultism. Obsessive focus on the user experience has transmuted into obsessive focus on arbitrary design goals - thinner, lighter, fewer ports. They're making record profits thanks to the huge margins on iPhones and the strong vendor lock-in on iOS, but they're burning the goodwill that kept them alive during the lean years. If Apple can't find a way to delight customers rather than frustrate them, they're facing a serious long-term problem.
I honestly don't see how their current laptop line-up makes any sense for consumers (and shareholders). If the TouchBar really makes it easier for non-nerds to find shortcuts, why only offer it in high-end laptops?
The above is to disagree with all of your specific arguments, but I do not disagree with your implied conclusion -- I don't think the touch bar is universally loved. I suspect most consumers do not care about it one way or the other, and I think it was a mistake that Apple should kill.
One of the key tenets of touch typing instruction is to NOT LOOK at the keyboard. And the lack of universal control over iTunes is admittedly a first world problem however they didn't replace it with anything meaningful. I've had this machine for 18 months and I have found zero utility in the touch bar.
I'm very curious to try the new BlackMagic eGPU though!
Though honestly, I was never much for the f keys beyond the browser and in Visual Studio. So the loss of those keys didn't hit me as much as it has others.
Maybe it helps the laptop feel more highend/luxury?
The "niche developer/macrumors posters" were extremely happy with it before, and were hearty advocates of it.
Further, I would say that developers/enthusiasts comprise a very high percentage of macbook purchasers.
This is a long trend that goes back to the old PowerBook days.
Yet the same group that was so vocal in denouncing the new model is suddenly a huge fan of it when a new-new model comes in.
And so the cycle repeats.
I mean, the people who don't like it are in their right to have that opinion. It sucks when your use case gets fucked. But when the removal of the ESC key is your reason to bemoan the sure death of the MacBook, you gotta at least be aware that you are in a tiny, tiny minority.
I always have an external keyboard around for any serious dev work. That way you can pick any style you want, clicky mechanical or wireless or whatever.
And you base this assumption on?
Every action from Apple in these last few years have gone towards the wishes of the average developer/enthusiast.
Worse keyboards, useless gimmicks, gimped CPUs, fewer ports, less repairability/configurability.
If they consider developers/enthusiasts as their main audience, they have a really weird way of catering to them.
And since Mac sales have been at least steady over the last years, developers/enthusiasts have a really weird way of showing their discontent.
"developers/enthusiasts have a really weird way of showing their discontent"
If you want to use xcode, you have no choice. If you're in the ecosystem, you have no choice. So you complain about it and hope they change it the next time around.
-I remote desktop to my desktop, but eh.
My brother works at an Apple shop, and the vast majority of people he has to attend come from all walks of life, they are not developers/enthusiasts.
If 27% of all developers are using Macs (as the stackoverflow survey indicates) and the machines are replaced after 4.5 years then developers would be buying ~1.2 million Macs per year, 27% of all Macs sold.
In terms of revenue developers are probably an even larger share, perhaps a third? That's still not the majority, but it's certainly very significant even assuming that Mac users are overrepresented in the stackoverflow survey.
Know any other data?
Microsoft is trying to push back on this by making it impossible to support Windows 10. We'll see how that goes.
When I was responsible for this at a large enterprise, I was buying 40k devices a year, every year. The Mac component was about 1,500/year. That dropped to 50 when the new keyboards came out and started failing. Losing a few hundred sales isn't a big deal, but some of that money that was going to MacBooks went elsewhere.
I think this is the longest i've held onto a computer.
My work laptop was actually the same generation, until IT recently upgraded me to one of the new-keyboard models. I don't like how loud the keyboard is, and I don't like the touchbar. (sorry, I actually need to press "Esc" and also use non-beautifully-designed software that sometimes uses Fn keys.)
Needless to say, I have absolutely no desire to upgrade my personal laptop. When I do, I can only hope Apple has moved past this, or the F/OSS world has finally acknowledged that the touchbar actually needs to be supported.
That being said, for a personal development machine, I would much rather have a 27 inch 5K iMac with the same specs. Work provides me a decent laptop.
Me and some other pro users were insta-buys for the new machines. But then they had few ports and no function keys. We're still on 2015 machines.
I'm holding out for the mac pro, but I would have bought 1-2 macbook pros if they had been suitable.
It really isn't. In some localized niches, perhaps. Overall, no.
As argued by Paul Graham:
"So what, the business world may say. Who cares if hackers like Apple again? How big is the hacker market, after all?
Quite small, but important out of proportion to its size. When it comes to computers, what hackers are doing now, everyone will be doing in ten years. Almost all technology, from Unix to bitmapped displays to the Web, became popular first within CS departments and research labs, and gradually spread to the rest of the world."
If that were the case, Apple wouldn't be selling tons of iPhone's in their "wall gardens" and DRM'd media content and the "Year of the Linux Desktop" would have come ages ago....
The number of people with HN-grade "techie" friends is a rounding error.
If I was on android/PC they would have bought those, for tech support reasons.
I've influenced some friends, too. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, and professional users talk about their machines a lot.
(Devs, video editors, writers, designers, photographers, etc)
I may be wrong, but I'm highly skeptical that your parents had to be convinced to be a Macbook on the merits of it's technical prowess in relation to other competition. They probably just respect your opinion on technology regardless of what it is.
“There’s a App for That” <—- who makes the apps?
If that weren't the case Samsung wouldn't be the most profitable Android manufacturer with their crappy bespoked custom Android version.
As someone who was a massive fan of Apple MacBooks and recommended them to other people, I don’t do that now. I highly unrecommend them nowadays. I’ve personally in fact bought older second MacBooks since they last longer and work better than the new ones.
So it slowly adds up. Microsoft surface is already making a good dent in what was a loyal Mac Pro market.
It's not just developers and MacRumors posters. Joe Rogan - the comedian and MMA commentator - did a massive unprompted rant on how poor (and he didn't use the word 'poor') the Apple keyboard was on his recent podcast (3rd most popular podcast in the world http://www.itunescharts.net/us/charts/podcasts/).
The keyboard affects anyone who types. It's not a niche group of obsessives at all.
I know a lot of his followers on Twitter are super loyal to the brands he promotes.
I'm in complete agreement with him. In their obsession to make the thing thinner and fancier they have rendered it less usable. They've locked themselves into a marketing pattern that precludes them from having a "if it ain't broke" mindset.
I use it as my home-notebook and iOS development.
> They didn't do that because it is not what most people want.
What's your basis for saying that, besides the assumption that Apple can't be wrong, so whatever it's doing must be what people actually want?
Apple has a habit of designing from an ivory tower and not admitting to its mistakes. I would say it's arguable that their design priorities are currently out of whack: chasing thinness when you're going from 1.5in to 0.75in is one thing, it's quite another when you're going from 18mm to 15mm. It may not be a fatal mistake for them, but it's evidence that they may longer deserve the design deference they've traditionally gotten.
> Apple has to make changes that will sell more laptops to the masses to maximize shareholder value.
Many of those changes could be characterized as pointless sidegrades: merely change for change's sake.
No one wants that touchbar and Apple themselves just replaced the keyboard so to say its what consumers want is just pure fantasy. There's no data yet. Maybe they'll want this new keyboard but you're assuming anything Apple does is what the consumer wants.
While it's easy to say "just trust apple, they're doing it for the shareholders," I think it's also fair to say that they're losing their touch in this venue.
It used to be the only reason you didn't buy a Mac for pro creative-type work was the price. Now there are many great reasons from ergonomics to computing power.
That's not entirely accurate. The original 15 inch Retina Macbook Pro is an ideal laptop as far as I'm concerned. I'm still holding on to mine for home use. It was extremely well received in development communities at the time of release. On the other hand I have 2017 Touchbar Pro from work and it's horrendous for undocked use, borderline unusable.
Apple isn't where it is today because of TV advertising. It's where it is because of brand advocates like the people who are now complaining about the new products.
And you don't ask people what they think, you observe their behavior and hope you can make sense of it. People have no fucking clue what they want. You would have to be insane to ask people for their _opinions_ and expect something you can work with.
For normal humans, having a card slot and being able to use old chargers and accessories is a real consideration.
If you can’t reuse that stuff anyway, then fenestrating may become less distasteful.
Bingo. Most people on this site don't realize they are in the minority.
(Not that Jobs wasn't a Dire Marketroid himself, but at least he knew that practical and functional sells better in the long run than snazzy but busted.)
There are still some available in the Apple Store under the clearance section (https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/clearanc...). Definitely your last chance to get this model new from Apple.
Didn't care for the touch bar - yes, hey, apparently all the cool kids 'remap' their ESC key, and many did it I guess 20 years ago(!), but I've got decades of muscle memory to overcome. But beyond that, yeah sure it was thinner and sexier, but had a 20% smaller battery, and for the work I do, I guess I'm not 'pro' enough, but never managed more than about 4 hours max of real work.
The 2015 model was 'good enough' in most respects, and better in others (keyboard, battery), and... cheaper.
Always interested to see and try the newer models, but probably won't upgrade in 2018 or 2019 without some massive reason to do so.
EDIT - well, the 32g option might be a worthwhile reason to upgrade. And the battery looks slightly larger than the 2016 model.
However, Apple has previously led the market in power optimizations. I'm not confident they'll do that this time.
(Edit: Though these new MBPs apparently have a new third generation keyboard, so not exactly identical.)
Check Apple's refurb store: https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macb...
Also, Woot: https://computers.woot.com/plus/refurbished-macbooks-macbook...
They've played this thinness and flashy lights game too much too long. My new Lenovo T480S (24GB DDR4, is coming next week :) Sweet Linux with i3 tiled window manager. All the ports & productivity I can ask for.
I'm voting with my wallet and my vote doesn't go to Apple.
That was the best developer laptop I had. The missing 2" on the 15" just makes the IDE too narrow.
All the bezel-shrinking R&D being done for phones has to reach laptops at some point. I'm seriously losing half an inch of luggable-but-not-lookable space on each side of the screen, plus a good inch below. (I have like the most common 13" Dell in the world; just walking around in the study room of the library I see three more.)
I frequently put Apple's 17" laptop in a backpack/case slot designed for 15" normal laptops, and it fit just fine.
I have no idea why this style isn't more popular. Maybe it seems too fragile to consumers?
Of course the effective pixels per inch may make some features too small but the effective PPI of 1680x1050 on a current 15" MacBook Pro is lower than the actual PPI of the last 17" MacBook Pro's screen:
147 PPI 15.4" 1920x1200
133 PPI 17" 1920x1200
129 PPI 15.4" 1680x1050
116 PPI 17" 1680x1050
110 PPI 15.4" 144x900
Then a few years passed, and Apple went all-in on high-DPI "Retina" displays, while the whole PC laptop world had a great display regression.