Companies have no obligation to give the consumer the biggest and best, if they know the consumer will be satisfied with par. For instance, if a business has no/weak competition, then even if the company has a next-level product ready for distribution, it would make more sense to keep the lesser product on the shelf and only increment features when competition arrives.
For Apple, they know their customers are loyal and getting them riled up about some things here and there will only heighten the excitement when the truly epic product is released. I'm not sure if that's what's happening here, but I don't see Apple struggling.
In my personal case I have grown more and more frustrated with Apple's products.
It boggles my mind that my 5 years old MBP is more pleasant to use than the one I got at work 1 year ago
(to be 100% fair, the new model has one nicety : the fingerprint reader, even though I am not 100% satisfied/convinced, it is nicer than entering a password).
I am more than ready to jump ship to any other product at this point.
Even an OS that I feel is inferior for my personal needs won't be too much of an issue if it does everything else better than my current laptop.
Yes this computer is likely an extreme case - on account of the environment it sits and the volume of people that will touch and use the thing daily. But it doesn't say to me that this is of even satisfactory quality, nevermind good quality.
It's as if we need to use it first before forming an opinion...
Haptic feedback sounds nice, but the invisible "buttons" and bumps will always remain at the same positions.
Reprogramming these keys and their backgrounds might be useful in some applications, but the hardware layout wouldn't be very configurable.
The next iteration of this design would be to mechanically even out the keyboard layout bumps, whenever the keyboard or a specific key isn't in use.
Reminds me of an old Soviet joke. A guy comes to his doctor and starts complaining: "Doctor, it's intolerable, 10 of us live in tiny room in a communal apartment, I can't live like that anymore." The doctor suggests: "Get a pet goat and come back for a checkup in a month." So the guy comes back in a month, totally livid: "It's even worse, the goat takes up a lot of space, shits everywhere and starts baa-hing at 4AM in the morning. Everyone is suicidal." The wise doctor: "Now get rid of the goat".
IMO, declaring bankruptcy on the current design and reverting to the previous chiclet keys would be welcomed by most users, but it seems unlikely that Apple will actually admit a mistake for a few more years (e.g. what happened with the Mac Pro).
I'm actually in the process of wiping it to give to a friend and feeling a bit of sadness. I use a 2017 MBP now - the screen is what finally got me - but you're right, todays hardware just doesn't compare to how it felt back then.
One side bonus is that presumably, your keyboard would now be covered in a continuous non-permeable sheet. Combined with haptic touchpads, we're edging closer and closer to a more water-resistant laptop.
So imagine that the "glass" of the new keyboard had physical ridges for the gutters between the keys, and then adjustable sensitivity for the force "clicks"… I could get into this. The lack of moving parts would provvide greater long-time durability, and make water damage a distant memory.
btw, see that double-vv above? Guess who's keyboard is failing for a second time? Yes, I, like many others, wouldn't mind a return to the older keyboard, but I'm also not afraid of the future. If that trackpad button is possible, I am confident that we'll see a faux keyboard of this quality at some point in my lifetime.
I do think that Apple is seemingly out of ideas. I’d be happy to buy a MacBook if they fixed the problems since 2016.
2007 called, it wants its arguments back -- for those were the same arguments made in favor of Blackberry and other crappy experiences compared to today's touch smartphones.
It's true that BlackBerry the company was unsuccessful at selling phones since its heyday many years ago, but they're not in that business anymore, and haven't been for years. These days, they license the BlackBerry brand and patents to companies like TCL, who've been relatively successful with phones like the KeyOne and Key2. Just because BlackBerrys (BlackBerries?) form an almost insignificant share of Android devices doesn't mean they're not good.
If I can already type 90 words a minute, what problem does the glass solve? I have a glass screen on my iPad, and I never type on the screen keyboard for serious work.
I’ll give Apple the benefit of the doubt and wait to see this in the final product, but your comparison to 2007 is grossly inaccurate.
Apple has yet to put out a device in the post Jobs era that made me feel like I have to have this thing in my life.
There are not people enamored with old style smartphone / Blackberry / T9 keyboards that wear those covers during normal phone/tablet use.
Also in emacs, you hit ctrl-x and then the keyboard lights up to indicate any following actions you can take. It can have small text annotations with the actions, too.
Extrapolate further to power tools like Apple Logic, or Final Cut Pro, where the keyboard becomes labeled with sound and film editing actions. The keyboard can go levels deep, where you enter one mode and the keyboard reconfigures itself with actions in that mode. Not just with key symbols, but colored/delineated control areas with arbitrary graphical and animation capability.
This would basically finally take the keyboard to the next level; it has been roughly the same since the 60s. It widens the range of sensible input you can do with a keyboard by making it super intuitive to switch beteen and use arbitrary control modes.
The power is undeniable, but the true test is feel.
Also, this seems only useful if you don't touch type, which seems like the opposite demographic of emacs and vim users.
Second, I disagree with the touch typing argument. Touch typing is a learned skill on an interface like the qwerty or the dvorak button layout, and has its roots in typewriting.
There are innumerable other button layouts you could "touch type" on. On a visual keyboard of course you can still touch type in the classic style in the qwerty layout. But then there are many other possible layouts allowing varying types of control, not just a layout for typing letters and numbers.
Also when you really think about it, it's pretty arbitrary that control commands in pro software and games involve letters and numbers. It's an awkward consequence of the ingrained limited keyboard layout. You should be pressing the "fire!" button not the key for typing the letter "f" (if indeed letter "f" is not occupied by some other command whose name starts with "f").
Sure, keyboard layouts are arbitrary, as are keycaps (you can also buy blank keycaps if you like). There are some fun interfaces you can make if you have the flexibility as can be seen in games for the Nintendo DS or switch or some tablet apps that can be used with external screens or people using multiple keyboards, music controllers etc.. However, just like with gamepads, joysticks etc. they are controls for something else. So once the controls feel natural you stop looking at your fingers and instead look at what you are controlling. I would argue that playing a game with a gamepad or joystick or touch typing or playing an instrument are all very similar. So just like putting stickers on the fretboard of a guitar this might make things "intuitive" at first, but is rather the opposite of direct and not something you keep using.
You are also not considering:
- you aren't either touch typer or not; it is a continuum where people look at the keyboard with decreasing frequency through time
- being a touchtyper is a multidimensional activity; on top of the muscle memory of each letter there is the muscle memory of the semantics. You might not know specific emacs chords even when being a touch typer; in this example, having information displayed would be valuable.
That sounds rude...
I am assuming that a "touch typer" has her fingers on the keyboard most of the time, usually on the home row. In particular, her hands will be covering most of the keyboard. Also, even if the keyboard shows something interesting, always switching your view up- and downwards is bad ergonomics and context-switching. Thus showing that information on the screen like which-key is more useful than having to lift up your hands, read what is written on your keyboard, put you hands down again, press the now covered keys.
Sure - until you need contextual help directly mapped to the actions you need to do. Then it’s just a matter of looking down. It cannot get a lot more intuitive than looking where to press if you don’t know it by heart, right? It is what we already do to learn where the letters and special characters are - just providing a higher level of meaning to the keys.
Sorry, I did not realise this sounded rude, not my native language. In what sense does it sound rude? Too informal? Too confrontational?
And, as mentioned, looking at the keyboard is the opposite of productivity.
I wouldn't be surprised if this was just a defensive patent that never makes it into a product.
Ive, and Apple by extension, view buttons as the waste of screen space. Replacing the bottom laptop panel with a touchscreen does present some interesting usability options. It also worries me that we are moving ever closer to OS X being replaced with some version of iOS instead of the other way around.
Did you ever try to use Idea or IntelliJ with the new one? Fuck those function keys! ..
To be fair, I'd think it more likely Apple would just remove the keyboard and sell you a dongle to plug an external one in than this. Although right now I wouldn't put it past them.