The lack of physical function keys remains regrettable, and the Touch Bar is still no worthy substitute, but perhaps this is a sign that Apple is finally interested in listening to feedback from its long-term customer base, even if that feedback conflicts with the design team's desires.
I'd concluded that Apple didn't really think much of laptops anymore, and had simply moved on to caring more about other form factors: it seemed a logical conclusion if one assumed that people at Apple were in fact competent.
This shows some real care regarding laptops as a form factor and puts them back in the running for a lot of buyers, including me. But there's still one major issue that I don't see people talking much about -- the way that Apple's decisions regarding storage (namely soldering it to the board AND making it so that there's no way to access it in the event of a logic board failure) increases consumer risk as well as decreasing consumer choice:
It increases risk of data loss. That's a choice that impacts the day-to-day experience much less than the keyboard, which explains why the keyboard has gotten much more attention, and it really is nice that a company arguably built on attention to experience returned to that aspect of it. But this kind of choice makes a huge difference in a moment of failure, and it's at least equally user-hostile, especially in a product bearing the name "pro" where data recovery can be a matter of business continuity.
I suppose that one can argue a responsible professional will be using network and external backups (and of course all responsible professionals worth considering or selling anything to will do this, right?), and so this isn't necessary, and Apple's thing (wise or unwise) is that they frequently reconsider and eliminate things that aren't crucial. But redundancy in some areas is wise, and I can't see what they think eliminating both removability AND emergency direct access when it come to storage actually buys them. Even if one assumes it's a lock-in action for service, it makes the actual service more difficult and costly.
I'm liking the keyboard correction. I just bought a 2014 MBP to replace an older failing MBP, so I'm not in the market for something else for a year or two, but when that comes up, I'll be seriously looking at the 16" as an option. And this will be what I'm thinking about.
I realize that this is idealistic of me but data loss should never be an issue. This is 2019 and backups have been drilled into everyone's heads for years and years and years. You can still access the drives in these via Target Disk mode (and I've had to do a few recoveries through that so I know it works) and it's likely that the pros outweigh the cons.
- There's the adage in the enterprise space that, if you haven't tested your backups, then you don't really have backups. Most consumers, and even professional users, aren't likely going to be in a position to verify their backups before they actually need them.
- Not even being able to do simple repairs or upgrades massively reduces the ROI. This is especially for high-end, professional equipment.
When I first started my current job, everyone was given the option of a Thinkpad with linux or a Mac. Both units had 16GB of RAM. When it became apparent that 16GB was insufficient for my workloads, it was simple for IT to upgrade my Thinkpad to 32GB. My coworkers with Macs were not so fortunate.
Backups are boring.
Restore from backup is quite exciting.
This is why having more than just one computer is beneficial. Because I jump between multiple laptops, desktops, and other devices, and perform my work and other activities, I bring with me copies of my data between devices by necessity, whenever I need that data.
And I think that is actually the way to do it. Not to focus so much on trying to keep multiple copies of all of your data since forever, because then you get bogged down in details about keeping everything in sync and everything organized, but instead to just focus on the data that you actually need, and being conscious about making copies of data when you use it.
In the past, when I was using fewer computers, I had one computer that was sort of the canonical location of data. And I’d access it over the network and work on my data there. It had great uptime too. On the order of months. Then one day there was a power outage and that was when I realized that I had no idea what I had set as the password for the full disk encryption on said machine. Ooops :^)
I lost a fair bit of data that day. But I learned something too, and that learning has shaped my habits in how I deal with data and I can proudly say that in the years that have passed since then I have been able to hold on to all of the data that is most important to me.
I almost got blindsided by 2FA a couple of years ago, because I didn’t know that the keys for the second factor were intentionally kept device-local. But thankfully I was changing phones with the old one still functional and in my possession and was waiting with performing factory reset until after I’d set up the new phone and seen whether or not I had all that I needed. So because of that all I needed to do was to log in with the 2FA of the old phone on each service I had it on, temporarily disable 2FA and then reenable it with the new phone and when I did that I also saved all of the new 2FA keys so that in the event that I might actually end up having to switch phones because the new one broke in the future I would not end up locked out of my accounts.
But data loss is an issue. Network backups are great, and I use them, but they're bandwidth bound. Local external drive backups are great, and I do them, but less frequently. And I don't test my backups (yet)... do you? Having removable storage -- or even storage that's reliably accessible in the face of other component failure -- provides an extra margin against the risk of loss that can creep in even with a set of responsible backup habits.
What's the pro of soldering storage to the board that outweighs these cons?
That's the problem. Instead of replacing a $200 SSD, you have to replace the entire $2000 machine.
It might take a few tries before the solder balls up correctly under each pad. Use plenty of flux. Maybe give it a ultrasonic bath.
Having an actual mini-sata or m.2 connector won't be too taxing. But it will increase tech support costs, and lower profits from sales of new replacement machines at least.
Sad. (That's why my choice is Thinkpad T series, which is built like a tank: heavy, bulky, easy to replace any part, and hard to actually break; also, enough room for a good keyboard.)
I know I am anecdote-land, but I have never in 20 years of using Macs, had one catastrophically fail. Or fail at all for that matter.
Upgradability is good if you intend to make a lower initial investment and increase capacity at a later point. This laptop is not a toy and, if you are buying one, it's reasonable to expect a return on your investment.
It almost never makes sense to overbuy storage and memory, which tends to be a cyclical market that drops in cost over time. Doubly true with Apple that marks up both commodities dramatically.
It's expensive, but not absurd. Think of it as paying $1000 a year for a computer.
Apple's attitude to upgrading is to replace the entire machine. It's both expensive and absurd. I bought a 2008 MBP back in uni in 2010. I later upgraded the RAM and disk when I could afford to, and when I had reached the limits of what it had. That machine served me well for 5 years. There's nothing else on the market today I'd trust to be a daily use machine for 5 years straight.
Even then, it's getting more and more difficult to justify the increasing gap between Apple pricing and say - Dell or Lenovo. Almost $1k in it now for equivalently spec'd non-base MBP vs XPS15/X1 Extreme, and the gap just gets higher as you need higher requirements.
Let's have a look at what Apple have done since 2012.
1) Inflate the base prices of the machines and attempt to justify it via non-optional "features" such as the touch bar, wide gamut displays, extra thunderbolt ports, obsessively thin designs, T2 chip.
2) Solder everything, requiring customers to buy the specs they think they'll need in ~3 years' time upfront, when prices are at their highest. Look how expensive 1TB of flash was 3 years ago vs today, for example. Heck, in 2008-2012, several Apple machines could be upgraded to beyond their original BTO capabilities thanks to technology advancements and firmware updates by Apple at the time.
3) Where they didn't solder storage in the 2012-2015 machines, they used several different proprietary form factors for blade card SSDs when standardised form factors have existed the whole time (mSATA, M.2 SATA/PCIe AHCI/NVMe).
4) Removed the ability for customers to restore machines to working state either in the field or in a timely manner, and pushing customers toward Apple service and AppleCare.
5) Literally glue in the one consumable item in the machine (battery) that is almost certainly going to fail before the usable lifespan of the machine, pushing the price of a battery service up dramatically, reducing the economical lifespan of the machines.
6) Reduce serviceability of other components likely to fail or get damaged over time such as the keyboard and trackpad by riveting, glueing, sandwiching etc to ensure older machines are uneconomical to repair as soon as they can be, pushing customers toward buying a new machine.
This is a company that is doing everything to take away your choice as a customer, trying to turn expensive computers into disposable appliances. Don't try to justify this crap - just say no.
All the above, combined with the design flaws almost every 2016+ MacBook has (butterfly keyboard, flexgate, staingate, display connector issues, T2 chip integration issues), the seriously declining quality of Apple's OSs, the removal of useful features (MagSafe!, sleep light, external battery status meter, IR remote, non-type C ports, SD reader), have me now in the position where I not only don't want to buy any of there new MacBooks, I'm actively encouraging others not to as well.
Me, a once huge Apple fan whose personal portable machines have been Apple almost exclusively since the 90s. Whose OS of choice has been OS X/macOS since Jaguar. Who used to go out of his way to explain why Apple machines were worth it.
Nope. No more.
It ran about $4700 before tax but after one of those coupons which Lenovo is constantly running and which knocks 10-30% off the MSRP of the device. Given Apple is now pricing NVME at $300/TB for upgrade, this seems comparably priced for what is largely the same internals.
I’ve been a MacBook Pro aficionado for the last decade. I’ve tried other stuff like the Surface Pro, never kept it.
I guess my point is there’s a myth that Apple is significantly more expensive than others, which doesn’t feel like it’s borne out by the manufacturer configurators when you’re dealing with high-end configurations?
Obviously, and this is highly subjective, I personally ascribe significant value to what Apple does to enhance thermal management (vs. the P1, which has throttling issues), to enhancing security through stuff like T2, Touch ID, FileVault 2 being so seamless, etc.
I’ve got enough nagging concerns about the maxed-out P1 Gen 2 that I’ve just ordered the new 16” MBP to do another compare and contrast — we’ll see how it goes. Extra 4TB of NVME over the P1 certainly doesn’t hurt.
Where I agree is some of the integration/packaging compromises impacting repairability are a pain, AppleCare+ is a subpar experience to Lenovo who’ll have parts and a technician appear next business day to fix your laptop. Also the mistakes Apple made around keyboards were deeply unfortunate, I had to get mine repaired multiple times.
Not clear on your meaning here. Are you saying that upgradability increases ROI, and that it is something one should expect in a professional laptop? If so, I agree.
You can buy an upgradable computer specced to your current needs today and adapt it to your future needs as needed. You will pay less now because it doesn't need to be able to run now the OS that'll be available in 5 years and you probably will pay less for the capacity by then. The cost is the time you'll need to invest to make those upgrades: sourcing the parts, assembly, etc.
Upgradability is, in general, a good thing. In the case of these laptops, you buy them to the specs you'll need at the end of the machine's useful life, at the full current price.
OK, I see what you are saying. The nit I have to pick with that particular sort of reasoning is that now Apple has put their customers in a bit of a bind:
- either you buy the absolute max spec (and hope that it includes the specs you'll need for that time span), or
- you risk buyers remorse as you end up in a situation where the laptop that you already handed over a small fortune for isn't up to the task
This past year I recently considered buying one of Lenovo's premium Thinkpad T-series laptops, but the fact that they had one (of two) RAM slots soldered put me off. I was buying this laptop for personal use, and so I didn't want to spend top dollar on it right then, but I didn't want to end up in a situation where what I had settled for wasn't enough.
I ended up going for one of the "budget" E-series Thinkpads, because (paradoxically) those do have fully upgradable RAM.
My E495 currently has 8GB (2x4GB for better iGPU performance) and that's all I need for personal uses for now. But I can upgrade to 32GB later if I need to (and for less overall cost).
The question is less whether the cost is lower, but whether it's lower enough to justify the extra work of upgrading.
"I'm so glad this model has soldered storage"
"I would buy a dell xps but only if it had soldered storage"
things no one ever said. 
The difference in cost is not that huge. I'm not talking about getting an 8-way Xeon Platinum box with 16 TB of RAM to put under my desk.
lol... like you can know this. My 2010 MBPro definitely needed 16GB ram in 2016, and thankfully I was able to put it in there even though apple never supported that much ram in that model.
Your entire perspective on this is entirely warped.
Extra work? I upgraded the SSD in my 2015 MBP in 2 hours. And almost all of that was waiting for time machine to restore to the new disk. Is that worth it against the £2k+ I'd have to spend on a whole new MacBook? Of course it is.
I couldn't have afforded the bigger disk when I first purchased the laptop (if you have the ability to always be able to afford to top-of-the-line model, then that's a luxury that not everyone has). And this is Apple, who claim to be environmentally friendly.
Apple no longer just works anymore for me. It hasn’t for the past 2-3 years now.
And there are always networked storage servers.
For personal users, it means that passing it down to a family member may no longer be an option.
In addition, the lack of upgradability has tanked the resale value of lower end Macs - so lease companies aren't recovering as much value, and consumers machines are depreciating faster than Macs of old.
In either case, you're not accessing any stored data from a broken Macbook.
My setup backs up to both local and networked disks (both disks listed in Time Machine, so backups alternate between them). The networked disk is actually a folder in a Debian VM that, from time to time, sends the backup to AWS.
A bit paranoid, but little added effort (figuring out and setting everything up took about an afternoon).
It has a very good mechanical feel, and it reduces latency perhaps due to shallow action point and/or firmware tweaks . Also, it's really easy to source ANSI layouts outside the US.
I do in fact prefer it to my blue ALPS keyboard for long typing sessions.
Is it one or both of these?
They will also present as a USB HID when plugged in via USB/lightning, so they can be used with any workstation even without Bluetooth.
The version with number pad is my go-to.
Sure enough all data is lost. I ask them why they removed such a feature. They said they replaced it will a special port on logic board for accessing the SSD the same way. They tried that though and it failed. LOL at the nonsensical design decisions.
If Apple does a removable SSD again, it would go a long way to restoring faith in them.
I suppose you could also repair the computer if the full logic board hasn't died, but that may not be worth it if the laptop was purchased a while ago, especially given how unrepairable these devices are. And depending on how Apple decides to go about the repair, they may end up not retaining your anyway, even if they could have.
This does not change the fact that removable storage (or even storage that's accessible post board-failure) provides an additional margin of risk mitigation against hardware failure. AND a convenient way of making bootable backups you can swap in the event of storage failure rather than taking the entire machine out. AND upgradability.
What's the advantage of soldering the SSD to the board?
(And personally, I've experienced boot failure hardware issues on two laptops, theft zero times.)
How much additional margin? If you have backups, you're covered against both failure modes; the only marginal benefit would be to recover the x hours of data since your last backup.
I would wager that for 90% of people, that would be all of the data since initial power on.
Or just spend years sitting unused in a box in an attic somewhere!
I prefer this, considering how encryption works with the T2 chip. I'm probably in a minority of general users, but probably in the majority of HN users when I say that nothing on my laptop is important. I don't even have backups per-se. Code is in git and mirrored to multiple remote backups. Documents and similar exist solely in the cloud. If for some reason my laptop was stolen I want there to be an as close to 0% chance of an enemy retrieving data from my laptop as possible.
(Yes, I know SSD encryption exists, I think the T2 thing takes things a step further)
The Function Key MBPs have a problem with their flash storage where they may randomly and unpredictably die, taking all the data with them. The fix is a firmware update, which also takes all the data with it. Fantastic, Apple, we bought six of those machines, and because the users are actively, y'know, using the damned things, it's not really convenient to tell them they'll be without their machine for a week while the service centre gets around to it, and then multiple hours of restoring their Time Machine backups. On the plus side, the SSDs in those machines are not soldered. Yes, they're proprietary, but it's something - if those machines suffer failure, I could grab an SSD on eBay and get them running again. It's almost worth the risk.
Anecdotally, it does work on some boards that are otherwise hosed, but may be less frequently successful than with the prior data connector, as there's more pieces that do have to be still functional for it to work.
Counterpoint, I love the new keyboards and hate using anything else. Amazing how far people go in assuming their opinion is correct, and then just keep going from there.
I'd rather have FDE on a removable drive, but perhaps the typical user doesn't really have a clear mental picture of what's going on.
The "butterfly mechanism" keyboards are awful, unreliable, and get worse with time, so I'm very glad to see them go. Likewise, the return of the physical Escape key is very welcome.
But honestly, the design of the arrow keys has never bothered me in the slightest. If anything, the present configuration is slightly better because it's aesthetically cleaner and gives you a larger surface to hit the left and right arrows.
But honestly, the design of the arrow keys is super important. With the full-height left/right keys it's hard to quickly find the arrow keys by feel. The new (old) arrow key design is honestly what I'm most interested in with this computer after the 16" screen.
The bigger issue for me is lack of physical volume controls. I think it's extremely important for any device which produces sound to have a physical mute button. This would be less of an issue if the touch-bar were more reliable, but it often doesn't respond immediately, or else gets frozen and unresponsive, for instance with the volume slider up.
1. Put my right hand in approximately the correct location.
2. With my middle finger, find the space between the up/down keys.
3. Now my right hand's index finger is above the "left" key, and my right hand's ring finger is above the "right" key.
I bought the last half height model when I upgraded my MBP 13”.
There's something weird about the way my brain handles the key being the same size as the option key next to it, and the fact that the tops of all those keys are exactly the same.
But focusing the menu bar with Ctrl-F2 does indeed allow me to use Ctrl-f and Ctrl-b. And after hitting Return to open a menu, I can use Ctrl-n and Ctrl-p to navigate down and up.
I will have to try more, but I still think that there are places in macOS where Ctrl-b and Ctrl-f do not work, and I have to use the arrow keys, instead.
(Of course that particular problem would be less of an issue if the keyboard had home/end/pgUp/pgDn, which I'm still sore about, years after they got rid of them).
Arrow keys are so important I might almost want them all full size, in a "+" configuration.
It's a good 1.5" from the right arrow key to the edge.
It’s honestly not something that I ever really noticed with a 13”.
Hopefully this trend continues and they can iterate on this model even further.
I have twenty... seven, Jesus. Twenty seven years of muscle memory with VI. The only keyboard I can't 'vote with my feet' on is the built-in one on my laptop. As a result I'm hardly ever using my laptop untethered now. I don't think I've ever owned a keyboard I've typed less on than the touchbar macbook. Which means I'm barely using them as laptops, which is a little depressing.
Other people argue that all real vimmers use ctrl-[ instead of escape.
Edit: This is on a 2015 macbook pro, that still has the physical function keys. I almost never use the physical escape key, just capslock instead.
It's probably largely a relic from typewriters when it was originally something of a mechanical necessity and then made more sense than today in the context of filling out forms etc.
But TBH, I use so many different systems these days that I pretty much just accept that keyboard layouts and keyboard feel are going to differ from machine to machine and there's no point fussing about it.
Personally I'm in the Caps to Ctrl and use Ctrl-[ for escape camp. Works in my shell, REPLs and in my database clients and anywhere else with a readline interface that isn't Vim.
Even with that I still want a physical escape key.
She specifically mentioned vim users as one of the reasons for bringing back the escape key
Pretty sure Apple employees are locked into heavy NDAs (like many others in tech).
The episode was released this morning, after the embargo lifted.
Not only is [ always in the same spot, but you don't have to move your fingers off the normal keys or stretch. I was fortunate that a friend told me about that early on, otherwise I couldn't have handled VI, the stretching is so inconvenient (especially so on those old IBM PS/2 keyboards with cubic keys).
Only if it's the same keyboard layout. For instance, on the US layout, [ is immediately to the right of P, while on the ABNT-2 layout, it's two keys to the right of P. Meanwhile, ESC is on the same place (top left of the keyboard) in both.
map! jj <Esc>
inoremap jk <Esc>
The biggest downside to jk/kj mapping is that words that end with k are somewhat common. So a few times a week I will type something like "splunk" and want to exit insert mode immediately so I mash jk/kj after the k. 50% of the time the j is first so I end up with "splun" (kj is <esc>) (k moves up since we're in normal mode now).
This is why I use `jj` instead of `jk`/`kj` -- as a native English speaker in a job where everyone primarily speaks English, there are few cases where I'd be writing code with a `jj` naturally in a string.
The advantage I found of jk over jj is that, in normal mode, jk is a no-op, so if I hit jk as Escape when I was already in normal mode, it doesn't matter.
The only problem is that when I'm editing text out of Vim, I end up with the occasional jk at the end of my typing. That almost happened while writing this comment.
1. it cancels any modifiers on the insert command
2. it won't trigger any abbreviations
3. it doesn't work with visual-block insert
4. it bypasses InsertLeave autocommands
Counterpoint: modal editing is a poor substitute for several reasons ;)
:imap <tab> <esc>
Developers with a new MBP manage by changing Caps Lock Key to Escape. Less pinky travel too.
If you need caps, you can download Karabiner and move caps to something else. I changed mine to pressing both Shift buttons.
I disagree. If you are a even modestly decent programmer you know to configure autoindentation so that you never need the tab key for anything. I cannot imagine a scenario where I would need the tab key in insert mode (except a very fringe case where I need to enter a tab character in a literal string and for some reason there are no escapes like \t. But then again you can still ^V^I)
you only need to press ENTER (to create a newline) and BACKSPACE (to exit the current block). You never need to press TAB
I use Caps less than I use Tab like for switching programs.
Whatever works for you.
And i'm not a good programmer, a good vim user at most
However, there is always the option of an external keyboard. But then you end up carrying even more peripherals that you end up with a really thin light laptop and a second bag with all the adapters to enable to you to use the laptop in the way you want. For some it does feel like you got sold an electric sports car, yet end up having to tow a caravan about to carry all the spare batteries and other accessories you had in your previous car.
But certainly an opportunity to embrace modular design and allow the end user to customize in a way that has benefits and would win over pundits.
EDIT [spelling and fat finger W's]
The catch is that all that modularity makes the thing massive-- the thing's a good 2-3 inches thick (with lid closed) and weighs nearly 8 pounds. It looks like what you'd get if you took a '90s-era laptop chassis, stretched it to modern screen proportions, and stuck modern innards inside. It's just not practical unless it's going to spend all its time sitting on a desk, and that begs the question of why you wouldn't just buy a desktop in the first place.
"My initial impression of the 500-nit panel on the X1E Gen 2, however, is that it’s a clear and straightforward upgrade in every way."
and thats not even the oled option
bonus upgradable parts (ssd x 2, memory)
again its not a hw comparison per se, its a price (1-2k discount on hw) vs os sw. re sturdy its mil spec (810g), re ports its 2 usb-c/tbird plus no dongles (cause you have all the ports, hdmi, usb 3.1a x2, ethernet, sd). agreed re trackpad, but Thinkpad users I've noticed (linux mostly) tend towards the trackpoint/nipple to the point of disabling trackpad.
all that said I'm probably getting the MacBook due to apps, but the walled garden on graphics and ml as well as reasonable linux support gives me pause.
random aside, what did Nvidia do that apple won't talk to them..
And if you think a trackpoint is any kind of substitute for a real trackpad, well, that's a joke.
Incorrect - it does not have a RJ45 connector, but it does have Ethernet, it just requires a dongle which may or may not come with the machine depending on the region its purchased in.
The benefit of the on board Ethernet is the fact you can PXE boot over it and other enterprise management benefits you don't get with a USB Ethernet adapter.
No socketed CPU or externally accessible disk drives, but you do get easily replaceable RAM, drives and battery if you're willing to pop the cover.
Keyboard and other components are replaceable individually as well, although it might be somewhat labor intensive in terms of disassembly.
Yeah, I used function keys all the time back in the DOS days. These days, it's mostly to change sound volume.
To your broader point though, modularity can be tough. It inherently adds bulk and cost. And, now, you have connectors that can/will fail.
By nature, touchbar is a partial display and partial input device, blend it in with keyboard(a purely input) on the same flat surface angle, doesn't feel right. Currently, the only time I look at touchbar is when I need to click on touchbar, 50% of functionality just wasted in this sense.
If Apple kept the hinge design in pre butterfly keyboard macbook pro, that would be good place for touchbar. The location is more close to display, touchbar can act properly as a small assist display, also kept the keyboard part a pure mechanical input. The 45 degree elevation angle is also nicer.
If you still have pre butterfly retina macbook pro, just touch that hinge part, you may like what I said.
I did a quick low res mockup here: https://twitter.com/lostylogic/status/1194875389165760512/ph...
Pretty hard, I'd think. It would probably make the computer thicker and/or clunkier.
I do blind type but I love the Touch Bar. There are many CAD programs that I use approximately monthly and I can never remember which F keys does what exactly. In my office I have cheat sheets on the wall but when out of office having icons makes using those applications much better.
I did have to remap Caps Lock to ESC, because ESC on the touchbar was nigh unusable.
> Do you usually blind type?
> If so, what advantage does it bring to you to look down on your keys?
For simple actions (like opening a new tab) there is no need to look down on keys. IMO this is little Apple's fault, whenever I use a tabbable & Touch Bar-usable application I set the new tab button on the right. I usually place the trash button (on Finder, Mail and some other apps) on the middle of the Touch Bar.
For some more complex actions (like selecting an emoji/suggestion, or moving between photos, etc...) it's just as fast/faster to glance over and move your fingers instead of using shortcuts/trackpad.
> Also, in an optimal seating position (elbows at 90 degrees)
I'm not sure if I'm in optimal seating position, but...
(If you're meaning if my elbows are on the same height of the display yes)
> do your fingers obscure the visibility of the touch bar?
No, not at all. I can clearly see the Touch Bar whether my fingers are.
I don’t remember ever using a hardware F6 or F4 key in my life, but the touchbar I use all the time.
Even where I use keyboard shortcuts frequently, such as VSCode, the Function keys are not really involved because they are rather far away.
incorporating a display is a perfect middle ground for the thousands of shortcuts you will never use enough to remember.
These actions are also not that important to be able to hit very quickly. Back when I did use function keys, I usually had to look anyway, because they're so far away from home row, and the time between using them is usually quite long. And even though I knew the function keys purpose in an IDE, I would never know them in any other apps, leaving that row useless when not programming. (Well, I use them for volume and brightness control, but again.. it's not a muscle memory action anyway)
I do think fundamentally speaking the Touchbar is the right idea. It's not better for everyone, obviously. But it's probably a bit better for most people. I'm just not convinced it's a big enough improvement to make the added cost worth it. It probably still ends up being mostly unused, which is worse when it's an expensive touch display instead of extra keys.
Personally I'd drop the whole row, maybe but the speakers up there instead, and make the keyboard wider.. put in keys between the two halfs of the keyboard like TypeMatrix or ErgoDox.. but that's never gonna happen
From very early on, the one on mine has been very flakey, often going blank until a reboot. A few of my colleagues have had the same problem.
Now six people isn't statistically significant, but if that trend mirrors a wider one it could be costing Apple a measurable amount. The real question is will this be enough to satisfy e.g. programmers that actually want to bind the F keys to build/clean/run/step over/etc?
I've been using my mid 2015 Macbook Pro and hopefully waiting for them to release a new MBP ideally without the touch or move the trackpad down/make it smaller, and have the Touchbar PLUS physical function keys (which I use for programming).
So yeah... "Pro" users at least in my case (and some friends) are moving away from Apple.
Apple for once listened to feedback and made corresponding changes; what's wrong with saying k, thanks, great?
I think there are some software improvement that could maybe make it better, but I'm not sure better enough to be compelling.
Also I really would like a physical mute button. It's often very valuable to be able to mute in a hurry.
People are complaining because 30+ year old keys they rely on to do their professional work were removed to add arguably a gimmick with a worse user experience/no touch feedback.
Spending hours fiddling with a dysfunctional keyboard that breaks after a week of normal use or has a gimmicky non-standard layout is not how I want to spend my finite time and mental energy.
Apple still hasn't walked back on mandatory notarization on Catalina.
In January 2020, they're removing the option to run software that isn't locally compiled or notarized.
To say Apple has lost its way would be an understatement. Apple is actively detrimenting those who have stayed in its ecosystem for decades. As a professional audio engineer, I refuse to lose several of my plugins to a quote-unquote 'upgrade.'
If I lose access to my software, you are not 'upgrading' my OS, you are removing access to what worked perfectly before.
I also refuse to lose Adobe CS6, by which I've paid a full license for. No, I have no interest in updates. I had no interest in updates post-CS3, to be honest.
There is no benefit to the lack of 32-bit support that could be worth losing it. If they did this because they're moving to ARM, fuck them. Don't let your behind the scenes process fuck with my day-to-day ability to work.
I'm literally going to have to leave behind my career as an iOS developer - I refuse by principle to purchase new Apple products ('vote with your money') - and I certainly refuse to accept an 'upgrade' that annihilates the usability of some of my most important software, in the name of...what? What possible benefit does removing 32-bit support lend to the customer? None. It's literally just a fuck you to me for supporting them for years. What a damn shame.
Like they did with the transition from SCSI/ADB to USB, or the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, or the transition from PPC to Intel, or the transition from 30 pin to lightning, or...
Apple may or may not have lost its way, but dropping support for old software/hardware is something they've been doing consistently for a long time. There's nothing new about it.
This is extremely disappointing and I'm not even sure what to do next time their hardware dies (which has happened multiple times).
Again I’m not defending Apple, just pointing out that all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again with Apple.
If you value compatibility with old binaries highly, Windows is a much better platform for that than macOS.
There is no benefit to removal of 32-bit apps. There is no purpose, from the user's end, other than fucking them over, that I can see.
There's not even any reason given.
Rumours of an ARM platform change do not an ARM platform change make. Catalina is worthless and detrimental to me as an upgrade.
IOW, as updates can go through the MacStore, can you use the permanent License of Office 2019 on the Mac without ever connecting to Microsoft?
Of course I already just learned that most of my Steam library would also turn into a pumpkin if I upgraded. Seems like I'm stuck on Mojave forever.
With 32 bit support, these exact same CPUs could easily still run 32 bit software as they have for years. The tradeoff I guess is that it makes the OS a bit easier to support from Apple's point of view. The advantage to the user is not clear.
But, anyway, if you want to use decades-old software, why are you so keen on updating to the latest MacOS?
https://www.howtogeek.com/443611/how-macos-catalinas-new-sec... (middle of page)
Seems that if you scream hard enough AAPL listens:
> What Apple emphasized is simply that they listened to the complaints from professional MacBook users. They recognized how important the Escape key is to developers — they even mentioned Vim by name during a developer tool demo.
They have been forced to add it to just about every model to keep people from downgrading to avoid the thing. Which ok saved me money, but I would expect this to get the point across.
I also would be much happier if it was just easier to turn it off or if it at least made each touch action take 200ms or so so that I don't accidentally hit it all the time.
What makes you think they stopped? You know it takes a couple years to design and ship hardware at this level (as well as to design the production lines to be able to build a few million more copies), yes?
It’s not like a web app where they can change, test, PR, and deploy in a few days or weeks or months. There is a lot of preproduction work that goes into building the kind of objects Apple is now famous for and are almost taken for granted.
I was half expecting them to use haptics on the touch bar. Still no luck there.
What I really miss is upgradeable RAM and SSD. Still using a 2010 MBP because I was able to upgrade it; that's no longer possible.
The keyboard was fully E-ink, so it changed based on the app or orientation of your phone. It was pretty awesome!
The problem with both of these is they'd just be expensive, period. And solving a problem I don't often have.
Getting a physical escape key back and going with a more reliable keyboard design are big wins.
- Mute/unmute on skype
- Preview and switcher for a number of slides at a time in powerpoint
- Mirror displays / extend desktop when connected to an external display
C-[ is the same thing in Unix. I haven't tried it on a Mac though. But if you're using vim (mostly where I hear this complaint) use C-[ (actually just use it in vim anyways because who wants to lift their hand up to do such a common movement?)
e.g. Ctrl-o to pop out of insert mode for 1 command only.
ctrl-w: delete the last word.
ctrl-u: delete to the beginning of the line.
ctrl-d or ctrl-t: change indent level.
ctrl-h: backspace without leaving the home row.
ctrl-m: without leaving the home row.
I do use most of those ctrl commands btw. I didn't know about ctrl-o, so thanks for that!
My little finger is much shorter than the rest but moving it a few mm to the left is easier than a large jump to the bottom of the keyboard for me.
For example, I use tmux a lot with ctrl-a.
A small movement of the hand left, jumping my little finger onto control (caps) and using my ring finger on A works really well for me.
Btw the first thing I do on getting a new mac is map the right alt key (or enter key back in the day) to control.
I hate having to press both keys with one hand for Ctrl key combos (ctrl-a being the only exception).
I also use tmux. I do a remapping to ctrl-s because I use ctrl-a (and ctrl-e) all the time to go to the beginning and end of lines. And let's be real, the normal behavior of ctrl-s (suspending) is not something I'm ever going to use on purpose.
But also I'm not using a mac.
> I hate having to press both keys with one hand for Ctrl key combos (ctrl-a being the only exception).
Do you not use panes? In vim? Because I use those quite a lot.
What? Have you tried this feature at all? If you map Esc to Caps Lock in Mac OS, the light indicator never turns on, and you don't enable caps lock when you press that key.
Or do you mean that this is what'll happen if you use a different computer? In my experience that's not a problem at all. Muscle-memory can be made context sensitive. I use two different keyboard layouts (dvorak and qwerty), two different key arrangements (staggered on my laptop, grid on ErgoDox), Esc mapped to Caps-Lock on my home laptop, completely different key mappings on my ErgoDox at work, and still I have very little trouble using a Qwerty keyboard with standard mapping if a use a different laptop. I'm probably a bit slower, but that's not really a problem if it's a computer I don't use that often.
Edit: I do notice that pretty much everyone that does the caps remap is using OSX. Is this because most people are using macs or just because macs have different behavior? Either way, I'd rather use a vanilla command than a remap if efforts are basically the same (my pinky rests on shift anyways and it is easy to contract my finger. I also use ctrl-backspace when typing in HN and other forms).
It's a key that's drastically oversized compared to it's barely measurable amount of regular use.
Again, I don't understand how the bump on the F key works but somehow the giant dip in between the two up/down keys is the problem...?
This is such a non-issue.
There was a replacement program for a bit, so there was a possibility to change the screen, though after some time changed screens are peeling off too.
I know even an anecdote where almost brand new 2016 rmbp after working outside, had a spots of peeled off coating, because apparently light dust have scratched it. Thankfully Apple replaced the screen.
Also not correlated to putting pressure on the lid with it closed, I've lugged mine around in a backpack full of stuff for years and have no peeling issues.
Then they changed so the default was glossy and anti-glare was more expensive (but, IIRC, had more resolution).
The retina display is the first one I remember where the anti-glare option was not available.
I picked up a grey market anti-glare display assembly (upper clamshell) for my 2011 model back in 2012 or so and it dutifully served another few years.
If the Touch Bar had been introduced above physical function keys, we'd consider it yet another Apple UI breakthrough, and other companies would imitate it the way every notebook today looks like the 2001 TiBook.
>perhaps this is a sign that Apple is finally interested in listening to feedback from its long-term customer base, even if that feedback conflicts with the design team's desires
I don't think the fact that Jony Ive left the company a few months ago is a coincidence. Basically, Apple finally got notebook keyboards right ... after three years of worldwide embarrassment, and the departure of the company's chief designer!
Apple has a long and storied history of removing drives and ports that it considers obsolete. No one should be surprised at this point.
I admit that maybe #6 is a little Luddite-like but there will be too many leads around which are usb-a which I'll need to use an adapter on. Right now, this is genuinely annoying that I need to carry around all these adapters which all cost quite a lot each.
Talking to one of my colleagues who has one of the 13" macbooks. He said that you just changed to be more careful about the lack of magsafe. Maybe I'll learn?
For HDMI. This is dumb for everyone who will ever have to do a presentation.
For SD. Tre-annoying, since my camera is usb-a. So I have to be $30 for an sd card reader. Yet another adapter.
Maybe someone should do some photos of a laptop with all the leads hanging off?! Then the designers might appreciate that it looks crap and do something about it....
Conclusion: you buy the MacBook Pro with max memory; upgrade the graphics card (why not... it isn't that much); up the disk size; buy a usb c adapter; buy a hdmi adapter; buy a sd card reader; buy a lightning cable converter too. That totals $5000. Ouch.
Having magsafe on my retina MacBook, with little kids in the house, may have been the best leisure hack I've ever enjoyed. The hack came from lack of anxiety about the kids tripping over the cord and bringing the laptop crashing to the floor, enabling me to simply set the machine down, walk away, and play with the kids instead. Now I would have to put the laptop somewhere out-of-sight in order for it to charge.