It is true that my 2020 Macbook Pro 16 is not as much better than the competition as my 2011 Macbook Air was.
But it is still definitely the best laptop I've ever owned. I keep my laptops, and I can reach for whichever one I want: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 in Air, 13", 15" and now 16" form factors, and I choose the 2020. I also daily reject a number of windows and Chromebook pieces of hardware in favor of the MBP16.
When I don't choose it, I most often choose my iPad pro at times or my iPhone.
A thorough and hard ecosystem-level look at realistic competitors just doesn't turn up anything that even comes close in terms of just "working".
Probably the closest would be an XPS developer running Ubuntu, but that is a completely different experience than the 'it just works' world I get to live in with my Macbook. And, by "it just works", I include a decent package manager with homebrew, a very solid neovim or spacemacs development environment, a fully working highdpi environment without 'quirks', ... the list goes on. And, Windows has no Unix underneath it plus it contains ads in the start menu. For me, it's just not a serious option for real work.
In all, I'd say that most people agree with me; the market seems to prefer this hardware.
I’m not aware of a term, but I’ve observed two distinct variations, and they’re hardly exclusive to Apple commenters. They are “<successful company> is doomed” and “<successful company> lost me as a customer.”
While the two often share points of contention, the former always makes the case that these points constitute a blind spot that will lead to the company’s downfall, while the latter focuses on how these points are at odds with their own needs or preferences.
Valid as any of their arguments may be, the focus of these pieces invariably seems to be companies that go on to greater successes, in spite of these supposed blind spots or losing a subset of vocal customers. Somehow “Blackberry is doomed” never caught on as a genre, while Apple’s doom never seems to go out of fashion.
"Apple isn’t going to lose because something better came along; it is going to lose because it shat the bed repeatedly for so many years that people like me are no longer going to want to sleep with it. "
"Somehow, the fact that this "loss" isn’t actually going to hurt their bottom line in any significant way makes it all the more tragic. Apple will continue to rake in billions selling its overpriced portable devices — which surely bring as much suffering and ennui to the world as they do pleasure — while folks like me that have owned Macs for literally decades (since 1994 in my case), just want to craft beautiful and useful things, move off the platform."
For me the saddest part of modern Apple decline is software. Sure, they made some really horrible hardware blunders but on the whole the hardware is what keeps the company alive, and no one can compete. Little things, like HiDPI string you along year after year, but at the same time things like SIP chip away at your patience.
My 16” is a big upgrade from my 2017 15”, and I have very few complaints with the 8-core, 32GB model.
This has been a downgrade for me.
But yeah it’s redicules that We have to deal with this on a $3k laptop
alright okay. for anyone having the issue, you have to go to your "security & privacy" -> click on padlock -> enter password -> click on "advanced". in the sheet disable "Log out after X min of inactivity".
Apple Death Knell Counter
"Apple has been declared dead 71 times since April, 1995."
...make that 72.
It it didn't come out of the box then it is not "just works" isn't it? heheh
Ubuntu is just-works too now. No apple-level HiDPI though.
However bad the lack of ports and butterfly keyboards are (which is now fixed). Nothing comes close to the hardware or the HiDPI handling in macbooks.
And macOS has popup ads. And Windows has apt-get which has far more packages than homebrew. Windows keyboards never went through a multi-year period of being awful. The OS supports touch. And the OS maker isn't trying to tell laptop purchasers not to buy a laptop.
The start menu can be customized to turn all of that off. If you want to pin your own things to it, you can.
WSL2 is going to drop soon. Looks like a good move by Microsoft.
What kind of work do you do exactly that disqualifies Windows from being a "serious option for real work"?
See 'Collection and Use of Non-Personal Information'
Apple’s analytics are not comparable.
Really? I spent two minutes removing some default start menu items. My mac continually sent me pop ups insisting I use the Apple version of every product.
I honestly don’t see it on my machine though.
Ooh, new word. Haven’t seen a new word in months!
> The start menu can be customized to turn all of that off. If you want to pin your own things to it, you can.
Shouldn't be there in the first place, including all of the other advertising and telemetry.
> WSL2 is going to drop soon. Looks like a good move by Microsoft.
It'll be always a hack. Will never beat native Unix.
> What kind of work do you do exactly that disqualifies Windows from being a "serious option for real work"?
WSL is a hack, NTFS chokes on small files (web dev), advertising and telemetry.
Also, you're computer randomly shutting off and locking itself up, jesus christ what the fuck (TBH MacOS also has this but it's 100x easier to disable).
I hadn't used desktop linux in about 15 years and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Everything that I remembered being difficult was straightforward. My AMD graphics card worked out of the box with dual monitors. Bluetooth, wifi, HiDPI (two 5K displays), USB plug and play, volume buttons on my keyboard, all seamless.
There are still a few quirks here and there (mainly HiDPI in some apps like Spotify, which there are workarounds for), but I'm happy with my setup and don't plan on moving back.
With Firefox, VS Code, Slack, Spotify, and 1Password X all being cross-platform my workflow didn't even change.
I've been daily driver on linux for about a decade now and have to agree that it's awesome now.
Seems like a great machine, as long as you're a Linux user.
It looks like what Macbook Pro should have been in 2020. Open-source OS and applications, well-designed UX, powerful and extensible hardware.
I recently got a ThinkPad X1 Extreme which is their equiv of the 16" MBP. It has a nice 4k screen, NVIDIA 1650, 6 or 8 core processor, user replaceable 2 x RAM slots (up to 64GB) AND 2 x PCI-E SSD slots, replaceable battery (take a few screws out), better keyboard than the 'fixed' Apple one, real USB-A ports in addition to the 2 x thunderbolts, real HDMI port and an SD Card slot. And it isn't much thicker or heavier than the MBP. It works great with Ubuntu. The two together feel like the ultimate expression of freedom when coming from the Macbook Pro and OSX.
Containers and Kubernetes (via microk8s) run fast and natively rather than in a VM too.
There are three downsides though - the battery life is worse (5-6 hours - but it charges 0-80% in 1 hr and I have been stuck at home near an outlet so it hasn't been too bad), trackpad okay but not as good (though I am starting to prefer the TrackPoint nub while in a more typing mode anyway) and it ran a bit hot and fan-noisy until I repasted the CPU/GPU with Thermal Grizzly. But that it was so easy to take apart and do without voiding the (onsite next day!) warranty that I'll almost forgive it...
That only applies if you want a LAPTOP, if you can live in with something fixed to a desk, there's plenty of viable better alternatives out there.
20% better single-thread performance than the MBP16 at half the price, and much lighter to boot.
Sure, the keyboard is not as good as a Thinkpad, but still way better than the disgrace in the 16” MBP (just because it’s not an abomination like the butterfly keyboard doesn’t mean it is any good, anyone who says otherwise is suffering from Stockholm syndrome).
Also can't beat Apple on trackpad and screen quality.
The trackpad I didn’t like on the MacBook either. I found it made my finger tips sore after a few hours. I’m using the TrackPoint on the T470 and have the touchpad disabled
How is the Mac's ability to natively edit ANY Keyboard Shortcut in ANY app and across the entire system not years ahead of anything that Windows 10 can do?
Rather than making a half-baked desktop by adding peripherals to a laptop, I wish I could get something like a Chromebook that just has LTE and an X server to remote into some Real Computers™.
I think we have to have some self-realization that the gripes that appear here generally are so specialized (the MacOS Catalina notarization problem just today) that if you sit here you think the world is coming to an end. Yet millions of people purchase and seem to get along just fine with buying what Apple is offering.
Now, admittedly, one of the great selling points of Apple Mac is that its power features are (were) designed exactly for developers and professionals to be easy and high-performing, so they need to pay attention to it. But they generally do, don't they? The notarization problem above, let's revisit in 1 month and see if it got some attention?
I'm just saying that it's easy for your threshold for what's unacceptable has a tendency to keep on rising, and you get unhappy with smaller and smaller things. It's important to keep a perspective about it.
If it is truly horrible what Apple is doing or becoming, well of course you know that Mac / Chrome / your favorite app or hardware were all born out of being unhappy with what someone else built, and going out to build something new themselves.
Everyone is absolutely free to go and invent the next better thing and displace the old and tired.
IT departments for companies that give their staff macs will buy whatever garbage Apple makes available because they have no other option. Same with consumers stuck in the Apple ecosystem.
I've been holding out on buying a mac for nearly a decade because they have no compelling products. I'm stuck using a hackintosh workstation and a crappy windows laptop for on the go.
On your last point, maybe you should consider whether being unhappy over some flaws in a product are worth inconveniencing yourself for 10 years. Is it really that bad?
Some (like z drawing issues in the original Catalina issues) affected everyone, but let's take that issue from today. Agreed, most people aren't software developers.
But waiting up to 7 seconds to check a shell script every time you save it is pretty awful for software developers.
This type of post complaining about Apple losing its soul and dying has been coming out regularly for at least the decade since I’ve been following Apple, and probably back way farther than that.
Something about Apple makes it an irresistible target for this kind of criticism for some reason. Check out the MacRumors forums for examples.. it’s a group of people who track every move Apple makes, yet overwhelmingly complain about every potential flaw.
That’s not saying that there aren’t flaws to criticize about Apple’s products, which there certainly are. But the level of vitriol is extreme compared to what I see directed towards most other companies (except video game companies.. gamers are a tough crowd).
Take the drop of 32 bit support. There are now huge swaths of software, software that I paid a lot of money for, that I can no longer use if I buy new Apple hardware or upgrade to the latest MacOS.
There are bright spots, too. The new keyboards are much, much better than the butterflies, and the physical escape key is a welcome return.
But in general, when Apple announces something new, I'm worried about what they're going to take away from me, not what they're going to start offering.
So much this. And it used to be the opposite.
After a few years of seeing the writing on the wall, I am slowly coming to grips with this and I'm planning to migrate to Linux and FreeBSD by 2022. My 2013 MacBook Air is aging, and that will be the first device to be replaced. I'm slowly reacquainting myself with the flexibility and the large array of choices that the FOSS ecosystem provides. I'm going to miss Keynote, Preview.app, and the Omni Group's software, but in exchange I get an environment where I have more control.
So, they could easily have given developers a roadmap/timeline of 13 years saying "in 2020 we're going to deprecate 32bit software, please upgrade". Instead, they gave everyone less than two years.
In comparison, the switch from PowerPC to Intel took over four years. And this was at the time when MacOS had significantly less software available on it. Apple themselves released the last version of software that supported PowerPCs 7 years after the announcement of the transition.
PowerPC support was dropped in 10.7 three versions after the first Intel Macs came out. It was an optional download in 10.6.
They could have made 32 bit support slower, and gone through a virtualization layer.
- Security. The more code you have the larger the attack surface of vulnerabilities. One of the earliest side spread attacks on IIS was caused by IIS not checking the validity of one of the myriad of ways that you could represent a string in Windows. It didn’t take any great hacker skills to take advantage of the vulnerability. All you had to do was encode a DOS command in the url bar of a web browser to run commands on the Windows server.
- code bloat. There is a reason that Microsoft wasn’t able to port Windows to low memory/relatively slow mobile devices as easily as Apple was.
- battery life. Have you compared the battery life of the typical Windows laptop to Macs running on the same hardware?
- it doesn’t force adoption of newer technology. If Adobe could have gotten away with it. They probably still would have 68K code running on the latest version of their products.
They’ve gotten way too comfy with their position in the personal computing space and I too am regularly looking at the alternatives. If the last 5 years are any indication of how the rumored ARM migration is going to be, then we’re in for a really rough ride.
The latest MacBook Pro is thicker than its predecessor.
It would take me a few days to write out the list of grievances that started when the iPhone arrived, and how Apple splitting its attention between desktop and mobile began the long, slow decline, and how it is reminiscent of the old Apple/Macintosh internal wars that almost brought down the company.
Basically what it comes down to is that Apple has a trillion dollars, and that's great and everything, but it means that it's the establishment so it can't innovate anymore. The bottom line is now its top priority.
For Apple to save its reputation in the eyes of geeks everywhere, it would have to listen to any geek anywhere. It would have to stare at the ground quietly as the grievances are aired, and then have the maturity to grok what it's heard and do something about the problems.
I know it has teams of engineers working on this stuff day and night, and even has a great CEO and everything else. But sometimes in spite of all of that stuff, companies flounder. It's just especially tragic when it's this dream company that got countless millions of people interested in tech initially.
Seriously, take a break Apple. Put all the grand plans aside for a while and listen. I guess that's it. Sorry this came out kinda harsh, I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.
Or when I had to spend hours researching how to tweak the serial port to do 31250 bps I/O MIDI? Or when the serial ports disappeared and my n x $1000 of serial-port hardware meant I should buy a new Mac.
By the time it released mobile phones with hard-wired batteries, the good Apple was a distant memory. Borged.
Current customers are self-selected as willing to endure any degree of degradation, provided it is arrived at via sufficiently small steps.
Apple is fully equipped and enabled to provide well-above-average quality products and admirable service by the high premium they charge, but instead they pocket the difference, every time. Customers are left with the dubious benefit of price-signaling, which is increasingly shading into sucker-signaling.
I get that, looking only at Microsoft, it is hard to imagine stepping down. But that was never the only alternative.
The goals of my dream platform would be composability and flexibility, the complete opposite of monolithic applications and opinionated UI/UX design. This would run on Linux/BSD and would be implemented in Common Lisp, though there will need to be some ways to allow programs written in other languages to access CLOS objects since developers should be able to code in the languages of their choice.
That said, I don't get the hate on number of ports. USB type-C is a godsend - single cable to my monitor which provides power and USB hub.
I'm probably also in the minority on this one- I just got a new 16" Macbook Pro work laptop, and I much prefer the keyboard on my 2018 15". The esc/touch ID now being buttons are great. The speakers are amazing.
Overall I am glad we have choices. Everyone should make the ones that work for them.
Give Google can’t make a decent android phone or watch after significant acquisitions and investments, building real amazing things that make your life better is hard.
I’m glad lots of people still are trying hard.
On ports, 4 is enough. At home and at work, I use standard Thunderbolt docking stations, so ports on the laptop are irrelevant. When traveling, I typically use at most 2 HDDs, so 4 ports is plenty. I’d honestly rather have the battery life than the ports.
On the keyboard, they’ve fixed it in the new laptops. I agree it was awful for a long stretch there.
On the annoying prompts, they are there for security, and I think they made the right call generally. Everyone thinks security is so annoying, right up until they get rooted.
On the Touch Bar, I think they missed the mark, but I appreciate the fact that they are innovating. And in the end it’s an OK replacement for the function keys (now that there is a physical escape key).
On the OS phoning out before running executables etc, I agree that it sounds like a poor implementation overall. That said, I’ve never noticed any delays from it in my 2016 MBP.
All that said, I always think it’s a good idea to try new things, and there is no harm in switching brands/OS’s/etc. As others noted, so much software is cross platform these days that switching is much less of a commitment than it used to be.
If there is anything more pathetic than an adult expressing love for a publicly traded corporate entity regardless of what they make or where they're from or how cool their marketing is, I haven't found it.
edit: Never mind-- writing a 1600 word essay about the lover-who-must-file-10Qs who is disappointing you and then publishing it online is definitely more pathetic.
Compare and contrast:
1. it's increasingly obvious that the White Rock Beverage Company, Inc. I once loved is moribund (followed by a SIXTEEN HUNDRED WORD ESSAY about how they changed the recipe of Sioux City Root Beer and it sucks now)
2. it's increasingly obvious that the Apple, Inc. I once loved is moribund (followed by a SIXTEEN HUNDRED WORD ESSAY about how their laptops suck now)
It doesn't seem that much different, but a little less satisfying, ultimately.
This was curiosly not the case the last time I was issued a mac, which I used pretty much all the time and not just for work; essentially replacing my personal (Linux) device. That was a 2016 model, when this trend had already started, so I guess everything has exacerbated in the three years since.
Only two of which are actual USB ports.
I'd still have to carry around a hub to use it with my mobile music production setup.
This is especially true in markets where the capital investment required for entry is in the billions of dollars, like smartphones, operating systems, vehicles and other patented infrastructure (looking at you, john deere).
Overall the claim should be that “customers buy what they want from available products”, so that the one can not claim the converse, that a customer is necessarily satisfied with the products they purchase.
I switched to Windows in 1998 and didn't look back.