making the roaming future

Oct 27 Special Apple Event made one more developer angry

mr -

I have been waiting for a significant Mac refresh for the last two years. I sold my private Retina MacBook Pro 13” then, since I received a well specced 15-incher from work which I have been using for private stuff to a limited extent. The hackintosh at home under my desk spares plenty of power for my home pro needs, and I love it even in spite of additional maintenance required for running macOS on non-Apple hardware.

The recent MacBook line update, although technically impressive, makes me angry because of the huge price hike and some of the design decisions. Even the base 13-inch model without the Touch Bar is more expensive than a more powerful (CPU-wise) 2015 model. Taking away the SD card reader is moreover a serious downgrade for pretty much anyone owning a camera. I understand the technical and ideological reasons for removing most of the ports in MacBook One, but in MacBook Pros, the “Pro” suffix makes me ask, what kind of a Pro is a target for the new machines.

Obviously there are improvements to I/O performance, display parameters and trackpad size, but these come mostly with the advance of technology, which we always take for granted, just like the speed bumps Apple used to do back in the day. Some other improvements are not really what many of us wanted in a Pro machine, like the devices getting even thinner, smaller and receiving less battery juice than their predecessors, just so they hit the 10-hour target for battery life in some artificial, non-developer scenarios.

I hate to be the other guy, but it seems to be a bit early to go all-in on USB Type-C, as even a newly bought iPhone 7 cannot be connected to any of the new computers out of the box without an additional $25 cable purchase. I still applaud Apple for embracing USB Type-C now that it enables scenarios previously handled by three different connectors – MagSafe, Thunderbolt/Mini-DisplayPort and USB type-A, but I can definitely see dongles and adapters in our near future, and Apple has to take some of that heat for being at the forefront of perhaps the first major transition of the USB plug since the introduction of that interface.

What I’m going to do is wait for a spring Kaby Lake refresh – if there’s going to be one – and see if the pricing situation improves. The new Touch Bar equipped computers are compelling, no question, but may be a bit ahead of their time, with them being in pro segment, and are a bit too expensive, given the capabilities Apple took away.

tags: macbook usb-c skylake