Thursday, November 3, 2016

Is Apple "Designing" Their Way Out of Customers?

With the introduction of the new Macbook Pro design, the first thing that struck me -- and I anticipated it coming based on the Macbook design -- was the removal of the MagSafe power connector. The MagSafe connector is one of those little features that's like the envy of everyone in the PC world. It's a brilliant design and a wonderful feature, particularly noteworthy if, like me, you've had at one or two pre-MagSafe Apple laptops (like my old WallStreet) that suffered from broken power jacks. In contrast, I can't count the number of times that the MagSafe has saved my computer, the power jack and whatever my computer was resting on.

So I was going to write this blog post -- sort of a eulogy to the end of an era of design brilliance -- that talked about Apple and lamented these new Macbook Pros. But I thought I was probably the only one, and then I came across this link on MacRumors. The post highlights complaints about the new systems and Apple following the new Macbook Pro announcements. But what really struck me was this linked post, New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac, a grand list of complaints about the new systems and Apple.
  • Carried across all of those extracted snippets are echos of my response to the new designs. Some highlights:
  • USB-C sucks. It sucks because it doesn't directly work with any existing peripherals without an adapter. It sucks because it's not MagSafe. And, from this post I learned that it sucks because apparently you can't just use one cable to connect things for all of the different supported interconnects (Thunderbolt, USB, Power) and if you do, it will fry your stuff.
  • MacBook Pro 2016 performance specs are only slightly better than MacBook Pro 2012. 
  • AppleTouch Bar. Meh.
  • Consider, my 15" MBP that is my work system -- 2 USB, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 Memory Card Reader and MagSafe connector -- it's like the MacBook Pro has always been, the Swiss Army Knife of computers (despite the required Ethernet and display dongles).
  • A Headphone port because, "These are pro machines." I'm so glad all of those work calls I might make on my iPhone are just "consumer" calls. Then again, that's why I upgraded to an iPhone 5SE. 
  • The general consensus is that pro is a misnomer and that Apple has abandoned the creative pro and the developer user market. 
Are we all destined to hunt for Apple's older product designs?

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