MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro: which one is right for you?

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  • Reply 101 of 120
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,345administrator
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    henrybay said:
    The weird thing about the keyboard issue is:  While there are a ton that hate it, very few prefer it.  I really wonder why Apple has stuck by it and even doubled and tripled down on it.   I sadly have to wonder if it's an internal political issue -- where somebody with power is backing it.
    ...
    People also prefer a good quality physical keyboard - that is, one where the keys actually move up and down a reasonable distance when you press them. 
    The keys on the new keyboards just do that: move up and down. On previous keyboards so much sublimated by some people, all corners of a key pitch, yaw and roll almost independently until the key goes down  !!! I know because I use one right now on my 2015 MBP. I want a keyboard that I will not feel under my fingers, If the keyboard makes itself noticeable then there is something wrong with that design. This MBP keyboard I am using right know is supposed to be silent but it is not, it is clickety clack. That doesn't fit into Apple's design aesthetics and more importantly, the expected functionality.
    The entire point is people want feedback. You're obviously trolling yet again since Apple's new keyboards are considerably louder than the older 2015 ones.
    "As someone who types a a lot, I don't mind Apple's keyboard. In fact, I'd go as far as to say I actually likethem. They are quick, responsive (when not sticking), and the 3rd gen one is noticeably quieter than my late-2016 MacBook Pro that sound loud in comparison."

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/11/06/macbook-air-2018-review-apples-most-popular-mac-gets-an-impactful-upgrade

    ”This new keyboard features a silicone barrier which helps prevent debris from making its way under the keyboard. Because of the silicone, the keyboard has a different kind of feel to it, softer and less "clicky," which we personally prefer, but some may not like it.

    The previous MacBook Air featured the traditional chiclet-style keys, which we like, but to be honest, the new keyboard is definitely better.”

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/11/10/compared-2018-macbook-air-versus-13-inch-macbook-pro-and-2017-macbook-air
    Yeah great job there you've found a really non-biased site to get your quotes from. Try looking outside the AI bubble. Despite this, AI isn't exactly raving about them. Quite a few AI reviews have commented on the keyboard, and have said they aren't keen. Also, it's still not a comparison with the 2015 MBP, which is what the discussion was about. Your subterfuge won't pass here, sorry.
    We're not super-excited about it, no. We don't utterly hate it, though. We do feel the same that a previous commenter said, and we also suspect that Apple is readying the audience for a touchscreen keyboard in total at some point. We've published stories about patents that Apple has that suggests that this is coming.

    That's fair enough, as I commented most reviewers aren't keen on the keyboard, but Macplusplus just replies with this "wrong no nope i love it so everyone else must love it if you don't you're a hater" rubbish. Gets tiring. 

    I'm not sure on the touchscreen keyboard on a Mac thing, it would vastly increase build cost and people don't like using touchscreens as keyboards for anything but Facebook, I'm sure you don't - or at least wouldn't choose to - write your articles on an iPad's screen! If Apple were to do this with no other option as they seem want to do these days, I'd have no choice but to switch.
    On the (very potential) migration to a touchscreen keyboard, Jobs' introduction of the original MacBook Air is instructive:   It is dominated and pervaded by respect.

    He shows an acknowledgment and respect for his competitors -- and then shows how he does even better.

    He also shows respect for his customer base when he acknowledges taking something away that they use and value (the optical drive):  He acknowledges its importance and then spends a great deal of time demonstrating and explaining multiple alternative ways and means of doing what they need to do.

    His entire presentation of the MBA is focused not on the marvelous technology but on how that marvelous technology will meet their needs and make their lives a little better.

    If Apple ever gets to implementing touch screen keyboards in their Mac line, it will be interesting to see if they take the same respectful approach -- or simply tell us how great it is...



    Absolutely, he didn't just change things for the sake of it, it really was progression. He knew the change would alienate the few people who did still use the <insert old tech here>, but the progress was worth it versus keeping ageing tech. As you say, he explains why it's better, he respects that a minority of people wouldn't be happy about it, and reassures that there are Apple alternatives with all the ports and an optical drive. There was a genuine sense of progress with the devices then; the Air was incredibly thin, literally half the thickness of previous MacBooks and unlike anything else when it was released. It was a huge step ahead in portability, and had competitors scrambling. The removal of functionality in the name of progress and improvement is a very "Apple" thing to do, and Jobs was able to strike just the right balance.

    Unfortunately Cook's Apple removes or changes functionality seemingly for the sake of it, or to shave a few more millimetres from an already thin device; compromising ports, cooling and battery life for some silly "but its another 0.5mm thinner" statistic. Who has ever complained that the MacBooks are too thick? Unlike Jobs, Cook seems unable to find the balance between removal of functionality and the usefulness of the machine, compromising on the machine's function too much for too many people; resulting in complaints and dissatisfaction even from loyal Apple fans as we witness here on AI. He seems to think he can convince people that the newer devices are real progress as Jobs could - but interjecting "magical", "incredible" and "stunning" as often as possible convinces no one and just makes me cringe. Unlike Jobs, he can't sell the devices on the merits of what customers can use them for, as each step "forward" now results in customers being able to actually do less than before. He really does not understand his market.
    These very forums were replete with complaints about the single USB-A port on the MacBook Air, and filled with concern that it was the end of Apple as a company. This was over a decade ago. A few years before that, there were complaints about how the shift to Intel was the end of the world.

    After that, the iPad was an unfocused device with no future. A few years after that, the Apple Watch would doom the company to irrelevancy.

    Well before all of this, the Macintosh was going to cripple the company because it meant the death of the Apple II. Then the Power PC shift was. Then the iMac had no ports and would fail because of it.

    Regarding that larger market, go to the Apple store, or Best Buy. Listen to the comments from the non-AI readers. They are all "wow, look how thin this is."

    He completely understands his market. It just isn't you, or the "loyal Apple fans" of which you cite. The company knows when a feeding ground is fished out, and it moves on. Companies that don't, get eaten by companies that are willing to make that shift. It did this under Jobs, Jobs' second coming, and under Cook as well. And, every time, it has annoyed the faithful.

    Thunderbolt 3, the new MacBook Air, and the new MacBook Pro have about the same noise and chatter as every other release Apple has made. There is no surge in complaints, no groundswell of displeasure, any more than there ever has been. Don't confuse what makes you angry or disappointed with that being universal.

    By all means, use Apple's feedback tools to tell them about your displeasure. Just don't be shocked when nothing changes.
    edited November 2018 chia
  • Reply 102 of 120
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,081member
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    henrybay said:
    The weird thing about the keyboard issue is:  While there are a ton that hate it, very few prefer it.  I really wonder why Apple has stuck by it and even doubled and tripled down on it.   I sadly have to wonder if it's an internal political issue -- where somebody with power is backing it.
    ...
    People also prefer a good quality physical keyboard - that is, one where the keys actually move up and down a reasonable distance when you press them. 
    The keys on the new keyboards just do that: move up and down. On previous keyboards so much sublimated by some people, all corners of a key pitch, yaw and roll almost independently until the key goes down  !!! I know because I use one right now on my 2015 MBP. I want a keyboard that I will not feel under my fingers, If the keyboard makes itself noticeable then there is something wrong with that design. This MBP keyboard I am using right know is supposed to be silent but it is not, it is clickety clack. That doesn't fit into Apple's design aesthetics and more importantly, the expected functionality.
    The entire point is people want feedback. You're obviously trolling yet again since Apple's new keyboards are considerably louder than the older 2015 ones.
    "As someone who types a a lot, I don't mind Apple's keyboard. In fact, I'd go as far as to say I actually likethem. They are quick, responsive (when not sticking), and the 3rd gen one is noticeably quieter than my late-2016 MacBook Pro that sound loud in comparison."

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/11/06/macbook-air-2018-review-apples-most-popular-mac-gets-an-impactful-upgrade

    ”This new keyboard features a silicone barrier which helps prevent debris from making its way under the keyboard. Because of the silicone, the keyboard has a different kind of feel to it, softer and less "clicky," which we personally prefer, but some may not like it.

    The previous MacBook Air featured the traditional chiclet-style keys, which we like, but to be honest, the new keyboard is definitely better.”

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/11/10/compared-2018-macbook-air-versus-13-inch-macbook-pro-and-2017-macbook-air
    Yeah great job there you've found a really non-biased site to get your quotes from. Try looking outside the AI bubble. Despite this, AI isn't exactly raving about them. Quite a few AI reviews have commented on the keyboard, and have said they aren't keen. Also, it's still not a comparison with the 2015 MBP, which is what the discussion was about. Your subterfuge won't pass here, sorry.
    We're not super-excited about it, no. We don't utterly hate it, though. We do feel the same that a previous commenter said, and we also suspect that Apple is readying the audience for a touchscreen keyboard in total at some point. We've published stories about patents that Apple has that suggests that this is coming.

    That's fair enough, as I commented most reviewers aren't keen on the keyboard, but Macplusplus just replies with this "wrong no nope i love it so everyone else must love it if you don't you're a hater" rubbish. Gets tiring. 

    I'm not sure on the touchscreen keyboard on a Mac thing, it would vastly increase build cost and people don't like using touchscreens as keyboards for anything but Facebook, I'm sure you don't - or at least wouldn't choose to - write your articles on an iPad's screen! If Apple were to do this with no other option as they seem want to do these days, I'd have no choice but to switch.
    On the (very potential) migration to a touchscreen keyboard, Jobs' introduction of the original MacBook Air is instructive:   It is dominated and pervaded by respect.

    He shows an acknowledgment and respect for his competitors -- and then shows how he does even better.

    He also shows respect for his customer base when he acknowledges taking something away that they use and value (the optical drive):  He acknowledges its importance and then spends a great deal of time demonstrating and explaining multiple alternative ways and means of doing what they need to do.

    His entire presentation of the MBA is focused not on the marvelous technology but on how that marvelous technology will meet their needs and make their lives a little better.

    If Apple ever gets to implementing touch screen keyboards in their Mac line, it will be interesting to see if they take the same respectful approach -- or simply tell us how great it is...



    Absolutely, he didn't just change things for the sake of it, it really was progression. He knew the change would alienate the few people who did still use the <insert old tech here>, but the progress was worth it versus keeping ageing tech. As you say, he explains why it's better, he respects that a minority of people wouldn't be happy about it, and reassures that there are Apple alternatives with all the ports and an optical drive. There was a genuine sense of progress with the devices then; the Air was incredibly thin, literally half the thickness of previous MacBooks and unlike anything else when it was released. It was a huge step ahead in portability, and had competitors scrambling. The removal of functionality in the name of progress and improvement is a very "Apple" thing to do, and Jobs was able to strike just the right balance.

    Unfortunately Cook's Apple removes or changes functionality seemingly for the sake of it, or to shave a few more millimetres from an already thin device; compromising ports, cooling and battery life for some silly "but its another 0.5mm thinner" statistic. Who has ever complained that the MacBooks are too thick? Unlike Jobs, Cook seems unable to find the balance between removal of functionality and the usefulness of the machine, compromising on the machine's function too much for too many people; resulting in complaints and dissatisfaction even from loyal Apple fans as we witness here on AI. He seems to think he can convince people that the newer devices are real progress as Jobs could - but interjecting "magical", "incredible" and "stunning" as often as possible convinces no one and just makes me cringe. Unlike Jobs, he can't sell the devices on the merits of what customers can use them for, as each step "forward" now results in customers being able to actually do less than before. He really does not understand his market.
    I agree -- except that I would not put the onus on Cook.

    Tim is the orchestra leader rather than a musician.  He was never meant to replace Steve because nobody could ever do that -- Steve could do it all.  Instead, He relies on his musicians to produce the best music they can provide -- Tim's job is to coordinate and to enable them to do what they do best.   And, for the iPhone, the iPad and the Apple Watch as well as the MacOS team, they do a darn good job.   But, the Mac hardware team needs a shakeup.  Something happened there and I am hopeful that Tim and the Apple culture will sort it out.
    elijahgjdw
  • Reply 103 of 120
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,016member
    These very forums were replete with complaints about the single USB-A port on the MacBook Air, and filled with concern that it was the end of Apple as a company. This was over a decade ago. A few years before that, there were complaints about how the shift to Intel was the end of the world...
    And that really is the key difference between those people and us today. GeorgeBMac, myself, and numerous other loyal Apple product enthusiasts here who are dissatisfied with the current lineup of Apple notebooks are in no way, shape, or form saying that Apple is doomed or destined for destruction! And that, my friend, makes all the difference!

    One also cannot say emphatically that Tim Cook fully understands his Mac market when there is so much dissatisfaction with his Mac products today. And while there has always been minor grumbles and complaints among the Mac faithful about something missing here and there throughout all of the years of Apple, what we see today is, in my experience with Apple products since the very beginning, quite  unprecedented. 

    Back in the day when I was on Guy Kawasaki’s EvangeList (email mailing list), we really were the Mac “faithful.“ We really did try to evangelize the Mac to people who just didn’t get it. There really were very few gripes or severe complaints among us. But today, we see some hard-core Mac fans ditching the Mac for Windows, which in my opinion is just unheard of. 

    Lastly, we need to bear in mind that it wasn’t Tim Cook who turned Apple around but rather Steve Jobs returning back to Apple in the latter 1990s. Steve hasn’t been at Apple since 2011; and while we can say that Tim Cook has done a fairly good job during those years with the iPhone and AAPL stock, that doesn’t mean Tim Cook is Steve Jobs in any way, shape or form, especially when it comes to the Mac.  Steve Jobs wasn’t always on the cutting edge but he largely knew how to relate to everyday people in terms of product usability. I think his love of skeumorphism (and Scott Forstall) illustrates that.  It’s not as “modern“ as a flat UI design, but some would argue skeumorphism actually more intuitive and in some ways more appealing.

    Sure, Steve killed off the floppy drive because the technology was end-of-life, and sure, many people complained back then.  But that’s not true of the SD card today. And there are no parallels that we can draw about bad feeling keyboards with no tactile feedback. And as to the bold switch to USB-C-only on notebooks, Steve might actually have approved it. But regardless, I still would advocate both USB-A and C on Apple’s 15” notebook since it has the space for it and commands a price premium.

    For now, I can take still rejoice that Apple makes at least one semi-affordable machine that satisfies the practical connectivity requirements of today — the iMac.  No matter how some of you “Cupertino it’s always right“ worshippers defend “USB-C-only” in Apple notebooks, the fact remains that the SD card slot and USB-A are both alive and well even in the iMac Pro, which also comes with a good keyboard (tactile feedback).  That really says it all.  If USB-A and the SD card slot are “ancient relics of the past deserving of the refuse heap,” infallible Apple certainly did make a big blunder by leaving them in the iMac.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 104 of 120
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,081member
    jdw said:
    These very forums were replete with complaints about the single USB-A port on the MacBook Air, and filled with concern that it was the end of Apple as a company. This was over a decade ago. A few years before that, there were complaints about how the shift to Intel was the end of the world...
    And that really is the key difference between those people and us today. GeorgeBMac, myself, and numerous other loyal Apple product enthusiasts here who are dissatisfied with the current lineup of Apple notebooks are in no way, shape, or form saying that Apple is doomed or destined for destruction! And that, my friend, makes all the difference!

    One also cannot say emphatically that Tim Cook fully understands his Mac market when there is so much dissatisfaction with his Mac products today. And while there has always been minor grumbles and complaints among the Mac faithful about something missing here and there throughout all of the years of Apple, what we see today is, in my experience with Apple products since the very beginning, quite  unprecedented. 

    Back in the day when I was on Guy Kawasaki’s EvangeList (email mailing list), we really were the Mac “faithful.“ We really did try to evangelize the Mac to people who just didn’t get it. There really were very few gripes or severe complaints among us. But today, we see some hard-core Mac fans ditching the Mac for Windows, which in my opinion is just unheard of. 

    Lastly, we need to bear in mind that it wasn’t Tim Cook who turned Apple around but rather Steve Jobs returning back to Apple in the latter 1990s. Steve hasn’t been at Apple since 2011; and while we can say that Tim Cook has done a fairly good job during those years with the iPhone and AAPL stock, that doesn’t mean Tim Cook is Steve Jobs in any way, shape or form, especially when it comes to the Mac.  Steve Jobs wasn’t always on the cutting edge but he largely knew how to relate to everyday people in terms of product usability. I think his love of skeumorphism (and Scott Forstall) illustrates that.  It’s not as “modern“ as a flat UI design, but some would argue skeumorphism actually more intuitive and in some ways more appealing.

    Sure, Steve killed off the floppy drive because the technology was end-of-life, and sure, many people complained back then.  But that’s not true of the SD card today. And there are no parallels that we can draw about bad feeling keyboards with no tactile feedback. And as to the bold switch to USB-C-only on notebooks, Steve might actually have approved it. But regardless, I still would advocate both USB-A and C on Apple’s 15” notebook since it has the space for it and commands a price premium.

    For now, I can take still rejoice that Apple makes at least one semi-affordable machine that satisfies the practical connectivity requirements of today — the iMac.  No matter how some of you “Cupertino it’s always right“ worshippers defend “USB-C-only” in Apple notebooks, the fact remains that the SD card slot and USB-A are both alive and well even in the iMac Pro, which also comes with a good keyboard (tactile feedback).  That really says it all.  If USB-A and the SD card slot are “ancient relics of the past deserving of the refuse heap,” infallible Apple certainly did make a big blunder by leaving them in the iMac.
    Design Hubris...
    When you tell people "We know what is best for you", you really, really, need to know what you're talking about.  And you can't do it from the top of a pedestal.  Not for long.

    I agree that this is not about a technical discussion of whether a USB-A can be replaced by a USB-C or whether butterfly keyboards are superior to more traditional keyboards.  It's more about whether or not Apple should expect its current and future users to modify their wants and needs to fit what Apple is willing to give them.

    In the case of a watch or an iPhone I can see design taking preference over user wants and needs because those products are so constrained by their physical form -- size, weight and structural integrity are critical constraints and every millimeter and every port & hardware switch count.  But those constraints simply do not exist (or rather are far less important) in laptops and desktop computers built from mostly off-the-shelf components.

    Removing things users want and need solely in the name of a design philosophy and without the intent to improve the user experience is poor design.  I think the minimalist iPhone design philosophy has been transported over to the Mac lines where it is inappropriate and unnecessarily restrictive.

    Steve knew that ultimately, it was about the user and their experience.  Product design was driven by the user not the designer.  The design was only beautiful when and if it improved the user experience.   It appears to me that the Mac Hardware team may have forgotten that lesson from the master.



    henrybayjdw
  • Reply 105 of 120
    Removing things users want and need solely in the name of a design philosophy and without the intent to improve the user experience is poor design.  I think the minimalist iPhone design philosophy has been transported over to the Mac lines where it is inappropriate and unnecessarily restrictive.
    Agreed. In terms of design, form is supposed to follow function. But Apple now has it the wrong way around with the new MacBooks. That is, they have conceived their version of an idealised form factor and tried to squeeze some functionality into it.

    This has resulted in terrible compromises, such as the ridiculously shallow butterfly keyboards.

    Users are reluctant to switch to another brand because they are locked into Apple’s software ecosystem. This is the main reason users continue to buy MacBooks today - not for the hardware but the software. It also explains why so many reviewers describe the butterfly keyboard as being just ‘tolerable’ - because they have to tolerate it in order to access the Apple software. 

    I doubt Steve Jobs would have allowed the current crop of MacBooks because despite his heightened sense of aesthetics, he was ultimately a ‘form follows function guy’. 

    After a a few minutes tapping away on the new butterfly keyboard he would have yelled ‘What have you done? Where is the feedback? The tactile response? Go back to the drawing board design a keyboard that is enjoyable to type on!’
    edited November 2018 GeorgeBMacjdw
  • Reply 106 of 120
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,345administrator
    jdw said:
    These very forums were replete with complaints about the single USB-A port on the MacBook Air, and filled with concern that it was the end of Apple as a company. This was over a decade ago. A few years before that, there were complaints about how the shift to Intel was the end of the world...
    And that really is the key difference between those people and us today. GeorgeBMac, myself, and numerous other loyal Apple product enthusiasts here who are dissatisfied with the current lineup of Apple notebooks are in no way, shape, or form saying that Apple is doomed or destined for destruction! And that, my friend, makes all the difference!

    One also cannot say emphatically that Tim Cook fully understands his Mac market when there is so much dissatisfaction with his Mac products today. And while there has always been minor grumbles and complaints among the Mac faithful about something missing here and there throughout all of the years of Apple, what we see today is, in my experience with Apple products since the very beginning, quite  unprecedented. 

    Back in the day when I was on Guy Kawasaki’s EvangeList (email mailing list), we really were the Mac “faithful.“ We really did try to evangelize the Mac to people who just didn’t get it. There really were very few gripes or severe complaints among us. But today, we see some hard-core Mac fans ditching the Mac for Windows, which in my opinion is just unheard of. 

    Lastly, we need to bear in mind that it wasn’t Tim Cook who turned Apple around but rather Steve Jobs returning back to Apple in the latter 1990s. Steve hasn’t been at Apple since 2011; and while we can say that Tim Cook has done a fairly good job during those years with the iPhone and AAPL stock, that doesn’t mean Tim Cook is Steve Jobs in any way, shape or form, especially when it comes to the Mac.  Steve Jobs wasn’t always on the cutting edge but he largely knew how to relate to everyday people in terms of product usability. I think his love of skeumorphism (and Scott Forstall) illustrates that.  It’s not as “modern“ as a flat UI design, but some would argue skeumorphism actually more intuitive and in some ways more appealing.

    Sure, Steve killed off the floppy drive because the technology was end-of-life, and sure, many people complained back then.  But that’s not true of the SD card today. And there are no parallels that we can draw about bad feeling keyboards with no tactile feedback. And as to the bold switch to USB-C-only on notebooks, Steve might actually have approved it. But regardless, I still would advocate both USB-A and C on Apple’s 15” notebook since it has the space for it and commands a price premium.

    For now, I can take still rejoice that Apple makes at least one semi-affordable machine that satisfies the practical connectivity requirements of today — the iMac.  No matter how some of you “Cupertino it’s always right“ worshippers defend “USB-C-only” in Apple notebooks, the fact remains that the SD card slot and USB-A are both alive and well even in the iMac Pro, which also comes with a good keyboard (tactile feedback).  That really says it all.  If USB-A and the SD card slot are “ancient relics of the past deserving of the refuse heap,” infallible Apple certainly did make a big blunder by leaving them in the iMac.
    You snipped out the rest of the post where a lot of this is addressed, but okay.

    You keep speaking of USB-A. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather have four Thunderbolt 3 than two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 2 (or even 3), a HDMI port, and I'll even toss in the slow SD card reader as a bonus. What am I missing? Why is a $6 USB-C to USB-B cable, or a $12 USB-C to HDMI cable an unacceptable solution?
    edited November 2018 chia
  • Reply 107 of 120
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,016member
    You keep speaking of USB-A. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather have four Thunderbolt 3 than two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 2 (or even 3), a HDMI port, and I'll even toss in the slow SD card reader as a bonus. What am I missing?
    Mike, since you asked...

    To begin, if USB-A truly "isn't a big deal," perhaps Apple really should have included one USB-A port along side USB-C ports on the 15" MBP.  I feel I am justified by Apple itself in asking for this, seeing Apple made the wise choice to include USB-A ports AND USB-C ports AND an SD card slot on iMacs, including the iMac Pro and even the Mac Mini -- all the latest models!  Really, that answers the subject quite soundly and emphatically, once and forever more.  And again, it's not like the 15" MBP lacks physical space for 1 USB-A port and 1 SD card slot, in addition to everything else it already has.  And it's not like it would hurt Apple's margins on that top dollar machine either.

    If for some reason people still cannot understand that most excellent of all arguments in favor of having USB-A and the SD card slot, then I shall repeat what I've said earlier in this thread and time and time again in other threads: DONGLES CAN WIND UP GETTING LOST!  That's right.   You're out on the road for a critically important gig and you lose a dongle at the last minute, which wouldn't have even been necessary if there was a single USB-A port and/or SD card slot inside your MBP.  You don't have time to buy a dongle.  What do you do other than curse Apple?  Or curse yourself for having purchased an Apple notebook lacking practical built-in ports.  Seriously.  The world is still very much USB-A, not USB-C, even though Apple pushed USB-C hard on us over the last 2 years.

    I bought two 2017 edition MacBook Air machines for my children's educational needs.  I have zero regrets even though I knew Apple would release a new MacBook Air later in the year.  My kids are pleased as well -- yes, even with that non-Retina display.  Sure, I wish it had a retina display, but there's no way I will mourn about it seeing I also get an SD card slot, USB-A, MagSafe, an LED on the charging cable, an extended power cord in the box, a good keyboard with actual tactile feedback (imagine that), and while not necessarily needed, the glowing Apple logo on the back lid is fun, especially for the youth who love to show off the Apple devices.  Interestingly, Apple showed a lot of glowing Apple logo MacBooks in the videos they presented at the last keynote!  So even they realize how great it looks, almost as if they could be seen behind the curtain kicking themselves for having gotten rid of it.

    My kids are required to have USB thumb drives that are used to share data.  That is the school's decision.  They chose the thumb drive over the cloud.  And the teachers have USB-A machines, which really isn't a surprise since I personally don't know anyone who even has a USB-C machine.  I do live in Japan, but still.  USB-A is everywere, and it is stupid that we need a dongle just to use it.

    Now if I as a tech savvy guy think this way, you know full well that the average person who isn't so tech savvy will be even more emphatic about having what they consider "the basics, built in" than I am.  USB-C is great in terms of being able to be a multitude of different ports.  No question.  But until it is widely embraced by the world, it's just "the future."  But even then, it's not the best thing since sliced bread.  The port is tiny like TB2 on my mid-2015 MBP, and tiny ports sometimes have intermittent connectivity issues when a cable fitted into those ports is bumped, even ever so slightly.  This happens to me quite often actually when I use my EIZO external display plugged directly into my MBP.  And I've heard first-hand stories from people who own a USB-C-only MacBook who claim they've experienced such issues as well.  But in all my years of using USB-A (the standard port size), I've never had such problems at all.  And that's why when I considered adding an Ethernet adapter (yes, a stupid dongle) at home to maximize my internet speed, I went with a USB-A version rather than TB2 version, since I know the USB-A connector is more reliable than the tiny TB2 connector.  Again, USB-C is analogous here because of its tiny size.

    It make take another 5 years or more, but when USB-C is as widely used as USB-A, you're right, AT THAT POINT IN TIME, my arguing about USB-A will be moot.  All the more reason to have a BRIDGE MACHINE now, and then later Apple could eliminate USB-A for USB-C.  The issue I have is their timing.  And even in that wonderful future, I still expect to see SD cards in use, and there will still be the issue of having to use a dongle for that -- a dongle which could be lost when you are on the go.

    I love Apple, but I feel no need to defend all their decisions.  I can only be thankful that Apple exercised wisdom in designing the iMac to have the best of both worlds.  Even the Mac Mini includes USB-A, albeit, with no SD card slot.  Apple itself proves USB-A is far from being dead.  Ditto for the SD card slot as far as the iMac is concerned.  That speaks volumes.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 108 of 120
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,345administrator
    jdw said:
    You keep speaking of USB-A. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather have four Thunderbolt 3 than two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 2 (or even 3), a HDMI port, and I'll even toss in the slow SD card reader as a bonus. What am I missing?
    Mike, since you asked...

    To begin, if USB-A truly "isn't a big deal," perhaps Apple really should have included one USB-A port along side USB-C ports on the 15" MBP.  I feel I am justified by Apple itself in asking for this, seeing Apple made the wise choice to include USB-A ports AND USB-C ports AND an SD card slot on iMacs, including the iMac Pro and even the Mac Mini -- all the latest models!  Really, that answers the subject quite soundly and emphatically, once and forever more.  And again, it's not like the 15" MBP lacks physical space for 1 USB-A port and 1 SD card slot, in addition to everything else it already has.  And it's not like it would hurt Apple's margins on that top dollar machine either.

    If for some reason people still cannot understand that most excellent of all arguments in favor of having USB-A and the SD card slot, then I shall repeat what I've said earlier in this thread and time and time again in other threads: DONGLES CAN WIND UP GETTING LOST!  That's right.   You're out on the road for a critically important gig and you lose a dongle at the last minute, which wouldn't have even been necessary if there was a single USB-A port and/or SD card slot inside your MBP.  You don't have time to buy a dongle.  What do you do other than curse Apple?  Or curse yourself for having purchased an Apple notebook lacking practical built-in ports.  Seriously.  The world is still very much USB-A, not USB-C, even though Apple pushed USB-C hard on us over the last 2 years.

    I bought two 2017 edition MacBook Air machines for my children's educational needs.  I have zero regrets even though I knew Apple would release a new MacBook Air later in the year.  My kids are pleased as well -- yes, even with that non-Retina display.  Sure, I wish it had a retina display, but there's no way I will mourn about it seeing I also get an SD card slot, USB-A, MagSafe, an LED on the charging cable, an extended power cord in the box, a good keyboard with actual tactile feedback (imagine that), and while not necessarily needed, the glowing Apple logo on the back lid is fun, especially for the youth who love to show off the Apple devices.  Interestingly, Apple showed a lot of glowing Apple logo MacBooks in the videos they presented at the last keynote!  So even they realize how great it looks, almost as if they could be seen behind the curtain kicking themselves for having gotten rid of it.

    My kids are required to have USB thumb drives that are used to share data.  That is the school's decision.  They chose the thumb drive over the cloud.  And the teachers have USB-A machines, which really isn't a surprise since I personally don't know anyone who even has a USB-C machine.  I do live in Japan, but still.  USB-A is everywere, and it is stupid that we need a dongle just to use it.

    Now if I as a tech savvy guy think this way, you know full well that the average person who isn't so tech savvy will be even more emphatic about having what they consider "the basics, built in" than I am.  USB-C is great in terms of being able to be a multitude of different ports.  No question.  But until it is widely embraced by the world, it's just "the future."  But even then, it's not the best thing since sliced bread.  The port is tiny like TB2 on my mid-2015 MBP, and tiny ports sometimes have intermittent connectivity issues when a cable fitted into those ports is bumped, even ever so slightly.  This happens to me quite often actually when I use my EIZO external display plugged directly into my MBP.  And I've heard first-hand stories from people who own a USB-C-only MacBook who claim they've experienced such issues as well.  But in all my years of using USB-A (the standard port size), I've never had such problems at all.  And that's why when I considered adding an Ethernet adapter (yes, a stupid dongle) at home to maximize my internet speed, I went with a USB-A version rather than TB2 version, since I know the USB-A connector is more reliable than the tiny TB2 connector.  Again, USB-C is analogous here because of its tiny size.

    It make take another 5 years or more, but when USB-C is as widely used as USB-A, you're right, AT THAT POINT IN TIME, my arguing about USB-A will be moot.  All the more reason to have a BRIDGE MACHINE now, and then later Apple could eliminate USB-A for USB-C.  The issue I have is their timing.  And even in that wonderful future, I still expect to see SD cards in use, and there will still be the issue of having to use a dongle for that -- a dongle which could be lost when you are on the go.

    I love Apple, but I feel no need to defend all their decisions.  I can only be thankful that Apple exercised wisdom in designing the iMac to have the best of both worlds.  Even the Mac Mini includes USB-A, albeit, with no SD card slot.  Apple itself proves USB-A is far from being dead.  Ditto for the SD card slot as far as the iMac is concerned.  That speaks volumes.
    I don't deny that these are problems for you. However, the biggest problem I'm having with these arguments is that I've heard them all before. I've heard them, or ones similar to them, at every radical shift in architecture or ports, and somehow, we all survived the experience. Yes, with dongles when necessary, and cables when possible.

    You're wrong about USB-A fitting on the side of the machine. I'm in a dark room right now so I can't take a picture, but the side of the MacBook Pro below the flat typing surface is very nearly the same height as the USB-A metal before the curve down to the feet on the machine. That fold-down door on the original MacBook Air was terrible. I'd have to break out the calipers to be sure, but I'm pretty sure that there isn't enough room for the supporting metal in a USB-A port. I'm less certain about a SD card reader, but nor do I care that much about it, because even when new, there were faster ones.

    Cable connection discontinuity problems happen with badly fitting USB-A as well. This is why I've recommended a few brands of USB-C cables. They aren't the cheapest ones, but I have had zero problems with wiggle or connection breaks using them.

    Maybe this is just me, but that critical gig? That's on the user to be prepared for it, loss or no, so I don't have a lot of sympathy there. I will give you that it may be mitigated with legacy ports, though. The only one that I'm even considering is the USB-A flash drive.
    edited November 2018 chia
  • Reply 109 of 120
    chiachia Posts: 712member
    I've decided to go for a refurbished 2018 13 inch MacBook Pro with quad-core i7 processor; it was at an irresistible price.

    I've worked out that with the addition of a £20 hub and a £10 HDMI to DisplayPort cable  I can connect ALL my existing equipment, including a 24 inch monitor with USB hub, and two external hard drives to a single Thunderport-3 port on the new Mac.  This actually makes it easier for me to unplug when going mobile, just unplug the hub and then the usb-c power cable from hub, than having to unplug several things from different ports on my old MacBook.

    As for the SD slot, well all the the USB-C Mac laptops can use the new SD readers at the faster UHS-II cards; older Mac portables are stuck with the built-in readers at relatively slow USB 2.0 speeds.
    I'm already happy with the versatility of my new machine.

    As Mike Wuerthele mentioned, we've seen these arguments regarding change before:
    first iMac - no floppy disk, no serial or ADB ports, brand new USB port that nobody else seems to use and there are no peripherals for.
    It's hilarious we're hearing the same argument over USB-C 20 years later; USB-C adoption is in a far better place now than when it's grandparent USB-A made its debut:  it has been much more quickly adopted.
  • Reply 110 of 120
    chiachia Posts: 712member
    jdw said:
    These very forums were replete with complaints about the single USB-A port on the MacBook Air, and filled with concern that it was the end of Apple as a company. This was over a decade ago. A few years before that, there were complaints about how the shift to Intel was the end of the world...

    Lastly, we need to bear in mind that it wasn’t Tim Cook who turned Apple around but rather Steve Jobs returning back to Apple in the latter 1990s.

    Sure, Steve killed off the floppy drive because the technology was end-of-life, and sure, many people complained back then.  But that’s not true of the SD card today. And there are no parallels that we can draw about bad feeling keyboards with no tactile feedback. And as to the bold switch to USB-C-only on notebooks, Steve might actually have approved it. But regardless, I still would advocate both USB-A and C on Apple’s 15” notebook since it has the space for it and commands a price premium.

    That statement about Tim Cook not turning around Apple is simultaneously insulting to Tim Cook and amusing for its ignorance: Steve Jobs actually approached Tim Cook and offered him the job of working with him at Apple in 1998; Tim Cook is as much a part of Apple's turnaround as Steve Jobs.  It's no surprise that he was effectively "anointed" by Steve Jobs to be the successor CEO.

    From memory there was only one Mac laptop that had a combination of legacy and current ports; I think it was one model of PowerBook G3 that had an ADB port and USB port; subsequent Powerbook G3s had USB only.  Space and power are at a premium on a laptop, therefore better to have the superior port onboard; there's more of both on a desktop and thus designers can afford to have some legacy onboard.
  • Reply 111 of 120
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,081member
    jdw said:
    You keep speaking of USB-A. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather have four Thunderbolt 3 than two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 2 (or even 3), a HDMI port, and I'll even toss in the slow SD card reader as a bonus. What am I missing?
    Mike, since you asked...

    To begin, if USB-A truly "isn't a big deal," perhaps Apple really should have included one USB-A port along side USB-C ports on the 15" MBP.  I feel I am justified by Apple itself in asking for this, seeing Apple made the wise choice to include USB-A ports AND USB-C ports AND an SD card slot on iMacs, including the iMac Pro and even the Mac Mini -- all the latest models!  Really, that answers the subject quite soundly and emphatically, once and forever more.  And again, it's not like the 15" MBP lacks physical space for 1 USB-A port and 1 SD card slot, in addition to everything else it already has.  And it's not like it would hurt Apple's margins on that top dollar machine either.

    If for some reason people still cannot understand that most excellent of all arguments in favor of having USB-A and the SD card slot, then I shall repeat what I've said earlier in this thread and time and time again in other threads: DONGLES CAN WIND UP GETTING LOST!  That's right.   You're out on the road for a critically important gig and you lose a dongle at the last minute, which wouldn't have even been necessary if there was a single USB-A port and/or SD card slot inside your MBP.  You don't have time to buy a dongle.  What do you do other than curse Apple?  Or curse yourself for having purchased an Apple notebook lacking practical built-in ports.  Seriously.  The world is still very much USB-A, not USB-C, even though Apple pushed USB-C hard on us over the last 2 years.

    I bought two 2017 edition MacBook Air machines for my children's educational needs.  I have zero regrets even though I knew Apple would release a new MacBook Air later in the year.  My kids are pleased as well -- yes, even with that non-Retina display.  Sure, I wish it had a retina display, but there's no way I will mourn about it seeing I also get an SD card slot, USB-A, MagSafe, an LED on the charging cable, an extended power cord in the box, a good keyboard with actual tactile feedback (imagine that), and while not necessarily needed, the glowing Apple logo on the back lid is fun, especially for the youth who love to show off the Apple devices.  Interestingly, Apple showed a lot of glowing Apple logo MacBooks in the videos they presented at the last keynote!  So even they realize how great it looks, almost as if they could be seen behind the curtain kicking themselves for having gotten rid of it.

    My kids are required to have USB thumb drives that are used to share data.  That is the school's decision.  They chose the thumb drive over the cloud.  And the teachers have USB-A machines, which really isn't a surprise since I personally don't know anyone who even has a USB-C machine.  I do live in Japan, but still.  USB-A is everywere, and it is stupid that we need a dongle just to use it.

    Now if I as a tech savvy guy think this way, you know full well that the average person who isn't so tech savvy will be even more emphatic about having what they consider "the basics, built in" than I am.  USB-C is great in terms of being able to be a multitude of different ports.  No question.  But until it is widely embraced by the world, it's just "the future."  But even then, it's not the best thing since sliced bread.  The port is tiny like TB2 on my mid-2015 MBP, and tiny ports sometimes have intermittent connectivity issues when a cable fitted into those ports is bumped, even ever so slightly.  This happens to me quite often actually when I use my EIZO external display plugged directly into my MBP.  And I've heard first-hand stories from people who own a USB-C-only MacBook who claim they've experienced such issues as well.  But in all my years of using USB-A (the standard port size), I've never had such problems at all.  And that's why when I considered adding an Ethernet adapter (yes, a stupid dongle) at home to maximize my internet speed, I went with a USB-A version rather than TB2 version, since I know the USB-A connector is more reliable than the tiny TB2 connector.  Again, USB-C is analogous here because of its tiny size.

    It make take another 5 years or more, but when USB-C is as widely used as USB-A, you're right, AT THAT POINT IN TIME, my arguing about USB-A will be moot.  All the more reason to have a BRIDGE MACHINE now, and then later Apple could eliminate USB-A for USB-C.  The issue I have is their timing.  And even in that wonderful future, I still expect to see SD cards in use, and there will still be the issue of having to use a dongle for that -- a dongle which could be lost when you are on the go.

    I love Apple, but I feel no need to defend all their decisions.  I can only be thankful that Apple exercised wisdom in designing the iMac to have the best of both worlds.  Even the Mac Mini includes USB-A, albeit, with no SD card slot.  Apple itself proves USB-A is far from being dead.  Ditto for the SD card slot as far as the iMac is concerned.  That speaks volumes.
    I don't deny that these are problems for you. However, the biggest problem I'm having with these arguments is that I've heard them all before. I've heard them, or ones similar to them, at every radical shift in architecture or ports, and somehow, we all survived the experience. Yes, with dongles when necessary, and cables when possible.

    So survival is the new normal for MacBook customers?  
    (OK!  Sorry about the snark -- but you hit a nerve with that one!)

    I agree with you that there is always weeping and gnashing of teeth at the loss of every legacy feature.  But, I think Apple has entered a new paradigm there:   As I pointed out in the video of Steve introducing the original MacBook Air that dropped the optical drive, he acknowledged that it was a meaningful loss but:  1)  He explained why it was necessary in order to move on to bigger and better things (actually substantially thinner and lighter).  And 2) he went far out of his way to design, develop and explain workable alternatives.

    Now, today, dropping an important feature is simply ignored by Apple as they show off their latest.  They seem to think that, if they don't mention it, nobody will miss it.

    And this goes beyond just ports to other features such as quality keyboards, flexibility, repairability, and upgradability.  But, only looking at the removal of a USB-A port as an example:  What did the user gain as a result?  An extra millimeter of thinness?  $10 off the list price?  For most users it's a loss without a corresponding benefit.

    So far, the only response to "Why?  Where did it go?" is:  "We got a dongle for that!".   But, if you are spending thousands for the thinnest, lightest and most portable, a dongle (or external drive, etc.) violates that whole design philosophy.

    So basically:   As features and benefits are removed and abandoned, the customer realizes little or no benefit and the alternatives are poor and/or undesirable (If the harddrive fills up, scrap it and buy a new machine?)

    I totally agree that there is a market for "thin, light, portable and minimalist" and Steve tapped into that with the MacBook Air -- it was the thinnest, lightest and most portable of its day.  But, for Apple to expect everybody to force themselves into that niche and "survive" is a definite step down for Apple.  So far, the only response to that that I've heard on this forum is:  "If you don't like it, buy a Windows machine" or some other FU type response.

    As I have said previously, the MacBook line is surviving based mostly on the superior MacOS and Apple's ecosystem.  As I asked:   "Would you buy a MacBook if it only ran Windows?"  For many/most, the answer would be "No!"  The MacBook hardware team needs a kick in the pants.  They're goal should be to take the user to new levels rather than tell them to "survive".

    You and I differ in our opinions of the future of Apple's laptop lines:  You seem to think that Apple will double and triple down on the thin, light, minimalist design philosophy.   I am betting and hoping that, with their laptop products, they are in a reset mode after letting it languish and, in the coming 5 years we will see a renewed commitment to excellence aimed primarily at the customer experience. 
     
    henrybayjdw
  • Reply 112 of 120
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,016member
    As I have said previously, the MacBook line is surviving based mostly on the superior MacOS and Apple's ecosystem.  As I asked:   "Would you buy a MacBook if it only ran Windows?"  For many/most, the answer would be "No!"  The MacBook hardware team needs a kick in the pants.  They're goal should be to take the user to new levels rather than tell them to "survive".
    GeorgeBMac, you and I are kindred spirits.  Your thinking parallels mine so closely is just shocking!  Kudos on voicing the concerns of The Rest of Us so eloquently!

    It doesn't matter to me if some hipsters are satisfied with current MacBooks.  I know what I need and what I want, and the current notebook lineup doesn't satisfy.  For now, I am content with my mid-2015 15" MBP and will use it until either it falls apart or until my needs suddenly change, or until the day Apple shocks everyone by giving us more ports, slots and a better keyboard for our money.
    henrybayGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 113 of 120
    jdw said:
    As I have said previously, the MacBook line is surviving based mostly on the superior MacOS and Apple's ecosystem.  As I asked:   "Would you buy a MacBook if it only ran Windows?"  For many/most, the answer would be "No!"  The MacBook hardware team needs a kick in the pants.  They're goal should be to take the user to new levels rather than tell them to "survive".
    GeorgeBMac, you and I are kindred spirits.  Your thinking parallels mine so closely is just shocking!  Kudos on voicing the concerns of The Rest of Us so eloquently!

    It doesn't matter to me if some hipsters are satisfied with current MacBooks.  I know what I need and what I want, and the current notebook lineup doesn't satisfy.  For now, I am content with my mid-2015 15" MBP and will use it until either it falls apart or until my needs suddenly change, or until the day Apple shocks everyone by giving us more ports, slots and a better keyboard for our money.
    Ditto for me jdw and GeorgeBMac.
    jdwGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 114 of 120

    Hi, I'm vivan suresh According to me Macbook pro is right choice to buy, Macbook pro comes with unique feature and better speakers retina display, touch ID, and the 3rd generation keyboard. The best processor & excellent performance, quad-core processor ,touch bar with Touch iD, and  the T2 Security chip makes it more comfortable.


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    3. Up to 2TB of SSD storage2

    4. True Tone display technology

    5. Apple T2 Chip

    6. Touch Bar and Touch ID


  • Reply 115 of 120
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,345administrator
    jdw said:
    You keep speaking of USB-A. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather have four Thunderbolt 3 than two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 2 (or even 3), a HDMI port, and I'll even toss in the slow SD card reader as a bonus. What am I missing?
    Mike, since you asked...

    To begin, if USB-A truly "isn't a big deal," perhaps Apple really should have included one USB-A port along side USB-C ports on the 15" MBP.  I feel I am justified by Apple itself in asking for this, seeing Apple made the wise choice to include USB-A ports AND USB-C ports AND an SD card slot on iMacs, including the iMac Pro and even the Mac Mini -- all the latest models!  Really, that answers the subject quite soundly and emphatically, once and forever more.  And again, it's not like the 15" MBP lacks physical space for 1 USB-A port and 1 SD card slot, in addition to everything else it already has.  And it's not like it would hurt Apple's margins on that top dollar machine either.

    If for some reason people still cannot understand that most excellent of all arguments in favor of having USB-A and the SD card slot, then I shall repeat what I've said earlier in this thread and time and time again in other threads: DONGLES CAN WIND UP GETTING LOST!  That's right.   You're out on the road for a critically important gig and you lose a dongle at the last minute, which wouldn't have even been necessary if there was a single USB-A port and/or SD card slot inside your MBP.  You don't have time to buy a dongle.  What do you do other than curse Apple?  Or curse yourself for having purchased an Apple notebook lacking practical built-in ports.  Seriously.  The world is still very much USB-A, not USB-C, even though Apple pushed USB-C hard on us over the last 2 years.

    I bought two 2017 edition MacBook Air machines for my children's educational needs.  I have zero regrets even though I knew Apple would release a new MacBook Air later in the year.  My kids are pleased as well -- yes, even with that non-Retina display.  Sure, I wish it had a retina display, but there's no way I will mourn about it seeing I also get an SD card slot, USB-A, MagSafe, an LED on the charging cable, an extended power cord in the box, a good keyboard with actual tactile feedback (imagine that), and while not necessarily needed, the glowing Apple logo on the back lid is fun, especially for the youth who love to show off the Apple devices.  Interestingly, Apple showed a lot of glowing Apple logo MacBooks in the videos they presented at the last keynote!  So even they realize how great it looks, almost as if they could be seen behind the curtain kicking themselves for having gotten rid of it.

    My kids are required to have USB thumb drives that are used to share data.  That is the school's decision.  They chose the thumb drive over the cloud.  And the teachers have USB-A machines, which really isn't a surprise since I personally don't know anyone who even has a USB-C machine.  I do live in Japan, but still.  USB-A is everywere, and it is stupid that we need a dongle just to use it.

    Now if I as a tech savvy guy think this way, you know full well that the average person who isn't so tech savvy will be even more emphatic about having what they consider "the basics, built in" than I am.  USB-C is great in terms of being able to be a multitude of different ports.  No question.  But until it is widely embraced by the world, it's just "the future."  But even then, it's not the best thing since sliced bread.  The port is tiny like TB2 on my mid-2015 MBP, and tiny ports sometimes have intermittent connectivity issues when a cable fitted into those ports is bumped, even ever so slightly.  This happens to me quite often actually when I use my EIZO external display plugged directly into my MBP.  And I've heard first-hand stories from people who own a USB-C-only MacBook who claim they've experienced such issues as well.  But in all my years of using USB-A (the standard port size), I've never had such problems at all.  And that's why when I considered adding an Ethernet adapter (yes, a stupid dongle) at home to maximize my internet speed, I went with a USB-A version rather than TB2 version, since I know the USB-A connector is more reliable than the tiny TB2 connector.  Again, USB-C is analogous here because of its tiny size.

    It make take another 5 years or more, but when USB-C is as widely used as USB-A, you're right, AT THAT POINT IN TIME, my arguing about USB-A will be moot.  All the more reason to have a BRIDGE MACHINE now, and then later Apple could eliminate USB-A for USB-C.  The issue I have is their timing.  And even in that wonderful future, I still expect to see SD cards in use, and there will still be the issue of having to use a dongle for that -- a dongle which could be lost when you are on the go.

    I love Apple, but I feel no need to defend all their decisions.  I can only be thankful that Apple exercised wisdom in designing the iMac to have the best of both worlds.  Even the Mac Mini includes USB-A, albeit, with no SD card slot.  Apple itself proves USB-A is far from being dead.  Ditto for the SD card slot as far as the iMac is concerned.  That speaks volumes.
    I don't deny that these are problems for you. However, the biggest problem I'm having with these arguments is that I've heard them all before. I've heard them, or ones similar to them, at every radical shift in architecture or ports, and somehow, we all survived the experience. Yes, with dongles when necessary, and cables when possible.

    So survival is the new normal for MacBook customers?  
    (OK!  Sorry about the snark -- but you hit a nerve with that one!)

    I agree with you that there is always weeping and gnashing of teeth at the loss of every legacy feature.  But, I think Apple has entered a new paradigm there:   As I pointed out in the video of Steve introducing the original MacBook Air that dropped the optical drive, he acknowledged that it was a meaningful loss but:  1)  He explained why it was necessary in order to move on to bigger and better things (actually substantially thinner and lighter).  And 2) he went far out of his way to design, develop and explain workable alternatives.

    Now, today, dropping an important feature is simply ignored by Apple as they show off their latest.  They seem to think that, if they don't mention it, nobody will miss it.

    And this goes beyond just ports to other features such as quality keyboards, flexibility, repairability, and upgradability.  But, only looking at the removal of a USB-A port as an example:  What did the user gain as a result?  An extra millimeter of thinness?  $10 off the list price?  For most users it's a loss without a corresponding benefit.

    So far, the only response to "Why?  Where did it go?" is:  "We got a dongle for that!".   But, if you are spending thousands for the thinnest, lightest and most portable, a dongle (or external drive, etc.) violates that whole design philosophy.

    So basically:   As features and benefits are removed and abandoned, the customer realizes little or no benefit and the alternatives are poor and/or undesirable (If the harddrive fills up, scrap it and buy a new machine?)

    I totally agree that there is a market for "thin, light, portable and minimalist" and Steve tapped into that with the MacBook Air -- it was the thinnest, lightest and most portable of its day.  But, for Apple to expect everybody to force themselves into that niche and "survive" is a definite step down for Apple.  So far, the only response to that that I've heard on this forum is:  "If you don't like it, buy a Windows machine" or some other FU type response.

    As I have said previously, the MacBook line is surviving based mostly on the superior MacOS and Apple's ecosystem.  As I asked:   "Would you buy a MacBook if it only ran Windows?"  For many/most, the answer would be "No!"  The MacBook hardware team needs a kick in the pants.  They're goal should be to take the user to new levels rather than tell them to "survive".

    You and I differ in our opinions of the future of Apple's laptop lines:  You seem to think that Apple will double and triple down on the thin, light, minimalist design philosophy.   I am betting and hoping that, with their laptop products, they are in a reset mode after letting it languish and, in the coming 5 years we will see a renewed commitment to excellence aimed primarily at the customer experience. 
     
    Most users don't give a crap that it's gone. They say "oh, I need a new cable" or "That $9 adapter will do" and move on. Or, they buy some other solution like a Thunderbolt dock, or a $20 USB hub and a $8 USB-C to USB-A cable.

    It's great that the three of you are kindred spirits, as listed a few posts above. It's great that you know what you want, and are holding off because of it. I respect what you're doing, even if I think the basis behind the reasoning is backward, and idolizing older technologies for no other reason than you don't want to buy a new cable. I'll give you the keyboard, though. While it's functional, it isn't my favorite.

    But, "the rest of us" isn't AI readers or staffers in any way, shape, or form. "The rest of us" as Jobs envisioned it are the seniors who got the Internet with the iPad, and the throngs of people on the iPhone. Slots, ports, repairability, and expandability was never Jobs' vision "for the rest of us" and you just have to look at the Mac 128 and the iMac versus the rest of the industry at the time when he returned to see that.
    edited November 2018 chia
  • Reply 116 of 120
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,081member
    jdw said:
    You keep speaking of USB-A. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather have four Thunderbolt 3 than two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 2 (or even 3), a HDMI port, and I'll even toss in the slow SD card reader as a bonus. What am I missing?
    Mike, since you asked...

    To begin, if USB-A truly "isn't a big deal," perhaps Apple really should have included one USB-A port along side USB-C ports on the 15" MBP.  I feel I am justified by Apple itself in asking for this, seeing Apple made the wise choice to include USB-A ports AND USB-C ports AND an SD card slot on iMacs, including the iMac Pro and even the Mac Mini -- all the latest models!  Really, that answers the subject quite soundly and emphatically, once and forever more.  And again, it's not like the 15" MBP lacks physical space for 1 USB-A port and 1 SD card slot, in addition to everything else it already has.  And it's not like it would hurt Apple's margins on that top dollar machine either.

    If for some reason people still cannot understand that most excellent of all arguments in favor of having USB-A and the SD card slot, then I shall repeat what I've said earlier in this thread and time and time again in other threads: DONGLES CAN WIND UP GETTING LOST!  That's right.   You're out on the road for a critically important gig and you lose a dongle at the last minute, which wouldn't have even been necessary if there was a single USB-A port and/or SD card slot inside your MBP.  You don't have time to buy a dongle.  What do you do other than curse Apple?  Or curse yourself for having purchased an Apple notebook lacking practical built-in ports.  Seriously.  The world is still very much USB-A, not USB-C, even though Apple pushed USB-C hard on us over the last 2 years.

    I bought two 2017 edition MacBook Air machines for my children's educational needs.  I have zero regrets even though I knew Apple would release a new MacBook Air later in the year.  My kids are pleased as well -- yes, even with that non-Retina display.  Sure, I wish it had a retina display, but there's no way I will mourn about it seeing I also get an SD card slot, USB-A, MagSafe, an LED on the charging cable, an extended power cord in the box, a good keyboard with actual tactile feedback (imagine that), and while not necessarily needed, the glowing Apple logo on the back lid is fun, especially for the youth who love to show off the Apple devices.  Interestingly, Apple showed a lot of glowing Apple logo MacBooks in the videos they presented at the last keynote!  So even they realize how great it looks, almost as if they could be seen behind the curtain kicking themselves for having gotten rid of it.

    My kids are required to have USB thumb drives that are used to share data.  That is the school's decision.  They chose the thumb drive over the cloud.  And the teachers have USB-A machines, which really isn't a surprise since I personally don't know anyone who even has a USB-C machine.  I do live in Japan, but still.  USB-A is everywere, and it is stupid that we need a dongle just to use it.

    Now if I as a tech savvy guy think this way, you know full well that the average person who isn't so tech savvy will be even more emphatic about having what they consider "the basics, built in" than I am.  USB-C is great in terms of being able to be a multitude of different ports.  No question.  But until it is widely embraced by the world, it's just "the future."  But even then, it's not the best thing since sliced bread.  The port is tiny like TB2 on my mid-2015 MBP, and tiny ports sometimes have intermittent connectivity issues when a cable fitted into those ports is bumped, even ever so slightly.  This happens to me quite often actually when I use my EIZO external display plugged directly into my MBP.  And I've heard first-hand stories from people who own a USB-C-only MacBook who claim they've experienced such issues as well.  But in all my years of using USB-A (the standard port size), I've never had such problems at all.  And that's why when I considered adding an Ethernet adapter (yes, a stupid dongle) at home to maximize my internet speed, I went with a USB-A version rather than TB2 version, since I know the USB-A connector is more reliable than the tiny TB2 connector.  Again, USB-C is analogous here because of its tiny size.

    It make take another 5 years or more, but when USB-C is as widely used as USB-A, you're right, AT THAT POINT IN TIME, my arguing about USB-A will be moot.  All the more reason to have a BRIDGE MACHINE now, and then later Apple could eliminate USB-A for USB-C.  The issue I have is their timing.  And even in that wonderful future, I still expect to see SD cards in use, and there will still be the issue of having to use a dongle for that -- a dongle which could be lost when you are on the go.

    I love Apple, but I feel no need to defend all their decisions.  I can only be thankful that Apple exercised wisdom in designing the iMac to have the best of both worlds.  Even the Mac Mini includes USB-A, albeit, with no SD card slot.  Apple itself proves USB-A is far from being dead.  Ditto for the SD card slot as far as the iMac is concerned.  That speaks volumes.
    I don't deny that these are problems for you. However, the biggest problem I'm having with these arguments is that I've heard them all before. I've heard them, or ones similar to them, at every radical shift in architecture or ports, and somehow, we all survived the experience. Yes, with dongles when necessary, and cables when possible.

    So survival is the new normal for MacBook customers?  
    (OK!  Sorry about the snark -- but you hit a nerve with that one!)

    I agree with you that there is always weeping and gnashing of teeth at the loss of every legacy feature.  But, I think Apple has entered a new paradigm there:   As I pointed out in the video of Steve introducing the original MacBook Air that dropped the optical drive, he acknowledged that it was a meaningful loss but:  1)  He explained why it was necessary in order to move on to bigger and better things (actually substantially thinner and lighter).  And 2) he went far out of his way to design, develop and explain workable alternatives.

    Now, today, dropping an important feature is simply ignored by Apple as they show off their latest.  They seem to think that, if they don't mention it, nobody will miss it.

    And this goes beyond just ports to other features such as quality keyboards, flexibility, repairability, and upgradability.  But, only looking at the removal of a USB-A port as an example:  What did the user gain as a result?  An extra millimeter of thinness?  $10 off the list price?  For most users it's a loss without a corresponding benefit.

    So far, the only response to "Why?  Where did it go?" is:  "We got a dongle for that!".   But, if you are spending thousands for the thinnest, lightest and most portable, a dongle (or external drive, etc.) violates that whole design philosophy.

    So basically:   As features and benefits are removed and abandoned, the customer realizes little or no benefit and the alternatives are poor and/or undesirable (If the harddrive fills up, scrap it and buy a new machine?)

    I totally agree that there is a market for "thin, light, portable and minimalist" and Steve tapped into that with the MacBook Air -- it was the thinnest, lightest and most portable of its day.  But, for Apple to expect everybody to force themselves into that niche and "survive" is a definite step down for Apple.  So far, the only response to that that I've heard on this forum is:  "If you don't like it, buy a Windows machine" or some other FU type response.

    As I have said previously, the MacBook line is surviving based mostly on the superior MacOS and Apple's ecosystem.  As I asked:   "Would you buy a MacBook if it only ran Windows?"  For many/most, the answer would be "No!"  The MacBook hardware team needs a kick in the pants.  They're goal should be to take the user to new levels rather than tell them to "survive".

    You and I differ in our opinions of the future of Apple's laptop lines:  You seem to think that Apple will double and triple down on the thin, light, minimalist design philosophy.   I am betting and hoping that, with their laptop products, they are in a reset mode after letting it languish and, in the coming 5 years we will see a renewed commitment to excellence aimed primarily at the customer experience. 
     
    Most users don't give a crap that it's gone. They say "oh, I need a new cable" or "That $9 adapter will do" and move on. Or, they buy some other solution like a Thunderbolt dock, or a $20 USB hub and a $8 USB-C to USB-A cable.

    It's great that the three of you are kindred spirits, as listed a few posts above. It's great that you know what you want, and are holding off because of it. I respect what you're doing, even if I think the basis behind the reasoning is backward, and idolizing older technologies for no other reason than you don't want to buy a new cable. I'll give you the keyboard, though. While it's functional, it isn't my favorite.

    But, "the rest of us" isn't AI readers or staffers in any way, shape, or form. "The rest of us" as Jobs envisioned it are the seniors who got the Internet with the iPad, and the throngs of people on the iPhone. Slots, ports, repairability, and expandability was never Jobs' vision "for the rest of us" and you just have to look at the Mac 128 and the iMac versus the rest of the industry at the time when he returned to see that.
    You paint those who think Apple could do better as a minor, unimportant minority.
    But what percentage of the laptop market do MacBooks hold?  10% ?

    That says that Apple could do a LOT better appealing to a broader audience instead of limiting its appeal with a very narrowly focused thin, light, minimalist and increasingly disposable design.
    jdw
  • Reply 117 of 120
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,345administrator
    jdw said:
    You keep speaking of USB-A. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather have four Thunderbolt 3 than two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 2 (or even 3), a HDMI port, and I'll even toss in the slow SD card reader as a bonus. What am I missing?
    Mike, since you asked...

    To begin, if USB-A truly "isn't a big deal," perhaps Apple really should have included one USB-A port along side USB-C ports on the 15" MBP.  I feel I am justified by Apple itself in asking for this, seeing Apple made the wise choice to include USB-A ports AND USB-C ports AND an SD card slot on iMacs, including the iMac Pro and even the Mac Mini -- all the latest models!  Really, that answers the subject quite soundly and emphatically, once and forever more.  And again, it's not like the 15" MBP lacks physical space for 1 USB-A port and 1 SD card slot, in addition to everything else it already has.  And it's not like it would hurt Apple's margins on that top dollar machine either.

    If for some reason people still cannot understand that most excellent of all arguments in favor of having USB-A and the SD card slot, then I shall repeat what I've said earlier in this thread and time and time again in other threads: DONGLES CAN WIND UP GETTING LOST!  That's right.   You're out on the road for a critically important gig and you lose a dongle at the last minute, which wouldn't have even been necessary if there was a single USB-A port and/or SD card slot inside your MBP.  You don't have time to buy a dongle.  What do you do other than curse Apple?  Or curse yourself for having purchased an Apple notebook lacking practical built-in ports.  Seriously.  The world is still very much USB-A, not USB-C, even though Apple pushed USB-C hard on us over the last 2 years.

    I bought two 2017 edition MacBook Air machines for my children's educational needs.  I have zero regrets even though I knew Apple would release a new MacBook Air later in the year.  My kids are pleased as well -- yes, even with that non-Retina display.  Sure, I wish it had a retina display, but there's no way I will mourn about it seeing I also get an SD card slot, USB-A, MagSafe, an LED on the charging cable, an extended power cord in the box, a good keyboard with actual tactile feedback (imagine that), and while not necessarily needed, the glowing Apple logo on the back lid is fun, especially for the youth who love to show off the Apple devices.  Interestingly, Apple showed a lot of glowing Apple logo MacBooks in the videos they presented at the last keynote!  So even they realize how great it looks, almost as if they could be seen behind the curtain kicking themselves for having gotten rid of it.

    My kids are required to have USB thumb drives that are used to share data.  That is the school's decision.  They chose the thumb drive over the cloud.  And the teachers have USB-A machines, which really isn't a surprise since I personally don't know anyone who even has a USB-C machine.  I do live in Japan, but still.  USB-A is everywere, and it is stupid that we need a dongle just to use it.

    Now if I as a tech savvy guy think this way, you know full well that the average person who isn't so tech savvy will be even more emphatic about having what they consider "the basics, built in" than I am.  USB-C is great in terms of being able to be a multitude of different ports.  No question.  But until it is widely embraced by the world, it's just "the future."  But even then, it's not the best thing since sliced bread.  The port is tiny like TB2 on my mid-2015 MBP, and tiny ports sometimes have intermittent connectivity issues when a cable fitted into those ports is bumped, even ever so slightly.  This happens to me quite often actually when I use my EIZO external display plugged directly into my MBP.  And I've heard first-hand stories from people who own a USB-C-only MacBook who claim they've experienced such issues as well.  But in all my years of using USB-A (the standard port size), I've never had such problems at all.  And that's why when I considered adding an Ethernet adapter (yes, a stupid dongle) at home to maximize my internet speed, I went with a USB-A version rather than TB2 version, since I know the USB-A connector is more reliable than the tiny TB2 connector.  Again, USB-C is analogous here because of its tiny size.

    It make take another 5 years or more, but when USB-C is as widely used as USB-A, you're right, AT THAT POINT IN TIME, my arguing about USB-A will be moot.  All the more reason to have a BRIDGE MACHINE now, and then later Apple could eliminate USB-A for USB-C.  The issue I have is their timing.  And even in that wonderful future, I still expect to see SD cards in use, and there will still be the issue of having to use a dongle for that -- a dongle which could be lost when you are on the go.

    I love Apple, but I feel no need to defend all their decisions.  I can only be thankful that Apple exercised wisdom in designing the iMac to have the best of both worlds.  Even the Mac Mini includes USB-A, albeit, with no SD card slot.  Apple itself proves USB-A is far from being dead.  Ditto for the SD card slot as far as the iMac is concerned.  That speaks volumes.
    I don't deny that these are problems for you. However, the biggest problem I'm having with these arguments is that I've heard them all before. I've heard them, or ones similar to them, at every radical shift in architecture or ports, and somehow, we all survived the experience. Yes, with dongles when necessary, and cables when possible.

    So survival is the new normal for MacBook customers?  
    (OK!  Sorry about the snark -- but you hit a nerve with that one!)

    I agree with you that there is always weeping and gnashing of teeth at the loss of every legacy feature.  But, I think Apple has entered a new paradigm there:   As I pointed out in the video of Steve introducing the original MacBook Air that dropped the optical drive, he acknowledged that it was a meaningful loss but:  1)  He explained why it was necessary in order to move on to bigger and better things (actually substantially thinner and lighter).  And 2) he went far out of his way to design, develop and explain workable alternatives.

    Now, today, dropping an important feature is simply ignored by Apple as they show off their latest.  They seem to think that, if they don't mention it, nobody will miss it.

    And this goes beyond just ports to other features such as quality keyboards, flexibility, repairability, and upgradability.  But, only looking at the removal of a USB-A port as an example:  What did the user gain as a result?  An extra millimeter of thinness?  $10 off the list price?  For most users it's a loss without a corresponding benefit.

    So far, the only response to "Why?  Where did it go?" is:  "We got a dongle for that!".   But, if you are spending thousands for the thinnest, lightest and most portable, a dongle (or external drive, etc.) violates that whole design philosophy.

    So basically:   As features and benefits are removed and abandoned, the customer realizes little or no benefit and the alternatives are poor and/or undesirable (If the harddrive fills up, scrap it and buy a new machine?)

    I totally agree that there is a market for "thin, light, portable and minimalist" and Steve tapped into that with the MacBook Air -- it was the thinnest, lightest and most portable of its day.  But, for Apple to expect everybody to force themselves into that niche and "survive" is a definite step down for Apple.  So far, the only response to that that I've heard on this forum is:  "If you don't like it, buy a Windows machine" or some other FU type response.

    As I have said previously, the MacBook line is surviving based mostly on the superior MacOS and Apple's ecosystem.  As I asked:   "Would you buy a MacBook if it only ran Windows?"  For many/most, the answer would be "No!"  The MacBook hardware team needs a kick in the pants.  They're goal should be to take the user to new levels rather than tell them to "survive".

    You and I differ in our opinions of the future of Apple's laptop lines:  You seem to think that Apple will double and triple down on the thin, light, minimalist design philosophy.   I am betting and hoping that, with their laptop products, they are in a reset mode after letting it languish and, in the coming 5 years we will see a renewed commitment to excellence aimed primarily at the customer experience. 
     
    Most users don't give a crap that it's gone. They say "oh, I need a new cable" or "That $9 adapter will do" and move on. Or, they buy some other solution like a Thunderbolt dock, or a $20 USB hub and a $8 USB-C to USB-A cable.

    It's great that the three of you are kindred spirits, as listed a few posts above. It's great that you know what you want, and are holding off because of it. I respect what you're doing, even if I think the basis behind the reasoning is backward, and idolizing older technologies for no other reason than you don't want to buy a new cable. I'll give you the keyboard, though. While it's functional, it isn't my favorite.

    But, "the rest of us" isn't AI readers or staffers in any way, shape, or form. "The rest of us" as Jobs envisioned it are the seniors who got the Internet with the iPad, and the throngs of people on the iPhone. Slots, ports, repairability, and expandability was never Jobs' vision "for the rest of us" and you just have to look at the Mac 128 and the iMac versus the rest of the industry at the time when he returned to see that.
    You paint those who think Apple could do better as a minor, unimportant minority.
    But what percentage of the laptop market do MacBooks hold?  10% ?

    That says that Apple could do a LOT better appealing to a broader audience instead of limiting its appeal with a very narrowly focused thin, light, minimalist and increasingly disposable design.
    That's the thing, though -- you're confusing what you want Apple to do better with as a universal assessment of what would be better for all, and for the entire company. The  thin, light, and minimalistic design is appealing to Apple's intended audience. A thicker one with more ports will appeal to the AppleInsider forum goer market segment -- but don't confuse that with a majority of the user base.

    As far as importance goes: these issues are critical to you. They are less so to me but I see the point and still prefer four 40Gbit/sec Thunderbolt 3 to a mish-mash of ports. Apple sees the point, and they don't care.
    edited November 2018 chia
  • Reply 118 of 120
    jdw said:
    You keep speaking of USB-A. I guess I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather have four Thunderbolt 3 than two USB-A, two Thunderbolt 2 (or even 3), a HDMI port, and I'll even toss in the slow SD card reader as a bonus. What am I missing?
    Mike, since you asked...

    To begin, if USB-A truly "isn't a big deal," perhaps Apple really should have included one USB-A port along side USB-C ports on the 15" MBP.  I feel I am justified by Apple itself in asking for this, seeing Apple made the wise choice to include USB-A ports AND USB-C ports AND an SD card slot on iMacs, including the iMac Pro and even the Mac Mini -- all the latest models!  Really, that answers the subject quite soundly and emphatically, once and forever more.  And again, it's not like the 15" MBP lacks physical space for 1 USB-A port and 1 SD card slot, in addition to everything else it already has.  And it's not like it would hurt Apple's margins on that top dollar machine either.

    If for some reason people still cannot understand that most excellent of all arguments in favor of having USB-A and the SD card slot, then I shall repeat what I've said earlier in this thread and time and time again in other threads: DONGLES CAN WIND UP GETTING LOST!  That's right.   You're out on the road for a critically important gig and you lose a dongle at the last minute, which wouldn't have even been necessary if there was a single USB-A port and/or SD card slot inside your MBP.  You don't have time to buy a dongle.  What do you do other than curse Apple?  Or curse yourself for having purchased an Apple notebook lacking practical built-in ports.  Seriously.  The world is still very much USB-A, not USB-C, even though Apple pushed USB-C hard on us over the last 2 years.

    I bought two 2017 edition MacBook Air machines for my children's educational needs.  I have zero regrets even though I knew Apple would release a new MacBook Air later in the year.  My kids are pleased as well -- yes, even with that non-Retina display.  Sure, I wish it had a retina display, but there's no way I will mourn about it seeing I also get an SD card slot, USB-A, MagSafe, an LED on the charging cable, an extended power cord in the box, a good keyboard with actual tactile feedback (imagine that), and while not necessarily needed, the glowing Apple logo on the back lid is fun, especially for the youth who love to show off the Apple devices.  Interestingly, Apple showed a lot of glowing Apple logo MacBooks in the videos they presented at the last keynote!  So even they realize how great it looks, almost as if they could be seen behind the curtain kicking themselves for having gotten rid of it.

    My kids are required to have USB thumb drives that are used to share data.  That is the school's decision.  They chose the thumb drive over the cloud.  And the teachers have USB-A machines, which really isn't a surprise since I personally don't know anyone who even has a USB-C machine.  I do live in Japan, but still.  USB-A is everywere, and it is stupid that we need a dongle just to use it.

    Now if I as a tech savvy guy think this way, you know full well that the average person who isn't so tech savvy will be even more emphatic about having what they consider "the basics, built in" than I am.  USB-C is great in terms of being able to be a multitude of different ports.  No question.  But until it is widely embraced by the world, it's just "the future."  But even then, it's not the best thing since sliced bread.  The port is tiny like TB2 on my mid-2015 MBP, and tiny ports sometimes have intermittent connectivity issues when a cable fitted into those ports is bumped, even ever so slightly.  This happens to me quite often actually when I use my EIZO external display plugged directly into my MBP.  And I've heard first-hand stories from people who own a USB-C-only MacBook who claim they've experienced such issues as well.  But in all my years of using USB-A (the standard port size), I've never had such problems at all.  And that's why when I considered adding an Ethernet adapter (yes, a stupid dongle) at home to maximize my internet speed, I went with a USB-A version rather than TB2 version, since I know the USB-A connector is more reliable than the tiny TB2 connector.  Again, USB-C is analogous here because of its tiny size.

    It make take another 5 years or more, but when USB-C is as widely used as USB-A, you're right, AT THAT POINT IN TIME, my arguing about USB-A will be moot.  All the more reason to have a BRIDGE MACHINE now, and then later Apple could eliminate USB-A for USB-C.  The issue I have is their timing.  And even in that wonderful future, I still expect to see SD cards in use, and there will still be the issue of having to use a dongle for that -- a dongle which could be lost when you are on the go.

    I love Apple, but I feel no need to defend all their decisions.  I can only be thankful that Apple exercised wisdom in designing the iMac to have the best of both worlds.  Even the Mac Mini includes USB-A, albeit, with no SD card slot.  Apple itself proves USB-A is far from being dead.  Ditto for the SD card slot as far as the iMac is concerned.  That speaks volumes.
    I don't deny that these are problems for you. However, the biggest problem I'm having with these arguments is that I've heard them all before. I've heard them, or ones similar to them, at every radical shift in architecture or ports, and somehow, we all survived the experience. Yes, with dongles when necessary, and cables when possible.

    So survival is the new normal for MacBook customers?  
    (OK!  Sorry about the snark -- but you hit a nerve with that one!)

    I agree with you that there is always weeping and gnashing of teeth at the loss of every legacy feature.  But, I think Apple has entered a new paradigm there:   As I pointed out in the video of Steve introducing the original MacBook Air that dropped the optical drive, he acknowledged that it was a meaningful loss but:  1)  He explained why it was necessary in order to move on to bigger and better things (actually substantially thinner and lighter).  And 2) he went far out of his way to design, develop and explain workable alternatives.

    Now, today, dropping an important feature is simply ignored by Apple as they show off their latest.  They seem to think that, if they don't mention it, nobody will miss it.

    And this goes beyond just ports to other features such as quality keyboards, flexibility, repairability, and upgradability.  But, only looking at the removal of a USB-A port as an example:  What did the user gain as a result?  An extra millimeter of thinness?  $10 off the list price?  For most users it's a loss without a corresponding benefit.

    So far, the only response to "Why?  Where did it go?" is:  "We got a dongle for that!".   But, if you are spending thousands for the thinnest, lightest and most portable, a dongle (or external drive, etc.) violates that whole design philosophy.

    So basically:   As features and benefits are removed and abandoned, the customer realizes little or no benefit and the alternatives are poor and/or undesirable (If the harddrive fills up, scrap it and buy a new machine?)

    I totally agree that there is a market for "thin, light, portable and minimalist" and Steve tapped into that with the MacBook Air -- it was the thinnest, lightest and most portable of its day.  But, for Apple to expect everybody to force themselves into that niche and "survive" is a definite step down for Apple.  So far, the only response to that that I've heard on this forum is:  "If you don't like it, buy a Windows machine" or some other FU type response.

    As I have said previously, the MacBook line is surviving based mostly on the superior MacOS and Apple's ecosystem.  As I asked:   "Would you buy a MacBook if it only ran Windows?"  For many/most, the answer would be "No!"  The MacBook hardware team needs a kick in the pants.  They're goal should be to take the user to new levels rather than tell them to "survive".

    You and I differ in our opinions of the future of Apple's laptop lines:  You seem to think that Apple will double and triple down on the thin, light, minimalist design philosophy.   I am betting and hoping that, with their laptop products, they are in a reset mode after letting it languish and, in the coming 5 years we will see a renewed commitment to excellence aimed primarily at the customer experience. 
     
    Most users don't give a crap that it's gone. They say "oh, I need a new cable" or "That $9 adapter will do" and move on. Or, they buy some other solution like a Thunderbolt dock, or a $20 USB hub and a $8 USB-C to USB-A cable.

    It's great that the three of you are kindred spirits, as listed a few posts above. It's great that you know what you want, and are holding off because of it. I respect what you're doing, even if I think the basis behind the reasoning is backward, and idolizing older technologies for no other reason than you don't want to buy a new cable. I'll give you the keyboard, though. While it's functional, it isn't my favorite.

    But, "the rest of us" isn't AI readers or staffers in any way, shape, or form. "The rest of us" as Jobs envisioned it are the seniors who got the Internet with the iPad, and the throngs of people on the iPhone. Slots, ports, repairability, and expandability was never Jobs' vision "for the rest of us" and you just have to look at the Mac 128 and the iMac versus the rest of the industry at the time when he returned to see that.
    You paint those who think Apple could do better as a minor, unimportant minority.
    But what percentage of the laptop market do MacBooks hold?  10% ?

    That says that Apple could do a LOT better appealing to a broader audience instead of limiting its appeal with a very narrowly focused thin, light, minimalist and increasingly disposable design.
    That's the thing, though -- you're confusing what you want Apple to do better with as a universal assessment of what would be better for all, and for the entire company. The  thin, light, and minimalistic design is appealing to Apple's intended audience. A thicker one with more ports will appeal to the AppleInsider forum goer market segment -- but don't confuse that with a majority of the user base.

    As far as importance goes: these issues are critical to you. They are less so to me but I see the point and still prefer four 40Gbit/sec Thunderbolt 3 to a mish-mash of ports. Apple sees the point, and they don't care.
    I just don't see it as "either / or".  
    I agree that Apple is marketing to its intended audience -- and doing a good job of it.   But, particularly since they're using mostly conventional, off the shelf components, it shouldn't be a big problem to expand that out a bit by adding a few more models that would also meet the needs of others -- such as, say, an accountant.  

    That would be a win for everybody -- but especially for Apple since a big chunk of the cost of a Mac is the cost of the software that goes into it as well as the ecosystem that surrounds it.  But, since the cost of those things is mostly fixed (it costs the same to develop a new version of MacOS whether they distribute ten million or twenty million copies) the per-unit cost of those things would go down -- perhaps substantially -- and Apple's profits increase accordingly.
  • Reply 120 of 120

    It does make sense for Apple to push towards a single type of port that does everything because it would be convenient. But this assumes that the industry will agree to a single standard, which is not likely in the short to medium term – hence all the legacy debates.

    The keyboard issue, however, is different. Because by reducing the amount of ‘tactile feel’ in its butterfly keyboards, Apple is fighting against millions of years of human evolution. We are, by nature, tactile creatures who like to grasp, feel and touch things. The older MacBook keyboards were almost universally loved because they provide just the right amount of responsive feedback. The new versions feel flat and deadening to the touch.

    If Apple believes they can condition users to like these ultra flat keyboards, they are mistaken. 

    The airlines have, for decades, tried to get flyers used to less and less legroom – but the cramped feeling never goes away. Flyers just ‘tolerate’ the lack of legroom more – in the same way that many MacBook users just ‘tolerate’ the lack of key travel on the butterfly keyboards.

     

    GeorgeBMac
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