MacBook keyboard failures could end with introduction of glass panel keyboards

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 68
    shaminoshamino Posts: 412member
    So, in summary, Apple admits that their latest keyboard design is bad.  And in response, they're going to introduce one that's even worse.  That's a great way to make customers want to buy your product.

    The low-travel keyboards Apple introduced in the MacBook Air are minimally acceptable.  The butterfly keyboards of the current laptops are terrible for anyone who touch-types, because the key travel is almost non-existent.  A glass keyboard?  Reducing key travel to zero?  Absolutely not.

    I tried the idea of touch-typing on glass years ago when the iPad was introduced.  It was terrible then, and sticking it in the body of a laptop isn't going to make it any better.

    What's the solution?  Very simple.  Force every Apple employee (designers, developers, marketing, sales and especially executives) to use nothing but Apple equipment for their jobs.  No third-party parts of any kind.  If they hate their keyboards then maybe they'll start to realize how bad the design really is.  If they find that the latest software deletes all the features they rely on to do their jobs, then they'll tell the developers to put them back.
    henrybay
  • Reply 42 of 68
    That might solve one problem but would anyone want to use it? Sounds terrible.
  • Reply 43 of 68
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,790member
    melgross said:
    This would have to be pretty thin, bendable glass. Even though such a material exists, it’s got to be somewhat fragile.

    Not really. The thinner glass gets, the more flexible it becomes. Get a tempered glass screen protector for an iPhone and you'll find that you need to almost fold the paper-thin glass before it will break.
    Tempered glass screens often break more easily than the phone screen does. I get the theory. Unfortunately, there’s a saying; Theory and practice don’t always match. If you have this, and you close the notebook with something on the keys without noticing it, I can pretty much guarantee those keys will break.
  • Reply 44 of 68
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,790member
    Latko said:
    melgross said:
    ort press keys, and they continue to get even shorter and less clickey. Get used to it.
    No Tim - you ain’t Steve.
    What?
  • Reply 45 of 68
    danvmdanvm Posts: 791member
    danvm said:
    Yamcha67 said:
    That sounds like an awful idea, the current MacBook keyboards aren't great and have their set of issues. Introducing glass keyboards doesn't seem like a solution to the problem at all, in fact, it may just make matters worse. Don't fix it if ain't broke, they should really stick to their old style keyboards, I'm not sure how they'll manage it thanks to that obsession with thinness but maybe it can be done. Microsoft has managed to create a superthin keyboard with great travel and tactile feedback on their Surface Pro Type Covers, I'm sure there's a way to achieve something similar on the Apple side.

    It's funny that Microsoft is actually taking Apple's place in many respects. Just look at the current Surface sales, they've been incredible for Microsoft. Microsoft has already exceeded expectations and now they are predicting 20% growth on top of that. I think they're really doing well considering that Microsoft has gotten into the hardware business very late compared to Apple. I also feel they are innovating in many more areas and in many cases outshining even Apple's Macs. The keyboards, trackpads, design are all on point and even the software has reached a stage where it's a lot like Mac OS. 

    I wish Apple would change direction. Some Mac users including myself have jumped ship, I sold my Mac for the simple reason that I just got sick and tired of paying for premiums and getting less, not only that I just feel like Microsoft now is providing a better experience for my use case. The keyboard issues, flex-gate, bent iPads, iPhone 6 performance throttling etc.. all tell us that the quality assurance has taken a dive and Apple doesn't seem to care. The recent flex-gate issue which is leading to display failure early thanks to a fragile cable is going to cost customers $600+ for repair because the cable isn't durable enough to last very long. The bent iPads will not be covered, but people are eligible for a refund within the normal period for any device. The issues with keyboards have been semi-resolved but I guess we'll have to see how the new keyboards work out. Initially, customers were forced to pay around $700 for out of warranty keyboard repairs until Apple provided free replacements later on. It's really not looking good for Apple. I'm not saying it's a failing company, it makes way too much money for these issues to make a dent in the near future but it does mean customers will suffer in the end.
    We already have a resident MS shill, btw, unless that's you, DanVM?
    I find interesting that you consider me a MS shill, 
    Are you kidding me? You don't know yourself do you, or remember any of the exchanges we've had? [rolls eyes]
    I don't remember of any exchange with you, but for some reason I think you didn't agree with my posts, so that makes me a "MS shill".  Right?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 46 of 68
    19831983 Posts: 1,184member
    Couldn’t they use localized haptic feedback to provide that clicky sensation of a standard keyboard? 
  • Reply 47 of 68
    Before you folks get bent out of shape, remember most patents are never actually used.  I can remember NCR (1980's) implying bubble memory would replace RAM, especially in point of sale units (retail registers).  I can remember MSFT's Bill Gates saying the internet was a 2 year phenomenon (to be replaced by something they were developing).  I can remember INTC's failure with a digital watch decades ago.  Remember the Palm Pilot, Microsoft Zune, Apple Newton... Wait and see how things develop.  Maybe this patent could be destined for a planned product to compete with the largest of the Surface Pros?  

    As far as the built-in trackpad on Mac Pros goes, compared to ones I've used on Dell, HP, Samsung and Lenovo, the Mac Pro ones are miles ahead.  

    Years ago (1970's and before) you could replace individual keys on some keyboards (each key mechanism was a separate module).  However, modern keyboards are much smaller, lighter, less expensive and a great improvement, except for ease of repair.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 68
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,790member
    k2kw said:
    danvm said:
    Yamcha67 said:
    That sounds like an awful idea, the current MacBook keyboards aren't great and have their set of issues. Introducing glass keyboards doesn't seem like a solution to the problem at all, in fact, it may just make matters worse. Don't fix it if ain't broke, they should really stick to their old style keyboards, I'm not sure how they'll manage it thanks to that obsession with thinness but maybe it can be done. Microsoft has managed to create a superthin keyboard with great travel and tactile feedback on their Surface Pro Type Covers, I'm sure there's a way to achieve something similar on the Apple side.

    It's funny that Microsoft is actually taking Apple's place in many respects. Just look at the current Surface sales, they've been incredible for Microsoft. Microsoft has already exceeded expectations and now they are predicting 20% growth on top of that. I think they're really doing well considering that Microsoft has gotten into the hardware business very late compared to Apple. I also feel they are innovating in many more areas and in many cases outshining even Apple's Macs. The keyboards, trackpads, design are all on point and even the software has reached a stage where it's a lot like Mac OS. 

    I wish Apple would change direction. Some Mac users including myself have jumped ship, I sold my Mac for the simple reason that I just got sick and tired of paying for premiums and getting less, not only that I just feel like Microsoft now is providing a better experience for my use case. The keyboard issues, flex-gate, bent iPads, iPhone 6 performance throttling etc.. all tell us that the quality assurance has taken a dive and Apple doesn't seem to care. The recent flex-gate issue which is leading to display failure early thanks to a fragile cable is going to cost customers $600+ for repair because the cable isn't durable enough to last very long. The bent iPads will not be covered, but people are eligible for a refund within the normal period for any device. The issues with keyboards have been semi-resolved but I guess we'll have to see how the new keyboards work out. Initially, customers were forced to pay around $700 for out of warranty keyboard repairs until Apple provided free replacements later on. It's really not looking good for Apple. I'm not saying it's a failing company, it makes way too much money for these issues to make a dent in the near future but it does mean customers will suffer in the end.
    We already have a resident MS shill, btw, unless that's you, DanVM?
    No, I'm still have my sign-in name active... :wink:

    I find interesting that you consider me a MS shill, when at my household I have far more Apple devices than from MS.  Like I have posted many times, I consider myself a customer, not a fan (or shill) from MS, Apple or any other company. 

    Regarding the article, IMO, Apple keyboards have an awful tactile feedback.  Plus based in the long list of articles, quality is down too.  In my experience working with many brands, Thinkpads still #1, and miles ahead from Apple in quality and tactile feedback.  Plus they are spill resistant, even in the X1 Carbon, a device as thin an lighter than the Macbook Air.  And there is no issues with batteries attached to the keyboard as the MBP.  One of the best devices I have used. 

    After this post, I suppose I'm a "Lenovo shill", right?

    After my MBP 2015 gives out, I will have to give the Lenovo a look.   I have a theory that a few of the posters here who attack those who post Critical comments are actually Long Investors in APPL and more motivated by keeping the stop price up.   They are caught up in the idea that Apple's management can't make a mistake or its dangerous to point these things out.   They really aren't motivated by the quality and experience of the products so of course they think that Apple should keep prices and profit margins as high as possible while reducing component costs.
    And you would be wrong. I’m long Apple, with a fair amount of stock. But I criticize them every time I think it’s warranted. Why? Because it makes them a better company. Scott Forstall admitted that Apple does indeed read the forums. They look to see what we say. Perhaps some VALID criticism is taken into account. So I don’t shy from it, even though some here don’t like it.

    but, I truly believe that Apple gets it right more than others do, which is why I buy their products, and own their stock.

    lenovo has been known to install spyware on their machines. They’ve been caught doing it twice. Buy at your own risk!
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 68
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,790member
    shamino said:
    So, in summary, Apple admits that their latest keyboard design is bad.  And in response, they're going to introduce one that's even worse.  That's a great way to make customers want to buy your product.

    The low-travel keyboards Apple introduced in the MacBook Air are minimally acceptable.  The butterfly keyboards of the current laptops are terrible for anyone who touch-types, because the key travel is almost non-existent.  A glass keyboard?  Reducing key travel to zero?  Absolutely not.

    I tried the idea of touch-typing on glass years ago when the iPad was introduced.  It was terrible then, and sticking it in the body of a laptop isn't going to make it any better.

    What's the solution?  Very simple.  Force every Apple employee (designers, developers, marketing, sales and especially executives) to use nothing but Apple equipment for their jobs.  No third-party parts of any kind.  If they hate their keyboards then maybe they'll start to realize how bad the design really is.  If they find that the latest software deletes all the features they rely on to do their jobs, then they'll tell the developers to put them back.
    Well, this is a totally different thing from the iPhone, or iPad. It’s not what you seem to think. Some people have never gotten good at using virtual keyboards, but some have. My daughter can type 110 words a minute on her 12.9”. I can do almost 70.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 68
    thttht Posts: 3,241member
    Don’t see how this would be a net benefit over using a software keyboard, like on an iPad. Assuming that can have a glass material that is compliant and springy enough to provide a buckling response with over millions of repetitions, it provides people a way to feel keys and rest their fingers on keys, but that sounds like a compromise not worth making. Seems a lot of effort for what will essentially be a touchscreen.

    Just make two lineups: a traditional laptop lineup with hardware keys, and a laptop lineup with basically a 13.5” iPad touchscreen in place of the keyboard. The new dual-display lineup will be attractive for drawing, note taking and iOS developers. The classic form factor are for people who will be fine with the typical clamshell laptop.

    I’m all in on a 15” iPad being able to do all that a 15” Mac laptop can do.
  • Reply 51 of 68
    Great, this topic now it’s flood by idiots.

    Have any one of you even think about how much this will be?  Is it really going to be mass produced?  You people certain that they didn’t know the pros and cons for this particular design?

    All you see it’s some kind of prototype and then went total panic, and put your nonsense down fast than your mind.

    Jesus Apple communities sucks.
  • Reply 52 of 68
    DuhSesame said:
    Great, this topic now it’s flood by idiots.

    Have any one of you even think about how much this will be?  Is it really going to be mass produced?  You people certain that they didn’t know the pros and cons for this particular design?

    All you see it’s some kind of prototype and then went total panic, and put your nonsense down fast than your mind.

    Jesus Apple communities sucks.
    Hate to point out the obvious....but this is the Future Hardware commentary section. So it’s going to feature a lot of speculation about possible new designs. 
  • Reply 53 of 68
    henrybay said:
    DuhSesame said:
    Great, this topic now it’s flood by idiots.

    Have any one of you even think about how much this will be?  Is it really going to be mass produced?  You people certain that they didn’t know the pros and cons for this particular design?

    All you see it’s some kind of prototype and then went total panic, and put your nonsense down fast than your mind.

    Jesus Apple communities sucks.
    Hate to point out the obvious....but this is the Future Hardware commentary section. So it’s going to feature a lot of speculation about possible new designs. 
    Oh they sure know how the future performs even it’s just one of those prototypes.
  • Reply 54 of 68
    1st1st Posts: 383member
    interesting concept.  it could work well if top layer exhibited internal mechanical response change - like disorder to order transition under pressure that provide more resistance to the finger touch (response time might be a problem), that will give an artificial feedback - like someone touch your skin causes your tense up the location... hmm, a bit creepy, but not glass for top layer... just wondering...  possibility is endless.  good patent (hopefully, not cover too much). 
  • Reply 55 of 68
    k2kw said:
    danvm said:
    Yamcha67 said:
    That sounds like an awful idea, the current MacBook keyboards aren't great and have their set of issues. Introducing glass keyboards doesn't seem like a solution to the problem at all, in fact, it may just make matters worse. Don't fix it if ain't broke, they should really stick to their old style keyboards, I'm not sure how they'll manage it thanks to that obsession with thinness but maybe it can be done. Microsoft has managed to create a superthin keyboard with great travel and tactile feedback on their Surface Pro Type Covers, I'm sure there's a way to achieve something similar on the Apple side.

    It's funny that Microsoft is actually taking Apple's place in many respects. Just look at the current Surface sales, they've been incredible for Microsoft. Microsoft has already exceeded expectations and now they are predicting 20% growth on top of that. I think they're really doing well considering that Microsoft has gotten into the hardware business very late compared to Apple. I also feel they are innovating in many more areas and in many cases outshining even Apple's Macs. The keyboards, trackpads, design are all on point and even the software has reached a stage where it's a lot like Mac OS. 

    I wish Apple would change direction. Some Mac users including myself have jumped ship, I sold my Mac for the simple reason that I just got sick and tired of paying for premiums and getting less, not only that I just feel like Microsoft now is providing a better experience for my use case. The keyboard issues, flex-gate, bent iPads, iPhone 6 performance throttling etc.. all tell us that the quality assurance has taken a dive and Apple doesn't seem to care. The recent flex-gate issue which is leading to display failure early thanks to a fragile cable is going to cost customers $600+ for repair because the cable isn't durable enough to last very long. The bent iPads will not be covered, but people are eligible for a refund within the normal period for any device. The issues with keyboards have been semi-resolved but I guess we'll have to see how the new keyboards work out. Initially, customers were forced to pay around $700 for out of warranty keyboard repairs until Apple provided free replacements later on. It's really not looking good for Apple. I'm not saying it's a failing company, it makes way too much money for these issues to make a dent in the near future but it does mean customers will suffer in the end.
    We already have a resident MS shill, btw, unless that's you, DanVM?
    No, I'm still have my sign-in name active... :wink:

    I find interesting that you consider me a MS shill, when at my household I have far more Apple devices than from MS.  Like I have posted many times, I consider myself a customer, not a fan (or shill) from MS, Apple or any other company. 

    Regarding the article, IMO, Apple keyboards have an awful tactile feedback.  Plus based in the long list of articles, quality is down too.  In my experience working with many brands, Thinkpads still #1, and miles ahead from Apple in quality and tactile feedback.  Plus they are spill resistant, even in the X1 Carbon, a device as thin an lighter than the Macbook Air.  And there is no issues with batteries attached to the keyboard as the MBP.  One of the best devices I have used. 

    After this post, I suppose I'm a "Lenovo shill", right?

    After my MBP 2015 gives out, I will have to give the Lenovo a look.   I have a theory that a few of the posters here who attack those who post Critical comments are actually Long Investors in APPL and more motivated by keeping the stop price up.   They are caught up in the idea that Apple's management can't make a mistake or its dangerous to point these things out.   They really aren't motivated by the quality and experience of the products so of course they think that Apple should keep prices and profit margins as high as possible while reducing component costs.
    My 2018 is my favorite Mac I've ever owned, and i use it all day, nearly every single day, for professional use. I have some AAPL stock as well, but that certainly has no bearing on my posts.

    I have no use for an SD card slot, and find it baffling that people pick out the one or two bespoke ports/slots and claim that they're required by everyone in order to use a machine for professional uses. Give me a break.

  • Reply 56 of 68
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    This would have to be pretty thin, bendable glass. Even though such a material exists, it’s got to be somewhat fragile.

    Not really. The thinner glass gets, the more flexible it becomes. Get a tempered glass screen protector for an iPhone and you'll find that you need to almost fold the paper-thin glass before it will break.
    Tempered glass screens often break more easily than the phone screen does. I get the theory. Unfortunately, there’s a saying; Theory and practice don’t always match. If you have this, and you close the notebook with something on the keys without noticing it, I can pretty much guarantee those keys will break.
    Does this happen to your screen often?
  • Reply 57 of 68
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    This would have to be pretty thin, bendable glass. Even though such a material exists, it’s got to be somewhat fragile.

    Not really. The thinner glass gets, the more flexible it becomes. Get a tempered glass screen protector for an iPhone and you'll find that you need to almost fold the paper-thin glass before it will break.
    Tempered glass screens often break more easily than the phone screen does. I get the theory. Unfortunately, there’s a saying; Theory and practice don’t always match. If you have this, and you close the notebook with something on the keys without noticing it, I can pretty much guarantee those keys will break.
    Does this happen to your screen often?
    Nobody said this will be the future design.

    And please take care of your crap, if you got something that can break the glass when you close the damn thing, I’m sure that’s more of you own problem.
  • Reply 58 of 68
    shamino said:
    So, in summary, Apple admits that their latest keyboard design is bad.  And in response, they're going to introduce one that's even worse.  That's a great way to make customers want to buy your product.

    The low-travel keyboards Apple introduced in the MacBook Air are minimally acceptable.  The butterfly keyboards of the current laptops are terrible for anyone who touch-types, because the key travel is almost non-existent.  A glass keyboard?  Reducing key travel to zero?  Absolutely not.

    I tried the idea of touch-typing on glass years ago when the iPad was introduced.  It was terrible then, and sticking it in the body of a laptop isn't going to make it any better.

    What's the solution?  Very simple.  Force every Apple employee (designers, developers, marketing, sales and especially executives) to use nothing but Apple equipment for their jobs.  No third-party parts of any kind.  If they hate their keyboards then maybe they'll start to realize how bad the design really is.  If they find that the latest software deletes all the features they rely on to do their jobs, then they'll tell the developers to put them back.
    They didn't admit anything of the sort, and they have a ton of patents in this area alluding to what direction they're heading, but not indicative of any actual shipping product.

    I have no problem touch-typing on my 2018 MBP. I enjoy this keyboard more than any previous one, and feel like I'm actually a faster typist on this thing than any previous Mac I've owned. /shrug

    Not sure why you'd think Apple doesn't eat its own dogfood, it's pretty clear they do. You see Schiller and Federighi walking around with Lenovos, do ya?
  • Reply 60 of 68
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,086member
    DuhSesame said:
    Yup.  I posted a bunch of other patents from 2011 or so on the previous page, they all definitely spell out where they’ve been going for quite some time with all this. 
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