Apple considered glass panel keyboards as fix for butterfly problems

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 74
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,299member
    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?
    I dont use those tempered glass useless protectors. I’ve seen too many of them break for others. Never had my screens scratch. And when you use them, you lose the anti reflection coating, as it doesnt work under the glass protector.

    I did have one 9.7” iPad screen break when it slipped off my desk, flipped over and hit the edge of my rubber coated barbell I keep by my desk to use when I’m waiting for something to finish. It got one crack across the screen, but worked fine. I took it to Apple and fully explained what happened. He looked at it and said he couldn’t find where it hit, so they assumed it was a defect, and gave me a new one. A tempered screen would have shattered into little pieces, which is what tempered glass does. No guarantee that wouldn’t scratch the screen below, or prevent a break.

    when we had plastic screens, protectors were required. Not now.

    what I meant by the keys breaking is that, if you read the description in the article, you would see that they would be very thin, and formed into raised key shapes. Those would be unsupported underneath. If you have a pen, or something similar on it, and close the computer, the pressure could break those thin glass keys, bendable or not.
    edited February 2019 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 62 of 74
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,258member
    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. 
    Isn’t it fun to see people complaining without any experiences?  Butterfly keys aren’t perfect by any means, but most complaints has nothing on point.
  • Reply 63 of 74
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,258member
    melgross said:
    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?
    I dont use those tempered glass useless protectors. I’ve seen too many of them break for others. Never had my screens scratch. And when you use them, you lose the anti reflection coating, as it doesnt work under the glass protector.

    I did have one 9.7” iPad screen break when it slipped off my desk, flipped over and hit the edge of my rubber coated barbell I keep by my desk to use when I’m waiting for something to finish. It got one crack across the screen, but worked fine. I took it to Apple and fully explained what happened. He looked at it and said he couldn’t find where it hit, so they assumed it was a defect, and gave me a new one. A tempered screen would have shattered into little pieces, which is what tempered glass does. No guarantee that wouldn’t scratch the screen below, or prevent a break.

    when we had plastic screens, protectors were required. Not now.

    what I meant by the keys breaking is that, if you read the description in the article, you would see that they would be very thin, and formed into raised key shapes. Those would be unsupported underneath. If you have a pen, or something similar on it, and close the computer, the pressure could break those thin glass keys, bendable or not.
    Which is why it’s just a prototype yet.  If that’s going to be the thing, it certainly won’t be as thin as 40 microns, or isn’t something we used to think (keycap replacement).
  • Reply 64 of 74
    melgross said:
    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?
    I dont use those tempered glass useless protectors. I’ve seen too many of them break for others. Never had my screens scratch. And when you use them, you lose the anti reflection coating, as it doesnt work under the glass protector.

    I did have one 9.7” iPad screen break when it slipped off my desk, flipped over and hit the edge of my rubber coated barbell I keep by my desk to use when I’m waiting for something to finish. It got one crack across the screen, but worked fine. I took it to Apple and fully explained what happened. He looked at it and said he couldn’t find where it hit, so they assumed it was a defect, and gave me a new one. A tempered screen would have shattered into little pieces, which is what tempered glass does. No guarantee that wouldn’t scratch the screen below, or prevent a break.

    when we had plastic screens, protectors were required. Not now.

    what I meant by the keys breaking is that, if you read the description in the article, you would see that they would be very thin, and formed into raised key shapes. Those would be unsupported underneath. If you have a pen, or something similar on it, and close the computer, the pressure could break those thin glass keys, bendable or not.
    Yeah, what I meant was whether you're constantly closing your laptop with objects in there and breaking your screen. The fact you don't makes me wonder why you're already FUDding over breaking keys that don't exist, which are theoretically so thin that closing a lid on a pen would shatter them. It's kind of speculative, dontcha think?
  • Reply 65 of 74
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,299member
    melgross said:
    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?
    I dont use those tempered glass useless protectors. I’ve seen too many of them break for others. Never had my screens scratch. And when you use them, you lose the anti reflection coating, as it doesnt work under the glass protector.

    I did have one 9.7” iPad screen break when it slipped off my desk, flipped over and hit the edge of my rubber coated barbell I keep by my desk to use when I’m waiting for something to finish. It got one crack across the screen, but worked fine. I took it to Apple and fully explained what happened. He looked at it and said he couldn’t find where it hit, so they assumed it was a defect, and gave me a new one. A tempered screen would have shattered into little pieces, which is what tempered glass does. No guarantee that wouldn’t scratch the screen below, or prevent a break.

    when we had plastic screens, protectors were required. Not now.

    what I meant by the keys breaking is that, if you read the description in the article, you would see that they would be very thin, and formed into raised key shapes. Those would be unsupported underneath. If you have a pen, or something similar on it, and close the computer, the pressure could break those thin glass keys, bendable or not.
    Yeah, what I meant was whether you're constantly closing your laptop with objects in there and breaking your screen. The fact you don't makes me wonder why you're already FUDding over breaking keys that don't exist, which are theoretically so thin that closing a lid on a pen would shatter them. It's kind of speculative, dontcha think?
    A lot of people do just that though. Usually, the screen cracks from the pressure. That should tell you something about what this idea may result in.actually, we don’t know what Apple is planning, just that someone came up with an idea, and created an invention from it which was then patented. Apple may never go this route.
  • Reply 66 of 74
    shaminoshamino Posts: 502member

    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?
    Walking around in public, they're going to use what they want the public to see them using.

    When in their offices, I doubt they're using their laptops' built-in keyboards.  They're almost certainly attached to a dock of some kind.  Or they have desktop systems there (iMacs, minis, Pros) where they get to use large monitors and external keyboards and pointing devices.  Assuming they only use Apple parts (which may be likely), they're going to be Bluetooth Magic keyboards and mice/trackpads.

    Even more for the developers and writers who spend nearly all their time every day typing.

    It's also worth noting that Apple has not (yet?) introduced these no-travel keyswitches to their external keyboard products.

    I'd love to know how many of them actually use laptops at their desks and how many of those actually use the built-in keyboards at their desks.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 67 of 74
    thttht Posts: 4,501member
    shamino said:

    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?
    Walking around in public, they're going to use what they want the public to see them using.

    When in their offices, I doubt they're using their laptops' built-in keyboards.  They're almost certainly attached to a dock of some kind.  Or they have desktop systems there (iMacs, minis, Pros) where they get to use large monitors and external keyboards and pointing devices.  Assuming they only use Apple parts (which may be likely), they're going to be Bluetooth Magic keyboards and mice/trackpads.

    Even more for the developers and writers who spend nearly all their time every day typing.

    It's also worth noting that Apple has not (yet?) introduced these no-travel keyswitches to their external keyboard products.

    I'd love to know how many of them actually use laptops at their desks and how many of those actually use the built-in keyboards at their desks.

    You are assuming that Apple (managers, engineers, etc) won’t like the butterfly keyboards if they use them. It’s pretty clear that they use them, that they love it, use it all the time, and butterfly switches may well be on the next version of 1st party external keyboards. Then, a core group of Apple employees likely use laptop keyboards more than anyone else in the world as they have international travel schedules, including high level, mid level and low level managers and engineers.

    They’ve had 4 years to change the key design, but all they’ve done is refine the butterfly switch design since their introduction in the MB12 and expanded it to all laptop models. They love this design and think they got it right. The reliability is obviously worse than they want, but they’ve been slowly chipping away at that.

    Maybe the next major revisions of the laptops won’t have the butterfly mechanism, but I would bet a lot that they will be using the same domes that provide the clickiness, like in the Smart Keyboards. Don’t think that will be going to more key travel anytime soon.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 68 of 74
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,146member
    shamino said:
    It's also worth noting that Apple has not (yet?) introduced these no-travel keyswitches to their external keyboard products.
    They don't need to, space isn't at a premium as it is in the notebooks.
  • Reply 69 of 74
    JP234JP234 Posts: 218member
    How about the obvious (and free) solution to the problem: don't eat and drink around your laptop!
    Or the obvious (and cheap) solution: buy a $15-20 keyboard cover and clean it once in a while.

    Since using Apple laptops since my Powerbook 500, I've never had a problem with ANY of the keyboards. And my new M1 MacBook Air works just fine.
    baconstang
  • Reply 70 of 74
    omasouomasou Posts: 367member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    Nearly nobody uses the Apple (Magic) Mouse - soon MacBook users will need to attach an external keyboard to type efficiently???
    Sounds like a very bad idea - I would prefer the MacBook Pro to get a little bit thicker to get more space for key movement...
    But hey - at least it will look gorgeous...
    I use and love the magic mouse. I bought another for my work PC. Never liked the external trackpad that shipped w/a previous iMac, especially since that functionality is built into the mouse. In fact, the trackpad is sitting on the floor waiting to be eBayed or tossed.

    As for thicker. Do you own a new MacBook Pro 16". It's way too thick. The battery is way too big and makes the thing heavy as all get out. I can't remember the last time I carried a "laptop" this heavy. It almost feels like I'm lugging around a 10 year old 17" PC laptop.
    mac_128 said:
    idiotic idea from a company that has lost direction. Apple has gone down this path of forcing design changes on customers that neither improve their experience nor add anything significant to the product. They are just changes for changes sake. The headphone jack went away because? The adoption of USB C at the exclusion of other standard ports like USB A and SD cards? I hope they do adopt the glass keyboard. If it's anything like the force touch or haptic feedback it will be a dismal failure. All the legions of coders and developers who adore Macbooks will ditch them for HP and Dell. After a dismal sales meeting they will finally be forced to assess their ivory tower design ethos of putting form at the expense of function.
    There are 10 year old kids who have only ever typed on an iPhone or iPad. I’d say this is coming to market at about the right time to ensure they continue typing on virtual keyboards without interruption. Seems like the new norm to me. Tomorrow’s coders May very well prefer glass virtual keyboards.
    Agreed. Do they even teach typing in school anymore? If anything like my children they are not touch typists. The next gen are a set of hunt and peck style typists, if and when they use a computer, otherwise it's all thumbs and phones.
    edited August 9
  • Reply 71 of 74
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,396member
    The physical feedback you get from pressing a key, feeling a bit of resistance, and sensing its movement is so naturally satisfying. When you type on glass you lose all of that and only have the visual (and sometimes audible) feedback to convince you that your input mattered. It’s not nearly as satisfying, but is tolerable if that’s the only feedback mechanism available. 

    It sounds like Apple is trying to simulate physical feedback using haptics. Whether they pull it off in a satisfying way is the real question. 

    I’ll take a wait and see approach, but there’s no way I’m giving up my keyboards any time soon. 
  • Reply 72 of 74
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,606member
    Wow, this is an old thread to revive!
    baconstang
  • Reply 73 of 74
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,216member
    foljs said:
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    Nearly nobody uses the Apple (Magic) Mouse 


    Actually every Mac user I know uses and loves the Magic mouse...


    Count me as one who doesn’t. It’s too flat and I find it too twitchy. I’ve tried to like it several times but I just can’t. 
  • Reply 74 of 74
    thttht Posts: 4,501member
    entropys said:
    Wow, this is an old thread to revive!
    Yeah. I thought Apple was going to keep rolling with the butterfly keyboards. They'd fix them, eventually. But it looks like they finally determined that couldn't get there with the reliability, and they were damaging the brand. Would love to read the book that describes what happened inside Apple regarding Macs from 2012 to 2017. How did it get to the point that they had to reset in 2017, how they arrived at the decision. They are still infected by those 2012-2017 decision processes today with the modern Mac lineup, but the major mistakes seem to be gone now.

    And, yes, I'd be all-in with typing on glass. That's what I do on my iPP10.5 all the time. Just as much use as with my mech keyboards.
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