Who’s pushing things forward now?

I’ve been listening to people in the industry talk about the new MacBook Pro for quite awhile now. I’m in a very unique position because I’m a Network Administrator and work with computers every day. I work with both Macs and Windows computers and have owned both for longer than I would like to admit.

My first MacBook Pro was a 17″ Core2Duo and I have owned many MacBook Pro laptops since then. The one I have right now is a 2012 Retina MacBook Pro so like others I’m looking at upgrading. I have always maxed out the hardware of my computers. Whether Windows or Mac I used to buy the baseline model then add RAM, a bigger hard drive, SSDs when those appeared. Then I noticed that it was becoming harder to upgrade because more and more hardware was being soldered to the motherboard. When I bought my current MacBook Pro I got the maximum amount of RAM and hard drive size I could afford. It has 16GBs of RAM, the reason I mentioned this will become more clear later.

People don’t like change this is widely known. Some deal better with it than others but everyone reacts to change initially. So it’s a funny juxtaposition we put ourselves in when we want Apple to innovate. Innovation means change, it means changing things for the better. Yet when they do change things we get angry, complain and threaten to leave. I’m one of the people who handles change well. When the MacBook Pro removed the Disk drive, ethernet and security lock I reacted at first. Then I calmed down and bought one and I haven’t used a disk in years, I have a thunderbolt ethernet adapter and security locks seem to be a relic of the past. So I’m not worried about them taking away the MagSafe connector, switching to the new style of keyboard, removing the card reader or the fact that it only supports a maximum of 16GBs of RAM. The great thing about computers is that there is a huge amount of choice. On my current MacBook Pro I run MacOS, Windows and Linux virtually. I have yet to tax my 16GBs of RAM. There isn’t only one type of Pro user and like I said the great thing about computers is choice. If you’re a pro user that needs more than 16GBs of RAM, and I’m sure there are, then you already know your choices. If you can’t make changes to your workflow to adapt to the new MacBook Pro then there are so many other manufacturers out there. There are even other choices among Macs. If however you must use MacOS and are stubborn enough to only want a MacBook Pro. Then you should realize that Apple doesn’t cater to our whims. They will build what they want to build and you can either buy it or not.

Where I work we have had touchscreen computers for a couple of years now. A couple on Windows 7, some on Windows 8, guess how many times people have used the touchscreen feature? Never. Building devices is about more than the hardware and the user experience. It’s also about timing. There were Windows tablet PCs long before the iPad every ushered in this generation of tablet devices. The Windows tablet PCs were too early and flopped big time. I’m going to go on record as saying that the Surface Studio will not be a homerun. I’m not saying that it will fail people have already gotten used to the touch interface. I just think it is too early. In 10 to 15 years when this generation that have grown up with iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Where touch is their first interaction and not the mouse and keyboard. At that time I think all computers will have a touch interface. The users at that time will instinctively use touch first and the keyboard and mouse, if they are still around, will be the auxiliary input. I personally don’t think there will never be a touchscreen Mac. Notice Apple said that they don’t think touch on a computer makes sense. Which means that when it does make sense they will do it. Perhaps 10 years from now there will be no iOS, MacOS, tvOS, watchOS. There will just be one OS that morphs depending on which device is being used.

What I wonder more about now is, who’s pushing things forward? Steve Jobs was a product guy and he had the sensibility to detach himself and know what consumers on a whole needed. Building a device that you or those close to you love means nothing if you’re lifestyle is vastly different from the main consumer’s. Beyond that Steve Jobs used to push people to make better products. Sir Jony Ive is a master at design but his design had to please Steve Jobs. I feel like Steve Jobs was there to push him, take his ideas and add more functionality or practicality. If he felt that USB 2/3 was still in heavy use he had the power to tell Jony that no matter how thin the new MacBook Pro is there needs to be a USB 2/3 port. If Intel was late to ship CPUs Apple wanted for the new MacBook Pro he would call up the head of Intel and put him on blast. Now, I don’t work at Apple and this is all just my personal opinion. I just feel like there might not be anyone right now to push force things forward.

When USB 3 was released computer manufacturers like Dell had the blue ports to distinguish between USB 2 and USB 3. The Mac had all USB 3 ports so there was no need to distinguish between which port you were plugging a device into. USB-C might be the future like USB was in the days of the floppy but computing has changed a bit since then. Sure there is a dongle to go from USB-C to USB 3 and in a couple years everything will probably be USB-C. You can say that the Touch Bar and the new MacBook Pro was developed years ago when Steve Jobs was still alive but he didn’t see it fully assembled. Therefore that doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me. I just want to know that someone is pushing to make the great things even better. Perhaps there just needs to be that figure who doesn’t care about the outside noise, who commands the respect and draws that hardline that forces everyone else to do the impossible. However just realize, if Steve Jobs wanted the new MacBook Pro to ship with the new Intel chips that weren’t ready and he said it wont launch until they are ready. There wouldn’t have been a new MacBook Pro or maybe just a minor spec bump. Which scenario would you rather? The grass may always look greener but that might only be because you have rose colored glasses on.