USB Type C is the connector of the future. It’s fast, and we won’t have to worry about orientation. It’s just taking a bit longer to adopt. We’ll all eventually get there, but not everyone is in such a hurry as Apple. There are still millions and millions of old USB devices out there, even amongst the Apple faithful. Their own iPhone and iPad cords are not even Type C yet. Either Apple is too much in a hurry to usher in the future, or the endgame of the whole MacBook affair is to sell the Touch Bar and lots and lots of dongles. To ease fans’ port concerns and the transition to USB type C, Apple slashed their adapter cables and dongle prices two weeks after the new MacBook’s release.
The main gripes about the new fourth-gen MacBook is the lack of other ports, the touch bar and lack of a touch screen, the removal of the SD Card reader and the removal of the MagSafe feature. Apple fans are split with these recent developments. Some want a touch screen and are dumbfounded why Apple didn’t go gung-ho on touch. We know the main reason is because Apple doesn’t want to cannibalize iPad sales. Some fans are envious and wanting to experience the touch capabilities of Windows hybrid laptops. It wouldn’t hurt to add a touch screen really, at least for the Apple fans who really want it and those that care about the industry’s perception of Apple getting left out. Plus, the Touch Bar, while a cool concept, forces many users to look at their keyboards in order to hit the right function for the app they’re working on at the time. Touch typists will not have any of that. Perhaps time will judge the Touch Bar’s innovation.
Now the removal of the SD Card reader also alienates people who use their MacBooks to store photos taken with their digital cameras. These are the creative people that Apple is supposed to care for, who love to edit their photos and videos on Macs and MacBooks. The SD Card reader is hardly ‘cumbersome’ as Apple describes it since it’s a very thin component in itself and would still be right at home on most thin laptops. While this suggests that users hook up their devices directly to the MacBook, they’ll still require a dongle whether their cord is standard USB, Thunderbolt or Firewire.
Many are definitely upset at the loss of MagSafe because now they’ll have to worry about the danger of losing their precious MacBook when someone tips on the power cable. But when it comes to powering or charging the new MacBook, users can use any of the ports to plug in the power cord. That solved the very small problem of whether to plug the charger to the left or to the right of the table.
And many are upset at the fact that to use their old devices; they’ll either have to purchase USB Type C adapters and cables. Apple will not admit it, but by slashing the prices of their dongles and cables by as much as 40 percent, they may have been hasty in their decision to remove all their ports, that the new MacBook Pro is way ahead of its time. Sometimes, things don’t go well for devices of that nature. By cutting down on the price, Apple seeks to appease the fans that are angry at the lack of old ports and at the same time boost MacBook sales because there’s really no problem if the dongles are cheaper. If they package that all-in-one adapter of theirs, all might be forgiven.
While USB Type C no doubt is wonderful to use, the rest of the industry is taking its time adopting the standard, even releasing new devices still having a standard USB plug. I have yet to see a laptop that has a micro-USB port. Eventually, older users will replace their old devices for ones with USB Type C, but even if Apple does bank on completely new MacBook owners, those guys will still have to find devices that use type C by default and if not, will have to rely on dongles and adapters again.
Now we here like Apple. We like their devices and their tendency to treat their products like artwork. My bosses are even looking forward to their iPhone 7s in a couple of weeks. I’m very much happy with my iPhone 6S. I still hate iTunes. Someone fix it, please. Apple can just be so stubborn sometimes. It wouldn’t hurt for the MacBook to have a touch screen as notebooks and tablets are different beasts as some Apple users say. It’s cool to have iPads to consume data, play games and socialize and if that’s all they do, they don’t need their laptops unless they have to work and actively chat. Since the MacOS is still somewhat a different experience than iOS, a touchscreen is not a bad idea. It’s would then be cooler to have both.
The touch bar is cool, but the images might be too tiny for other people’s eyes, especially the old folk who get Macs for their simplicity. It will force software developers to rewrite their software to support it and to make up for the loss of the Escape and function keys. But it’s cool if it’s used for hardware-related functions that seek to overthrow function keys in many keyboards. Then there’s Microsoft’s earlier presentation of the Surface Studio and the Surface Dial. Even though both products are for the creative niche market, they’re seen as new and innovative compared to what Apple has now for the same niche market. Once Jony Ive’s finished on his Christmas vacation and redesigning the Christmas tree, he needs to get back on the design table as Microsoft could use the competition.
The biggest irony of the MacBook removing old ports to make it thinner, prettier and more advanced, is that they left in the most archaic of all—the headphone jack. You can check it out if you want to put it on your holiday wishlist or for your favorite tech geek.