I wrote a long response to this on a similar thread on HN, but the gist of it was: the meme that's now floating around that Apple doesn't care about professionals is only true if you define "professionals" as a very narrow class of users who have certain expectations regarding things like variety of connectivity options, extreme performance characteristics (like needing more than 16GB of RAM), whatever.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of professionals, like myself, who will continue to happily use MBPs to get their work done. I make a living using a MBP, and I do quite a few "pro" tasks on it: web design, programming, music production, video editing, etc. Nothing in this update suggests I'll have a problem doing any of those things -- on the contrary, everything I do will actually get much better. I think the Touch Bar is really a fantastic development, the best UI upgrade to the macOS experience in years. I look forward to using it in person.
I wouldn't call it a meme. It’s very real indication of a very real problem — the kinds of features a certain segment of the market wants are no longer being addressed. The new MacBook Pro looks amazing and has a lot going for it, but there’s something far bigger at play here.
Interesting response and I am sure many people will be able to do great professional work with the mbp, but there's also a big sector who feels alienated with all these changes, sd cards are basics for so many photographers, usb-c will need a dongle, thunderbolt to dvi or cdmi will need another dongle, I don't edit on Mac OS anymore but the video card in a 4200 laptop should be great not just ok. I think the touch strip while interesting is a bit of a gimmick, it's their cop out to not going full touch, you still need to look down on your keyboard to see what you are pressing even more since they change from app to app.
You guys have to admit that you are very soft with Apple. Is a company that charges you a lot of money for their products and when someone is critical with Apple, you attack him or her. In the other hand, I see a lot of "If only the Surface Studio had Windows on it" or "Ew, is running Windows 10" in the comments in the posts about the new Macbooks and the Surface stuff. I have a Macbook Pro 2014 and a Toshiba P55T 4K and touchscreen laptop. I use both OS and even Toshiba knows who is that laptop for: Designers and Photographers that are looking for great performance and enough display quality to edit photos and design. Simple. Niche product.
Apple is looking for "marketshare", aiming for general public but keep saying they care about industry specific professionals. That's not true, we don't need a touchbar with gimmicks, we need performance, connectivity and standard ports. Is like the iPad Pro for designers, a tool but no a complete studio for creating all the stuff a designer needs. Professionals are way more than designers, developers and 3D artists, like project managers and marketing analysts. They need simple stuff like enough ram for multitasking and shortcuts to improve their productivity.
That's how you tell Microsoft is going for that niche industry professionals that Apple is leaving behind. MS doesn't need to gain marketshare, Surface products are top of the line, expensive, limited products for customers who can pay for them and will be able to use them at 100%. The other OEMs make products for lower prices and way more market.
So you can tell how Microsoft is innovative and fresh, and Apple is just being conservative. Both are very good on what they do, but Apple is becoming the bored and risk-free company Microsoft was 20 years ago. If you pay money to Apple start being critic with them and push them to stop using the goddam dongles for everything.
Don't think it's counted as a niche when creatives are the 3rd largest use of desktop behind gaming and corporate. Microsoft is going the right direction and hitting Apple where it hurts.
I also read an interesting comment on reddit where a professor was saying how as students see their professors leaving and migrating from Mac, they too will follow, apple is playing a tricky game here and it might bite them in the ass in a few years. They are being iterative instead of innovative.
This (and most Apple criticism posts) could be summarized as "why is Apple not putting out flawless, perfect products that revolutionize entire industry segments every year?".
I don't get why people expect Apple are surprised when they release iterative improvements with both pros and cons like literally every other company out there.
Personally I already ordered the new 15 inch MBP and I expect it'll be a nice upgrade that helps me get my job done better. I'm fine with the fact that it won't necessarily be a life-changing purchase.
why is Apple not putting out flawless, perfect products that revolutionize entire industry segments every year?
1045 days since the Mac Pro’s last update. And, 449 days for the update prior. An update doesn’t seem likely until January at least. Maybe the Mac Pro is dead? Who knows? And there’s the issue — signalling. Right now, people who rely on certain types of Macs can’t buy a Mac with even remotely up to date hardware, and the equipment they rely on might be discontinued.
The reaction is about uncertainty.
Oh, I was talking about the negative reactions every time Apple puts out a new product like the new MBP. I agree that it sucks for people waiting for a new Mac Pro.
Yeah. I would probably argue that the issues aren’t contained to just the Mac Pro though, and I just don't feel confident they are going to be the leader in the next wave of computers for creative professionals and professionals — computers used to turn humans into super humans.
I hope I’m wrong, but the Surface Studio looks more like a confident vision of how things should be than a 30 × whatever point iPod touch attached to a MacBook Pro keyboard.
"Flawed" is not the criticism I see most. It's more a concern over misunderstanding the users. I'm sure the new MBP is a lovely machine, a work of art and feat of engineering. I'm sure I'll probably upgrade (or maybe I'll wait another 1049 days). The issue is that the PRO should be for PRO users, and it isn't. What pros care about:
- Battery life
Mainly because a lot of pros use a laptop as a "desktop" in conjunction with an external display (this has to be like >80% of users). Notice what is not on the list:
- Reduced travel keys
- Touch-sensitive keyboard that requires me to look down
Those things are ideal for non-pro users (I don't mean this in a derogatory, "your mom uses a computer" way). It means people who don't have processor-intensive tasks or who are on the go a lot, without dedicated workstations. That's why I thought the latest Macbook (from last year) was a triumph: it was bold, innovative, novel, and perfect for smart, non-pro users (like my wife) who don't care about SD & HDMI ports. She even likes the keyboard.
So to characterize detractors as expecting Apple "to revolutionize entire industry segments" is, I'm afraid, a bit of a strawman that misses the point. MacBook Pro should meet a pro's needs, Macbook should meet the needs of everyone else. I would GLADLY trade an extra pound or two -- and millimeter or three -- for extra battery life, more ports, or a discrete GPU.
I don't criticize Apple because I don't like Apple; quite the opposite. I'm a huge fan. I care deeply about the company, its products, its cultural impact and what it enables creators to do. I'm invested in it. And I want to see some clarity in the product line -- Pros for pros, MacBooks for everybody. Why is that so hard?
This guys blog is nothing but Apple criticism. Eli Schiff wannabee.
Wait... is that a compliment? ;)
he's a pretty well-respected tech journalist, formerly of thenextweb
"I have thoughts about things that matter" == "Eli Schiff wannabee"? I don't get it.
Well I think the article is well written and hits the nail on most of the points that left people who use macbook pros as a workhorse kinda disappointed.
Haven't read any other of his articles, but let's be honest Apple his;t the same behemoth of innovation it used to be
The questions segment in this post is bang on!
"It wants the market that sits in coffee shops with its brand and only buys Apple, but doesn’t mind so much if the core demographic disappears. Maybe that’s OK — there’s probably good money in it — but it’s a real shame." This is spot on for Tim Cook's Apple. It's sad for people that have been with them from the beginning. They've become a mass market company, and forgotten what got them there.
I feel like this is a backwards view of history. Apple struggled for years (and even almost died) as a niche company for designers and other professionals, and only found success again after Steve Jobs came back and made it a mass-market company with the iPod and iPhone.
Focusing on products that appeal to a small segment of the market and nobody else is exactly what nearly killed them, so it's not surprise that they're prioritizing mass market products now.
Of course, there's another way of looking at it, which is that without the support of that niche market, Apple wouldn't have survived the 90s. The mass market can be really fickle — by alienating the base that's stuck with them for 20+ years, a couple of Samsung Galaxy 7-style missteps could lead them into a nosedive.
I'm fine with Apple not investing in a full touch screen. Touch Bar is perfectly fine for what it does and allows.
iOS is a much more modern, touch-capable software than macOS, I rather see the focus in improving its capabilities until it becomes a viable alternative for creative professionals.
Let's not forget that Apple's intention is for its users to combine multiple devices into a full workflow. Not saying this makes sense from our perspective, but I certainly understand this rationale and as I said above, we'll be seeing iOS taking more and more precedence.
In the meantime, Touch Bar seems to do the job for macOS.
Let's not forget that Apple's intention is for its users to combine multiple devices into a full workflow.
Then why require a dongle to connect the devices to each other? Making your users run around with a pocketful of adapters in order to maintain their current workflow doesn't seem like a well thought out plan.
Apple doesn't know. I'm currently running a poll on Twitter: https://twitter.com/briannhinton/status/791746629246210053 It's mostly designers and developers that have responded. But it's telling that >59% of MacBook and laptop users spend at least 50% of the time with an external keyboard vs the built in one.
I would be surprised if Apple doesn't make Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar. They'll just drive more MacBook Pro sales first but I totally expect to see designers and developers buying both the laptop and the new keyboard for their set up.