The Great Apple MacBook Pro Cover Up

The Great Apple MacBook Pro Cover Up | iFixit:

We’re in the middle of tearing down the newest MacBook Pro, but we’re too excited to hold this particular bit of news back:

Apple has cocooned their butterfly switches in a thin, silicone barrier.

The 2018 MacBook Pro features a thin rubberized layer under its keycaps, covering the second-generation butterfly mechanism.

This flexible enclosure is quite obviously an ingress-proofing measure to cover up the mechanism from the daily onslaught of microscopic dust. Not—to our eyes—a silencing measure. In fact, Apple has a patent for this exact tech designed to “prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress.”

Confirmation that Apple have taken steps to improve the keyboard issues.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro Models With TouchBar

Daring Fireball: Apple Updates MacBook Pro Models With TouchBar:

But I think only time will tell whether this is true or not. Maybe, as Apple says, the only problem they sought out to solve was the noise. But, if they also sought out to improve the reliability of the keyboards — to fix the problem where keys get stuck, among other problems — I think they would only admit to fixing the noise problem. Marketing-wise, I don’t think they would admit to a reliability problem in the existing butterfly keyboards (especially since they’re still selling second-generation keyboards in all non-TouchBar models), and legal-wise (given the fact that they’re facing multiple lawsuits regarding keyboard reliability) I don’t think they should admit to it. So whether they’ve attempted to address reliability problems along with the noise or not, I think they’d say the exact same thing today: only that they’ve made the keyboards quieter. I have no inside dope on the this (yet?), but to me the reason for optimism is that they’re calling these keyboards “third-generation”, not just a quieter version of the second-generation butterfly-switch keyboards.

Exactly – Apple for multiple reasons won’t say they have fixed the keyboard issues but it wouldn’t surprise us if they have quietly re-designed and fixed the issue – time will tell.

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar updated with max 32 GB RAM, ‘improved’ third-generation keyboard, True Tone, and new Intel chips

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar updated with max 32 GB RAM, ‘improved’ third-generation keyboard, True Tone, and new Intel chips | 9to5Mac:

Apple has today updated the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with a spec bump refresh. The laptops feature Intel’s latest eighth-generation Intel processors, with a six-core option on the 15-inch model. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro can also be specced with up to 32 GB RAM, with a DDR4 configuration.

The new laptops also bring Apple’s True Tone display technology to the Mac lineup for the first time, as well as a third-generation butterfly keyboard. Apple says the new keyboard enables quieter typing, although hopefully there are reliability improvements as well. There are no changes today to the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial The new laptops can be configured with up to 32 GB RAM and up to 4 TB SSD. In addition to adding True Tone from iOS, the laptops also bring ‘Hey Siri’ to Mac for the first time. ‘Hey Siri’ is enabled with the Apple T2 chip coprocessor, which also delivers enhanced system security and secure boot — just like the iMac Pro.

Some great new features coming to the MacBook line for the first time like True Tone and Hey Siri and I think we are all glad to see Apple addressing the keyboards in the new versions – we will have to wait and see if this improves the recent keyboard issues.

Jason Snell’s MacBook Review

Review: The new 12-inch MacBook is a laptop without an ecosystem | Macworld:

But if your workflow includes lots of USB flash drives and external hard drives, if you’ve invested in Thunderbolt hard drives or displays, or if your work really does require 16GB of RAM and the very fastest processors around, the MacBook won’t be a good fit. Fortunately, Apple’s isn’t ceasing production of the MacBook Pro—and it offers all of that and more.

As a longtime user of the MacBook Air line, I look at the MacBook with a mix of excitement and trepidation. This is the future of Apple’s thin and light laptop line, as well as a warning that we’re about to enter a transition period for devices as Apple begins to embrace USB-C. And ultimately that’s the trade-off here: To get the cutting edge technology, you’ve got to deal with the incompatibilities and limitations that go with it.

As Jason says, this laptop is not for USB and external connection users – the aim is to use it similar to how an iPad is used – you charge it, leave the house and use it truly mobile by not having it plugged in like a traditional use case with laptops. It is designed for light use – ideal for students taking it to class etc. The removal of MagSafe reaffirms the view of Apple’s aim to only charge this MacBook whilst not in use but with the early reports of 6–7 hours battery life, getting closer to 10 in future models would be the aim to fully justify this vision.

PC makers mock Apple’s new MacBook

Over at The Verge, they put together nice retorts to how PC makers were quick to advertise how their products were better than Apple’s newest design. It seems to be getting more and more common for competitors to try and sway consumers for choosing their products over Apple’s – still worth a quick read even if Apple are guilty of it themselves:

PC makers mock Apple’s new MacBook | The Verge

Lenovo was first out the gate by calling the new MacBook “so last year,” the ultimate insult to any fashion-conscious laptop buyers. Lenovo also went for a comparison picture showing how its Yoga 3 Pro is 12.8mm thin compared to the 13.1mm thinness of the MacBook, all while conveniently overlooking the fact its laptop is 0.62 pounds heavier than Apple’s latest. The comparison picture also makes the MacBook look rather thick.

And this:

Dell followed Lenovo in its response to the Macbook with a tweet dismissing its Retina display. Dell claims its XPS 13 has 2 million more pixels than the MacBook, but weight and thickness didn’t even feature in Dell’s comparison. While Dell’s XPS 13 is heavier and thicker than the MacBook, you do get two USB ports, a mini DisplayPort, and a SD card reader.

And this:

The final entry in the PC market response is Asus with its ZenBook UX305. At just 12.3mm thin it certainly beats the MacBook thickness, and even has an impressive three USB ports, micro HDMI, and SD card reader. It’s still slightly heavier than the MacBook, and Asus forgot to mention it only has a 1920 x 1080 13-inch display on the base model.


Good summary from The Verge:

If there’s anything these comparisons teach us it’s that PC makers will compare only their very best stats and ignore the rest. That’s surprisingly similar to Apple’s own stats manipulation during its keynotes, but it’s also a reminder that the PC market doesn’t have an answer to the new 12-inch MacBook just yet — a good combination of weight, thickness, trackpad, and high-resolution display. Some have matched or got close to the MacBook Air, while failing on the quality of trackpads and battery life.

Thoughts on Apple’s Spring Event

I’ve had a few days now to digest the keynote, read opinions, articles and watch multiple videos and exit the reality distortion field and ready to share just a few brief thoughts and key quotes and links that stood out for me.

First of all, it’s fantastic that Apple appears to be streaming live every keynote they host now – in recent years (after the not-streamed-at-all-years) it was an unexpected bonus to be able to enjoy the show as it happens, as not every event was streamed live and instead you had to rely on prominent Apple-news sites to run a typed commentary from one of their writers who was in the audience. Nowadays, it’s looking like the need for these live event-typed-commentary sites are no longer required by the majority – Apple make it easy for folks to watch the live streams via Safari or via the Apple TV. The fact Apple doesn’t make the live stream available for users of Chrome, Internet Explorer or any other browser is deliberate for the eco-system and the business model and not as some naive cynics suggest, ‘clueless’.

Tim Cook is clearly enjoying heading up the keynotes nowadays and his confidence and humour shine through more so than the early post-Jobs keynotes which is understandable. Tim is proving to be an outstanding leader for Apple and this new Apple continues to shine.

Apple TV


With Apple announcing that the Apple TV has been reduced to $69 from $99, this appears to be a price drop in response to their competitors producing newer and more competitively priced devices. Apple may or may not be working on a product refresh for the Apple and based on Tim’s final comment on stage from the Apple TV segment where he implied there was more coming to the Apple TV soon, maybe a refresh is just around the corner.


One new feature they did announce for the Apple TV was the addition of HBO as a studio and channel coming soon to the Apple TV. Apple has been gradually adding channels and networks to the Apple TV and HBO is considered a big player due to it holding the rights to such big shows as Game of Thrones and Veep. You will need a subscription to watch HBO which is priced at $14.99 per month and available in the U.S. to start.

With Tim announcing that Apple have sold 25 million of the devices and HBO being added and as he alluded to, one thinks there is much more to come from Apple in this space.

New MacBook


Apple also announced a brand new version of their MacBook. As Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac scooped back in January, the new laptop is a futuristic new design with a new design in the keys and trackpad made to achieve an even thinner design. Measuring just 13.1mm thick and weighing just 2.03 pounds, this new laptop is clearly a laptop for the future due to the addition of one port – a USB-C which (depending on an adapter) can power VGA, HDMI, USB and of course to charge. This laptop is not designed for folks who need to hook up thunderbolt-displays or run powerful video-editing software due to it’s connection and power restraints – this laptop is a change in design and has Jonny Ive’s mark all over it. I’ll look at this this MacBook in more depth soon.

Available in 3 new colours Space Grey, silver and gold, prices and configurations start from $1299 available soon.

Apple Watch


In announcing the configurations and prices for the Apple Watch and a pre-order date of April 10th, Apple are ready to release the product to the world. I thought Apple did a fantastic job of showing everybody exactly where the Apple Watch fits and what you can do with it. The fitness aspects of the device were highlighted with Christy Turlington speaking on stage on how she uses it for her fitness and her upcoming London marathon. Kevin Lynch I thought did a marvellous job of walking through a typical usage of the Apple Watch showing how different apps can aid you in day to day life. Again, I will take a more in depth look at the Apple Watch in the next few days once we have more information.


Jim Dalrymple summed up perfectly Apple’s release of ResearchKit:

ResearchKit is a software framework that allows doctors and researchers to gather data more frequently and accurately than ever before. It’s a way for those people to help find the causes and cures for the diseases that haunt humanity.

As I sat listening to Jeff Williams talk about ResearchKit, I thought to myself, this is why I love Apple—they care. They don’t just talk the talk and put out press releases about massive donations they make to charities, they are actually making a difference and putting the power of the most successful company in the world behind what they say.

Federico Viticci touching on his own personal experience highlighted his thoughts:

As someone who relies on Apple’s Health app every day and had to go through medical research years ago for a brief period of time, I find ResearchKit to be Apple’s most profound and impactful announcement from Monday.

I remember that, as a patient, medical research wasn’t fun. In my case, I was going through treatments and trying experimental drugs three years ago, and I was handed paperwork that I needed to sign and fill with information about chemo effects and how I was feeling. Having to fill forms manually while you’re sick – even if it’s for a greater cause – isn’t the most pleasant experience. I did it, but it felt antiquated and strangely old-fashioned when compared to modern advancements in cancer treatment. Not to mention the bureaucracy and, as Apple’s Jeff Williams outlined, the infrequency and inconsistency of data and the limited amount of people willing to share their information.

Using an iPhone as a sensor-laden device for medical research seems genius to me and exactly what has to be done to expand medical research and make it more connected and accessible. When dealing with patients – and, obviously, my experience is limited to what I went through, so circumstances may be different – or people who are simply interested in helping with medical research, it’s important to make the data collecting process seamless and reliable. An iPhone is always with you (possibly on you) and it’s filled with sensors that can accurately measure parameters such as steps and vocal intensity; it’s got a screen that can assess manual interactions through touch; with Bluetooth and wireless connections, it can connect to certified medical devices and store data securely in a central repository that can be shared with other apps.

When I was watching the presentation, I could feel that ResearchKit was a big deal to the people who worked on it. But, at the same time, I imagined some of the reactions on Twitter and the comments from people who were thinking the announcement was boring. After introducing a framework that is deeply changing personal health tracking (and that will power Apple Watch), I believe that going one step further to embrace medical research through iOS features and apps is an important new direction for Apple’s Health initiative.

Bloomberg after the event had this to report:

Stanford University researchers were stunned when they awoke Tuesday to find that 11,000 people had signed up for a cardiovascular study using Apple Inc.’s ResearchKit, less than 24 hours after the iPhone tool was introduced.

“To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health. “That’s the power of the phone.”

Overall it was good keynote and great to see that Apple has ironed out the streaming issues of the past. Look forward to an in depth look at some of these new announcements soon.

iPad Air or mini?


Daring Fireball: The iPad Air 2 (And a Few Cursory Words Regarding the iPad Mini 3):

Anecdotally, most iPad photographers I see in the real world are using 9.7-inch iPads, not the Mini.) And the sort of iPad users who are pushing the performance limits of the platform are the sort of people who’ve preferred the 9.7-inch models all along. In short, I think the Mini really is more of a pure consumption device, and the Air is more of an alternative to a MacBook.

I think that is a great point from John – Although you can use the mini as a laptop replacement, it really is the bigger sized iPad that is the true laptop alternative – bigger screen for photo and video editing, two handed typing etc. If you are on the fence on what size to get, consider that before purchasing.