Pensieri sul nuovo MacBook Pro

Dongles

Jeff Johnson nota come non sia possibile collegare l’iPhone al Mac, senza prima comprare un cavo aggiuntivo, dato che quest’ultimo è dotato solo di porte USB-C:

Apple was famous for their ecosystem integration. But out of the box you can’t plug a new iPhone into a new MacBook Pro. Absurd. Fire Tim.


Secondo Joe Cieplinski, i Mac diventeranno sempre più per pochi: Apple sembra credere che la macchina entry level per le masse sia l’iPad (Pro o non). O per porla in altri termini:

The days of the sub $1,000 Mac are done. I thought the Air would stick around for another generation because of this price tier, but then I thought about it more carefully. Low-cost PCs make almost no sense anymore. People who need the power of macOS are becoming a smaller group with every passing year. Prices will continue to reflect the shrinking market. Apple has an entry-level machine for people who are budget constrained, and it’s only $599. It’s called the iPad Pro. That machine does everything the target audience for an 11-inch Air or 13-inch Air would need and more. The MacBook and MacBook Pro 13 with no Touch Bar will cover anyone else, albeit at a slightly higher cost. The price you pay for needing more power than the average person.

Pretty soon, the only people who need macOS will be certain kinds of pros. So it’s pro machines from here on out. And those pro machines are going to keep getting more expensive. Don’t worry; you won’t be upgrading them very often.


Anche The Verge scrive che il futuro dei Mac e dei PC è costoso, una categoria di nicchia:

Here’s my interpretation of this phenomenon: Apple and Microsoft have both come to terms with the fact that people are simply never going to buy PCs — whether in desktop or laptop form, running Windows or macOS — in the old numbers that they used to. Computers are just too good nowadays, most users are already satisfied, and so the market for new PCs inevitably shrinks. And when you can’t have growth in total sales, the logical move is to try and improve the other multiplier in the profit calculation: the per-unit price and built-in profit margin. That’s been Apple’s approach for a while, and now Microsoft is joining in.


Stephen Hackett trova la nuova offerta di Apple abbastanza confusa. Forse Pro e non Pro non ha più senso: l’unica distinzione che rimane (o rimarrà) è in termini di dimensioni dello schermo — perché tutti i PC saranno per Pro, mentre per l’utenza consumer c’è l’iPad. Oltretutto, Apple non ha nemmeno menzionato l’iMac, il Mac Pro o il Mac Mini, mentre l’Air resiste ma senza alcun aggiornamento. È possibile che Apple smetta di produrre desktop? Nessun desktop può, almeno per ora, utilizzare la Touch Bar come sistema di input.

The notebook line is pretty confusing right now. There are several machines — ahem, MacBook Air — that seem to exist to hit a price point. I understand and respect that, but I am already dreading offering buying advice over the next year. Desktop Macs didn’t get a single mention, or a silent hardware update after the announcements were done. While last-minute rumors claimed that the iMac wouldn’t be ready in time, it — and the Mac mini — would have been well-served with CPU bumps and Thunderbolt 3.


Riccardo Mori, come Hackett:

Why can’t Apple leave the light & thin to the consumer line of notebooks, and offer pro notebooks that follow a more ‘function over form’ approach? What once was a clear distinction between ‘consumer’ and ‘pro’ machine, has now become something more like ‘regular’ versus ‘deluxe’ machines. Nowadays, a professional computer shouldn’t be constrained by a maximum of 16 GB of RAM. I know a few people who are barely comfortable with 32. Considering the non-trivial investment when you purchase one at its maximum tech specs, these MacBook Pros are supposed to last a few years.


Steven Levy guarda al nuovo Surface Studio di Microsoft, e lo confronta con le novità introdotte da Apple con il nuovo MacBook Pro. Ad un’analisi affrettata si potrebbe dire che Microsoft è oggi quella che innova, Apple quella che avanza con più cautela:

The difference between being the leader and the challenger is apparent in the two products introduced this week. The Surface Studio is a dramatic rethinking of the desktop computer. Also, the particular niche it targets — “creatives” in music and the graphic arts — is the exact one that Apple saw as its high-end core when it conceded the hopelessness of overtaking Microsoft on the basis of its operating system alone. And Microsoft wants to hit the classic buttons once defined by Apple’s fingerprints: lust-worthy design; painstaking attention to details; a sorcerer’s swoop of delight. Just check out its striking video for the Surface Studio — it is so influenced by Apple’s playbook that I’m surprised there’s no Jony Ive narration.

Apple claims that its new Macbook Pro is defined by a similarly impressive technological feat. And yes, the Touch Bar seems a genuine innovation, though I’m not yet sure it’s a successful one; I’ll need to use it over an extended period of time before making that judgement. But two things about it do seem clear. First, Apple has really dug its heels in on the belief that touch screens do not belong on desktop and laptop machines.

The second is that Apple is continuing a near-decade-long process of making its PC operating system act like a phone.


Forse i nuovi MacBook non hanno più il suono d’avvio, il che è una cosa tristissima.


John Gruber spiega perché, contrariamente alla direzione intrapresa da Microsoft, Apple continua ad essere convinta che i desktop non necessitino di schermo touch. Sono due sistemi di input completamente diversi — touch e mouse — per due ambienti completamente diversi. Così come il mouse risulterebbe assurdo su iPhone/iPad, toccare lo schermo di un portatile risulterebbe altrettanto scomodo (tutte le volte che ho provato un desktop touch, mi son domandato quale fosse il vantaggio):

Some people are adamant in their belief that MacBooks should and/or will eventually have touch screens, but I remain convinced that they should not and never will. Ergonomically, a vertical (or nearly vertical) display is not comfortable for touch. And even more important, MacOS was designed for a mouse pointer. That’s fundamentally different from touch. MacOS is no better suited to touch than iOS is suited to support for a mouse or trackpad pointer. (I’d even argue that touch support on the Mac would be even clunkier than mouse support on iOS.)

The Touch Bar is not the answer to “How do we bring touchscreens to the Mac?”, because that question is not actually a problem. The Touch Bar is the answer to “These keyboard F-keys are cryptic and inflexible — what can we replace them with that’s better?” That’s an actual problem.


Ho letto molti confronti fra il Surface e i nuovi MacBook Pro, e la conclusione sembra essere: guarda quanto è “nuovo” il primo, e guarda quanto sia prevedibile e banale il secondo. Seppur il Surface Studio sembri bellissimo, vorrei provarlo o leggere delle recensioni prima di esprimermi — sia perché sembra un prodotto mirato verso un’utenza specifica più che un generico PC, sia perché Microsoft è molto brava con i concept, un po’ come Google a stupire con prodotti innovativi, che poi nell’uso quotidiano o nei dettagli si rivelano pieni di lacune e frustranti. E comunque, avete provato Windows recentemente? Ho avuto a che farci lo scorso anno per l’università — cose che diamo scontate su Mac continuano ad essere complicate su Windows.

Come scrive Ben Brooks, e come disse Steve Jobs, il Mac è un “camion”: non aspettatevi rivoluzioni.

The reason people stay with Apple is not because of lock in — no that just makes the decision easier — they stay because it’s still vastly superior to all other options. This new MacBook lineup maybe be disappointing or confusing to people, but that’s only because they’ve come to expect magic with each new launch. But the truth of the matter is that it’s a laptop, and as much as you disagree, a laptop is not the future of computing, it’s the ancient hold over. It’s the truck, as Steve Jobs famously said, and I just heard a commercial for an actual new truck — they were touting an all new stronger steel bed. And so, in that way, woohoo for the ToucBar.

Apple didn’t launch a crappy product, they launched devices which still are the best option on the market. Which still have top notch industrial design. Which still have the best operating system. Which still have the best third party apps on any desktop platform. Which are still the best option for most people in the world. And frankly, if you can’t see that, then you need to go buy a non-Mac laptop and see for yourself how bad it truly is.


Anche Matthew Panzarino spiega perché un’interazione touch con un portatile né risulterebbe comoda, né servirebbe a molto. Insomma, se volete dei Mac con schermo touch probabilmente attenderete all’infinito:

These machines are not tablets; there is a work surface area and a view area. Any interaction you take on the screen has to be worth you moving your hands from your work area to the view area, obscuring a portion of the content that you’re viewing, and taking an action. The wrist rest and keyboard position also mean that you sit far back from the screen — and whether you touch a screen is almost always a function of how close your hands are to it. Most of those actions are also taken on large touch targets like the Start button and other tappable things. […]

The interaction models are also different than they are on an iOS device. On an iPad, every touch interaction is 1:1 — your finger directly manipulates stuff like volume sliders. On the MacBook, you can touch the volume button and begin sliding right away, providing you with an off-axis slider in plain view. In other words, you should be able to single tap and slide many interactions on the toolbar, while not obscuring your view of the control or content (in the case of photo thumbnails). This does not work on a touch screen.


E per ribadire il concetto: lo scopo della Touch Bar non è di essere uno schermo ma, come scrive Jason Snell, di essere un nuovo strumento di input:

Touch Bar is designed for angled viewing. The Touch Bar itself isn’t angled, but Apple designed it knowing that its primary viewing angle isn’t straight on—it’s at an angle, down on a laptop keyboard. This went into some of the aspects of its design, including changes to the structure of the glass and a special coating. The goal was to make it feel like an input device, not a display—and in fact, make it feel similar to the trackpad.


Se volete leggere qualcosa sulla Touch Bar e sull’uso che Apple si aspetta ne facciano gli sviluppatori, leggete le Human Interface Guidelines:

The Touch Bar—located above the keyboard on supported MacBook Pro models—is a Retina display and input device that provides dynamic interface controls for interacting with content on the main screen. These controls offer quick access to system-level and app-specific functionality based on the current context. For example, when the user types text in a document, the Touch Bar might include controls for adjusting the font face and size. When the user views a map, the Touch Bar could give quick, one-tap access to gas stations, lodging, and restaurants near the displayed location. A Touch ID sensor to the right of the Touch Bar allows fingerprint authentication for logging into the computer and approval of App Store and Apple Pay purchases.

2 risposte a “Pensieri sul nuovo MacBook Pro”

  1. kOoLiNuS ha detto:

    Ottima carrellata. Ma il punto qual è ?
    Non c’è una visione vera. Le cose mi pare accadano tanto per, senza alcuna vision …
    Il MacBook Pro è stato aggiornato perché era invecchiato, solo che invece di andare avanti, è stato fatto un passo di lato.

    Più passa il tempo più lo vedo come un prodotto interlocutorio, mentre l’iPad Pro mi pare procedere verso una linea di sviluppo ben definita (assieme al Watch).

  2. Enzo ha detto:

    iPad Pro con l’uso del mouse sarebbe l’uovo di Colombo, se proprio vogliono far diventare il Mac di nicchia che almeno massimizzino l’input con iPad, per piacere.