Apple needs fixing

by Volker Weber

In October 2016 I was watching the Apple keynote with Max. He was ready to buy a new Macbook Pro, credit card humming. Then Apple announced the new Macbook Pro with USB-C only and after much deliberation he decided to buy the old model. What I learned much later was that some of his friends got the new one and after having had difficulties with them, sold them back and also got the tried and true older design.

Now things are cooking up. There appears to be a problem with the keyboard that is much more prevalent than I thought. Casey Johnsten writes "Don’t buy the MacBook Pros even on sale, in my opinion". This can escalate quickly.

I have some Apple products that are outright fantastic: the Series 3 Apple Watch, the AirPods, the iPhone X. On the other hand, there have been lots of misses lately. The butterfly switch keyboards mentioned above. Products that have been announced and then delayed (still no HomePod available here). There have been products that were announced but never shipped like this wireless charger for three devices. There have been products that haven't even been announced ike a new Mac Pro, a new Mac mini, new Airports. Software that has been announced and did not ship like AirPlay 2 or iMessage on iCloud come to mind. Siri, first out the gate, now trails other voice assistants in capabilities. HomePod, a fantastic speaker, has been hobbled by software that does not deliver.

Maybe Apple has been distracted by their huge construction project for Apple Park. Now would be a great time to make some hard decisions.


I just came back from a developer community event. Most developers were on MacBooks, the newer Touch Bar models. Many complained specifically mentioning keyboard, Touch Bar and the screen. Haven't used the newer models myself so I cannot support or reject the complaints. But it seems Mac OS / Mac HW is losing favors. People always look with interest at my Surface Pro 4.
Personally still like Mac OS better than Windows but who knows.

Tobias Hauser, 2018-04-25

Went with the new Surface Pro just a few weeks ago. Thanks in big part to this website!

Love the form factor, which is really unbeatable to me. But just like Tobias, I agree that Mac OS still performs better for me than Windows. Can't even say what it is, but just feel like running into small bumps and road-stops every so often on Windows which makes the system so much more annoying on a daily basis.

Also the face recognition is a real disappointment to me. I ever really used facial recognition on my iPhone X first. I was impressed and couldn't have been happier with it. But the Surface/Windows just keeps failing me, though I did register my face numerous times with different "looks".

That said, AirPods are really cool and they "just work" with the X. But connecting them to Windows is a task I'm obviously not well-versed in. Takes me too much effort every time, which is why I fall back on cords.

And yeah Apple, where is iMessages on iCloud and the 3 devices charger? Desperately needed!

Maximilian von Hulewicz, 2018-04-26

Wir sind hier in der Agentur komplett im Apple-Universum. Im Grunde läuft das seit Jahren sehr unkompliziert und mit extrem wenig Wartungsaufwand. Aber die Abhängigkeit von Apple macht mir zunehmend Bauchschmerzen. Die MacBook Pro Geräte sind ein gutes Beispiel: Wir benötigen Geräte zum Arbeiten und kein hübsches Spielzeug mit bunter Touch Bar. Wenn ich beim Kunden nicht mal einen USB-Stick in ein Gerät stecken kann, für jede erdenkliche Anwendung einen eigenen Adapter mitschleppen muss, dann mache ich mich schnell lächerlich. Ich hoffe, mein Retina-MBP hält noch eine Weile durch, oder Apple macht seine Hausaufgaben.

Karsten Henrich, 2018-04-26

Ohje. Ich stehe genau JETZT vor dem Problem. Mein aktueller MBP (Retina, Mid 2012) gibt zunehmend den Geist auf -- Akku ist auf dem Weg in die ewigen Jagdgründe ("Fix Battery"), Thunderbolt-Anschluss macht Mucken.

Ich habe gehofft, es kommt dieses Jahr noch ein Overhaul des MacBook Pro. Mit dem neuen Modell hab ich so meine Probleme. Nur noch USB-C, also Adapter- und Docking-Station-Chaos. Magsafe wegoptimiert. Ach ja, und mein (seinerzeit) teures Thunderbolt Display macht Apple damit auch gerade mal obsolet. Und dann die Probleme mit der Tastatur. Das stimmt mich alles nicht froh.
Jetzt hab ich das neue MBP auf im Shopping Cart und kämpfe nur noch mit dem Kreditkartenlimit. Auch DAS ein Zeichen, dass Apple nicht für seine Kunden arbeitet - alle anderen Bezahloptionen außer Kreditkarte wurden entfernt. Wenn man jetzt mit dem MBP und dem Sammelsurium an Adaptern über dem KK-Limit liegt, ist man SOL.

Ich mag aber momentan auf OSX als Betriebssystem, mit einer (für mich) guten Shell, verwendbarem Window Management, etc., nicht verzichten. Wobei sich Apple auch bei den letzten OSX-Versionen ECHT Mühe gegeben hat, mir die madig zu machen (z.B. indem sie Mini-Previews auf den Virtual Desktops und das drag&drop zwischen Desktops ausgebaut haben).

Klarer Fall von "first world problems".

Daniel Tietze, 2018-04-26

Daniel, es gibt immer noch das MacBook Pro 15" Silver. Das hat Magsafe und brauchbare Ports. Außerdem ist es 500 € billiger als das mit der empfindlichen Tastatur.

Das KK-Problem hast Du nur, wenn Du direkt bei Apple kaufst. Ich höre, es gibt noch andere Händler. :-)

Volker Weber, 2018-04-26

Apples Butterfly-Tastatur und der völlig überzogene Preis mit Touchbar war für mich der Hauptgrund noch einmal in ein älteres Macbook Pro zu investieren.

Alfons Berger, 2018-04-26

I have a late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro that is still going well, and I work it hard. I pray it lasts because Apple has not produced any devices that I could really go for in recent years. The Surface Pro line is fantastic, I like it very much. But they all run Windows 10: macOS it ain’t…

Ben Poole, 2018-04-26

It is not. But I have overcome my fear of Windows and feel at home. This was probably the least expected outcome for me. I rather like Windows 10.

Volker Weber, 2018-04-26

I use Windows 10 most days, and it’s fine. It just doesn't float my boat like some Un*x-based OSes do. It has come on leaps and bounds though, no question.

Ben Poole, 2018-04-26

I run a touchscreen Windows 10 laptop for a customer engagement, and have really tried hard to like it and to embrace the recent updates and newer OS paradigms. Now it may be this organisation's locked down policies that are partly to blame, but I really can't find anything there to enjoy, only endure.

I own a much-maligned 2017 15" MBP, and whilst I can completely see where others come from wrt to the keyboard (though mine hasn't yet failed me) and the touchbar (and thus rate the hardware as fair at best), the macOS experience still brings me joy - awesome power, easy automation, and great apps (including new ones most weeks via Setapp).

That said, I'm finally attending WWDC this year, and I'm hoping for big news on the laptop hardware and OS integration fronts. Oh and some sense of reaching out to compensate those that have suffered from the keyboard issues - we may be waiting a while for that one...

Stuart McIntyre, 2018-04-26

Desktop computing needs fixing. The desktop computer I am using at home is a 2009 laptop and I still see no immediate reason to replace it. There has been no obviously desirable innovation in desktop hardware or UIs in years, with the exception of convertible laptops and touch integration in Windows, but Win10 still doesn't convince me enough to switch to it.

Hanno Zulla, 2018-04-27

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