October 27


ON: BY: Christopher Hannah

It's been 5 days since Apple's "Hello Again" event, and it's time for me to put together what I thought of the whole thing.

I'll make it easy by structuring it in a chronological order as the event panned out.

Accessibility

Apple once again opened the event with a short video on accessibility, it showcased their efforts to make all of their products usable by everyone. I really appreciate all they do with things like this, and luckily I'm fortunate not to need them.

iPhone Photography

Tim showed us some more photos, and this time they're from the iPhone 7. I haven't had my 7 Plus for very long, but the quality is astounding. And the new Portrait mode really makes photos stand out.

Apple TV

Yeah yeah, there's thousands of apps for the TV. Nothing spectacular in my opinion.

Twitter

The idea of a live stream from Twitter while you watch a sports game may sound interesting, but it doesn't do anything for me. Maybe it's because I watch (real) football, and a Premier League game would attract quite a vibrant array of tweets. Also, I watch football to watch the actual football, I don't really care what other people think about it until after the game.

TV App

Apple TV App

We then got a first glimpse of the TV app for tvOS, and I think this is what the tv interface should of been from the start. But we all know Apple have had issues getting content providers on-board. Seeing as it strangely matches the icon on the Remote, I think they've been planning this from the beginning.

I like the interface though, and the idea of having your content in one place interests me, as I'm the sort of person that uses loads of different apps, but each for a small amount of content. It doesn't have the support from Netflix or YouTube though, which will definitely affect people's opinions. I still think it should be what you see first when you turn your Apple TV on, and then you can back up out of it to see the entire collection of installed apps.

It's also coming to iOS as well, which is pretty neat.

Oh yeah, and why is there a black background to the icon? That's pretty ugly.

MacBook Pro

Wow, this is awesome.

MacBook Pro

Now to the main part of the event, the MacBook Pro.

I think it's the perfect mix between the MacBook Adorable, and the previous MacBook Pro. It finally comes in at least one other colour, Space Grey, and for the 13" version, it's 17% thinner, 23% less volume, and it weighs just 3 pounds! They may be boring stat's for most people, but it means this laptop is more portable than ever.

The trackpad also received an update, and is now two times bigger! It sounds perfect for Pencil support, but I don't see that coming any time soon.

Then there is the keyboard, it's also something which has been adapted from the 12" Adorable. It's now the 2nd-generation, featuring new butterfly mechanisms, and slightly more travel than before. So compared to the old MacBook Pro, they're still flat, but at least they're supposed to be better.

Touch Bar

This is the real update to the MacBook pro, the OLED touch panel that sits just above the keyboard, instead of the previous function keys.

I think it sits perfectly in Apple's opinion on bringing touch to the Mac, as the Touch Bar looks like an extension to the activities your fingers are already doing when typing. I agree that laptops just aren't the right form factor for touch enabled screens.

I like the TouchID support, but it doesn't really appeal to me as a major feature. Sure it's way more secure than a password, and it's quick, but I can type my password pretty quick on a Mac anyway.

Emoji Touch Bar

One thing I do like about the Touch Bar, is the quick Emoji selection! I use Emoji loads, and it's just a pain on macOS at the minute. But this will certain make my tweets more beautiful.

They've opened it up to third-party developers which is great, but one small thing I also like is that it's for active apps only, so something can't force it's way in.

It's a good extension to the keyboard, and in the words of The Great Cue - I can't wait to do it.

Apple Pay

This is useful, and certainly a welcome addition. Probably the only reason why I slightly appreciate the TouchID sensor.

Display

Something else I'm looking forward to seeing with my own eyes, the new display. It's 67% brighter, 67% higher contrast ration (not sure what this is exactly), and 25% more colours, because of the wide colour support.

Insides

There's not much to say here, but I'm glad it's faster. It could of been a load faster, but from what I gather, it's down to Intel.

They all feature SSD's, which is a huge step forward. Maybe we can see the price of these come down soon? 2TB SSD in a laptop sure sounds pretty good, but have you seen the price?!

Speakers

The speakers have now moved to either side of the keyboard, and supposedly they have a much higher dynamic range, so even more bass, and louder volume!

I/O

All the ports you want, just disguised by Thunderbolt. With the MacBook Pro feauring 4 x Thunderbolt ports, and still the same uncourageous headphone port.

It's definitely forward thinking, and eventually everything and everyone will adopt USB C as the new standard. But it will cause some adoption issues first off. Apple have certainly adopted it in their own way though, with the port actually being a much more powerful Thunderbolt port. Which actually uses the same design as the USB C connector, and can also support it.

It means that you can use it for data transfer, connecting to external displays, and even to power your Mac from any of the ports!

MacBook (Not So) Pro

There's also a slightly less Pro model available, and is aimed at MacBook Air users. It's pretty much identical to the real Pro, except it just has the 2 Thunderbolt ports, and doesn't feature the Touch Bar.

I'm not interested in this really, and I'm actually confused why they still call it the Pro.

TidBits

No Cinema Display?

With the announcement of the LG 5K display, there's certainly a reason to think Apple are no longer in the display business.

No Desktop Upgrades

Does this mean they don't think the Desktop has a future, or that they are still working on future improvements? I hope it's the latter.

Magsafe is Dieing

One thing I'm actually unhappy about, but maybe the problem it solved just doesn't exist anymore. With the super huge battery life of MacBooks, is there a cable issue? I'm pretty sure they could of adopted it somehow into the Thunderbolt port.

Startup Chime

The startup chime is gone, and I'm glad! Some users may feel attached to this noise, probably the same way I feel about MagSafe. But the only time I ever noticed this noice, was when I was booting up my Mac in a quite lecture room, which was quite annoying.

Final Thoughts

For myself, it was a really cool event, and I loved what they announced. But because the lack of iMac, Mac Pro, and even Mac Mini updates, I can totally see why some people were not very pleased.

I actually loved the new MacBook Pro so much, I ordered one straight away. It wasn't a spur of the moment purchase though, as I've been planning to upgrade my current 2011 MBP for a while, and you've probably seen my sticker collection - which will be getting used straight away!

Here's what I ordered:

13" MacBook Pro

  • Space Grey
  • 3.1GHz Dual Core i5
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD

USB C to USB Adapter

I knew this would be necessary!

Links

ON: BY: Christopher Hannah