When Steve jobs introduced the Mac in 1984, the first words to appear on the screen of the computer that was the first step towards changing computing forever were ‘Hello’. Today, more than 3 years after introducing what can be called the last major change to Apple’s Mac line of computers, the Mac Pro, the company is hosting the final event in the auditorium at their old campus to pull the curtains off new Macs. That event is aptly titled ‘Hello again’ and personally, I’m badly hoping that this event shows us a complete overhaul of the Mac line, making it worthy of deserving the ‘Hello again’ moniker (especially after the buzz-generating event from Microsoft yesterday which saw the introduction of the snazzy new Surface Studio PC).
Personal expectations aside, based on what I have heard/read over the last few weeks, today’s event will focus largely on revamping the MacBook Pro line with a few upgrades thrown in for the MacBook Air and the ridiculously thin (and underpowered) MacBook.
- The marquee feature of the new MacBook Pros is going to be the touch-sensitive OLED panel above the keyboard (it seems that Apple is going to call it the Magic Toolbar) which will replace the function-row and will surface (haha, anti-Apple pun) useful shortcuts and settings contextually (eg. in Word, it might show shortcuts for copy-paste, save, etc. On pages with payment options, it’ll bring up Touch ID to authenticate them). Yup, the touchpad will also be packing a Touch ID sensor at the right edge to bring the no-nonsense secure unlocking and authenticating that we have come to expects from our iOS devices. And you know how I know all this? Because Apple themselves leaked the Magic Toolbar through mentions in the latest MacOS update.
- Along with the Magic Toolbar, the MacBook Pros will also move to the USB-C standard. It seems that they’ll pack in 4 USB-C ports and nothing else (adaptors will rule the world). The USB-C shift, which began with the MacBook, will also permeate to the MacBook Air line and if they are seen at today’s event, the iMac and Mac Mini too.
- Also, being the latest and greatest to come out of Apple’s pre-spaceship stable, the new MacBook Pros will be thinner and lighter and will pack the latest Intel processors (Skylake, for those keeping count) inside. The pictures that have leaked also show smaller bezels around the screen and keyboard. That’s always a win for portability.
- Hopefully, we’ll also seen more than one color for the new MacBook Pros too.
- The 11-inch MacBook Air might get dropped too, making the 13-inch model the entry level MacBook for the masses (with a price drop for it and the base-level MacBook in tow, hopefully).
- Personally, I really hope that Apple, in addition to outing the MacBook Pro, also focusses on the iMac and Mac Mini and brings their internals up to speed with the other computers out there. Desktops are still important, especially in homes, and deserve attention.
- We were expecting AirPods to be officially launched today, but that’s not happening.
- A new 5k external display might also pop up during the event.
I don’t think we’ll see anything else, actually. The iOS-line deserves its own individual events and most of it is pretty new as it is. Macs had fallen on the back burner for Apple over the last few years. So, it is really heartening to see an event focussing on just them.
Let’s hope tonight/today lives up to its promise. I’ll be following along and will keep posting my thoughts about everything that is announced today. Stay tuned..
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