Random Thoughts on Apple’s “Hello Again” Event

In the coming days there’s going to be a lot of talk about Apple’s “Hello Again” event today and the new MacBook Pros. Here’s a few random thoughts and observations I had watching the event:

  • Who is it sending their vacation photos to Tim Cook for inclusion in presentations? I think she is a much more talented photographer than me (and has much prettier friends).
  • The TV app feels to me like the leftovers from the hypothetical subscription TV project that never shipped. The trouble is that if they don’t have participation from everyone on the platform (Netflix and YouTube are not playing along), it’s much less useful.
  • The day you catch me watching tweets from random people about something I’m watching on TV is the day you’ll know my body has been taken over by aliens.
  • I like that Apple is embracing its past a little bit. I remember when I would’ve given my left one for a Power Book.
  • The “thinner and lighter” thing plays a big role going forward. It’s clear the MacBook air is getting squeezed out. The only thing keeping it alive now is that it’s the only Mac you can buy for under $1000. In a year or two, prices will come down enough to solve that problem and that will be the end of the MacBook Air.
  • They didn’t spend much time on the bigger trackpad but I suspect MacBook Pro users are going to really like it. I’ve already become accustomed to a larger trackpad with my Magic Trackpad on my iMac. It makes using gestures much easier and after using it a little, you won’t want to go back.
  • They didn’t spend much time talking about the new keyboard either. I know a lot of people that won’t buy the MacBook because of the keyboard. Apple is saying this is a second generation but if they don’t deliver the goods with the keyboard, I think it will hurt sales and the product overall. The surprise news item in the next few days may be that the keyboard is a dud. That would be bad.
  • 2 TB of SSD storage in a laptop is impressive. However, it will end up costing you an additional $1,200. Ouch.
  • Farewell MagSafe. We loved you.
  • I don’t think the USB-C transition is going to prove that difficult. Thanks to the existing MacBook that already has the USB-C port, along with other computers from other manufacturers, a healthy USB-C peripheral market already exists. If you’re making the switch you’ll need to buy a few cables and a dongle or two but you’ll be fine.
  • The idea that you can charge your MacBook from either side is kind of nice. How many times have you been in some weird spot where getting the charger cable to the correct side to charge your MacBook was harder than it should be?
  • They kept the headphone jack. Hooray.
  • How weird is it that Apple is selling an LG display during its keynote? Katie Floyd makes the argument in this week’s Mac Power Users episode that this is evidence Apple is getting out of the display business. She may be right. Either way, it is really strange seeing Apple sell somebody else’s hardware in this way.
  • At this point, the MacBook line has three alternatives: low cost, pro user, and ultralight. I’ve written about this before. Ideally, we will get to a point where the low cost and ultralight Macs merge into one computer. That was the case for a little while with the MacBook Air and explains why so many people love that computer so much. If they can get the existing MacBook’s price down to $999, we’ll get back to two lines again but that’s not going to happen this year.
  • Apple did a good job of getting more women presenters than usual. I thought everybody did a pretty good job on stage.

I’ve got more thoughts on what the touch bar really means but I have more to say there than a bulleted list. More on that to come.