Apple’s Mac event took place last week and saw the company unveil a range of brand new Macbooks. Another high point of the event was Apple replacing the function bar with an OLED strip that is has taken to calling the touch bar. While the rest of the world is going gaga over the touch bar, Professional Mac users are not so impressed. We saw evidence of the same, while following the flow of the online Mac community.
Apple’s OLED touch bar is a rather small change in the overall scheme of things. The reason why it is generating so much attention might have to do with the fact that the Cupertino giant changed something which had almost become an integral part of our computers. I mean the function strip has been around as far as I can remember. Additionally, the function is definitely likely to bring about some remarkable changes in how we work with our computers.
That said though, many Professionals and developers feel that Apple has focused too much on what a layman would like to see — at the cost of disregarding the expectations of a very important segment of its users.
As Michael Tsai, a developer and a vocal member of the online Mac community said,
There’s nothing particularly wrong with what Apple announced. I like Thunderbolt 3. The display looks good. I’m not crazy about Touch Bar, but it does seem potentially useful. The problem is that the MacBook Pro is not a true Pro notebook.
He also went on to comment on Apple’s lost touch.
It seems like Apple has either lost its way, that it has lost touch with what (some of) its customers want, or that it simply doesn’t care about those customers. Developers are a captive audience, and creative professionals can switch to Windows, I guess. Apple no longer considers them core.
Tsai is not the only person disgruntled with Apple’s offerings this year either. Many others are also complaining about the fact that Apple appears to be treating its Macbooks as something that has a god given right to be expensive. For example, the new MacBook Pro still has a premium price despite being limited to 16 GB of RAM. And lets not even talk about the price.
The company has also pulled the plug on the cheaper, Macbook Air. Now its Macbook Pro all they way. With a base model that starts at $1,499 — $1,799 if you want the touch bar as well — Apple appears to be confident that users will be ready to shell out whatever price it demands of them.
However, the community of developers and professionals that have been some of the most loyal and steadfast Apple customers, appear to be feeling otherwise.
Another grievance had to do with the way Apple appears to have been trading CPU performance for thinness and lightness. Certainly, an average person would be quite happy with a good looking system that can get his work done. However, when you are a developer and need a lot of juice to run memory consuming software — well, it won’t matter how thin or light your Macbooks are.
While a large section of the population is obsessed with the looks of their personal computers, there are people who would rather have stuff like better performance, good keyboard, higher storage capabilities and so on.
Tsai sums up the sentiments of the Mac community rather well, in a single statement:
I’m not saying Apple shouldn’t make thin and light notebooks, but why do they all have to be that way?
Well, we leave it to Apple to address these complaints — and it appears as if the company has already laid out a roadmap to take care of at least some of them. However, it is actually rather curious that at a time when Microsoft is doubling down upon its Surface lineup and is awing a large section of creative professionals with its Surface Studio, Apple appears to be alienating a group of its most loyal customers.