Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Feb 2017 23:31 UTC
Apple

If you listen to Apple podcasts - and you really should, because ATP and Gruber's The Talkshow are a delight to listen to, even if it's sometimes infuriatingly inaccurate about Windows, Android, and Linux - you would know there's a lot of talk going on about what Apple is going to do to 'salvage' the iPad, and what Apple is going to do - if anything - to replace the Mac Pro. They sometimes take it a step further, and go into what the future of macOS and iOS is going to - will they continue to exist side-by-side? Will macOS be tightened up and made more like iOS, or will iOS be expanded to make it more like macOS?

These questions arise from Apple's seeming indifference towards the iPad, and the obvious situation with the lack of updates for the Mac Pro, the Mac Mini, and to a lesser degree even the iMac. On top of that, the rumour mill is running in overdrive, and it further fuel the fires of these discussions.

I've been thinking about this a lot these past few months, and I've been talking to people who know their Apple stuff, and the more I take a step back and look at all the discussions, rumours, and Apple's actions - and lack thereof - the more obvious it becomes: it seems like Apple is about to completely redefine its infamous product matrix.

In case you don't remember, back in the late '90s, Steve Jobs showed the following product matrix:

The old Apple product matrix.

Before I show you what I think Apple is going to do, here are a few reasons underpinning it, in list form:

  • The Mac Pro was introduced to much fanfare, but hasn't been updated in - as of writing - more than three years.

  • Likewise, the Mac Mini hasn't been updated in well over two years.

  • The MacBook Air - the number one crowd pleaser among non-techy buyers - hasn't been updated in two years.

  • The iMac hasn't been updated in over 18 months.

  • Apple told Nilay Patel that the company is out of the standalone display business. If true, the logical extension of this would be that Apple is out of the headless Mac business. As John Gruber noted in the latest The Talkshow episode - do you really think Apple is going to put ugly LG monitors in its brand new, meticulously designed headquarters?

  • The rumour mill claims Apple is expected to expand its iPad lineup even further, with more Pro models.

  • iPads - even the basic models - have an insane amount of computing power, and newer models have lots of RAM and crazy fast processors. What for? To watch Netflix? I don't think so.

  • And last but not least: Apple debuted a number of new commercials last week, in which the company positions the iPad not as a companion device, but as your only device, touting its productivity features such as Microsoft Office support.

Add all this up, and I'm getting the feeling Apple is working towards a product matrix that looks more like this:

The new Apple product matrix.

The basic gist is that I feel Apple is slowly but surely working towards positioning iOS computers as its consumer line, and macOS computers as its pro line.

Since I can already hear people tapping away at their keyboards about Xcode this and consumption device that - it's important to note that what is iOS today will be very different from what will be iOS in the future. iOS surely has its limitations right now - specifically things like awkward and cumbersome file management, no proper windowing, etc. - but there's no reason to assume that what iOS looks and feels like today is what it'll look and feel like forever.

A lot of people are exploring what an IDE and related software will look like on iOS (just follow Steven Troughton-Smith and Federico Viticci on Twitter - they talk a lot about production-oriented iPad applications). The problem here isn't that iOS can't do complex applications - the problem is that the application ecosystem isn't conducive to such complex applications, which is quite a big hole Apple dug itself into by letting the App Store model ravage the indie developer scene, race all prices to the bottom of the barrel, and creating the expectation that everything is either 99 cents or free.

Another issue easily spotted in the product matrix is that the iPad Pro awkwardly sits in the desktop line, even though it clearly isn't a desktop device. It could very well be that we'll eventually see an iOS desktop or desktop-like device, but I honestly don't think it's worth the effort. People have overwhelmingly voted with their wallets, and portable computing has resoundingly won.

If this hunch of iOS = consumer, macOS = pro does indeed pan out, I don't expect it to happen overnight; in fact, it will most likely take several years, in a way where you barely notice it's even happening. We should be seeing a heavier emphasis on things like iPad keyboards, which may even include 'hard shell' keyboards which effectively turn them into laptops. On the software side, we should see things like mouse and trackpad support, improved multitasking (perhaps even some form of windowing), and improved file management. Of course, this would be accompanied by a marketing campaign more heavily focused on positioning the iPad as an all-round device capable of replacing your laptop.

Looking at the evidence I listed above, the conversations I've had with people who know Apple really well, and the Apple podcasts I've been listening to, I feel like this is a plausible future for Apple. I obviously don't have any insider information or anything like that - this is all based on gut feeling, some common sense, and the listed evidence. This is not a prediction, and not an "Apple must do this, or else"-kind of thing - just something I've been piecing together these past few months.

This year, 2017, will make or break a lot of this stuff.

Order by: Score:
Macbook
by viton on Sat 25th Feb 2017 00:36 UTC
viton
Member since:
2005-08-09

So what is a niche for Macbook?

iPad with hardware keyboard is still uncomfortable for most non-consumption activity.

I mean "hardware" side. "Smart" cover is very shaky with iPad Pro. I use basic Apple wireless keyboard. "Smart" keyboard is too expensive and don't look steady as well.

And software is still a disaster.
One of annoying things in current iOS is a loss of data at app switch. Like lost of post I'm writing in browser or even position in text. Even simple things like instagram can't store it's state. If you switch to other app, and you're as lucky as me, most likely you'll lose the edit.

Reply Score: 3

A plausible future
by dpJudas on Sat 25th Feb 2017 03:03 UTC
dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

While I agree with you that what you are describing here is a plausible future for Apple, I think they will be making a big mistake if they take this direction. There are a couple of reasons why I think that.

The first reason is that it is important to understand that while any software solution is being developed there are litterally thousands of small decisions that are finetuning a product for a specific usage. When iOS was designed they took the common parts of OS X (the kernel and base framework libraries) and built a completely new user interface on top. This user interface was tuned for touch input and shapes the decision process for all the ways apps interact and all the base user interface views and controllers.

It is important to be aware of this fact because changing the purpose of the product suddenly makes a very large percentage of those decisions wrong as the assumptions they were built upon are no longer true. In fact, I think one of the reasons Apple didn't start out with just building OS X for their iPhone was because it didn't make any sense to try shoehorn it into something it wasn't remotely made for.

This logic holds true in both directions - as little as it made sense to boot OS X on a iPhone, as little sense does it make to try make an iOS app run on large screens and keyboard + mouse input.

The second reason I think it will be a mistake is because it is important to realize that desktop/laptop serves a different purpose than touch based devices. The target audiences are different. While a lot of people, probably even the majority, do nothing intelligent with their devices than surf and chat outside work, the more creative people are not all high end "pro" users. If they force people to choose between a shitty iPad or pay a premium for macOS, then eventually they may find the value proposition for owning a Mac to drop. Their market share isn't high enough for them to maintain that platform for developers building for iOS alone. It would eventually kill macOS, in which the matrix lost the high end column. Apple would end up being reduced to be a phone and netflix/toddler-gaming-device company.

Reply Score: 9

RE: A plausible future
by Alfman on Sat 25th Feb 2017 04:37 UTC in reply to "A plausible future"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

dpJudas,

The second reason I think it will be a mistake is because it is important to realize that desktop/laptop serves a different purpose than touch based devices. The target audiences are different. While a lot of people, probably even the majority, do nothing intelligent with their devices than surf and chat outside work, the more creative people are not all high end "pro" users. If they force people to choose between a shitty iPad or pay a premium for macOS, then eventually they may find the value proposition for owning a Mac to drop. Their market share isn't high enough for them to maintain that platform for developers building for iOS alone. It would eventually kill macOS, in which the matrix lost the high end column. Apple would end up being reduced to be a phone and netflix/toddler-gaming-device company.


I very much agree. There are many pro users for whom an IOS tablet/laptop would suck (because of platform restrictions, the form factor being too inefficient, etc). But then why should apple care? From a business perspective pros are a demanding niche, we're less profitable than wealthy consumers who are both more numerous and less demanding. It was not the pros who made apple a half-trillion dollar company, and it's very doubtful that we will make apple their next half-trillion.


I think they need to start thinking outside the tablet though because with everyone and their kid having one the gravy train is quickly loosing momentum.

Edited 2017-02-25 04:43 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: A plausible future
by dpJudas on Sat 25th Feb 2017 07:17 UTC in reply to "RE: A plausible future"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

But then why should apple care? From a business perspective pros are a demanding niche, we're less profitable than wealthy consumers who are both more numerous and less demanding. It was not the pros who made apple a half-trillion dollar company, and it's very doubtful that we will make apple their next half-trillion.

Well, I suppose it comes down to what kind of company Apple really wants to be.

But what I meant with my comment was just as much that it isn't only the professionals that use computers for creative work. I've seen a lot of comments since the rise of the smart phone that say most people are fine and content just using their phone. That might very well be true, but those that are left are the tinkerers, the creative types.

If Apple splits the segment like Thom's matrix suggests, then those people will have nowhere to go than to the Windows PC. For most of those people a pro laptop is either overkill, too expensive for them, or both. A result of that is that they lose mindshare, which then down the road could cause problems for their "pro" product line.

A simple example is myself. I have a Mac Mini because I'm casually interested in the Mac platform for hobby reasons. If Apple discontinues the Mac Mini, it won't get me to pay for a normal iMac. Those are too expensive. What will happen instead is that I will stop having a Mac. I sure as hell won't replace it with a tablet.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: A plausible future
by l3v1 on Sun 26th Feb 2017 10:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A plausible future"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I suppose it comes down to what kind of company Apple really wants to be.


That's easy. They want to be a company that produces profit, increasingly, year after year. And it won't ever be the power users that generate the most of that profit, but the masses of consumers, so naturally they focus on them.

However, a company that manages to produce increasing yearly profits could be expected to also indulge the smaller number of people who would need more capable devices. Or they just might ignore them and unify their resources behind a very few very well selling consumer products. They already seem to take this path.

Reply Score: 2

Consumer Desktop?
by mdsama on Sat 25th Feb 2017 03:51 UTC
mdsama
Member since:
2005-07-08

I think this makes sense – basically condensing the "Pro" line to just an iMac and a MacBook.

But what's a "Consumer Desktop" these days?

It might just be the names are off, especially calling anything "desktop".

Also, wouldn't it be a better fit to put iPhones in "Consumer Notebook"?

Reply Score: 1

Wish vs. Reality
by malxau on Sat 25th Feb 2017 03:59 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

This sounds to me like exactly what Apple was hoping for. Unfortunately tablet sales have been slowing, and the iPad Pro has had a fairly rough launch. The last quarter showed decreasing iPad revenue of 22% and increasing Mac revenue of 7%, so now the Mac is responsible for more revenue than the iPad again.

Apple now have to choose between either hoping the market will change its mind and embrace the iPad as a Mac replacement, or go back to actually investing in the Mac. Time will tell what they do. My suggestion though is that markets don't change their mind without being given significantly new products, so arrogance on this type of thing can be expensive.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wish vs. Reality
by CaptainN- on Tue 28th Feb 2017 17:46 UTC in reply to "Wish vs. Reality"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

The underlying platform powering Macs has been pretty static - it's not just Apple.

Now that AMD is back in the game to nip at Intel's heals, I wonder if we'll see some fun new things happening again.

Reply Score: 2

I hate Apple
by moronikos on Sat 25th Feb 2017 05:05 UTC
moronikos
Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't imagine buying another Apple product again. With Steve gone, they seem to have lost all their mojo. The straw that broke the camel's back for me is Apple TV. I only bought one for DirecTVNow because there was not an app for Roku. Oh, gosh I hate it. As soon as the app is available for Roku, I will ditch it.

What is horrible about it? I could say everything... I would say just go to the user interface which the fanboys always praise about Apple. The buttons to navigate on the Roku are much easier to navigate than is the stupid touchpad on the AppleTV remote. The Roku is so much more intuitive.

When my iPhone gives up the ghost, I will get an Android based phone. I was thinking of buying a Mac to take a try at App development, but forget that. Apple only seems to care about making things smaller with smooth edges. Form over substance.

Reply Score: 0

No vision anymore
by kimsnarf on Sat 25th Feb 2017 05:30 UTC
kimsnarf
Member since:
2017-02-25

The easiest explanation is that Apple simply has no vision anymore. They are introducing and abandoning products and features in all directions, without any coherent story. They have lost their momentum, their leadership and their stamp of quality. By ignoring the pros and the creators they will lose the consumers. By focusing on the bottomline they are losing the mindshare. They have become the old, pre-Jobs Apple again. Most meaningful innovation is happening elsewhere.

Reply Score: 7

RE: No vision anymore
by CaptainN- on Tue 28th Feb 2017 17:54 UTC in reply to "No vision anymore"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

I don't think they are quite back to the lows of John Sculley's spreadsheet management. Tim Cook has his own way of doing things by tightly managing supply chains, which is has it's own merits. I do agree that they have lost their way a bit - but honestly, there's just not a lot of interesting stuff happening out there.

Remember, Apple doesn't really invent anything, they innovate, and that word is different on purpose. They saw that computing sucked under crashy horrible Windows, and that consumers were buying up professional beige machines, so they released consumer targeted machines. Then they saw that MP3s were popular for a few years, so they came out with an MP3 player, and marketed the heck out of it. Then they saw that BlackBerry and Palm devices were getting popular with consumers, and decided to make an iPhone based on cool tech being shown off at TED using Flash (and then killed Flash to hide the legacy, later hiring the lead Flash guy to work on a watch). Then they took at shot at scaling that up to a larger device with iPad - this one hasn't been revolutionary, but it was obvious, so they did it. Now they are continuing to look for new places to move - they saw some activity happening in wrist watch/activity tracker space, so they made a watch.

What will be next? It's hard to say, because there isn't really anything noticeable happening on a mass scale in any underground scene that I'm aware of anyway. But that's what to look for - what cool things are people starting to use tech for (maybe drones - if Steve Jobs was around they may have moved into that space by now). Maybe glasses. Maybe cars. Any other cool user interface stuff that may start to bleed into the consumer consciousness? That's what to look for - almost certainly Apple will have something coming in that space.

Reply Score: 2

Apple has lost the plot
by Darkmage on Sat 25th Feb 2017 05:58 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

I don't think Apple are going to Salvage anything. I recently bought a Roland SC-55 Soundcanvas Midi Synthesizer. To my absolute disgust and shock, I found that when I tried to connect it to my Macbook Pro 2015 Retina, that the Macbook Pro is incapable of Audio Line-In. They've actually completely removed the ability to bring audio in from an external source and record it on the laptop without using a dongle or third party attachment. I hadn't realised this previously because until August of 2016 I still had a Macbook Pro 2012 (My house was broken into and my 2012 Macbook was stolen so I started to do projects on my work laptop from 2015). For a company that prides itself on being the absolute best at doing audio/video production. The total lack of basic Audio input (more importantly a feature that should be an assumed part of a Mac, which has existed for about a decade, and which was needlessly removed without enhancing functionality) is a massive shortfall. Even Razer makes laptops with Audio Line In. Also, under Linux, the retina Macbook Pro can use MST Spanning with displayport screens to drive two screens using daisy chaining (possibly more, I haven't tested beyond two.) Under OSX, this doesn't work. It's an open standard and it's been around long enough that they should have support but they don't. Remember when Apple used to support open standards? Like UNIX, OpenGL, CUPS etc? Now they're pushing Metal, and don't even support standard hardware features like MST which Windows and Linux both support. Apple no longer makes the best media creation devices in the world and I doubt they'll change that anytime soon.

Edited 2017-02-25 06:13 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Apple has lost the plot
by tidux on Sat 25th Feb 2017 06:09 UTC in reply to "Apple has lost the plot"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Meanwhile under Linux I plugged in an SC-88 and changed my output device in Rosegarden and I was in business. JACK plus Pulse-on-JACK plus a realtime kernel can be a bit challenging to set up if you're not using a media-production optimized distro, but you do that ONCE and then rearranging your inputs and outputs becomes child's play.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Apple has lost the plot
by Darkmage on Sat 25th Feb 2017 06:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple has lost the plot"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

Tidux: I did the exact same with my SC-55. Took 20 seconds and worked perfectly. There's a massive problem for OSX when Linux is easier to configure and use.

Reply Score: 5

Color me skeptic
by Poseidon on Sat 25th Feb 2017 06:45 UTC
Poseidon
Member since:
2009-10-31

Makes sense, but considering their recent battery remaining display option removal from macOS, I remain a skeptic

Reply Score: 2

Matrix Fail
by Thomas2005 on Sat 25th Feb 2017 14:19 UTC
Thomas2005
Member since:
2005-11-07

The matrix Steve showed was to explain how they came up with the name for the consumer notebook. What I think will happen is iOS will run natively on Macs (i.e. x86_64 hardware) since they do that already during app development. Apple has already told developers their apps need to be 64-bit compatible, the iPad Pro has official support for a physical keyboard and people have gotten messages that 32-bit apps may no longer work with future versions of iOS.

Reply Score: 1

A simpler prediction
by Verenkeitin on Sat 25th Feb 2017 15:12 UTC
Verenkeitin
Member since:
2007-07-01

Apple is going to drop "pro" from both ipads and macs and not bother with any kind of desktops. Their product categories are going to be: expensive and more expensive with more storage.

IOS will stay keyboardless and filesystemless to make sure it is an absolute pain in the ass to use for anything but consuming. It will get the pen support as standard though, and an awesome drawing/notes program, but most people can't write legibly and even fewer can draw, so it will be mostly disappointing to use this feature.

Meanwhile, mac will continue to get token hardware and software updates, staying sort of adequate for light work. The most pursued goal for it will be to remove all ports and leave hinges as the only moving parts.

Once some startup comes up with VR/AR classes that look like regular glasses, Apple will buy them and invent virtual reality.

Teleports are going to be widely available before first model of Apple car is revealed.

Reply Score: 5

Why updates are slow?
by IndigoJo on Sat 25th Feb 2017 17:31 UTC
IndigoJo
Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple told Nilay Patel that the company is out of the standalone display business. If true, the logical extension of this would be that Apple is out of the headless Mac business. As John Gruber noted in the latest The Talkshow episode - do you really think Apple is going to put ugly LG monitors in its brand new, meticulously designed headquarters?

Well, they sell them in their stores, hitched up to existing Mac Pros and Minis. I tried one earlier today; the size of the text (in standard resolution) made it barely legible. So, perhaps yes, albeit perhaps in much fewer numbers than now. The Mac mini was never sold with the intention of attaching most of them to cinema displays, rather, to standard size displays.

As for the long intervals between product updates: the iPad Air hasn't been updated in more than 2yrs either, except for changes to storage options. I recently bought an iPad Pro as I needed a bigger screen than on my iPad Mini, but didn't want a device that would be withdrawn this year and hit end of life late next year. I do like the idea of a *decent* hard-shell keyboard (not that dreadful 'smart' keyboard they sell now), and a small enough Mac (i.e. the MacBook) is just too expensive.

Perhaps the reason they don't update devices as often is just because technology upgrades don't happen as thick and fast as they used to; how long has the Core i5 processor series been going now?

Reply Score: 1

The Pen Myth
by waynewaynus on Sat 25th Feb 2017 19:41 UTC
waynewaynus
Member since:
2016-10-28

Apple has designed an amazing pen interface and product, brilliant.

So what?
I am an average person, I choose a device because I don't want handwriting I want typing.

I am not an artist, I do not draw on paper, or anything else.

So I care nothing for your "amazing pen".

How about you make a solid easy to use keyboard.

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft
by Treza on Sat 25th Feb 2017 22:25 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

Apple may have wanted to limit Macs for professional users and touch devices for consumers, but Microsoft is killing it.

After much efforts, they are showing that there is no need for compromises : The same device can be a tablet and a laptop, with mouse, touchpad, touchscreen and pen interfaces.
And many Mac users are now envious of what Microsoft is selling.

Apple wants to sell you both an iPad and a Mac : More stuff = more money.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Microsoft
by CaptainN- on Tue 28th Feb 2017 18:01 UTC in reply to "Microsoft"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

There is some merit to buying both - yeah it's more money, but professionals will pay for professional equipment.

The problem is iOS. What I really want is to drag my Photoshop, or Sketch window (don't get me started on Adobe and it's horrendous monitor support) over to the iPad and draw directly on it. But iOS is a true hinderance to this work flow, and it's not easily fixed.

Tablets should have a full (read, professional) desktop OS on them (with a touch adapted UI). Otherwise, they are just a scaled up phone, and a toy.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by grahamtriggs
by grahamtriggs on Sat 25th Feb 2017 22:48 UTC
grahamtriggs
Member since:
2009-05-27

That's great - except it possibly depends on your definition of pro.

I'm a professional developer. The function bar is not an optional thing that sits around unused, it - and having something that is *tactile* - is fundamental to the work that I do.

So yeah, macOS is an appropriate OS for me as a developer. But the MacBook Pro is no longer suitable hardware.

Reply Score: 1

comment by ezraz
by ezraz on Sun 26th Feb 2017 03:27 UTC
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

Good take, strong conclusions. I also see apple moving away from "pro" macs because all macs are "pro". they might not be corporate but they can be used for production and creation for sale, and they last long and keep their value, so they are pro.

iOS does have some basic windowing stuff, and it's not too bad. the split screen view is helpful, and the ability to slide one of the frames up and down to access apps is cool. i rarely use the 1/3rd view since both frames aren't active.

i'd also point to a defunct product that showed the start of an IDE for iOS - bento by filemaker. it had a drag-and-drop fully visual form builder that hooked nicely into a relational database, and it could have easily been ported to iOS but it wasn't. they have filemaker go, a nice product, but the IDE runs on desktop only.

but for many people these days, "work" consists of using office, email, IM of some brand, a presentation, and lots of web apps. all of that runs fine on iPad. it didn't 7 years ago with iPad 1, but it does now. so no need for 'consumer' macs when a consumer gets what they need out of iOS.

Edited 2017-02-26 03:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: comment by ezraz
by Alfman on Sun 26th Feb 2017 05:46 UTC in reply to "comment by ezraz"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ezraz,

but for many people these days, "work" consists of using office, email, IM of some brand, a presentation, and lots of web apps. all of that runs fine on iPad. it didn't 7 years ago with iPad 1, but it does now. so no need for 'consumer' macs when a consumer gets what they need out of iOS.


Don't forget that just because work applications may be available on a tablet, it doesn't really make the tablet equally productive. Some things fall short and others can be downright painful. Even if I have the application I need, file management is just awful. In my case, I frequently need to access resources from the LAN, but both IOS and Android have terrible support for network (and local) file systems, for them it's a business decision to encourage users to switch to their web services, for me it impedes my work. Until tablets get much better at basic file management, there are many workers for whom a real PC will remain the best tool for the job.

For me a tablet is more of a secondary device when I don't have access to a PC. Even then I'd rather just wait till I get to a real PC unless there's an emergency that cannot wait.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: comment by ezraz
by ezraz on Sun 26th Feb 2017 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE: comment by ezraz"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

ezraz,

"but for many people these days, "work" consists of using office, email, IM of some brand, a presentation, and lots of web apps. all of that runs fine on iPad. it didn't 7 years ago with iPad 1, but it does now. so no need for 'consumer' macs when a consumer gets what they need out of iOS.


Don't forget that just because work applications may be available on a tablet, it doesn't really make the tablet equally productive. Some things fall short and others can be downright painful. Even if I have the application I need, file management is just awful. In my case, I frequently need to access resources from the LAN, but both IOS and Android have terrible support for network (and local) file systems, for them it's a business decision to encourage users to switch to their web services, for me it impedes my work. Until tablets get much better at basic file management, there are many workers for whom a real PC will remain the best tool for the job.

For me a tablet is more of a secondary device when I don't have access to a PC. Even then I'd rather just wait till I get to a real PC unless there's an emergency that cannot wait.
"


totally agree. this is my case also. i much prefer my laptop to a tablet when i'm writing/typing/creating. but i'm also from the 90's. and if i was away from my laptop and someone needed something explained I'd be able to use the iPad as a replacement.

i'm just saying that "they don't have my app" is a much more potent killer of a platform than "i don't like the way the app works on that platform."

iOS has come a long way in 10 years. i try to spend some time in android every year or so when i worry that i'm blowing money in the iOS ecosystem, and after getting past the home screen into the meat of it i realize apple's value.

my 2.5 year old iPad performs better than newer android tablets. the A/V handling is far superior. battery life superior. security superior. cloud/integration with desktop far superior. case build superior. most add-ons are superior. app store is superior. printing is superior. touch screen is superior. demo-ability of mobile solutions is easier.

that's a lot of things in iPad/iOS's favor. yeah it costs $100+ per user per month in the iOS ecosystem, but time is money and i spend almost no time configuring, reconfiguring, updating, or trying to get something to run on iOS properly. it's either there and nearly perfect, or not. so i find a different way to work.

Reply Score: 2

d3vi1
Member since:
2006-01-28

First of all there's nothing to update from a CPU perspective as Intel is still failing to deliver since 2011. In 35W TDP, the best CPU from 2011 was a quad-core sandy bridge i7 running at 2.2 GHz. 6 years later, we've still got quad core but at 2,9GHz and with a slight improvement in IPC. Not something to gloat about and definitely not a game changer. Since they couldn't make them faster on the computing side, they optimized the MB layout to make it smaller. Their only fuckup is the 16GB of RAM. I already need 32GB.
From every other perspective, the macs evolved. SSDs in 2011 could barely sustain 300MBps transfer rates. Now they use NVMExpress protocol over 4x PCI links and have transfer rates in excess of 2000MBps.
Since 2011 they gave us retina displays on the whole product line and I cannot mention how much I appreciate this.
Since 2011 the real usage battery life went from 2-3 hours to 5-7 hours for the MBP. Anyone who knows CPU schedulers also knows that running one or multiple VMs basically kills any opportunity for the CPU to enter a lower power state, so the improvement is real and tangible.
Out of sheer curiosity, except for the GPU which can be upgraded every 12 months when AMD and NVidia release a new platform, what other improvements do you think are necessary?
I'm not that pissed with them on the USB-C connector issue as others are since I rarely use USB and in the long run having a single (and finally reversible) connector for power, display, accessories, etc is not a bad deal. Sure, Magsafe was wonderful, but it's overrated today as the need to plug in your laptop to a power source while at work is slowly disappearing. The laptops today can be charged just like a mobile phone at night and it's enough.
I've used my previous MBP for a few hours the previous week (a fully upgraded MBP6,2) and while it had the high resolution mate display it is nothing compared to my 2014 MBP.
I have some hopes of a significant performance bump in late 2017 early 2018 when I'll replace my current laptop, but right now 1TB of AHCI PCI-E 4x SSD and 2,5GHz Quad Core is decent even with 16GB of RAM.

Reply Score: 1

ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

People who build their own custom PC machines are usually down on macs.

These are people who usually ignore sound (fans), power consumption (watts), weight, and compatibility/longevity in their builds.

So they build a machine that's faster than similarly priced macs. It's also 5x louder, sucks 2x as much electricity, weighs 14 pounds more, and is constructed using components from various suppliers that may or may not stay compatible with each other as time passes. They only measure raw CPU and VPU numbers and then they look at macs and scoff.

They also often times install bootleg software and/or CPU hacks that cause problems down the road. That kind of stuff throws them into driver hell or yet another rebuild of the whole machine. Or a Windows update comes along and makes their box run at half-speed.

My buddy has a nice custom built PC and it's fast. 8 core i think. I use it all the time for Blender and Unreal and some audio stuff. I like it. But if it goes south he has to call some guy that built it and pray he feels like helping him. Bootleg windows version, all kinds of CPU speed hack kind of stuff that we are afraid to uninstall.

Thank god we have choices. If there was mac only, or custom PC only, life would suck. Both are good for certain things.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ezraz,

They also often times install bootleg software and/or CPU hacks that cause problems down the road. That kind of stuff throws them into driver hell or yet another rebuild of the whole machine. Or a Windows update comes along and makes their box run at half-speed.

My buddy has a nice custom built PC and it's fast. 8 core i think. I use it all the time for Blender and Unreal and some audio stuff. I like it. But if it goes south he has to call some guy that built it and pray he feels like helping him. Bootleg windows version, all kinds of CPU speed hack kind of stuff that we are afraid to uninstall.


Have you ever done a build? IMHO it's not as bad as some might make it out to be. It helps to learn from someone with experience. Then again, some users are probably afraid of touching anything, so for them it's obviously best to stick to prefabs. For me, I reached my limits when I found myself desoldering and resoldering components in a laptop, haha. I did it, it worked, but it was ugly.

Thank god we have choices. If there was mac only, or custom PC only, life would suck. Both are good for certain things.


I say this too, although it could be better if apple allowed users to purchase & use OSX on non-apple hardware. It sucks that apple sues the companies that make this easy, but at least the enthusiast hackers have thus far flown under the radar. It's difficult, and probably not profitable to sue individuals.

http://www.cultofmac.com/279706/state-hackintosh-march-2014/

There could be up to 2 million active Hackintosh enthusiasts, according to John, owner of OSX86.net, one of the most popular Hackintosh forums. John, who asked to remain anonymous, based his estimate on the number of registered users on his forum and others like InsanelyMac, tonymacx86.com, Project OS X, OSXLatitude, myHack and Russian site AppleLife.

Reply Score: 3

Ipad as a Computer Replacement
by shollomon on Sun 26th Feb 2017 15:13 UTC
shollomon
Member since:
2008-07-06

Is a non-starter for me until there is some file system access and touchpad/mouse support. I am not a pro-user, but here is a typical, simple, non-pro task I think a computer, or its replacement, needs to make easy.

I have several investment accounts. On a daily basis I take the balances from each account and put them in a spreadsheet to track performance against plan. This can be done on an iPad pro, but its incredibly painful. Each of the accounts has its own ap. It is difficult to even copy and paste with touch in a single go from an app to a spread sheet. Using a spread sheet with a touch interface is a total PITA, there are some things touch is simply not good for.

Sending email with attachments is harder than it needs to be because of lack of file system access. No, I don't want to send you a link to the file in my Cloud storage, I don't want you to have any pointers to my Cloud storage account.

Unless Apple is characterizing any non-consumption activity as pro activity, iPad is not ready to be a computer replacement.

Plenty of non-pros need access to files on a local area network. Yes there are apps for that, but once again, because of lack of access to the iOS file system, they can't be easily integrated with routine non-pro, a little more than just consumption activities that people expect from a computer.
There is a lot of non-pr

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ipad as a Computer Replacement
by Alfman on Sun 26th Feb 2017 16:21 UTC in reply to "Ipad as a Computer Replacement"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

shollomon,

Sending email with attachments is harder than it needs to be because of lack of file system access. No, I don't want to send you a link to the file in my Cloud storage, I don't want you to have any pointers to my Cloud storage account.


Yeah, this one bugs me too. I know why they do it, by making local file management bad they can bring in their online services as a "solution", but it's just sad that they make local tasks difficult in order to upsell other services.

I know it's not just apple guilty of this, but it's just another instance where a corporation controls what you can and cannot do with your device for their own benefit. If owners weren't prohibited from installing 3rd party mods, it would create competition and apple would have an incentive to make their own stuff better.

Reply Score: 2

two years of pain
by luca.botti@gmail.com on Sun 26th Feb 2017 19:07 UTC
luca.botti@gmail.com
Member since:
2016-05-15

As a pro user (Development, Sysadmin, Proj Mgmt) a couple of years ago I was tempted by the sleek 13.3 retina refresh. Maxed out at 16 Gb with i7 dual core, 512gb of SSD, I put to sleep my aging Sandy Bridge Latitude 6420.

While everything (more or less) was working, I also found a lot of shortcomings - mounting ssh filesystems, package management (I have a Linux Desktop background), compatibility.

Compatibility? Yes - try using 12hrs per day a dual 4k monitor setup with Logitech trackball and keyboard (unifying receiver) - sometimes the keyboard stops working, the monitor, after the Mac sleeps during lunch time, shuffles windows around and off screen (a bug still in latest sierra release).

No way a Pro 2016 is my choice (the keyboard is horrible, and 16Gb is a limit) so I am getting back to Dell (XPS 15 if you wish).

Ipad for work? If work in a shop, perhaps. Not in an office. Not for real work.

Reply Score: 2

Hmm
by chrish on Mon 27th Feb 2017 13:34 UTC
chrish
Member since:
2005-07-14

This would make more sense if their "pro" offerings were actually good hardware. Unfortunately, that ship seems to have sailed thanks to the "thinness at any cost!" design goal.

Very irritating for me personally, since finding decent PC laptops is also "challenging". At least there are a zillion different models to choose from.

Reply Score: 2