Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Oct 2017 10:42 UTC
Apple

I was in the Grand Central Station Apple Store for a third time in a year, watching a progress bar slowly creep across my computer's black screen as my Genius multi-tasked helping another customer with her iPad. My computer was getting its third diagnostic test in 45 minutes. The problem was not that its logic board was failing, that its battery was dying, or that its camera didn't respond. There were no mysteriously faulty innerworkings. It was the spacebar. It was broken. And not even physically broken - it still moved and acted normally. But every time I pressed it once, it spaced twice.

"Maybe it's a piece of dust," the Genius had offered. The previous times I'd been to the Apple Store for the same computer with the same problem - a misbehaving keyboard - Geniuses had said to me these exact same nonchalant words, and I had been stunned into silence, the first time because it seemed so improbable to blame such a core problem on such a small thing, and the second time because I couldn't believe the first time I was hearing this line that it was not a fluke. But this time, the third time, I was ready. "Hold on," I said. "If a single piece of dust lays the whole computer out, don't you think that's kind of a problem?"

The keyboard on the MacBooks and MacBook Pros is an unmitigated disaster. In pursuit of thinness nobody else is looking for, Apple severely crippled its most important Mac product line - and that's even without taking the Touchbar into account.

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True
by pmac on Wed 18th Oct 2017 11:03 UTC
pmac
Member since:
2009-07-08

For a week my keyboard was triggering a keypress constantly. None of the keys were pressed, and it wasn't an obvious key: it seemed to be a special character. I could still type on the keyboard, and it'd work, except that I'd constantly be hearing the bell sound. The worst part was that every time I picked up the MacBook the battery was dead, because the key press prevented it from ever sleeping. By the time my "genius" bar appointment came, it has fixed itself. I'm now out of warranty, and waiting for it to happen again (because it's only a matter of time).

Reply Score: 4

Wow
by darknexus on Wed 18th Oct 2017 11:47 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I've typed on the new keyboards and, while I didn't love them, I didn't hate the feel as much as I expected. I did wonder about the lack of repairs though. I suppose I now have an answer.
Ironically, it makes me appreciate the design of the iPad Pro even more. I never thought I'd see the day when the iPad became more modular than the Macbook. Did I miss the apocalypse?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wow
by The123king on Wed 18th Oct 2017 12:03 UTC in reply to "Wow"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

No, but i guess you missed the new Macbook.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Wed 18th Oct 2017 11:56 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

You're holding it wrong :-)

Reply Score: 8

project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

It's been a disaster, compounded by Apple culture if denial and secrecy.

Here's my initial review, comparing it with the 2015, then with evidence of overheating, keyboard failures, display panel glue failing, ... Pics, videos as evidence.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2017-macbook-pro-13-non-tb-revi...

Reply Score: 5

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

That's quite an impressive list of issues you've had. I never had any problem like that with Apple support, however the last time I had to call them was at least five years ago so that doesn't mean much. Considering what they've done to the Mac, I can easily imagine the same thing being done to their support department. I suppose they're so occupied with Tim Cook's "town square" crap that they've forgotten who actually buys their stuff.

Reply Score: 0

nicholasj Member since:
2008-12-10

I've had one of those 2017 top spec 15inch Macbook Pros for a few months now. I've only had to replace it twice due to keyboard issues.

It's a perfectly acceptable notebook, as long as one always connects it to an external monitor and uses an external keyboard. ;)

Reply Score: 5

Apple has lost the plot
by walkerdude on Wed 18th Oct 2017 13:21 UTC
walkerdude
Member since:
2017-07-31

If it weren't for some specific software I need, and a significant investment in other software packages, I'd be on Linux tomorrow. Apple has no idea what it is doing when it comes to desktop hardware. It's time for Ive and Cook to go, not because Apple isn't doing well financially, which is the reason in most companies, but because neither of them has a clue as to what has made Apple great over the years — design that is about making work go smoothly, rather than design that constrains and limits so that some ideal form-factor might be reached. Down with the navel-gazing! Down with the bean counters!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Apple has lost the plot
by tylerdurden on Wed 18th Oct 2017 16:28 UTC in reply to "Apple has lost the plot"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

neither of them has a clue as to what has made Apple great over the years


Their financial track record seems to indicate otherwise.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Apple has lost the plot
by darknexus on Wed 18th Oct 2017 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple has lost the plot"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Their financial track record seems to indicate otherwise.

For now, yes. I don't necessarily expect that to last, especially for the Mac, if there isn't a major turn-around in that product line. Their iOS line is strong enough to hold them up for now but, if Apple haven't moved XCode to iPads before people get fed up with the way the Mac has been gimped, iOS won't survive too long afterward without the developers to maintain and create software for it. Of course I think Apple knows this, and I do expect a full programming environment on iOS sooner rather than later. At that point, I suspect they'll begin actively killing off the Mac rather than just crippling it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Apple has lost the plot
by tylerdurden on Wed 18th Oct 2017 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Apple has lost the plot"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Yeah, but it seems some of you are confusing Mac, the product line, with Apple, the corporation.

Given the largest growth in Apple's history came from lines other than the Mac, and has had healthy profit growth, I'd wager that both Ive and Cook understand far better what made Apple "great." I see some people do not have gotten the memo that Apple and Mac are no longer intrinsically the same as was the case over a decade and half ago, and they're still dealing with Apple as a traditional systems company, not a commodity consumer ecosystem.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Apple has lost the plot
by boudewijn on Thu 19th Oct 2017 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Apple has lost the plot"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

I got an ipad pro last weekend. In the first few hours of trying to use it, it crashed six times. It also managed to show the icons in portrait mode and the rest of the gui on landscape mode. And that's just bugs -- the user interface isn't just ill-designed, parts of it are so bad it takes me back to X11 and Athena widgets.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Apple has lost the plot
by darknexus on Thu 19th Oct 2017 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Apple has lost the plot"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I can name serious bugs, which should be show-stoppers, in every major product out right now. However, it wouldn't be relevant to the point the previous poster made about Apple's current profit and where they are seeing the most growth.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Apple has lost the plot
by boudewijn on Thu 19th Oct 2017 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Apple has lost the plot"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

The point is, that even the products where Apple are making most of their money with are becoming ill-made crap. And people will start noticing that. And that will be bad for their bottom-line.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Apple has lost the plot
by tylerdurden on Fri 20th Oct 2017 11:54 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Apple has lost the plot"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

But you do realize that your "market analysis" has a sample space of just 1. Right?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Apple has lost the plot
by darknexus on Fri 20th Oct 2017 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Apple has lost the plot"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Sure they will, the same way they notice that Windows gets slower, or that their Android phone freezes up with a Google Maps crash. That doesn't mean they will care. They haven't, so far.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Apple has lost the plot
by walkerdude on Wed 18th Oct 2017 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple has lost the plot"
walkerdude Member since:
2017-07-31

Finances were ruled out in this consideration. Yes, they make scads of money. But if all they are now is another faceless profit machine, they've lost the plot entirely. If so, it's a terrible loss for the industry as a whole (the people who actually care about why they're making something and what ends they're making it for (besides profit) are almost impossible to find these days, and Apple has been (perhaps is no longer) the last of the corporations to have that in its blood). It is quite possible to make useful, extensible, well-crafted tools AND money at the same time.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Apple has lost the plot
by tylerdurden on Thu 19th Oct 2017 20:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Apple has lost the plot"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

You're remembering a company that never existed. Apple has always been a rather ruthless and souless outfit.

Your post, if anything, it's a testament to how great their marketing campaigns were a few years back. You established an emotional connection with them, but apple was still a profit seeking corporation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Apple has lost the plot
by walkerdude on Thu 19th Oct 2017 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Apple has lost the plot"
walkerdude Member since:
2017-07-31

Marketing? Nope. Just have used Apple machines on a near-daily basis since 1979. Plus the old NeXT boxen (if only they'd dropped the Mac interface for that one...). Even when they were terrible spec-wise and speed-wise next to a PC/Amiga/whathaveyou, they were, in almost all cases, far more usable, tool-like, and much less rickety than the competition, which made up for many faults. Yes, the company was about profits. All are. Apple, however, realized who their customers were — their users, not their resellers or their part sources. That's what's disappearing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Apple has lost the plot
by tylerdurden on Fri 20th Oct 2017 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Apple has lost the plot"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Again, given their financials Apple realizes just fine who their customers are. Is that you are no longer their target customer.

You did make a connection with previous Apple marketing and products, because they fit your needs. Now that Apple is no longer mainly a systems provider, but rather a electronic multimedia consumer ecosystem, you're no longer connecting with their marketing and products.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Apple has lost the plot
by ilovebeer on Fri 20th Oct 2017 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Apple has lost the plot"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Even when they were terrible spec-wise and speed-wise next to a PC/Amiga/whathaveyou, they were, in almost all cases, far more usable, tool-like, and much less rickety than the competition, which made up for many faults.

That may have been your experience but it's certainly not a given. For me personally and companies I've worked for, Mac's have proven to be no more reliable, stable, and usable than PC's. I could tell you about how some of our top-of-the-line Macs failed on their very first boot. Or about random lockups. Or about how our custom PC's are rock solid. Or about, ......

Nevermind, it doesn't matter because your experience is different, and that's exactly why you shouldn't make such ridiculous blanket claims. Clearly others have varying degrees of success & failure when talking about hardware in general, but yes including your beloved Mac devices.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Apple has lost the plot
by tidux on Fri 20th Oct 2017 17:47 UTC in reply to "Apple has lost the plot"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

> If it weren't for some specific software I need, and a significant investment in other software packages, I'd be on Linux tomorrow. Apple has no idea what it is doing when it comes to desktop hardware.

Have you considered running OS X in a VM under Linux? VirtualBox works quite well for that.

Reply Score: 2

Old MBP - no rush to replace
by ameasures on Wed 18th Oct 2017 13:33 UTC
ameasures
Member since:
2006-01-09

My MBP is, in cat years, ancient (2009).

One of the things about it that I have always liked is the keyboard because I type more quickly with it and overall the machine has been reliable.

Given this article I will be in no rush to go back to Apple in the near future.

Repeat customers who go elsewhere is not a good sign.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Old MBP - no rush to replace
by shotsman on Wed 18th Oct 2017 19:23 UTC in reply to "Old MBP - no rush to replace"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

My two MacBook Pro's get hammered (from my heavy fingered typing)
The 2012 and 2015 models are fine. I've written three novels and dozens of short stories using their KB's plus a huge amount of software has been coded when on the road.
IMHO, the older Keyboards are brilliant and on a par with those old basically indestructable IBM and Dell keyboards of old.
I will certainly look at the keyboards on any future MBP's I might buy.

Reply Score: 4

Most annoyingly
by emphyrio on Wed 18th Oct 2017 17:20 UTC
emphyrio
Member since:
2007-09-11

Most annoyingly, other manufacturers will follow apples example...

so, in the future, we can expect most notebooks to feature such marvellous dust-sensitivity.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Most annoyingly
by Verenkeitin on Wed 18th Oct 2017 20:03 UTC in reply to "Most annoyingly"
Verenkeitin Member since:
2007-07-01

Most annoyingly, other manufacturers will follow apples example...


Example: On pre 2013 Thinkpads you can just pry a key off and push it back when something gets stuck under it. Then Lenovo had to make them look more like Macs.

PC Gamers being a market for good keyboards gives me some hope that eventually some company will start to design laptops with work ergonomics in mind.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Most annoyingly
by The123king on Thu 19th Oct 2017 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Most annoyingly"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

I'm prying my 2013 MBAS's keys almost on a daily basis...

Reply Score: 0

I guess it's a lack of SJ
by MichalKJP on Wed 18th Oct 2017 19:45 UTC
MichalKJP
Member since:
2012-07-09

Apple was great as a company under dictature of Steve Jobs. did they showed anything innovative after his death? just new versions of his devices.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I guess it's a lack of SJ
by atsureki on Wed 18th Oct 2017 21:59 UTC in reply to "I guess it's a lack of SJ"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Apple was great as a company under dictature of Steve Jobs. did they showed anything innovative after his death? just new versions of his devices.


That's putting far too fine a point on it.

I don't think Jobs had anything to do with the Watch, but one thing you might notice about that rollout is that Apple didn't initially know what it was for. They thought it was for apps, but then their customers told them that it was for fitness tracking and notifications, so they streamlined the interface to make sense for that purpose. Compare with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad before it, where Jobs came out and said it plays music, it's an internet phone that plays music, and sit in a chair and read something on it respectively. He was their #1 user, and he would personally tell the engineers what the device was for (hint: it was never for washing dishes in).

I feel like Apple no longer has an enthusiastic user near its top decision-making roles saying "no" to the majority of ideas on the table. Cook is a logistics guy, Ive is a visual artist, and no one else seems to be much of an editor. You really get the sense that no one in power over there is screaming and throwing things when the design ("how it works") comes out cluttered or stupid. (3D touch? What's that?)

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: I guess it's a lack of SJ
by james_gnz on Thu 19th Oct 2017 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE: I guess it's a lack of SJ"
james_gnz Member since:
2006-02-16

"Apple was great as a company under dictature of Steve Jobs. did they showed anything innovative after his death? just new versions of his devices.

That's putting far too fine a point on it.
"
As a grammar Nazi, I'd like to point out that the phrase "Not to put too fine a point on it" is a synonym for "To be blunt", with blunt in this context meaning dull or insensitive. Therefore, taken this way, the phrase "putting too fine a point on it" could be interpreted to mean being overly sensitive. (That is, if someone wanted to intentionally misinterpret it. Admittedly your meaning is actually quite clear.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I guess it's a lack of SJ
by Carewolf on Fri 20th Oct 2017 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE: I guess it's a lack of SJ"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

No. You are drinking the Apple history. The first iPod had no iTunes, and the first iPhone no apps. Apple often miss the target, but get a success anyway by adapting. And then later rewrite history.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I guess it's a lack of SJ
by kwan_e on Sat 21st Oct 2017 04:57 UTC in reply to "I guess it's a lack of SJ"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Apple was great as a company under dictature of Steve Jobs. did they showed anything innovative after his death? just new versions of his devices.


Damn Steve Jobs Warriors.

Reply Score: 5

Ugh
by Poseidon on Thu 19th Oct 2017 00:32 UTC
Poseidon
Member since:
2009-10-31

This is horrible. The jump from the non-retina to retina is the only one that I could withstand, the former being much better, and I have not tried the new ones. If they're that bad, then one might as well not use the machine. I use MacBook SPECIFICALLY to type a lot, and if that function is not being met with comfort and durability, then they might as well just give up on that, as it is not a tough device..

What everyone that does not like the design can do though is go to Apple's website and let them know about it. Professional laptops, especially ones that are specifically for typing, should have this as its major draw and not as an afterthought.

Edited 2017-10-19 00:33 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Well...
by galvanash on Thu 19th Oct 2017 00:48 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

I kinda like the new keyboards, at least on the 12" Macbook. It took a bit of getting used to, but I find it quite comfortable now. Never had any problems with it either (fingers crossed).

Thin is kinda the whole point on the 12" Macbooks though...

Reply Score: 2

Older and thicker is better
by Morgan on Thu 19th Oct 2017 03:57 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I have an Apple aluminum keyboard (A1243) sitting in a closet collecting dust because it has an interesting bug: Both shift keys are broken. All other keys register, but the shift keys are dead no matter how hard or where I press them. I've removed them, cleaned them, put them back, and nothing. I'm guessing it's in the keyboard matrix itself, but it's impossible to disassemble. I probably should have recycled it years ago.

Meanwhile, my trusty old A1048 from 2004 still works fine in all its clear plastic glory. I keep it around for when I'm working on someone else's Mac and I don't want to bother with remapping keys. It hasn't failed me in 13 years, whereas the aluminum board lost its shiftiness less than two years into service.

Reply Score: 4

Time to switch
by Parry on Thu 19th Oct 2017 08:59 UTC
Parry
Member since:
2014-06-03

According to Apple, my 2011 MBP is "vintage". The logic board's been replaced three times and it still overheats (due to faulty heat sensors). Apple are now refusing to fix it again unless I can produce the original sales receipt, which I can't.
It's probably time I get a new MBP but at £2000 and with negative feedback about the keyboard (and touch bar), switching to a Windows 10 laptop has never looked more inviting.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Time to switch
by Morgan on Thu 19th Oct 2017 11:34 UTC in reply to "Time to switch"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Why go all the way to Windows, especially if you're used to a *nix workflow? There are some damned nice Linux-first laptops out there, with hardware that rivals (and these days, beats) Apple's build quality. Elementary OS is a great distro for those used to the macOS look and feel.

That said, if you're doing certain things like music production with your laptop, switching to Windows makes more sense as most of the pro audio tools for macOS exist on Windows too. WSL might help with any *nix-specific workflows too.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Time to switch
by x86_x64 on Thu 19th Oct 2017 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to switch"
x86_x64 Member since:
2017-10-11

Elementary OS is a great distro for those used to the macOS look and feel.

Tried that, had way too many issues with it. Also, look and feel is still lightyears behind macOS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Time to switch
by Morgan on Fri 20th Oct 2017 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Time to switch"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I feel that macOS design has steadily gone backwards over the years. I think it peaked with Snow Leopard, and for me Elementary OS is most similar to that grand era of Apple's OS.

But yes, there were some showstopping bugs in Elementary this past year, and they've only just now been squashed from what I've seen. I stopped using it as my main OS for several months because of it. It's still on my rarely used laptop, but my desktop is back to dual booting Windows 10 and Slackware (the former for gaming, the latter for daily use).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Time to switch
by zima on Sat 21st Oct 2017 18:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to switch"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

A distro with a look modelled after macOS? Sounds North-Koreanish... ;P

Reply Score: 3

RE: Time to switch
by henderson101 on Fri 20th Oct 2017 08:59 UTC in reply to "Time to switch"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I stood in front of a 13" Macbook Pro without touch bar, money in my account to buy it, and looked at it - really looked at it. I walked out of the store and got a used Macbook Pro 13" 2012 for under half the proce it would have cost me for the MacBook Pro (and USB-C dongles.) I then spent another £150 on upgrading the RAM and fitting a second hard drive. Job done.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Time to switch
by Morgan on Fri 20th Oct 2017 11:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to switch"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I then spent another £150 on upgrading the RAM and fitting a second hard drive.


Something you wouldn't have been able to do on that newer MacBook. Wise decision. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Time to switch
by bolomkxxviii on Fri 20th Oct 2017 17:22 UTC in reply to "Time to switch"
bolomkxxviii Member since:
2006-05-19

It might be time to look into making a "hackintosh".

Reply Score: 1

Comment by x86_x64
by x86_x64 on Thu 19th Oct 2017 10:15 UTC
x86_x64
Member since:
2017-10-11

Every day I am more and more convinced that my decision to buy a used 2015 MBP 15" instead of shiny new 2016 model was a great move.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by x86_x64
by project_2501 on Fri 20th Oct 2017 10:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by x86_x64"
project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

Every day I am more and more convinced that my decision to upgrade from a 2015 MBP 15" to a shiny new 2017 model was a disastrous move.

Reply Score: 3

I might be lucky
by PhilB on Fri 20th Oct 2017 10:37 UTC
PhilB
Member since:
2007-02-09

I suspect people who don't have particular problems with the things they bought won't be shouting about it fro the roof top, but judging by the various messages I might be one of the lucky ones.

I have had a 2016 MPB since February or so and I haven't encountered any issues with the keyboard or the Touchbar.
Granted, I don't use the Touchbar as much as I thought I would, but for now, it has been a brillant ride.
I type very quickly on this late keyboard thingy, and I haven't had to deal with dodgy applications either.
When for whatever reasons, I have to type of one of the company Latitude 7000series Dell, I feel like I am using a dinosaur.

Reply Score: 3

No Problems here
by codewrangler on Fri 20th Oct 2017 20:30 UTC
codewrangler
Member since:
2010-01-28

Just my experience....

I got my new MBP, last December. I have had absolutely NO issues with my keyboard or any other component in the system.

I kinda wish they would add a touchscreen, cause that would be useful sometimes, but other than that, it's been awesome.

Reply Score: 1

Noise
by winter skies on Fri 20th Oct 2017 21:36 UTC
winter skies
Member since:
2009-08-21

Am I the only one who can't stand the noise these new keyboards make?
I can type almost silently on my 2015 MBP. When I tried a 2017 model, I could not despite all my efforts.

Reply Score: 4

obligatory
by zeos386sx on Sun 22nd Oct 2017 00:49 UTC
zeos386sx
Member since:
2005-07-18

should have gotten a thinkpad

Reply Score: 1

RE: obligatory
by x86_x64 on Mon 23rd Oct 2017 10:44 UTC in reply to "obligatory"
x86_x64 Member since:
2017-10-11

should have gotten a thinkpad

Problem is, they are getting more and more difficult to find in a good condition. And you obviously can't get one new, since they're no longer being manufactured.

Reply Score: 1