The way Apple names its products someone who has never heard of Apple might mistake it for something other than a technology company. One of the more common phrases used virtual private servers to describe Apple is that it is at the intersection of technology and liberal arts. And the way Apple embraces artists and students shows in its products.
Apple recently released an all-new product and brought an old product back. The Apple Watch and the new Macbook. Apple hasn’t made a Macbook for at least four years. Until recently it’s only laptops were a Macbook Air and a Macbook Pro. Though the Air line will be around for another few years, I expect the new Macbook (which is thinner and lighter than the Airs) to eventually replace them.
I say eventually because I could not possibly recommend the new Macbook to anyone. There’s a saying in product design, form follows function. That means that first you add everything your product needs to do and then figure out how to style it around those necessities. That’s actually why production cars often differ quite a bit from concept cars. The concepts are missing a lot of the necessities. When that process goes bad you get things like the Pontiac domain name hosting Aztek.
With Apple form comes first. After the form has been decided the engineers pack whatever features they can into it. The new Macbook is incredibly thin and light. I’ve held it in my hand and it feels like holding an iPad. But its size forced a lot of compromise. The new Macbook sports only one port that doubles as the charging port. You cannot charge the Macbook and plug something else into it. The new port is a new type of USB, called USB-C. http://hipley.pw Right now nothing works with USB-C. Apple does sell a dongle that lets you plug multiple things into the USB-C port so you’ll have to buy that and carry it with you.
To make the new Macbook as thin as it is Apple did away with the fan. In order to accommodate that design a low-power processor had to be used to avoid heat. When benchmarked the new Macbook compares to a 2011-2012 Macbook Air in terms of speed. And then there’s the price. The new Macbook costs about as much as the current 13-inch Macbook Air. I cannot recommend this version of the Macbook. If you need something light get an Air and if you need more power get a Pro.
The new Macbook hardly gets a mention when compared to the Apple Watch. The watch is the first entirely new product that Apple has made in five years (when the first iPad was released). I have had a chance to play with demo versions of the watch and have to say it was quite nice. However, the reviews of the watch gives me pause. Right now just about every reviewer agrees, the watch is slow and that’s its worst drawback. Native watch apps work great, but third-party developers cannot make those yet. Right now we can only make apps that are essentially extensions of apps on the iPhone. So yes, you can get a Twitter app on the watch, but it pulls information from the phone.
That means there’s a noticeable delay when trying to access information on the watch. Some reviewers preferred to just take their phones out because getting at the information was faster on their phone, which defeats the purpose of the watch.
As virtual machine with all products, the second version of both the Apple Watch and new Macbook will be better. The second-year iPad was much better than the first one. The second-year Macbook Air was much better than the first. I bet that next year each of these products will be significantly better.