Much noise was generated by technology critics over the lack of a new design or any visual and obvious changes to iPhone 7 vs. iPhone 6s or even iPhone 6. The problem with such observations and lack of critical analysis is that members of the nattering nabobs of negativism cannot see clearly.
They confuse design with how a device looks and feels, when actual design is everything about a device, inside and out, and how it works. Everything except screen resolution and a few colors are different in iPhone 7. Everything. So, here we are, moving rapidly into the latter days of 2016, and we certified Apple watchers are on the lookout for new Macs. They will arrive soon enough, but I have a fear that we have achieved ‘Peak Mac.’
No Intel Inside
Think of it this way. There isn’t much that’s new under the PC sun these days. Windows still works like a Mac. Intel has hit a wall with their CPUs, Moore’s Lawn is all but dead. Thinner and lighter is about as thin and light as physics allow, and faster is what you get when you do a Rip Van Winkle for five years. The state of the art today is Intel’s Core M Series and even that advanced state is rivaled by Apple’s A-series ‘Fusion’ CPUs in the iPhone 7.
In fact, an aging MacBook Air can be yours with an Intel i7 CPU, and except for the advanced Retina display, can be a better performer than a more expensive MacBook with all the latest and greatest colors. One could argue that Apple’s most advanced and obvious feature in recent years– Mac, iPhone, iPad– is color. Rose Gold, anyone?
Have we indeed reached Peak Mac?
Apparently nobody is buying Apple’s Mac Pro because the iMac has what most people once needed in all powerful Macs. SSDs are screaming fast. Fast graphic cards make using Final Cut Pro just like scrolling through warm butter. Battery technology continues to offer more promise than performance. Decent keyboards are about as thin as they can get and not be a hologram.
Sometime this fall Apple will introduce a few Mac updates and the MacBook Pro likely will be a little thinner, a little lighter, a little faster, and might even sport a diminutive Retina 4k display, but missing a few of the ports we once knew and loved. Goodbye USB-3 and MagSafe, Hello USB-C. Even with faster CPUs, improved graphics, everything is a remix.
Apple is not likely to put a touchscreen on the Mac, opting instead for a little touch friendly Touch ID button, and perhaps the rumored touch panel, but drawing on your Mac’s screen will need to be mouse or touchpad, and not screen. And the newer Mac’s are likely to sport a 3.5mm headphone jack instead of a Lightning port. Maybe next year.
Macs have not been upgraded much in recent years because there may not be much to upgrade to. A newer, slightly faster, power sipping CPU this year isn’t much of an improvement over last year’s Intel Inside. The Retina display could improve but not enough that you could look at a photo on one and tell the difference from a photo on another.
Even macOS Sierra works, looks, and feels much like Mac OS X El Capitan. Let’s face it. Along with the traditional PC, the Mac has entered middle age. It’s a line of computers that is pushing into its mid-30s; the thirtysomethibng personal computer. For those of us who remember our thirties fondly, it’s easier to suggest that we’ve reached Peak Mac.