Wi-Fi is the standard method for Mac users to get connected to the public internet. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are plentiful but increasingly come with dangers, hence the growing popularity of virtual private networks (VPNs). Apple could help Mac users overcome connection issues with LTE in a Mac.
Wait. What? Why not just use your iPhone to connect a Mac to the internet via the cellphone carrier by using the Personal Hotspot feature? First, it doesn’t always work. Second, not all cellphone plans make Hotspot tethering available to all customers. Third, Watch has it already, so why not the Mac?
Microsoft Has LTE
As much as it pains me to say it, there are times when Apple lets the Mac fall behind the times. Microsoft just announced a Surface Pro Windows-based PC with LTE. That’s LTE cellular wireless connectivity up to 450Mbps. That’s fast. That’s LTE built in to the Surface Pro.
Think about it. iPad has an LTE cellular option. Watch has an LTE cellular option. Why not the Mac?
Microsoft’s Surface Pro LTE model is priced less than the entry-level models of MacBook and MacBook Pro. The company has been known to stretch the truth, but Microsoft says battery life with LTE will be about the same as battery life with Wi-Fi. My own experience with battery life on iPad Pro– Wi-Fi vs. built-in LTE cellular connectivity– says, well, it’s about the same, too.
Honestly, I get a few not-so-pleasant impressions with Apple’s recent approach to the Mac vs. iPhone and iPad.
First up, in recent years, Apple pushed two new iPhones out the door every year. This year, 2017, we saw three new models. Second, new Macs show up every few years, occasionally get a speed bump here and there, but in recent years have fallen behind Windows-based PC hardware. By all appearances, Apple is resting on the Mac’s laurels.
It’s as if Apple has a roving band of highly experienced and capable hardware engineers that work on all of Apple’s products but not all at once. Their first requirement and highest priority is to engineer a new iPhone every year. After that, a new Watch comes out every year. After that, it’s a new iPad every few years. After that, and once public outcry reaches public noise levels, the Mac line might get an update here and there.
Yes, I know I can use iPhone to tether my Mac to the internet when Wi-Fi is not nearby. If that’s the case and the excuse Apple uses to not put LTE cellular connectivity into the Mac, then why is there an LTE iPad model?
If the Mac has an important place in Apple’s growing product line, then the company has a strange way of showing the love these days.