Give thanks to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for USB. Apple didn’t invent USB but the original iMac helped to make it a success. Yeah, I know. USB has problems, too, but consider the alternatives at the time.
Parallel, Serial, SCSI, ADB, et al. USB was and is an improvement and Apple has worked with Intel to improve it more. Welcome to the new ear of USB 4, Wi-Fi 6, and Face ID on the Mac? Face ID?
The Future Beckons
There are times when it becomes difficult for those of us immersed in technological gadgets to recognize the need to give up the past and move toward the future. Any time Apple does something daring or with courage– iPhone headphone jack, I’m looking at you– the nattering nabobs of negativism will flash their certified cards as members of the technorati elite politburo and scold Apple for thinking ahead.
The future is ahead of us. Apple merely helps bring it to us, and moves us toward it. What’s coming?
Face ID on the Mac – I’m officially announcing that I won’t get another new Mac until Face ID shows up. iPhone has it. iPad Pro has it. Touch ID is on the entry-level MacBook Air, so future MacBook Pro models deserve Face ID.
I’m waiting, Apple.
USB 4 – Wait, didn’t we just get a new USB a couple of years ago? Yes. USB-C; technology modeled after Apple’s now antique Lightning connector and cable; where one side fits all; fast, easy, reversible. USB-C is all over the Mac, of course (except for some hand legacy ports on Mac mini and iMac) but USB4 is something of a marriage between Intel’s USB technology and Intel’s Thunderbolt technology.
Wait. That’s wrong. Didn’t Apple invent Thunderbolt? The marketing name, yes, but suffice it to say Apple and Intel worked together to make USB-C a successor, and USB4 does what we all wanted in the first place. It does away with Thunderbolt 3 but doubling USB-C speeds. That’s USB 3.2 for the geek in you.
Damn this stuff is getting fast. It needs to. Wi-Fi 6 is on the way. Then it all gets messed up with 5G. If only the internet could be as fast as our gadgets and accessories.
Wi-Fi 6 – Most likely, what Wi-Fi you have now is Wi-Fi 5 or 802.11 a/c, and even that’s been around awhile. We still have an Airport somewhere around the Mincey Plantation that does 802.11 a/c. What’s coming is 802.11ax, which is to be named Wi-Fi 6 because that’s easier on the non-geek ears.
What you’ll get, with a little meshing in between, is double the range of Wi-Fi, triple the speed, and improved reliability.
Great, right? Is there a problem there? There’s always a problem somewhere.
The whole internet isn’t as fast as USB4 or Wi-Fi 6 or 5G. Your internet service provider isn’t that fast, either, and so far as I know, even with all those technologies in your home, your internet access won’t be any faster because the internet itself is not that fast. Search Amazon for Wi-Fi 6 and you’ll find plenty of Gigabit routers but be prepared to cough up a kidney, then go into a depression when you cannot download anything from the internet at more than 20-Mbps.
5G will help but it may take a decade for it to become as ubiquitous as we want it to be. Face ID on the Mac will get here first.