My first Mac notebook was the venerable PowerBook 100 from back in the last century; an era before the interwebs was born. I paid $999 for a 40MB disk drive and a black and white display. The PB 100 also came with a thick and heavy body and a keyboard that worked All. The. Time.
Form vs. Function
Maybe it was Jonny Ive’s British accent. Would James Bond have been quite the same hero if he sounded like he was from Mississippi? No. The accent still matters. If Jobs was enamored of Ive’s accent, then it’s likely Apple’s divergence from practicality toward thinner and lighter devices might not have steered the company toward iPhones with crummy battery life and Macs with crummy keyboards.
But they were thin! But they were beautiful!
Word on the streets says Apple’s next Mac will user in a new generation MacBook Pro with a larger display on a similarly sized frame and chassis, but also a keyboard that does not come with butterflys.
Scissors are back, baby. Jonny Ive is gone and form no longer rules over function.
How long has this change been brewing at the new Apple? Ive exited just months ago, but has been mostly absent for a few years, just long enough for a pragmatist coup to take place, kick out the underperforming iPhone batteries, throw away the notorious butterfly keyboards, and user in a new era.
iPhones now lead the smartphone industry with both photos and videos. A MacBook Pro with a 16-inch display and a keyboard that works will be welcomed by all. Oh, guess what else?
iPhones lead the industry in battery life, too. Yes. That’s right. iPhones get up to five hours more battery life than last year’s model, and since they are using battery-hungry OLED displays, a simple setting to go black– Dark Mode, plus background, plus lock screen– can add a few more hours. Turn on Low Power Mode and you might get another day on an iPhone that pushes into the second day already.
How did Apple do that?
First, Jonny Ive was nowhere to be seen. That meant a larger battery and a thicker chassis. Thick. Not thin. Second, pragmatism and function. Not form.
Apple has decided the future belongs to the pragmatic. Form should not rule over function. Out with the old new, and in with the new old.
I love it.