My MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Rant

I’ve always been a fan of Apple. I still am, but I have a bone to pick. These last few days, we saw the release of Microsoft’s Surface Studio and Apple's new MacBook Pro line. If I hadn't been in the market for a new laptop, given that I already have a desktop iMac, its possible that I might have been well one my way to a new Microsoft Surface Studio. 

Around 2009, Simon Senik explained the Golden Circle concept. Heres an overview. 

It start with the why, as in, “Why do we do exist” 

Then comes the how, as in, “How do we do it.” 

And last, the what, as in, “What is the product that results.”

This was very different from most companies that were working the opposite direction. Most companies would say something like, "We have this awesome new technology, here's how it works, and this is why you should by buy it.”

Fstoppers, a photography and creative blog recently released an article titled What Happened to Apple’s ‘Why’? It argues that Apple as lost their why with the release of the new MacBook Pro with its Touch Bar. I think Apple is still centered around the same ‘why,’ which is to change the status quo and think different. How are they doing that? By always looking forward and leaving inefficient concepts and dated technologies behind. Then they got to the 'what'... 

By now we all know what, and Let me be clear. I never use the function keys except for their alternative functions like volume and brightness controls, so getting rid of the function key row is hardly a problem for me. Its a great idea to get rid of it. The problem is this. If you ask any painter or sketch artist where the vast majority of their attention is focused on, its the subject. As a photographer and filmmaker, my creative process is similar. Any time I break the visual connection with what I'm creating, it puts a kink in the flow of creativity.

Now you can immediately see how having a screen down on my keyboard, that changes every time I want to perform a new task, would require me to break that connection if I wanted to utilize it. Fact is, I’ve typed this entire article and I’ve looked down maybe once or twice. So you can see my skepticism when the claim is that it will drastically increase productivity. Will I be able to adapt to the Touch Bar and eventually not have to look down? Maybe. Only time will tell. 

Lets shift gears a little. Now heres where I really start to get frustrated. Look, I get it Apple. No one is diving head first into making Thunderbolt 3 peripherals. You’re the big kid on the block so you release a computer that only has 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports knowing full well that it will force the hands of every other company that manufactures peripherals. Lets be real. Everyones still going to buy it, and eventually, every hard drive, monitor and card reader is going to be using Thunderbolt 3. Well “eventually” is a big pain in my ass, because now I have to pick up two Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapters ($49 each), a USB-C to Digital AV and USB 3 adapter ($79), and a USB 3 hub (~$40). Thats over $200 in adapters just so I can get my current peripherals to work with my new laptop. YES. I BOUGHT ONE. What else am I going to do. Buy a PC? 

Although to be honest, its not so ridiculous of an idea these days. If I wasn't specifically in the market for a laptop, If I was an illustrator, or designer, or was more involved in 3D animation again, I’ll tell you right now. My desk could have had a Microsoft Surface Studio on it in a couple weeks. I digress. Thats a whole different scenario. 

I would love to have everything in a single laptop: touch screen, pro stylus, USB 3 ports, Thunderbolt 2 ports, Thunderbolt 3 ports, SD card reader, machine guns and laser beams. Right now that does seems like something that Microsoft would offer rather than Apple, but until the day comes when Windows is completely free from bloatware, system updates every 10 minutes, security scans, background utilities, and the constant threat of malware, I'm sticking with Mac.

At the end of the day, a Mac just works. Updates are done in a matter of seconds, I'm not worried about viruses and I can focus on the whole reason I even bought a computer at all - To Create.