What We Got from Apple's October 2016 Event

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello Again

Today, Apple held a press event it called "Hello Again". The company announced a new accessibility website, a new Apple TV feature, and a long-awaited update to its MacBook computers. It may have missed the back-to-school shoppers, but today's announcements arrive just in time for the holiday shopping frenzy. There are some major changes to the MacBook line-up on the way, and while much of what you're about to read is awesome, you may not like all of it. But there's a great deal to like about the latest offerings from Apple, and I yell at articles to quit rambling in their intros and get on with it just as much as you do, so let's get on with it!

Accessibility Kick-Off

To my surprise, Apple started the presentation with a video highlighting accessibility features of its products. This led to Tim Cook's announcing a "whole new website" focused on Apple's accessibility efforts. As of the time of this writing, we haven't had a chance to fully explore this new website, but it's always great to see the spotlight shown on all the work Apple does to make their devices as usable, to as many people, as they can. It’s also great to see that the AppleVis Community is featured on Apple’s new Accessibility Portal as somewhere people should go to obtain more information and support. Thank you, Apple!

Get Entertained on Apple TV

No, there's not a new Apple TV coming out, but there is a new way to find something to watch on the box you already have. It's a new app from Apple, called--appropriately enough--TV. Yep, just those two letters. Interestingly, Apple offers this app on not just Apple TV, but your iOS devices as well, letting you browse and play content on any of your devices. But what, exactly, does the app do?

TV pulls together any shows or movies you're already watching on your video apps, as well as offering the next or newest episodes in TV series. This isn't just iTunes, either; it can work with ShowTime, CBS, HBO Now, and others, which makes it simple to keep up with any entertainment you're watching. The app also shows you your iTunes purchases or new video apps. It can even play content without you needing to know which app the content is in; tell Siri to play a particular show or game and that's all you need. But don't get too excited, because while the app is free, it won't be here until the end of the year.

Prose about the Pro

The MacBook Pro was the star of the show today. It got a major makeover--the first since the 2013 model dropped the disk drive--and there's a lot of great stuff on and inside it. Yet, there's also a change you may not like.

Inevitable Updates

First, the fun part: the updates we all expected, and that Apple almost had to make. The Pro is now slightly lighter and thinner, while the battery life remains at ten hours; no surprise there. It's also adopted the USB-C ports we first saw in the Retina MacBook last year. The new Pro includes four of them, and any of them can be used to charge the machine, which is a great touch if your outlet is opposite the power jack of your Mac. The audio jack, fortunately, hasn't gone anywhere, so there's no need to worry about getting USB sound cards or mics plus a bunch of adaptors. Those four USB-C (also called Thunderbolt 3--same thing) are all the ports you get, though. No standard USB, no Mini Display, no card reader, and, sadly, no more MagSafe.

Speaking of audio, the speakers are louder and, Apple claims, sound better than ever. Oh, and the storage is twice as fast as before, while the ram has gotten faster, too. Overall, the new Pros are anywhere from half again to more than twice as fast as the models they replace, depending on the category (gaming, graphics, or storage) you're interested in. Between the faster storage and ram, the better CPUs, and the improved graphics cards, these machines are powerhouses that manage to be smaller than any Pro to date.

One unexpected bit of news: the trackpad on the Pro is now twice as large as in previous models, and, of course, uses Taptic feedback to simulate a click. This lets you click it anywhere, not just on the bottom, and provides a much better experience with its larger surface area that can still click when pushed.

Not at all unexpected is the screen. It is 67% brighter, can show much better color, and draws even less power than the 2015 MacBook Pro screen. Yet it is as thin as that of the Retina MacBook, Apple's smallest computer ever.

Finally, in keeping with the storage trend it started with the iPhone 7, Apple is upping the base storage for all its Macs. 256GB is now the minimum for all MacBook models, which is where the Retina MacBooks have always been. The amount of ram across the line has not changed, to my knowledge.

New Magic

Aside from the new ports and altered dimensions, the major new feature on the Pro models is the removal of the entire top line of keys. Escape, F1 through F12, and Eject are all gone, replaced by what amounts to a touch screen. This "Touchbar", as Apple is calling it, is a multi-touch, retina-quality screen that runs in a strip along the top of the Mac's keyboard. The Bar offers context-sensitive controls and suggestions, plus emulates function keys when necessary.

Why do this? Apple's reasoning is rather compelling, when you think about it objectively. What is the top row of keys for most users? Keys used mostly for media or brightness control. When you aren't doing those things, those keys are wasted space. Instead of simply taking them out, Apple has decided to update them. Now, they can be your media controls in iTunes like normal, but they can also be the buttons or tools you need at any given moment, in any given application. In Mail, you have favorite mailboxes, message controls, and quick actions all available at the top of your keyboard. In Safari, you have tabs, favorite websites, and more. While typing, you have QuickType suggestions, just like in iOS. Best of all, you can customize the bar to show the controls you want, and touch one key to quickly bring up your standard function keys at any time. Plus, being a touch-sensitive display, you can perform gestures on the TouchBar. It wasn't clear what gestures are supported, but we know for sure that up to ten simultaneous touches will be recognized. That means dragging, pinching, swiping, and more, all with one or more fingers.

The TouchBar is Apple's first attempt to marry a touch-enabled display with the keyboard- and mouse-driven world of macOS. No, it won't be perfect right away, but it speaks of exciting things to come. Even in this first iteration, I have to admit I'm eager to try it out for myself. It's not the access to functions for which hotkeys already exist that I like, but rather the customization possibilities I can envision. Combined with gesture input, the TouchBar could significantly raise the bar on computer interfaces. I apologize for any mental injury caused by such a terrible pun.

Of course, this means that VoiceOver users lose the hardware keys we use all the time--escape, f1, f2, and f5 come to mind immediately as keys I use many times a day for various VO commands. The big question, then, is how to perform these commands if all the virtual keys on the TouchBar have configured themselves for the currently open application? I wish I had the answer, but all I can say is that we at AppleVis have reached out to Apple about this issue. Thus far, we haven't heard, but we will let you know when and if we get a response. Still, with the Apple TV, Apple Watch, boot sequence with File Vault enabled, and even complete macOS re-installs all offering VoiceOver support, I have no doubt that the new TouchBar won't be a problem. Who knows; there may even be a whole new commander to play with.

UPDATE: As you have likely seen already, Apple has confirmed how the TouchBar will work with VoiceOver. To toggle VO on or off, you hold down the command key and press the TouchID button three times. This is easy to remember; the command key is the traditional modifier used on macOS for VoiceOver, while hitting the TouchID button three times is just like iOS. Once VoiceOver is enabled, the rest of the function key commands will move to the number row. For instance, vo-f1 turns into vo-fn-1. Note the addition of the function key to the command. There is currently no word on how third-party keyboards that lack a function key will manage this. Last, but not least, the TouchBar itself is fully compatible with VoiceOver. Items under your finger are spoken, and the left/right swipes and one-finger taps we all know and love will work on the Bar just as they do on iOS or the Trackpad Commander.

A Touchy Addition

Ever since the iPhone 5s in 2013, TouchID has been a staple of iOS devices. If you bought an iPhone or iPad, you knew you'd get the ability to unlock it, or authorize payments/purchases/apps, with your fingerprint. However, no Mac has ever had this hugely convenient ability. Apple partly addressed this shortcoming in macOS Sierra, allowing users to perform authentication on their Macs through iPhones or Apple Watches.

Now, though, the MacBook Pro can do it all; the power button is also a TouchID sensor. Logging into your Mac, entering your admin password, using Apple Pay, and other security-centric tasks just got a lot more convenient. Simply place a finger on the power button, and that's it. Just like on iOS devices, the Mac reads your print, authenticates you, and you're all set. If you share a Mac with someone else, you can even use TouchID to immediately switch to your own user account, simply by touching the reader.

Getting Butterflies Over the New Keyboard

Now I have to give you the bad news. When the Retina MacBook came out, it included a keyboard that Apple naturally called "revolutionary". The keyboard took up less space, and gave a whole new feel to typing due to its "butterfly" switches. Apple may love the new design, but many reviewers found it odd and not as nice as the old keyboards.

When I went down to a local outlet store and tried the keyboard myself, I had to agree; the key travel was less, and--more importantly--the space between the keys was almost non-existent. This made it very hard for me to feel where the keys were. I imagine this would have gotten better with time, so I'm not willing to condemn the keyboard based only on that first impression.

I say all that to say this: a new version of that new keyboard is now standard on all MacBooks. The good news is that Apple specifically mentioned key travel as an area of improvement in this new generation keyboard, so I'm happy to try out the latest model and be proven wrong. I do recommend getting over to an Apple Store or other shop where a demo MacBook is displayed so you can get your hands on the new keyboard before you make any purchase, if possible. However, the mention of an updated design gives me hope that Apple may have gotten it right this time. Only time and experience will tell.

Getting My Hands on Some Butterflies

I need to update this section. On October 30, I got some hands-on time with the new MacBook and its keyboard. I am delighted to tell you that my primary concern--space between the keys--was addressed in this version. The keys feel clearly differentiated, albeit with less space between them than you'd find on an Air or 2015 or lower Pro keyboard. The layout is unlike the smooth feel of the 2015 Retina MacBooks in that I could easily tell where keys were, and had no trouble typing. Yes, the key travel is lessened, but even that is improved over the first generation of this keyboard. The travel isn't anything like Apple's older keyboards, but it isn't terrible either.

For those wondering, the layout is similar to the Retina Macbook. The function keys along the top (this was the low-end Pro, lacking the TouchBar) are half-sized, while the arrows are just like those on the Retina MacBook. That is, the left and right arrow keys are full-sized; the up and down arrows are between them, and are each half-sized. Picture three keys in a horizontal line, but the center key is actually two smaller keys, as though a larger key had been bisected horizontally. That's the arrow layout.

In short, don't let the key spacing stop you, as a touch typist, from considering this machine. Please still try to get some hands-on time before you buy, but if you can't, I would say you can trust that the keyboard will still be usable.

The New Line-Up (Or: Bye-Bye to the MacBook Air )

For years, the choice of Macs has been simple: an eleven- or thirteen-inch Air, or a thirteen- or fifteen-inch Pro. In 2015, Apple shook things up with the introduction of a twelve-inch MacBook with a retina display, dubbed the Retina MacBook or, confusingly, simply the MacBook. Despite its larger screen, this device was about the size of the eleven-inch Air, and rumors swirled that Apple would drop the smallest Air from the line- up. As the Retina version lacked more than one USB port and used a less powerful processor, though, there was still a valid use case for the Air.

Despite all that, the Air is no more. It has been replaced with the twelve-inch Retina model for those wanting the smallest computer, and a basic version of the 13-inch Pro for those wanting a little more. Again, though, both devices are about the same size, so you don't have to worry about getting a physically larger machine. In fact, the 13-inch Pro is twelve percent thinner and thirteen percent smaller in overall volume than the 13-inch Air. Note that, at least for the moment, the 13-inch Air remains available, while the 11-inch Air has been pulled. No one knows how long this will last, though, just as there's no telling for how much longer the 13-inch Pro from 2015 will continue to be sold.

The Airs are all but gone, and in their place are the 12-inch MacBook we already know, and a 13-inch Pro to take the place of the 13-inch Air, While it so far has no official name, this Pro lacks the TouchBar and TouchID of its more expensive sibling, and includes two USB-C ports to the four that come on the "real" Pros. If you're looking for a new Mac, here are your options. All of these come with 256GB of storage and 8GB of ram, except the 15-inch Pro which has 16GB of ram:

  • 12-inch MacBook: one USB-C port, fanless design, smallest and least powerful MacBook available. $1,299, 2 pounds.
  • 13-inch "basic" Pro: two USB-C ports, no TouchBar, no TouchID, 2GhZ dual core Core I5 processor. Identical to base model 13-inch Pro in all other ways. $1,499, 3 pounds.
  • 13-inch Pro: four USB-C ports, 2.9GhZ dual core Core I5 processor, includes TouchBar. $1,799, 3 pounds.
  • 15-inch Pro: four USB-C ports, 2.6GhZ quad core Core I7, includes TouchBar. Again, starts with 16GB of ram to the others' 8GB. $2,399, 4 pounds.

Until Next Year

That's it. Apple isn't expected to release anything new until sometime next year, so go forth and shop with confidence that you're getting the newest machines for months to come. Or, wait for deals on the "old" models, which are still extremely powerful and capable computers. Whatever you decide, today's announcements gave you a lot to choose from.

As of today (the day of the event), pre-orders are open for all models, though some won't ship for a few weeks while others will go out today. Please don't rely on this article for final prices, specifications, and upgrade options. Use Apple's website, or the Apple Store app, for that. I'm just giving you the basics, as given out at the presentation.

Let me know what you're thinking. Is the incredible reduction in size, and increase in power, enough to make you want a new Pro? Will you snatch up an Air while you can (no one knows if they're officially being discontinued)? Are you intrigued by the TouchBar, or do you want to stay far away from it? If I had the money, I'd get the 13-inch Pro with TouchBar in a heartbeat. The possibilities of a second touch/display surface are exciting, and I use peripherals rarely enough that going all USB-C wouldn't bother me. My only concern is the keyboard, but having seen this new generation in person, I doubt that will be an issue. Let me know what you think!

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Submitted by Chris on Thursday, October 27, 2016

I think the subject states everything perfectly for me. $1500 for a half decent Mac? I like Macs, but I'm not paying $1500 for a laptop. I like my current MacBook Air I got 2 years ago. If that goes, I'll be forced to migrate to a Mac mini. Then again, that computer hasn't been updated in two years. I don't know what to think anymore. I refuse to purchase the MacBook due to the single port and a slower processor than my Air. Also, let me just state that I've never been a fan of the MBP. I think it's honestly overrated unless you are doing things that warrant the increased processing power. I think it's clear that the Mac is taking a back seat to iOS which is a shame since I cannot currently consider iOS as a seriously productive operating system when it lacks such simple computing features as a file manager and downloading any type of file in Safari. Oh well. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

I do not like those new Apple keyboards either. Having used Windows laptops that squish all the keys together, I know how crappy they are. I love the keyboard on my Air and wouldn't dream of switching to a computer with a compacted keyboard ever again.

Submitted by Jake on Thursday, October 27, 2016

They take away things I actually need, like USB ports. They remove my card reader. They hike the price for the privilege of removing things I do actually need (I work in IT). I hate to say it because I absolutely despise Windows 10, but... what else am I going to do when my Air dies? I think Tim Cook's been cooking up some serious intoxicants and getting high off his own supply.

Submitted by mehgcap on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In reply to by Jake

Each person's hardware needs will be different. I work in IT as well, but have never once needed a card reader or more than one USB port. Even at home, I have a USB mic and the occasional card, but as that's a micro SD, I need a plug-in reader anyway. Going to all USBC is fine with me. Will it be for everyone? No, of course not, but to say that Tim Cook is high or crazy for taking the Mac in the direction of adopting the latest standards is a bit unfair. They have the usage data, on how many users use which slots or jacks, after all. I'm just glad they left in the headphone jack. :)

Submitted by Patrick Bouchard on Thursday, October 27, 2016

The MacBook Air 11 inch was discontinued, but the 13 inch is still available on the Apple Store. It didn't get an update, but you can still buy it new if that's what you want. You can also purchase a base model of the previous generation 13 inch MacBook Pro at a now lower price.

Submitted by Kasper Antonsen on Thursday, October 27, 2016

i hope there are some ways to use standard usb harddiscs etc. I have lots of usb 2 and 3 keys, some scanners and harddisks. About the function keys mooved away i think apple will do some workarounds for these. It will be an issue if windows computers remove there keys too due to jaws that need these keys

Submitted by Chris on Thursday, October 27, 2016

You can purchase USB C to USB adapters that allow you to plug the male USB cable into the female adapter which has a male USB C plug on the other end to connect to the port on the computer. However, you aren't going to get the speed improvements if you're using something like a USB 2 hard drive with the adapter. The device itself must support the faster speeds. As far as I'm aware, USB C offers even faster transfer speeds than 3.0, so if you wanted the best performance, you'd probably have to buy a dedicated USB C accessory. I could be wrong on this as I have no experience using USB C.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hmm... On the one hand, I'm sad to see all of the ports switching over to USB-C. I understand the reasoning, and I get that adapters are available for basically everything - but one of the things I love about my MBP, and one of the things that makes it feel "pro" in the first place, is the versatility afforded by the different ports and connections. What I think I would miss most is the HDMI out, assuming that's gone as well, and I do use SD cards on occasion. And I can't imagine going back to life without a MagSafe adapter. So all in all, the inconvenience from losing all of those port options is pretty disappointing.

But on the flip side, I'm very excited about the performance improvements, streamlining of the form-facto, and the touch bar. I have a feeling the touch bar is going to be a very nice feature, and will be completely accessible for VO users, and it's one of the big things that would make me want to upgrade. Of course, as expensive as Mac laptops are, I won't be upgrading until my 2014 MBP really starts to feel slow, and it's still performing as beautifully as ever.

I'm also interested to learn more about the upgrades to the processors and graphics processors, and what specific hardware the new Pros will ship with.

Submitted by Becca on Thursday, October 27, 2016

I'm excited for the new MBP!! I don't know what USB C is so I'm not to concerned with that. I think the new bar at the top seems really cool! I like the improved performance and speed. The price is expensive, though. Maybe I'll just wait for my MBP to die.
Question, how does the performance of a 2012 13 inch MBP compare to the newest model?

Submitted by Justin on Friday, October 28, 2016

Oh, it's like night and day. I've played with my uncle's new MBP at least i think it's last years model. anyway, the boot up times are drastically shortened as apposed to my 20/30 seconds it usually takes my 2012 15 inch machine to boot using internal SSD. I think he said it takes his machine somewhere around 6 seconds or thereabouts to finish boot up.

Submitted by Nicholas on Friday, October 28, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Thanks for the great article! I always look to your posts to see what 'really' happened.
I'm hoping the new touch strip has VO support?
As always, nicely done!

Submitted by Hubert on Friday, October 28, 2016

SO, it all sounds lovely and all, more powerful Macs, more power to do more complicated audio production, however, for someone who requires at least 3 USB ports, this is simply something terrifying. I need a USB port for my hard drive, because Day Pro only lets you record mixes which use tracks downloaded onto a drive, for my mixer, and my USB sound card, although that will soon become unnecessary as I'm planning to get a mixer with a built in sound card, but the concern is still there, USB ports are necessary for this sort of situation, especially for apps like Djay Pro, it's great you can use music from Spotify, but for obvious reasons you cannot record mixes using Spotify tracks, so you need the files downloaded, and I personally store it all on my external hard drive, because I simply have good over 150GB worth of music. So, as excited as I am, this is bringing forward some potential issues in years to come, I'm just glad I won't have to get a new mac for another good few years .

Well, there have been Windows computers that have removed the F keys (the Acer Aspire 1 comes to mind), as well as those which make using them more difficult (the Surface Book's fn key comes to mind). JAWS and NVDA both had better modernize and stop relying on these keys if this trend continues. It's as simple as that. It's the ports that concern me, not so much the F keys as I have no doubt that Apple will make the touch bar accessible (though we'll have to have a new keystroke to launch VO). I can imagine the touch bar changing to be VO functions when the VO modifier is used, for example. But I do need the ports, and I already fiddle with enough adapters as it is. I'm predicting that, if Apple doesn't come out with one, the market for third-party docking stations will explode for people like me.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Friday, October 28, 2016

Hey guys,
I would like to say that the new macs are great and all, but I'm happy with my current mac. I got it as a gift 2 years ago and it's still working for me. besides, the touch bar is amazing, but I hope voiceover will support the touch bar. that would be fun to play with. nice job on the artical as aways.

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, October 28, 2016

There's nothing to suggest apple hasn't thought of this. So you buy the traditional function keys, comand f five works fine. You scrounge up 300 bucks extra, get the touch bar Mac. Maybe you press on the strip for two seconds like talk back, or another creative solution. I don't understand why everyone's worried, Maybe there's a voice over key. Also, Siri might be now used to turn on voice over instead of the touchbar idea. I'm not thrilled with yet another price increase, though of course technology is expensive. Seems like they are putting more into the experience and not focusing so much on affordability. I am running a dinosaur Mac, when I thouht i needed a new one before I fixed this one, I looked and the base 13 inch model is really not worth another 200 dollars. This might be my last Mac. I haven't tried the new keyboard, I can't comment on that. If, and that's a huge If, I stay with the mac after this one, I'll also go SSD for my internal hard drive. I forgot, I called this a dinosaur because I got one with the slot cd dvd drive and now wish I hadn't. Almost everything is on a digital platform. Sure i have cd's but they aren't nearly enough to warant the wasted space. Also the card reader I barely use, i have only one card which has some photos on it I took. Anyway if I go to an Apple store, i'll experience a new Mac, but unless soemthing really changes, i'll not be looking forward to that. I missed the accessibility website so thanks for that. i am very grateful they upgraded the speakers, that's the one good thing. I really hate these speakers, they have almost zero definition. Great for voice over, sucky for any content.

Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, October 28, 2016

Thanks for this great post. I just had a brief look at Apple's new accessibility website, and it seems to be very good. Yay for a good mention of AppleVis! Yay also for some of the videos containing audio descriptions!

Submitted by Paul Martin on Friday, October 28, 2016

Am I missing something here? It was mentioned in the post that you could unlock your mac with an iPhone, yet I see no way at all to do it on this shiny new iMac. mac Help mentioned nothing, but I did see how to do it with an Apple Watch I don't have.

Submitted by mehgcap on Friday, October 28, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I may not have been very clear on that. You can unlock a Mac with an Apple Watch, and you can authorize an Apple Pay purchase made on the Mac using either a Watch or iOS device. You cannot, however, unlock a Mac using an iOS device. I suspect this has something to do with the Mac not being able to check the range between itself and the iThing to know when you're near, but that's a guess from a tired brain. In any case, you can't currently unlock a Mac with your iPhone, sadly.

Submitted by splyt on Friday, October 28, 2016

Something that needs to be better analysed is the case of people that make use of windows either through a vm or through bootcamp. With function keys going away it remains to be seen not only how Windows screen readers will handle this situation ** and something says me that they just wont at all ** but also how these function keys will work in general when other OS 's are used.

For me and for almost every other cases in my opinion the pure use of Mac OS is unrealistic because of all accessibility failures on this system. It is, however great (each time less but it still is ) great for some of them so combining both systems into the same equipment makes for a very good experience. But if the use of Windows screen readers and consequently of Windows itself becomes a pain because of the lack of function keys then it will, unless Apple works really seriously on the Mac OS accessibility (and nothing on the recent historical bases is signalising that they will do it), time to say good bie to Macs

Submitted by Jake on Friday, October 28, 2016

I would guess that for VMWare this touch bar would simply be the F keys, since no other os is going to know about it. As for bootcamp,, I think you're right. Given the abysmal failure that is touch screen accessibility in Windows 8 and 10 with Narrator, NVDA or JAWS, I'd expect them to fall flat on their face with any touch control on these machines too... or touch controls on other Windows laptops for that matter (yes, they do exist though not quite to this new extent).

Submitted by Chris on Friday, October 28, 2016


YOu can use an app called Mac ID to unlock your Mac with iOS. Download the versions for iOS and Mac OS X and you'll be good to go. This is much better than Apple's watch offering since it doesn't require those of us who see no point in the watch to purchase one. Additionally, this works with iPhones all the way back to the 4S. It also has some other nice features like the ability to lock your Mac when your iOS device gets a certain distance away, and to unlock when you get closer to the Mac. It also allows you to authenticate password dialogues using Touch ID or your phone for those who don't have, or choose not to use Touch ID. The dev has done a fantastic job making it work with VoiceOver and I'd say it's well worth the $4 or 5 I paid for it.

Submitted by splyt on Friday, October 28, 2016

I btw have recorded here at AppleVis a good podcast (at least I think it is grin) about Mac Id in 2015 if I remember it well. My english has a somewhat accented shape but is (I think) well inteligible and you can have a good grasp about how this software works.

Be aware though that at least in my experience it is not always reliable, but even so it is a nice little app to have on your computer

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, October 28, 2016

Straight, simple. Bring touch ID to the "Traditional function keys," version of the mac. Why has this not been done?

Submitted by mehgcap on Friday, October 28, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

TouchID isn't on other Macs because it and the TouchBar are a single unit, driven internally by the same subprocessor. I'm sure Apple could isolate the secure enclave and make it part of a Mac with no TouchBar, but they went with the route of integrating it with the TouchBar and camera. All of this means that adding TouchID isn't a matter of popping a sensor and chip into any Mac. Besides, it's one more reason to upgrade to the higher-end model, which Apple must like. Macs have gotten along since their inception without TouchID, so it's not a core feature being denied but rather a great new feature not being ported to every Mac. Sort of like the 15-inch Pro having far better graphics than the 13-inch (which has always been the case, to my knowledge) or the larger iPhone including the second camera lens, or last year's plus-sized phone having a better screen than the smaller one.

Submitted by Siobhan on Saturday, October 29, 2016

Stil it would've been awesome to see the Mac get touch ID no matter what model it was. I understood the whole, this is better, buy it for the bar and touch ID attitude, I was simply suggesting it maybe be included at some point.

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Saturday, October 29, 2016

It's disappointing that one has to go to the 15" to get 16GB RAM and quad-core CPU, where the 13" Pro I've now has 16GB RAM, and current 13" ChromeBooks and Windows laptops have quad-core CPU. The new OLED Touch Panel Pro seems to have a 50% mark-up over previous Pros or other comparable laptops.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Sunday, October 30, 2016

Okay, I have a question that may seem dumb. I'm looking into getting a mac because I don't believe Windows has as much accessibility as Apple does. And since I have an ipad, it just makes since. However, I rely on USB. thumb drives. I put my books from Bookshare on them as well as use them for backing up my files which I do quite often for example. My question is, will I be able to get an adapter that I can plug into the mac & still be able to use my USB. flash drives or ann other USB device that I may have to use? And wilb I be able to buy an SD. Card reader also? Thanks.

Submitted by mehgcap on Sunday, October 30, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Yes, there are adaptors to go from standard USB to the new USB-C connection. There are even some thumb drives, hard drives, and other peripherals now that are USB-C on their own, no adaptor needed. These should become more and more commonplace over the next few years.

Submitted by Siobhan on Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hi. I haven't used a card reader in years but I know they are around. Again they might be USB, but as the previous poster said, they are addapting them.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Sunday, October 30, 2016

O thank goodness! Thank you guys! I was really hoping I wouldn't have to go to Windows over this. Hopefully, by the time I buy a mac, there'll be options. Thanks again guys! Phew!

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Monday, October 31, 2016

Hello all,
After thinking on this a bit, Apple is really losing touch with reality here. Not only have they jacked up the prices of the laptops, people are either going to have to buy all new accessories or dongles to be able to use their current accessories. This is going to jack up the price even more. The cost of this stuff is one big reason why Macs are not more widely used. Nobody can really afford all this stuff. Also people are going to have to buy a new cable to connect their new iPhones to the laptops. They really should have left one or two normal USB A ports rather than having all four be thunderbolt3 ports.

Now we'll have to carry all these darned adapters too! I'm torn at this point, really. I won't have to make this decision for several years yet (my 2015 Macbook Air runs just fine) but I have to deal with one extreme or the other. Either I get stupid design choices but an operating system that actually gets out of my way (MacOS), or I can have any hardware I want and have to deal with the worst piece of garbage to ever grace Microsoft's PR department (that would be Windows 10) which is always getting in the way. I hope the future looks better by the time the decision comes around to my neck of the woods again, that's all I can say.

Doesn't this happen every time new standards are introduced though? I seem to remember the Internet being in an uproar when the original MBA came out because it didn't have a DVD drive. No one complains about having to buy an external one. I think I've only plugged my iPhone into my Mac once since I got it, thanks to Apple Music. And I think you can still sync over WiFi.

Just trying to see the other side.

Submitted by Justin on Monday, October 31, 2016

I agree with Brian on this. It's not a big deal if we have to purchase new adapters for USB C Personally I'll get the 15 inch MBP with the quad core i7 and 16GB ram with the SSD maxed out. So what if I have to buy USB C adaptors, it's no deal breaker to me. I like that they've changed the Magsafe connector to USB C, I've never been a fan of magsafe. Went thru so many adaptors cause they keep fraying over time and theres no real fix for them!

Submitted by Chris on Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I agree with Jake here. Apple seems to be ditching the lower end machines in favor of new shiny gimmicks. If the MacBook Air is dead, I'm sure the Mac mini won't be far behind. Maybe I'll just slap Linux onto my current Macs and move along since Apple isn't going to update my MacBook Air forever. I'm sure as hell not going back to Windows until they get their act together and do what's right. At the same time, I'm not paying more than $1000 for a Mac or a computer in general.

Dropping magsafe was an incredibly stupid idea. It's a brilliant concept that has saved my computer from accidentally falling and smashing on the ground. That was one reason I bought my Air. I got tired of all those stupid Windows computers that used the little charger port in the back. Magsafe also ensures that the port doesn't get damaged. I seriously don't know about Apple anymore.

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I'm actually glad they dropped the magsafe connector. It's not worth spending $80 for a new adaptor every 2 years or so when you've had a mac for a long time. I've lost count in how many adaptors that have frayed over time. Personally the USB C is the way to go in terms of connecters. It's not proprietary and if you need to you could probably find a set of USB C to USB 3.1 adaptors for your computer for pretty cheap on amazon i'm sure. The Magsafe idea is good, but the way they've implemented the cables with apple going green and dropping thalates in the plastic, it makes for a thin, less durable cable with no sort of strain relief to prevent being broken at an odd angle.

anyway, we'll just have to grin and bear the death of the air.

Submitted by Siobhan on Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hi all. I just read Apple won't give you the other six foot free, it's now another twenty bucks U.S. Ok, I haven't used it, it's always in my laptop case. We al know how frustrating it is when you just need that foot more to connect. I'd love if they slimed down the power brick though. Maybe they have. I'm sick of hearing it drop out just because I pull it out accidentally. I guess we'll just have to hope I don't drop it as I agree with the original person who said the mag safe wasn't smart to drop. Remember how awesome we thought it was? maybe enough people might see reason with apple I don't know.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Friday, December 30, 2016

OK, all of the announcements that apple has made is quite amazing and all, but so am I. I'm not paying $1500 or mor on a new mac that has all of the cool features. I already have my MacBook Air, early 2014, which works perfectly! Plus, with the ability to unlock with my apple watch, that's a big plus! that's all I'm going to say.

Submitted by Mitchell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

I know you mean well, but think about it. I would assume, in the three years since he asked the question, he would have found the answer. There are plenty of resources on here that were published here, and you would have to go digging to actually find this. My big question is why do people bring up these topics for no good reason, and talk about things that are out of date, and suggest things that don't need to be suggested?

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Where? the wonderful and perfect iOS 13.2.2 is so great that is fantastic. Not. Unlucky 13.2.2 is what we got from apple. Oh where is iOS 14? June will be here one day. I need a drink.