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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Stephen Hackett

Considering Mac hardware at WWDC

Last May, I wrote about my Mac hardware wishes here in this very newsletter, and with the WWDC keynote just days away, I thought I could do the same this year.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. I hope — and fully expect — Apple to unveil the new Mac Pro at this year’s conference. Like the Retina MacBook Pro in 2012 and the iMac Pro in 2017, this machine would receive a warm welcome at WWDC. Developers are probably the largest single segment of this machine’s potential customer base, and impressing them with the ins and outs of a new Mac Pro would be a fun (albeit overdue) way to start the week.

One-year-ago-Stephen wrote this:

[Apple should unveil a] redesigned, more robust keyboard for the MacBook and MacBook Pro. The problems of debris and broken keycaps is well covered, so I won’t re-tread them here, but I really think Apple needs to address the issues with these machines.

That didn’t happen in 2018, and in fact, just a few weeks ago, Apple released new MacBook Pros with 2019, complete with butterfly keyboards. Maybe the company has gotten the reliability issues under control, but even if it hasn’t, people just don’t trust these notebooks, and Apple needs to address that.

Whenever the Mac Pro gets released, I’d like to see a spec bump come to the iMac Pro. I don’t keep up with the details of Intel’s Xeon roadmap, but if Apple can rev its Space Gray all-in-one, it should. Many of us love the iMac Pro, and knowing that it’s not going to be a one-off would be nice.

Obviously, we’re not going to see a new 13- or 15-inch MacBook Pro at WWDC now, but rumors of a mythical 16-inch model have been floating around for a while. As often happens with these things, some expect this new machine to fix every single thing wrong with the current crop of computers, and time will tell if that’s true. However, I think we will be waiting a little bit longer for this. I don’t see a new high-end notebook being unveiled at WWDC 2019.

Of course, there are the low-end notebooks to consider as well. It’s a common belief that the first Mac to get on the ARM train will be the 12-inch MacBook, which, curiously, has not been updated since June of 2017. I don’t know if Apple is ready to make the jump to ARM Macs, but even if it isn’t, an updated MacBook would be welcome.

Then there’s the mystery of the two-port MacBook Pro with function keys. It has also languished since 2017, and in a world with the MacBook Air, I don’t know why it’s still around. Clearing that up would be great.

So, to recap, I think we’ll see the Mac Pro next week at WWDC, and that’s probably it. The messiness of the MacBook line could be cleared up in a press release, but as Apple left both the MacBook and the two-port MacBook Pro untouched in its latest MacBook Pro refresh, I can’t help but think there’s another shoe to drop. Maybe that happens at WWDC.

But still, bring on the Mac Pro.

[Stephen Hackett is the author of 512 Pixels and co-founder of Relay FM.]

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