This story is part of, CNET's complete coverage from and about Apple's annual developers conference.
While it WWDC conference still disappointed potential MacBook, iMac and Mac Pro shoppers, many of whom have been waiting patiently for the company to release radically updated versions of some systems and correct with others., the at last week's Apple
Mac Pro fans had already girded themselves for a long wait: Apple had previously confirmed that the replacement for thewouldn't arrive . But the desire for replacements for the more mainstream Mac lines is even more acute. The MacBook and MacBook Pro family is suffering from a owing to its seemingly fragile butterfly keyboard design.
There's still just over six months left in 2018, and plenty of time for Mac updates and new products to appear. Last year's WWDC hosted a wide range of computer updates, mostly to internal components, but a fall launch for new MacBooks or Mac desktops would easily make up for the lack of hardware at WWDC 2018.
But a straight-up "specs bump" with new Intel chips won't cut it: Apple needs to address some key issues with the Mac. To that end, here's what we'd like to see changed once new models are announced.
Hit reset on super flat MacBook keyboards
Some people hate the extra flat keyboards on the current generation of MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. Other people tolerate them, if begrudgingly. Absolutely no one loves them. Besides lacking enough tactile feedback, these keyboards are sensitive to , resulting in stuck keys which lead to costly repairs, lost productivity and even .
If you're suffering from a stuck MacBook key,. If it fails, taking your laptop in for repair is the only option. That was never a problem with previous MacBooks. Either go back to the earlier keyboard design, or go back to the drawing board -- but the current iteration just isn't cutting it.
Make the Touch Bar truly optional
I actually use the Touch Bar on a MacBook Pro on a regular basis. I sometimes swap between several laptops a week. But whenever my laptop travels take me back to a MacBook Pro, I make the Touch Bar part of my interface. I use it primarily for controlling screen brightness, volume and other system tasks. But it's not a universally adopted control interface, and plenty of Mac users either.
The least expensiveis a full $500 less than the least expensive (yes, there are CPU and storage differences as well). The , however, is only available with the Touch Bar. I'd wager that many potential shoppers would jump at a chance to shave a few hundred dollars off a 15-inch Pro that skipped the high-concept Touch Bar.
Take care of true Pro desktop users
The Mac Pro, intended to be Apple's highest-end desktop PC, has been. Serious photo and video editors, 3D modelers and other power users have been waiting for an update since then. To the company's credit, Apple acknowledged its missteps with the Pro last year, and , which is now . My colleague Lori Grunin points out , from user-replaceable parts to a cheaper entry-level version.
My take is that even if we can't actually buy a new Mac Pro in 2018, we should at least get a sneak peek at what it'll look like, what's inside it and how much it will cost. That way, pro users can decide if they want to wait for the 2019 modular Mac Pro, or go with the, which is available now.
Give us the MacBook Air update we've been asking for
It's the one thing everyone asks about and obsesses over, above all other Apple issues. When will the legendary MacBook Air get a serious upgrade? This 13-inch laptop isn't very different from when it. The current design, largely static since 2010, , but is still several generations behind in its processor, display (non-Retina screen!) and overall design. Despite this, the Air is so popular that even in its sadly dated current form, it's still one of the most commonly spotted laptops in coffee shops and on college campuses.
Theis getting stronger, and if the reports of a system with a slimmer body, better Retina-class screen, newer CPU and a price tag under $1,000 are true, we'll probably be looking at a runaway hit. But whether that rumored model retains the "Air" name, or gets rebranded as a "MacBook (13-inch)" -- or something else -- is anybody's guess.
Just one more port
Yes, you can still find a MacBook with extra ports. The 13-inch Air and the HDMI ports, as well as the deeply missed MagSafe power connection. But for the rest of us, it's USB-C or bust.design Apple still sells both have USB-A and
I get it, it's a handy connection type, and can handle power, data, video and accessories. Plus, you'll never accidentally try and plug something in upside down as it's a reversible plug. But, for those of us living in the real world, where you sometimes run into a USB memory stick, a mouse with a USB connector, a display or TV set you need to connect to via HDMI, or an Ethernet port, I hope Apple considers sneaking a USB-A or maybe even an HDMI port back into the mix.
The clock is ticking
We may or may not see some combination of these wish-list items on the horizon later this year. We expectthis fall, and Apple is also due to release new and a , too. Squeezing all those and new Macs into a September event is a daunting prospect. But perhaps Apple will also hold a Mac-only event in September or October.
Time will tell, but we hope it comes sooner rather than later.
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