Me and the Mac go way back; back to the last century, back before the public internet, back to the years when Apple and the Mac were synonymous, back to before Apple was expected to go out of business soon.
Wait. That hasn’t changed. Apple is doomed memes proliferate on the interwebs these days because, well, just because. That’s a sad refrain, a relic from years, decades past. Apple is in no danger of repeating its near self-destructive actions of the 1990s. Every thing Apple does these days makes money hand over fist.
That includes the Mac, and though sales are at record levels, Apple is more synonymous with iPhone than with the Mac and that’s not likely to change ever because the mobile era is here and there’s not much more you can do to a Mac to make it a more mobile device, right? Right?
Let’s try. There are some things the Mac needs to continue moving forward and growing in the 21st century.
Currently, the Mac line mostly is made up of notebooks. Yes, there’s the Mac mini at the low end of the spectrum, and the Mac Pro at the high end, and a bunch of popular iMac models in the middle, but it’s the MacBook that makes up most of the Mac’s sales these days.
Here’s what the Mac needs and needs more of and soon.
A touchscreen and better security.
Microsoft has made some inroads into PC arena with the hybrid Surface tablet-notebooks. They’re priced from $500 to nearly $3,000, and each has one thing the Mac does not. A touchscreen. I’m not saying a touchscreen is God’s gift to personal computing and it’s not a feature to be used hour after hour, but there are times when a detachable keyboard and a touchscreen make for a compelling computing experience.
The Mac needs a touchscreen, and that means OS X needs to have some touchscreen love so it’s easier to use a Mac notebook as a standalone tablet, sans keyboard. If there’s anything Microsoft has done good in recent years it’s the Surface and a unified Windows. Apple doesn’t have that because OS X is not iOS but it’s not a stretch of the imagination to think of a MacPad in the future; a Mac notebook-like device which runs OS X with some touchscreen options, yet thin and light like the MacBook and with a detachable keyboard.
Wait. Isn’t that the iPad Pro?
Yes. And no.
The iPad Pro still isn’t a Mac, and pound for pound, the Mac is a better hardware bargain with more computing power that also runs more powerful and complex applications than you’re likely to find for years to come on the iPad. Hello? Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud? Many of those apps scream touchscreen, but their iPad counterparts are as anemic as the hardware in a $200 Windows touchscreen tablet-notebook hybrid, which, by the way, can run Adobe’s flagship apps.
A MacPad might be the perfect device to showcase Apple’s new CPU design skills, too, with a CPU-GPU combo that performs like a Mac notebook but with OS X– and Mac apps– on a touchscreen, but with the option to run iOS apps, too.
Now, while we’re at it, remember that we’re in the age of privacy and security, an age when everyone is out to steal your information, confiscate your data, and perhaps hold your devices for ransom, so it’s not out of the question to ask Apple to improve OS X and the Mac’s security option. Start with face and voice recognition to unlock the Mac. Add that to full device encryption, and encryption for each application and their respective files.
You see where this is going right?
More flexible, more mobile devices, with better security and privacy options. That should be the focus of the Mac in coming years.