I’m a creator, I need a powerful and flexible platform to create. To my dismay I felt like the Mac was sadly withering away. However, with the WWDC announcements about macOS and the Mac upgrades all this doom and gloom about the Mac changed instantly and really got me excited. It’s been years since I felt as enthusiastic as I was after the keynote. Let me explain why.
* Space gray to be precise, potato/potato
About the Mac
Apple used to have new Mac models out every year and updates every 8 months or so. However the Mac Pro wasn’t updated for 3 1/2 years and the MacBook pro was neglected for over 2 years. Apple “dindu nuffin” for the Mac for the last few years and I got the impression, they really want to get rid of it. Which would be a grave mistake. The Mac is what creators (and that includes programmers) use to create stuff. iOS devices, in spite of all claims by Apple are devices best suited for consuming media, not much for creating anything more complex. As much as iOS 11 and the new iPad Pro might be closing the gap in performance, there still is a very tangible gap in productivity & flexibility between touch based devices and a computer. The Mac and what people create on it is still a large part of what makes Apple products sexy, cool and inspiring. And is still king of productivity and versatility.
For years I’ve been waiting for a Mac to really excite me. I’ve been holding back on replacing my mid 2010 MacBook Pro, because none of the new Macs felt like really a vast enough improvement over my very sturdy workhorse to justify the high cost of getting a new Mac. So, when I bought the MacBook Pro late 2016 model, because I really needed a newer machine, I had mixed feelings because of everyone bashing it. Personally I was excited over having 4 thunderbolt ports, and couldn’t understand the rage about not having old USB ports. Just get a new cable ferchrissake, you don’t even need a dongle, sheesh.
And lo and behold, the late 2016 MacBook Pro is a fine machine. The graphic card is much more decent than all the naysayers would lead you to believe, the P3 wide gamut screen is just gorgeous. The touchbar – as expected – is a gimmick with little real world benefit to me (most of the time my MacBook sits on a stand next to my HD monitor and I’m using a bluetooth keyboard and mouse with it – which puts the touchbar out of reach for normal usage). Having said that, I still was hoping that Apple could pull off something more insanely or at least great with MacBooks. All they’d need to do is look at Razerzone for some insanely great inspiration…
Then Came iMac Pro
Let’s be clear: this is a product I will not buy. Having said that, a Porsche 911 Turbo or an Audi are also products that I won’t buy. But they all excite me. They show me what these companies are capable of, and this puts them top of the list if I ever were in the market for any of their products. It’s the halo effect that is very important. Sexy top line products show the high-end pros that this company is serious, and through the usage of pros make sure that there is more exposure of the brand to lower-end buyers. You know the spiel: XYZ Hollywood movie was edited on a Mac with Final Cut X – then Macs are serious business. While some might call it the fallacy of arguing by authority, I call it psychology 101 – welcome to how the mind works.
Getting Excited About Something You Already Have
Apple really managed to make me retroactively excited about a product I already own, by announcing official support for eGPUs in their next version of macOS. Until that moment eGPUs were just a hacky cool thing you could do, and I never expected in my dreams that Apple would officially support them, let alone sell a dev kit with one. So thanks to macOS High Sierra, the actual value of my 2016 MBPro just increased manyfold. Now I know, I can get a Sonnet eGPU enclosure and the most badass graphic card with it, if my Mac ends up being not zippy enough for the graphical heavy lifting. And I’m planning on doing just that.
Getting Warm With iOS Again
The smartphone is a tool I can actucally live without. Hence I don’t spend too much money on it. I’m using a Nexus 5X (I really want all the latest patches, so a cheapo Android phone ain’t gonna cut it). Apple’s offerings are too pricey for me, considering that I also really didn’t like iOS 10. My biggest gripe was not having access to the file system.
So, if I happend to have three movies, one FLV, one MKV and one M4A I can’t just copy them all over to my iOS device and open whatever movie can be played back on whatever player I want to use, no. I’ll have to decide when I copy the files over into which apps “vault” I’m going to put it, knowing if that app can’t open that particular video, then I’m out of luck until I can copy the video over again to another app from my Mac. With iOS 11 this is hopefully a thing of the past and I can finally just select a file from the Files app and decide what app to open it in. It’s about time.
Then I ran a bunch of benchmarks on my Nexus 5X and I was shocked how basically the iPhone and the Apple A9/A10 chips completely stomp the competition in performance.
And then I looked into the new iPad Pro again and thought to myself. A Cintiq which is a glorified graphic tablet with built-in screen costs twice as much as the iPad Pro. But the iPad pro’s pen is probably even better and it does so much more. For drawing/painting I’m really starting to get interested in getting one after all. I mean, 120 Hz refresh rate? Where do I sign?
And if I’ll go all the way on the creative end, my next smartphone might be a (low-end) iPhone after all…