I’m sorry but that’s not a Macbook.

I’m sorry but that’s not a great article (see what I did there??). In fact, even though I’m trying to sympathize with your points, I can’t help but sigh. I love Mag-Safe and the glowing logo, too, but I think you’re missing the forest for the trees. Let’s dissect your article point by point.

  1. Mag-Safe. Your statement that Apple is replacing it with a dongle is flat-out wrong. The video you embedded shows a third-party dongle for people who want to use their old Mag-Safe power supplies. Apple is replacing it with USB-C. Why? Because of Tim Cook? That’s almost a meme now; people have always been unhappy with radical changes in Apple machines. When Apple removed their old proprietary connections for USB-A, when they removed floppy disks, when they removed DVD drives; the examples are endless. People have always been upset with changes, but only now they’ve got an easy scapegoat: It’s Tim Cook’s fault! That’s the IT equivalent to the popular “Thanks Obama” meme (or “Thanks Merkel” where we’re from — hi neighbor!). But really, what’s the reason? Well, for one Mag-Safe was introduced at a time when the typical MacBook had a run time of about 4 hours per charge. Now, it’s 8 — 12 hours depending on the model. Which makes charging far less critical than it used to be. The idea is actually to let the device charge overnight and be done with it. At the same time, USB-C charging offers several advantages. For one, it’s a multi-purpose port. So when you’re done charging, you can use the port for other useful things. And you aren’t even limited to one specific port: just plug the charging cable in wherever you want. Left, right, completely up to you! And if you travel, you can use the exact same charger for your iPhone, Watch, iPad, and now even MacBook. You don’t need a separate charger anymore! That’s awesome!
  2. Are you seriously criticizing the uniformity of MacBook owners, the expectation that everyone has to have a notebook with a glowing logo, and at the same time lamenting the removal of the glowing logo? That glowing logo is not why people buy MacBooks. And while it was indeed iconic, the new glossy metallic Apple logo is just as beautiful in my opinion. Actually I like it even more. And while you are talking about brand erosion, no iOS device has ever had a glowing Apple logo. Most iPhones (not sure about the 3G/3GS) and every iPad has had beautiful, glossy metallic Apple logos on their backs. iMacs have glossy metallic Apple logos on their backs. Are you suggesting none of them have strong brand value? Seriously?
  3. Yes, the boot sound is gone. Finally! While I am nostalgic for it as well, I’ve always hated the intrusiveness. I’ve hated MacBooks in public making that chime, I’ve hated my iMac at night making that chime. It’s never subtle, it’s always at full volume. But that’s a personal difference. In practice, though: how often do Macs get rebooted? How often do MacBooks get powered on in the era of instant-on standby and SSDs? Ever since the MacBook Air, Apple has pushed the idea of not powering the Mac on and off anymore, but rather just closing the lid. That’s also why they removed the sleeping LED, which I so loved back then. But with the advanced sleep technologies, MacBooks are always sleeping when closed, so the sleeping LED didn’t make sense anymore. Just like the boot sound.

You are suggesting Jobs would have done these things differently. But the truth of the matter is that these are decidedly Jobs’ian decisions. Jobs wasn’t afraid to kick out old technology, even if it was beloved. Jobs wasn’t afraid to kick out proprietary inventions. Remember ADC, the spiritual predecessor to Thunderbolt? DVI, USB, and power, all in one connector. Gone. Remember Firewire400, 800? So gone! Remember the colorful iBooks in all those different colors and with those practical handles? Replaced with comparatively generic looking white rectangular iBooks. Remember the iMac G4? On stage, Jobs proclaimed that other companies would have just put the computer behind the display, but oh, not Apple! Then the iMac G5 came out and was exactly that.

For Jobs, it was always about the user experience, not the technology. If the technology doesn’t fit the need anymore it has to go; no matter how nice it is. That hasn’t changed at all under Tim Cook. Product know-how is not the same as a feature portfolio! Frankly, I’d be far more worried if Apple stuck to the most iconic elements of its products just because they are iconic. If it was afraid of change. But it’s not, and that’s great! It is rumored that next year Apple will remove the home button from the iPhone. You can almost hear them scream, It’s Tim Cook’s fault! How could they do that! Jobs wouldn’t have done that! Apple is going to hell! But if the home button doesn’t make sense anymore (it’s already hopelessly convoluted with double and triple presses and taps and whatnot), then it has to go. If it’s any consolation, maybe it will keep the equally iconic clickwheel company in technology heaven.

(I’m writing this on my iPad Pro while my beloved G4 Cube (its shell, anyway) sits in a shelf in my living room. So I share your love for innovative technology, and I guess I share your nostalgia.)

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