ACM 385: Apple Coffee Table Book and Design Run Amok
Apple has a new coffee table book out called Designed by Apple in California. Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest-host John Kheit to talk about it. Spoiler: Bryan likes it and John sees it as a sign of Apple having lost the plot. They also discuss the idea that design has run amok at Apple, starting with the idea that Jony Ive needed Steve Jobs as a counter balance.
Sources referenced in this episode:
- Thinking Differently about Apple’s $299 Coffee Table Book
- Jeff's Twitter
- Bryan's Twitter
- Jeff's blog: Fresh Brewed Tales
- Bryan's blog: Geek Tells
3 thoughts on “ACM 385: Apple Coffee Table Book and Design Run Amok”
Thanks for the great comment, BruceL and Marcus. So very much appreciated.
What a great podcast. John Kheit was very entertaining. I was in some pain this evening. John’s comments about Apple and some of his verbal repartee with Bryan had me laughing so that I forgot my body’s constant reminder that I had really overdone it yesterday. Please bring Mr. Khelt back again when Jeff returns. Seriously his sardonic but probably correct ‘observations’ about Apple juxtaposed against Bryan and Jeff would make for a very entertaining and thought provoking show. All of these men have different personalities but together they are an example of the sum that is greater than its parts. You made a serendipitous decision when you determined to have him on your podcast. For the record I am no relation to Mr. Kheit and had not heard of him until this podcast.
I finally got to see the new MacBook Pro in person today at the big blue electronics store. To my surprise, they had all the new models: 15″ MacBook Pro with touch-bar, 13″ MacBook Pro with touch-bar, and 13″ MacBook Pro with function keys.
I thought the 15″ was the 13″, and the 13″ was the 12″ MacBook. I had to launch “About this Mac” from the Apple menu to even verify what I was seeing. Considering the from-factor, it is really obvious that Apple decided to merge the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air into a single product line that makes no-one happy. Too expensive for MacBook Air users, and too weak for MacBook Pro users.
The first thing that came to mind when using the 2016 15″ MacBook Pro was “Executive Toy”. This thing was designed to be a silent sleek slab for executives to use in meetings. No glowing logo, no start-up chime, near silent keyboard, track-pad that makes no clicking sound, extreme thin and light to carry from one meeting to another. Apple board meetings must be like attending mass at a monastery.
I also could not believe how hot it was. When I picked up the laptop to see if I could notice any weight difference, about 80% of the bottom was really warm. Benchmarks are starting to show up for the 15″ MacBook Pro (2016 2.7 GHz) and it has a single-core score of 4,042 and multi-core score of 12,732. In comparison, my 15″ MacBook Pro (2014 2.8 GHz) has a single-core score of 4,273 and multi-core score of 13,397. My laptop also beats out the 2013 quad-core Mac Pro in both single and multi-core scores.
The only explanation I can come up with for my 2.5 year-old laptop (Haswell) beating a brand new Skylake laptop is that Apple is throttling the $#!^ out of that processor to keep it from overheating in such a small enclosure. I thought tech headlines are suppose to be: “new tech fast then old tech”, and not the other way around.
I thought the touch-bar would be shiny like the glass on an Apple Watch, but in person it looks slightly matte. It blends in with the color and polish of the regular keyboard keys, which is kind of a nice touch. While testing out the new MacBook Pro, trying to do things I would normally be doing, I never once felt the need to look down at the touch-bar. I only looked down at the touch-bar to see if there was anything I could use just to use it.
I did like the force-touch trackpad, I really did think I was clicking a button when in fact nothing was really moving. The trackpad also seemed to have good palm rejection. It did seem a little weird that the outer edges of the trackpad basically run down the middle of a person’s hands since it is so much wider now. It was kind of like resting your wrists on slight cracks while trying to type.
I was indifferent to the keyboard. I would say it is slightly better then the keyboard on the 12″ MacBook Retina. I have the smart keyboard for the iPad Pro, and I would say it is very similar to the new keyboard on the new MacBook Pro. I could get use to the new keyboard if I had to, but it would not be my first choice.
Anyways, I could go on, but what surprised me the most was that no one was buying one. The store had most of the standard configurations for 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros in stock, and I was the only person in the store even looking at them (I was in there for over an hour, and had them all to myself).