One new feature may be a touch-screen strip that would replace the function keys with icons
that change appearance and behavior depending on what you’re doing, says Bloomberg.
Hang on, MacBook fans. You may yet see a significant upgrade after all these years, though sadly not in 2016, according to Bloomberg.
Apple is planning to revamp its MacBook Pro laptops, a series that hasn’t seen a hefty overhaul in several years, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing “people familiar with the matter.” The new laptops would be thinner, adopt more powerful graphics, include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and add a touch-screen strip that would replace the function keys, Bloomberg reported.
The changes would mark the first major revamp of the MacBook Pro line in four years, which has hung around with only modest component improvements. MacBook sales had been on the decline earlier in the year but staged a recovery last quarter. Still, Apple needs to shake things up to further revive interest.
The last major enhancement to the MacBook Pro was in 2012 when Apple added a Retina display. So yes, the MacBook Pro is in need of a hefty upgrade, but that doesn’t mean it will happen right away. The new models aren’t likely to surface at this year’s iPhone launch event, reportedly set for September 7, one of Bloomberg’s sources said. No indication was given for when the new units might hit the market.
The most intriguing new feature purportedly destined for the machines is the touch-screen strip. Positioned above the keyboard as a replacement for the traditional physical function keys, the strip would come with OLED-based icons, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted. The icons would also change their behavior based on what application or feature you’re using.
Open iTunes, as one example offered by Bloomberg, and the strip’s icons would transform into playback buttons to let you control your music. Open your favorite word processor, and the icons would change into editing buttons for copying and pasting text along with other commands for working with your document.
The new MacBook would also include USB-C ports, through which you can charge a compatible accessory much faster than with the older style USB technology. Apple may even offer the new MacBook Pros in different colors, including gray, gold and silver, one of the sources added.
Apple did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment.
August 10, 2016