The End-of-Butterflies Edition Monday, May 4, 2020

Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro With Magic Keyboard, Doubles SSD Storage, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple today updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Magic Keyboard, alongside performance and tech spec improvements. The new 13-inch Pro features scissor switch keys, marking the end of the butterfly keyboard MacBook era.


Unlike the 15-inch to 16-inch MacBook Pro upgrade, Apple does not seem to have changed the physical design of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro at all. It features the same screen size, and same large screen bezels as the previous generation.

Remade World

Apple CEO Tim Cook Delivers Ohio State Commencement Address, by Tim Cook, Ohio State University

In every age, life has a frustrating way of reminding us that we are not the sole authors of our story. We must share credit, whether we’d like to or not, with a difficult and selfish collaborator called our circumstances.

And when our glittering plans are scrambled, as they often will be, and our dearest hopes are dashed, as will sometimes happen, we’re left with a choice. We can curse the loss of something that was never going to be…Or we can see reasons to be grateful for the yank on the scruff of the neck, in having our eyes lifted up from the story we were writing for ourselves and turned instead to a remade world.

Back to Work

Post-Pandemic Offices Seek Open Flow Of Ideas, Not Of The Virus, by Matt Richtel, New York Times

The conversation about how to reconfigure the American workplace is taking place throughout the business world, from small start-ups to giant Wall Street firms. The design and furniture companies that have been hired for the makeovers say the virus may even be tilting workplaces back toward a concept they had been moving away from since the Mad Men era: privacy.

The question is whether any of the changes being contemplated will actually result in safer workplaces.

Tech Will Return To Work, But Habits Will Be Changed Forever, by Frederic Filloux, Monday Note

How many workers will go back to work? I mean like before, five days a week? Most likely none. In the Bay Area, all the people I talked to in the recent weeks — tech workers, entrepreneurs, facility managers — are reshuffling their plans to deal with the upcoming post-COVID working habits: far fewer people showing up, deserted offices, and a spectacular rise in remote working that will reshape the corporate tech world.


Another Apple Finally™: The iPad Toaster-Fridge, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Upon reflection, I come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter for the medium term. The inconsistencies that really matter, that make the user’s life less enjoyable, will get fixed. Measuring the progress of the hardware and software that shipped in less than a year and extrapolating into the future, we may now — finally™ — agree with Tim Cook’s 2015 statement that the iPad represents “the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing”.

After a decade of iPad evolution, we now have a shape-shifting personal computing device whose personalities range from media consumption, to white collar professional uses, to creating works of art. As a pretend laptop replacement, the current incarnation isn’t as polished as the MacBook Air, but it offers a much richer gamut of uses and interaction modes. I’ll add a special mention for the new iPadOS Smart Cursor, one that really deserves its name.


The Coronavirus Has Us Even More Reliant On Apple, Amazon, Facebook And Google, by Ian Sherr, CNET

The larger question these companies will face won't just be how much more they'll be welcomed into our lives. It's how they can turn their sudden fortune into regained trust once we return to normal.

"The good news is the tools are there for people to use," O'Donnell added. "It's also going to raise concerns among people who say they have too much power."

The Inevitable Has Happened., by Om Malik

The economic downturn at the beginning of the millennium saw the emergence of broadband connectivity and its pervasiveness. Seven years later, we all embraced the social web, and then the mobile and app revolution. And as the pandemic ravages our social fabric, we are seeing a wholesale digital transformation in a compressed time frame. Each economic setback creates a craving for convenience, and in the long-term, this opens the door for the widespread adoption of technology.

Whether we like it or not, we are addicted to it now. We like being able to watch movies and television shows when we want, where we want, and on the screen we want. We love ordering food and groceries and want them delivered. Ironically, the consumer-focused services have been much more prepared for the future than the enterprises, which have been slower in embracing the significant shift to cloud, data, and automation.

Bottom of the Page

This is the year of the good keyboards.

(Oh, and that other thing too.)


Thanks for reading.