Phil Schiller Discusses 16-Inch MacBook Pro, Says Virtual Esc Key Was Number One Complaint About Touch Bar

Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller has spoken with CNET's Roger Cheng about the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, reflecting on the new Magic Keyboard, the Touch Bar, and many other aspects of the notebook.


When asked about the redesigned scissor keyboard on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Schiller acknowledged that the butterfly keyboards on recent MacBook Pro models have received a "mixed reaction" due in part to "some quality issues" that could result in sticky, repeating, or nonfunctional keys.

Schiller says Apple carefully considered customer feedback and found that many professional users wanted the MacBook Pro to have a similar keyboard as the standalone Magic Keyboard for the iMac:
As you know, a number of years ago we started a new keyboard technology with this butterfly keyboard and began it with MacBook. It had some things it did really well, like creating a much more stable key platform. It felt more firm and flat under your finger -- some people really like that, but other people weren't really happy with that. We got sort of a mixed reaction. We had some quality issues we had to work on. Over the years we've been refining that keyboard design, and we're now on the third generation, and a lot of people are much happier with that as we've advanced and advanced it.

As we started to investigate specifically what pro users most wanted, a lot of times they would say, "I want something like this Magic Keyboard, I love that keyboard."
Another common request among professionals was to bring back a physical Esc key. Schiller said it was the "number one" complaint about the Touch Bar. To its credit, Apple listened and made the change:
There is a fairly large number of customers who use the Touch Bar and see great benefit in some of its features, but there were also some complaints. If I were to rank the complaints, No. 1 was customers who like a physical Escape key. It was just a hard adaptation for a lot of people.

We decided that rather than just remove the Touch Bar and lose the benefits some people get, we could instead add the Escape key. While we were doing that, we had already in the MacBook Air created a discrete Touch ID button. People really like that. So the decision was made to keep the Touch Bar, but also to create room on either side for the Escape key and Touch ID key. That is the best solution for the largest number of people we've dealt with who had complaints -- and kept something innovative that people were using with Touch Bar.
When asked if Apple ever plans to merge the Mac and iPad, Schiller insisted the devices will remain separate:
No, that's not our view. Because then you get this in-between thing, and in-between things are never as good as the individual things themselves. We believe the best personal computer is a Mac, and we want to keep going down that path. And we think the best tablet computing device is an iPad, and we'll go down that path.
Schiller also downplayed the possibility of a touchscreen Mac, as Apple always has.

At the very end of the interview, Schiller takes a shot at Google's Chromebooks in the classroom, describing them as "cheap testing tools" that do not allow kids to succeed. Naturally, Schiller said Apple thinks the iPad is the "ultimate tool" for a child to learn on and be the most engaged.
Chromebooks have gotten to the classroom because, frankly, they're cheap testing tools for required testing. If all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they're not going to succeed.
The full interview contains several more questions and answers and is a worthwhile read.

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Apple Seeds Second Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.2 Update to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.2 update to developers, one week after releasing the first beta and two weeks after the launch of the macOS Catalina 10.15.1 update.

The new ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.


There's no word yet on what improvements the second update to ‌macOS Catalina‌ will include, but it most likely focuses on performance improvements, security updates, and fixes for bugs that weren't able to be addressed in the macOS 10.15.1 update.

We didn't find any major new features in the first beta, but we'll update this article if any changes are found in the second beta.

‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ is a major update that eliminates iTunes in favor of new Music, Podcasts, and TV apps, nixes support for 32-bit apps, adds a new Find My app, brings a new Photos interface, and includes multiple privacy enhancements and other app refinements.

For full details on what's new in ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌, make sure to check out our macOS Catalina roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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Deals Spotlight: Expercom Offers First Discounts on 16-Inch MacBook Pro (Up to $436 Off)

Apple reseller Expercom today revealed discounts on the just-announced 16-inch MacBook Pro, offering sales on both standard models and custom configurations. In the sales, you can get as much as $436 off the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Expercom. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

All sales listed below are available online. Expercom's shipping will be slightly slower than Apple's delivery dates, but the discounts are notably lower than the traditional prices offered by Apple.

16-Inch MacBook Pro Discounts


Check out our full Deals Roundup for even more Apple-related offers and discounts.

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Apple Updates Online Store With New Watch Bands, Silicone Cases for iPhone 11 Pro, and Sony’s DualShock 4

Apple today updated its online store with a new collection of Apple Watch bands, iPhone cases, and the Sony DualShock 4 controller. For Apple Watch bands, this includes three new Sport Bands: Pomegranate, Beryl, and Khaki.


There's only one new Sport Loop, and it's for the (Product)Red initiative. This is the new dual-color style Sport Loop, with two shades of red along the length of the band.


There are also two new Hermès bands: Noir/Brique/Étain Swift Leather Double Tour and Noir/Brique/Étain Swift Leather Single Tour.


For iPhone, you can get the new Beryl and Pomegranate colors in a Silicone Case for the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max.


Sony's DualShock 4 controller has also been added to Apple.com at a price of $59.95. In iOS 13 and tvOS 13, you can connect either a DualShock 4 or Xbox Wireless Controller to your Apple device to play compatible games or even control your PS4 remotely via Sony's Remote Play iOS app.


Lastly, Otterbox recently launched the Figura Series Otter + Pop cases for iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. These cases are exclusive to Apple and combine Otterbox's protection with a built-in PopSocket accessory, for $59.95.


Apple updated its online store today alongside the release of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is now available to order starting at $2,399 in the United States. Our announcement post has more information on the new ‌MacBook Pro‌.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, Apple Stores
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16-Inch MacBook Pro Returns to Pre-2016 Arrow Key Layout, Sticks With 720p Webcam and 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Apple today announced its widely rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro with a larger display and slimmer bezels, a new Magic Keyboard with a scissor mechanism and physical Esc key, up to 64GB of RAM, up to 8TB of SSD storage, AMD Radeon Pro 5000M graphics options, upgraded speakers and microphones, and more.


Here are some other things to know about the new 16-inch MacBook Pro:
  • In addition to a scissor mechanism keyboard with a physical Esc key, another much-requested feature that Apple has reintroduced is an inverse-T arrow key layout, last used on the 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2015.
  • Display brightness appears to remain unchanged, with the same brightness of up to 500 nits as the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
  • Unlike the iPhone 11, which has 802.11ax aka Wi-Fi 6, the 16-inch MacBook Pro sticks with 802.11ac for wireless networking.
  • The front-facing webcam remains 720p.
  • A higher-power 96W charger is included in the box and sold separately for $79. That's up from 87W for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
  • AppleCare+ remains the same $379 price as the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
  • As noted by Daring Fireball's John Gruber, there is about 0.5mm more space between keys. He also notes that the Touch Bar has been moved slightly further above the top row of keys to help avoid accidental touches.
  • Unsurprisingly, given its new scissor mechanism keyboard, TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino notes that the 16-inch MacBook Pro is not included in Apple's repair program for Macs with butterfly keyboards. Hopefully this means Apple is confident the keyboard is truly more reliable.
We'll update this list if we spot any other tidbits worth mentioning. Let us know if you spot any others in the comments section.

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is available to order today through Apple.com and the Apple Store app in many countries. It will be available in Apple Stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers in the United States later this week and is "coming soon" to stores around the world, according to Apple.

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16-Inch MacBook Pro Includes 96W USB-C Power Adapter in Box, Available Separately for $79

As was rumored over a month ago, Apple's newly announced 16-inch MacBook Pro includes a 96W USB-C power adapter in the box.


The previous 15-inch MacBook Pro included an 87W USB-C power adapter in the box.

Apple says the 16-inch MacBook Pro uses the "most advanced thermal architecture ever in a Mac notebook" to enable the system to run at higher power for sustained periods of time. The notebook also features a redesigned fan with a larger impeller, extended blades, and bigger vents for a 28 percent increase in airflow.

Apple adds that the 16-inch MacBook Pro can ultimately sustain up to 12 more watts during intensive workloads than the previous 15-inch model.

The new 96W USB-C Power Adapter is also sold separately on Apple.com for $79.

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PopSockets Announces New ‘PopGrip Slide’ Accessory in Exclusive Colors Coming to Apple’s Website and Retail Stores

Smartphone accessory maker PopSockets today announced a new version called the PopGrip Slide that will be available in exclusive colors on Apple's website and in select Apple stores around the world. This accessory is compatible with iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.


The PopGrip Slide attaches to the iPhone and is specifically designed to work with Apple's Silicone Cases, coming in matching Black, White, Pink Sand, Midnight Blue, and Red color options.

PopSocket accessories allow for easier one-handed control of the iPhone, and the company says that it lets users take better selfies and can even be used as a stand for watching videos. The PopGrip Slide is compatible with PopSockets swappable products so the top can be twisted off and a new design can be added.

PopGrip Slide costs $15 and will be available exclusively on Apple.com and in select Apple stores soon.


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16-Inch MacBook Pro Replaces Discontinued 15-Inch Model, Pricing Ranges Between $2,399 and $6,099

Apple today introduced its widely rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro with a larger display and slimmer bezels, a new Magic Keyboard with a scissor mechanism and physical Esc key, up to 64GB of RAM, up to 8TB of SSD storage, AMD Radeon Pro 5000M graphics options, upgraded speakers and microphones, and more.


The new 16-inch MacBook Pro replaces the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which has been discontinued. It is possible the 15-inch model will appear in Apple's clearance store at some point, but it is not available at this time.

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399 in the United States, consistent with the former 15-inch MacBook Pro. A maxed-out 16-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz 8‑core Core i9 processor, 64GB of RAM, 8TB of SSD storage, and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics runs $6,099 on Apple's online store.

Read more about the 16-inch MacBook Pro here.

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is available to order today through Apple.com and the Apple Store app in many countries. It will be available in Apple Stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers in the United States later this week and is "coming soon" to stores around the world, according to Apple.

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16-Inch MacBook Pro First Impressions Praise Return of Scissor Switch Keyboard and Larger Retina Display

Apple today announced and launched the long-awaited 16-inch MacBook Pro, which has now replaced the previous 15-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ models in the line of Apple notebooks. Alongside the announcement, a handful of YouTubers and tech bloggers have begun sharing their first impressions of the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, after having used it for a few hours.


The two big updates to the new notebook include its bigger 16-inch Retina display, and the updated scissor switch keyboard that ditches the butterfly keyboard of the previous 15-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌. Essentially every first impression applauded Apple for the new keyboard, particularly in regards to the new physical Escape key (instead of a virtual one on the Touch Bar).

Below we've rounded up a few first impressions videos for the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌.

Marques Brownlee:

iJustine:

The Verge:

UrAvgConsumer:

Engadget:

Rene Ritchie:

CNET:

The 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ also features AMD Radeon Pro 5000M graphics options, GDDR6 video memory, a larger 100Wh battery for about an hour more battery than the previous generation, a redesigned six-speaker sound system, and upgraded microphones.

The new model starts at $2,399 in the United States and includes another $2,799 option, both of which can be personally configured with various internal upgrade options. For more information on the new 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, be sure to read our announcement post for the notebook.

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Apple Announces Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR to Ship in December

Apple has officially announced that its long-awaited Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR will be available starting in December.


The base model ‌Mac Pro‌ starts at $5,999 and features an 8-core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon processor, a Radeon Pro 580X GPU, 32GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options are available on Apple's website.

The high-throughput machine was originally announced in June, when Apple promised a "fall" release. Bloomberg also reported on Tuesday that the ‌Mac Pro‌ would be available next month.
Today, Apple also announced that the all-new ‌Mac Pro‌, the world's best pro desktop, and Apple Pro Display XDR, the world's best pro display, will be available in December. Designed for maximum performance, expansion and configurability, ‌Mac Pro‌ features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a graphics architecture featuring the world's most powerful graphics card. Pro Display XDR features a 32-inch Retina 6K display with P3 wide and 10-bit color, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a superwide viewing angle, all at a breakthrough price point.
Apple is also releasing the Pro Display XDR alongside the ‌Mac Pro‌ next month. The high-end monitor costs $4,999, or $5,999 for a version with a "nano-texture" matte coating. The stand costs $999 and a VESA mount costs $199.

Today's announcement was brief, and Apple stopped short of providing specific dates for ‌Mac Pro‌ and Pro Display XDR preorders and availability.

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