Apple’s newly unveiled 16-inch MacBook Pro ditches the controversial butterfly keyboard and brings back the scissor switch Magic Keyboard.
In a new interview, Apple marketing SVP Phil Schiller talked about redesigning Apple’s notebook keyboard. And whether or not the non-butterfly keyboard will make it to other Apple laptops anytime soon.
Magic Keyboard on the MacBook Pro
“People sometimes underestimate how much work goes into a keyboard, and that’s why most keyboards in the industry don’t change for 10 or 20 years,” Schiller told CNET. “We decided that while we were advancing the butterfly keyboard, we would also — specifically for our pro customer — go back and really talk to many pro customers about what they most want in a keyboard and did a bunch of research. The team took the time to do the work to investigate, research, explore and reinvent.”
Schiller says that there are some things people love about the MacBook butterfly keyboard. For instance, he highlights the more stable key platform. But he also admits that there was a “mixed” reaction to it.
“We had some quality issues we had to work on,” he said. “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.”
Nonetheless, Schiller says that pro users consistently requested a return of the Magic Keyboard. That is eventually what Apple decided on.
He wouldn’t reveal whether Apple would consider introducing this keyboard to lower-end MacBooks, though. “We are continuing both keyboard designs,” he said, describing Apple’s current plans.
Will the Touch Bar hang around?
Interestingly, Schiller admitted that there have also been mixed responses to the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. However, Apple decided to keep it. He noted that:
“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.”
How much of an issue for you is the keyboard in the new MacBook Pro? Are you a fan of the Touch Bar? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.