Welcome back to another week, iMorians. I hope you're all still hanging in there. I know I'm struggling at times, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a huge stress-reliever these days.
Despite all that is happening in the world, Apple still manages to surprise us. Last week, they quietly dropped a new refresh on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which now has double the starting storage, the latest 10th-generation Intel chips (at least on the higher end models), and it drops the troublesome butterfly keyboard for the new scissor-switch Magic Keyboard.
While there are people out there who may be disappointed that Apple didn't go with a 14-inch MacBook (like how the 15-inch was replaced with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro), that doesn't matter. The 13-inch size is perfect for many who want maximum portability, and as they say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it (except for that keyboard.)" And the reviews for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro are overwhelmingly positive so far. This wasn't just a simple spec bump either, because Apple has finally rid the MacBook line of the terrible butterfly switch keyboard and returned to the good old scissor switch. This means you're now getting a much improved typing experience that is less prone to failure with the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the 16-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air.
However, while everything else about the new 13-inch MacBook received a nice improvement, Apple is still using a pathetic 720p FaceTime HD camera, for some reason. Our own Bryan Wolfe wrote up a great editorial about this, and I highly recommend giving it a read if you haven't already. I agree with Bryan on this sentiment, because Apple has been using 720p FaceTime HD cameras on every MacBook going back to 2011. They really couldn't give that a little spec bump to at least 1080p along with the new and improved chips, double storage capacity, and more RAM? It's a little insulting, honestly, especially when you consider that the $400 iPhone SE has a better front-facing camera than a $1300 MacBook Pro. I suppose one could always go and buy a standalone web cam, but really, having a 1080p camera isn't too much to ask for, is it, Apple?
But let's not forget that we should be seeing a new iPhone 12 in a few months, and hopefully Apple doesn't disappoint there. I look forward to a new iPhone every year, and this year is no different, with or without COVID. I've put together a little wish list of things I want to see with the iPhone 12, so make sure to give that a peek if you haven't already, and let me know what you want to see!
In other news, Apple has reopened most of their Apple Store locations in Australia in the past week, but with new restrictions, of course. I'm afraid that this is a sign of things to come for any businesses opening back up in the future, but it's understandable. The new restrictions include temperature checks, required face coverings, social distancing, and no Today at Apple sessions. Apple is also encouraging ordering online, with in-store operations focusing more on service and support.
It just won't be the same Apple Store experience from the pre-COVID era, unfortunately. Oh, and I am absolutely heartbroken about the shuttering of Souplantation (I'm gonna pour one out for that healthy salad bar buffet) — just the first of many COVID-related business casualties, I'm sure...
Anyways, until next time, iMore. Remember, we're not out of the woods yet.
- Christine Romero-Chan