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RIP MagSafe and Apple logo: Everything Apple killed at today's event

Apple's known for making each iteration of its products thinner and lighter than their predecessors. But you don't get thinner, lighter, faster, and better devices without making some tough decisions. The company made quite a few of those at its October press event, killing off legacy technology left and right.

I'm happily saying good riddance to most, but there are still a few products tugging at my heartstrings.

What's shuffling off this mortal coil in the name of shiny new technology? Let's take a look at everything Apple killed off at its Mac event!

The illuminated Apple logo

Raise a glass: The longtime illuminated Apple logo on the rear of the Mac laptop is no more. Like the 12-inch MacBook, the iPad, and the iPhone, there simply wasn't room in the new MacBook Pro's display to wedge in light. We'll miss that happy pulsing glow, but the wide color Retina display that you'll actually spend all your time looking at is a pretty good replacement.

The MagSafe charger

MacBook Pro MagSafe connector.

Goodbye, magnetic charging cable: Apple removed the magically magnetic MagSafe connector in its new MacBook Pros (though you can still find it on the 13-inch MacBook Air and last year's MacBook Pro models). Mirroring the MacBook, the new MacBook Pros now feature USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. Those ports serve up both data and power, giving users more flexibility about where to plug in, but it came at a cost — that of the proprietary MagSafe connector.

What made the MagSafe connector great was that it kept your device safe while charging — if someone tripped over your cord, the magnet would release from your computer; your cord would go flying, but your computer wouldn't.

In theory, the new USB-C ports aren't too grabby, so they should release in the event of a charging accident — and if you're really worried, there's always Griffin's $40 Breakaway USB-C MagSafe cable (opens in new tab) to save you.

The 11-inch MacBook Air

MacBook Air

MacBook Air (Image credit: iMore)

I'm not crying; you're crying.

The non-Retina "modular" 13-inch MacBook Pro

The old entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro wasn't modular in the true sense of the word, but in the modern age of ultra-thin everything's-glued-down laptops, being able to easily swap out your hard drive and RAM was somewhat of a luxury. Taking its place as the weird stepchildren of the MacBook Pro family are the last-generation models, the $1299 Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro and $1999 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Physical function keys

You can still find these on the new low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro and last generation's bafflingly-still-here MacBook Pros, but when it comes to the high-end MacBook Pro line, you can say sayonara to those pesky physical F1-F12 keys. In their place, users now have the capacitive, customizable Touch Bar, which changes depending on what app you have open on your Mac. It's a pretty good move forward all-around, though we do wonder about its uses for folks with Accessibility, especially since there's no Taptic Engine built into the rectangular display.

The SD card slot

The SD card slot has been a mainstay on the Pro line (and the 13-inch Air) for quite a few years, but 2016 is its time to go. With more cameras supporting Wi-Fi transfer or USB-C, it's become less important to have a dedicated card slot. That said, my six-year-old Wi-Fi-less Canon camera is pretty sad about the change. (As with the function keys, you can still get this feature on the last-generation Pro models and 13-inch MacBook Air.

Plastic hinges

The new MacBook Pro's case is all metal — even its hinges! And while last generation's 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro and the 13-inch MacBook Air still sport the old look, we'd guess they're not particularly long for this world.

Our bank accounts

With the high-end model of the 13-inch Macbook Pro running buyers a cool $2500 and the 15-inch model almost doubling that at $4300, we'd like to take this moment to say a small prayer for our savings accounts, now horribly depleted. You're going to a good place, money, in service of new and shiny technology.

But wait! What escaped the axe?

Troubleshooting on the Mac

Troubleshooting on the Mac (Image credit: iMore)

You thought we'd end on a snarky note and be done with it, did you? Nope. Apple spared a few technologies the curse of obsolescence at its October event, but we'd be surprised if they lasted too much longer.

Mac passwords

You currently still need to create a password for your Mac, but between the Apple Watch's Auto Unlock feature, Touch ID coming to the MacBook Pro, and two-factor authentication, we're itching to move into a passwordless future.

Last generation's laptops and the 13-inch MacBook Air

While I understand having a slightly cheaper Pro model available for those unable to pony up for a new Mac laptop, the $200 and $400 difference respectively in last generation's MacBook Pros really doesn't seem like enough of a discount to sway too many people. Why not just encourage buyers to check out Apple's Refurbished section — and help the environment in the process?

Keeping the 13-inch MacBook Air around in the age of both the MacBook and the low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro makes slightly more sense — it's nice to be able to say you offer a $999 laptop — but I'm still not convinced it'll stick around after the new MacBook is updated.

Non-Retina Macs

Between the aforementioned 13-inch MacBook Air and the previous-generation 21.5-inch iMac, non-Retina screens aren't extinct just yet — but they're clearly on their way out. And good riddance: Switching between a non-Retina computer after working on a Retina iPad or iPhone is almost painful on the eyes.

Mechanical keyboards

Between the Touch Bar and the increasingly-large Force Touch trackpad — not to mention the innovations made to the Taptic Engine in the iPhone 7 Plus — it's hard not to see Apple at least experimenting with non-mechanical keys in the future. It may not happen for a few years yet, but I wouldn't put it past the company to come out with a MacBook in 2020 whose bottom half comprises nothing but a Taptic Engine and multitouch interface.

The headphone jack

It may have escaped the eraser this round, but don't be shocked if the next MacBook goes headphone-less — especially as Apple's wireless W1 headphone empire increases.

Anything we missed?

Let us know in the comments.

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.

54 Comments
  • I can understand all the changes but why the SD card slot.
    Card out of camera and in MacBook. It's that simple.
    Now you have to make sure you have power in your camera, carry the data cable around, plug it and and make sure the camera is on mass storage and then copy.
    Weird decision in my opinion. Sent from the iMore App
  • Or you can just pop a very small SD card reader in a pocket, bag, case etc and just use it that way! NO BIGGIE. I have a card reader in my notebook and still use a USB one.
  • Most cameras now have wifi.
  • Most? Nope, not using numbers, anyway.
  • Most modern cameras now have Wi-Fi
  • A lot of people just use their phones and with cameras supporting smart features. With improvements to Wi-Fi, internet speeds and cloud storage, the need transfer data physically is becoming a thing of the past.
  • What is this 'camera' you speak of? I know the iPhone has a 'camera' app - but sd 'card' - i remember my grandad talking about that. dude it's 2016 - < 0.01% of people use sd cards - they can get a dongle.
  • Hate to tell you but a real camera beats an iPhone camera every day. For me the zoom lens makes all the difference. My wife uses her iPhone, I use a Nikon, I can tell the difference when editing the photos.
  • You do recognize that this is supposedly a machine for professionals, right?
  • And most professionals use cameras with CF cards. Last I checked, my Canon 7D (and most other professional cameras like the Nikon D5) use a big CF Card, which already needs a dongle adapter for any computer.
  • The so called professionals running around with a Nikon D5 camera already have at least 25 kg worth of equipment (and they can carry an adapter). Those aren't so common. A more common type of professional are the ones running around with a Nikon D500 and maybe two camera lenses (but most just carry a single one). They don't want adapters, since their cameras already use dual SD card slots, and the computer in combination with the camera is bulky and heavy enough. But sure, users are getting more and more used to the idea of adapters. USB-C is a great interface for a multitude of connection types. It's just annoying for those who need that specific interface. For most though, it's a waste of space (just like serial ports were once upon a time).
  • Modern cameras including professional ones have Wi-Fi and can transfer that way
  • Modern professional cameras are designed to last year's and therefore most of the pro cameras in the wild do not have this yet. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Wi-Fi transfer has been around a lot longer than just from last year. Again, this is a situation where Apple shouldn't have to let other companies hold them back, and they don't
  • But they hold themselves back by putting the ancient headphone jack in their latest MBP. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • That's a very valid point cmdacos. They have, and it's a shame they included it. It doesn't look good when they were so keen on removing it on the iPhone.
  • Where did you get that number? Most people don't want to carry around a backpack full of cords and dongles just to play music or transfer data.
  • I think the removal of the illuminated logo is the biggest fail. Its iconic... its Apple.. its what makes you stand out among a crowd of ultra-boring or "me too" laptops. As silly as it seems, I'm most disappointed about this. I'd still like an illuminated logo on my iPhone. Magsafe... sad.. but meh. I hate dongles but am ok with thinner and lighter when it comes to the MBP. For the price they should include at least an adapter to connect your iOS devices. They should have put in a lightning adapter vs. the old headphone jack. Big miss. I'm not out of my mind excited to get a new MBP like I was before the announcement. I think work might get me one next year - I'm ok to wait. I assume I represent a lot of Apple and Mac fans. No iMac? Did they pull it because of Microsoft's iMac copy-cat? No Apple native display? huge fail... I don't want a plastic LG monitor that reminds me of the days when I had Dell PCs. I'm not sure I even get the bar. It seems as awkward as a touch-screen on a laptop. The bar seems like it would have been better below the keyboard. What good is a mouse and the huge touch pad if we're dinking around on that new bar. It feels like a big reach, possibly a swing and a miss. I haven't been excited about a Mac since the thinner iMac came out... wonder if that will ever return. Kind of sad. Still, I'd slit my wrists before I'd go back to Windows...
  • Your eyes would have to travel further to see a bar at the bottom of the keyboard
  • I don't know why people keep saying the Touch Bar should go below the keyboard. Every time you type you'd be accidentally leaning on it and touching it, it wouldn't work
  • I saw some of this coming with the 12inch MacBook. Thats why I just bought the 2015 Pro. Maybe a few years down the line when USB-C is the true standard I'll upgrade.
  • I have no real complaints, and ordered the 15" model as soon as the store went up. I think Apple got almost everything right. I do not mind any of the things they have removed, but there are two things I would have liked (a lot): 1. a breakout-box or dock that includes all port types and slots in one enclosure, even if it is expensive (Dell and HP charge $300 - $400 for these TB3-docks as well – maybe some review site can test, if these boxes are compatible). 2. Would it be such a terrible thing to add one measly Lightning port? iDevice charging, use of the iPhone headset, ability to at least reuse some adapters, like the SD-card reader from my iPad Pro... Cant be that hard.
  • It'd make more sense for the iPhone to be using USB-C rather than putting a random Lightning port on the Mac, especially given that USB-C is the standard and Lightning is proprietary
  • Does no mention of the Mac Pro (trash can) foretell its demise? Sent from the iMore App
  • It's safe to say that it's dead. The Mac Pro is not a consumer level product and Apple can't be bothered to make things specifically for professionals.
  • When I pay that kind of money for a 15 in laptop, I expect to have a 15 inch wide keyboard, not the same unified SKU they use in 13 inch models. What a joke, having to use the crammed keyboard with just a bigger screen. Another concern of mine is Apple trying to wean users out the physical keys onto patented proprietary designs of their own. I see this as "we'll make our users incompatible with other systems" kind of game, with legacy going back to single button weird round puck mouse designs of the 90s. At least they won't make car drivers incompatible to "normal" non-3d-touch-OLED-bars-inplace-of-realhardware kind of controls. Means less road incidents when "Apple Drivers" would try to drive "other" electric cars in the future.
    Cheers to the better displays though! And I do like the new colors (space grey-ish).
  • What makes you think that the keyboard is smaller? Going by the pictures, the size looks exactly the same as the old ones, and it is clearly not the 12" MacBook layout. They use similar switches, yes. And that is a good thing – since I am typing on a 12" MacBook occasionally, I learned to hate the wobbly keys on my old 15" MBP. And the single button mouse was not a proprietary deviation, the original mice were single button.
  • Regarding passwords, don't forget you can currently use Touch ID on your phone with MacID to unlock your computer.
  • I suspect that Apple laptops won't be losing the headphone jack anytime soon. Laptops are not as space-limited as phones. Professionals use laptops to make music, and I assume they need the jack, but I don't know for sure?
  • If it's not gone in the Macs next year, it will be gone the year after
  • Lol Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • lol! rofl! lmao! The quality of your comments…
  • Cars won't have wheels soon. That's as valuable as your headphone jack removal comment. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I've no idea on the future of automobiles so I can't comment on that, but ask yourself, are Apple really going to continue having the headphone jack on the Mac whilst it isn't on the iPhone?
  • Sure, I think so. Apple laptops and phones have always had different array of ports. iPods had FireWire, then 30 pin, then Lightning, while if they wanted to match the laptops they would have gone for USB-A or mini/micro USB. But they've never evinced that need for port parity. And since space is way more a premium in a phone than a laptop, they may well keep the headphone jack for simplicity, for now. They are clearly aiming for a wireless future, and AirPods supposedly work seamlessly switching between your iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac. But until that AirPod adoption becomes widespread, what would they do for new Mac users who need headphones? Create yet another dongle, this time USB-C to 3.5 mm? Create a line of USB-C headphones that are not compatible with their best-selling product, the iPhone? Or worst of all, create a new USB-C to female Lightning port dongle to use Lightning EarPods with your Mac? None of those are elegant solutions. I believe ditching the headphone jack on the 7 is the thin edge of the wedge, which will start getting people more serious about wireless. (Remember, 3 out of 5 iPhone models, and all iPod models, still have a headphone jack.) in a couple of years, we'll have grown to love Apple wireless headphones with W1 chips because they'll have proven themselves to be better than standard Bluetooth, and we'll be ready for jack-less laptops (and dongles for the ones who refuse to give up wires). That's when the first MacBook with no jack will come out, and we'll hear the cycle of
    complaints all over again.
  • DannyJJK, re-reading your comments I see now that the main difference between our opinions is that you'll think Apple will ditch the jack from the laptops immediately, while I think they will ditch the jacks after a couple of years. So, not much difference in our opinions after all.
  • Dell and HP will be licking their chops!
  • Right… why? People who have used Macs are very unlikely to go to a Dell or HP
  • The HDMI port is gone.
  • No longer necessary with the USB-C port
  • How do you figure that? Sent from the iMore App
  • Because USB-C is the future and soon (if not already) there will be an abundance of USB-C to HDMI cables
  • #Donglegate Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Just like your obsession with maintaining old technology, you continue to use the outdated "gate" meme that no one else uses anymore.
  • Like headphone jacks? Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Yes, exactly like headphone jacks. That's one of the old technologies you guys seem to be sworn to upholding
  • Because it's worlds better than BT.
  • But not better than audio via Lightning
  • You left out optical drives. The "modular" MBP was the last Mac to have an optical drive. Now that it's gone, so is the SuperDrive.
  • I think this is talking about things gone from the new Macs, rather than referring to features that the old Macs that they now don't sell had, but I see your point
  • I always found the light up Apple logo to be a bit silly.
  • Its purpose was obvious; in a room of laptops, you could easily identify someone with a Mac. It was essentially a "Hey guys I have a Mac!" thing, I did like it but I guess now it's more consistent with the rest of their devices that don't have light-up logos.
  • Going to miss the MagSafe, it was one of my favourite things about my old MacBook! Sent from the iMore App
  • We're going to have to be a lot more careful when charging, not good…