he WWDC 2018 has closed its doors a few days ago, and many developers have come home with a plethora of new input. iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 are now in beta and it seems that Apple has fixed major pain points (Notifications...) of previous releases and promises to focus on stability again (as they do every 2-3 years).
Other aspects professional users are still desperately missing, such as multi-user support for iOS, and other Pro features which would make the "Pro"-moniker on the iPad line less of a joke, are still neither mentioned nor hinted.
But what people were anticipating the most was new hardware. And Apple didn't disappoint to disappoint again. The lack of even remotely up-to-date hardware is leaving some software-companies to release statements of
concern utter despair.
As a heavy user of Macs myself, I feel the same. My MacBook Pro 2012 still runs ok, but it's time for an upgrade. I'm running dev-environments, Virtual Machines and the occasional Photoshop Sessions, however my machine, with four physical cores and 16 GByte RAM is struggling often.
A MacPro is no alternative, since I need power on the road. Also using a Lenovo T450 with Windows 10 and Ubuntu, I know what else is there. But I am developing iOS Apps, which leaves me no alternative. But looking at the current MacBook Pro, the max I can get is a 4-core, 16 GByte with a mediocre GPU for roughly 3,000$, if I can catch a deal somewhere. Dell's newest iteration of their wonderful XPS series offers six cores and 32 GByte. Look at the numbers:
|Machine||OS||Geekbench Single-Core||Geekbench Multi-Core|
|MacBook Pro 15" 2017||macOS 10.13||4626||15567|
|Dell XPS 15 9570||Ubuntu 18.04||6263||24655|
|MacBook Pro 15" 2012 (mine)||macOS 10.13||3681||12572|
So to get an extra 24% from my current machine I would spend 3000$, where if I would get the Dell I would get almost double the power for 2800$.
Now, performance is not everything (but a lot). The thing Macs have going for them is the still unbelievable productivity I enjoy with the operating system and the software. Of course, this is largely true for my personal usage profile. Many other professionals, for example in 3D-Design or Animation, have left the Apple world a long time ago and if I wouldn't deal in iOS Apps and occasionally use the brilliant Music Software the Apple world is offering, I might have made the leap already myself.
For now, there is no other ecosystem which has the same integration and workflows that allow me as a developer and consultant to deliver to my customers as much as with the Mac ecosystem (again, for my personal workflows). But that lead is shrinking daily. Apple still offers great support, and the hardware components are actually first-class on the current MacBook Pro lineup if you are leaving out the processor, the GPU and the 16 GByte RAM cap. But that's exactly the point: these specs are very, very important to pro users.
Yes, the screen is fantastic, but again, I would actually prefer a matte display, as many others who are crunching numbers and texts. The SSDs are absolute state-of-the-art but how do I know, that in 4 years, when many of the drive blocks have deteriorated and drive-performance falters, that I can replace the drive for a reasonable price? Same with the batteries.
What's most enraging though is the fact, that Apple is selling some hardware components that are 4 years old in "new" computers at the same price they did 4 years ago. One could argue, if the market is willing to pay the price, so be it. But to us professionals, it's a taunt. It shows that Apple ultimately cares for its bottom line right here, right now, not the support and trust of its users in the future.
Yes, I do appreciate Apple's efforts in privacy protection, great support and all. But I am already making lists on how I could make the switch to the much messier Windows/Linux world of Hardware where I have more clutter but also more choice, and a retainer Mac for the iOS stuff.