New Macs, function key strips

By most measures, Apple is well overdue a refresh of its Mac and MacBook lines: 2016 has seen nothing on that score, and the latest press event announced for next week doesn’t really tell us any more. One of the more persistent rumours for the new machines, whenever they may turn up, states that the row of function keys on the new MacBooks will be replaced by some kind of context-sensitive “touch strip”

Sweet baby Moses, if this is true then I hope to all that is holy that Apple know what they’re doing. Anyone who uses Lenovo hardware will recall the (justified) screams that greeted the Carbon X1. Here’s a reminder:

The Lenovo Carbon X1 function key strip aberration

My goodness but that was an aberration.


  1. It's all about execution. The trackpad on my MBP is still better than the one on my Lenovo X1 Carbon. And not just a little better...Bob Congdon#
  2. I would really miss my function keys, I would. My observation is that most non-programmers don't need them.

    I dream of some sort of universal programmer's keyboard - something close the US one, where brackets and so on are accessible with one keypress (it's a nightmare on a swiss german keyboard).

    Since I'm dreaming, I would like the universal programmer's keyboard to have certain characters which would only ever be used by programmers as a separator, and would only be valid as separators. No more ridiculously elaborate escaping (like, escaping a RegEx String in Java - makes me go cross-eyed)Andrew Magerman#

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