A few weeks ago I was making due with my Mac mini, a computer I have been using for about 4 years. 4 years old isn’t ancient in Mac terms, but it was absolutely getting long in the tooth. Apple’s lowest end computer in 2012 still works in 2016, but it’s not exactly what one would consider a grade A Mac experience. It doesn’t help that I have an awful 1080p Acer monitor that it’s plugged into which makes macOS look like garbage compared to what you see on iOS or any modern Mac.
But suddenly a perfect storm hit where I had the need and the means to upgrade my computer. I looked at my options and decided the MacBook Pro was the right computer for me. I love the thinness of the ultralight MacBook, and I adore the idea of having one port (BirchTree has a well known anti-port bias), but the things I do need more power. Xcode is a beast, Photoshop and Lightroom will use whatever power you can give them, and my rare uses of Final Cut and Logic mean I need to get something with a little more horsepower.
Something hit me when I was shopping for this new Mac: this is probably the last Mac I will ever buy. No, not because I’m going to jump ship for Windows, but because the Mac I have today is going to be good enough at everything I expect us to see from macOS going forward. I’m probably good on OS updates through at least 2020 and I can’t imagine a piece of software coming out that will require more power than I have now to run well. This isn’t 2000 where new OS features regularly push the CPUs and GPUs of the time to their limits.
On the other hand there is tons of room for iPhones and iPads to make great strides over the coming years. The iPhone 7 is almost 50% faster than the last model, and is 2x what the 2014 iPhone 6 sported. That’s incredible growth! The story is the same with the iPad as well. iPads are transitioning to new sizes and iOS is evolving away from the iPhone so that the iPad has a more distinct identity. The new things on both hardware and software fronts we see on the iOS side is far more exciting than what we’re getting on the Mac. That speaks to the maturity of the platforms, but it also gives us an indication of where the future is brighter.
The Mac will be with us for a long time, but I think that I’m done. This MacBook Pro is more than capable for what I need, and iOS seems just 1 or 2 major OS upgrades from being all I need to do my work, even web and app development. Until that day comes, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this new Mac smell.