Like many people, I followed Apple\’s WWDC conference on Monday quite closely, waiting and watching to hear about the latest upgrades to Apple\’s hardware and software lines. While I heard much that made me smile, there are still a number of items I\’d love to see. Perhaps Apple might be listening? (I\’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that the thoughts in this article are my own, and not universally that of Nerds On Site. We are a vendor agnostic company, and many of our Nerds are ardent Windows users.)
My machine of choice is the 11\” MacBook Air. Many decry this as too underpowered to be a working machine, but I heartily disagree. I love this machine, and it is my main workhorse. Sure, video editing is out of the question on this (though ScreenFlow works just great on it) but for all other tasks the MacBook Air just flies! I do have a number of areas that I would love to see Apple improve this product.
Sunlight Readable Display
I recently attended a conference in Florida, and the timing was such that I was allowed a day of work in Orlando before the conference started. I gleefully took this opportunity to take my MacBook down to the pool to catch some rays (this was February and I live in Canada). Needless to say, you know what happened when I tried to make anything out on my screen. After a few minutes of squinting at the screen, I trudged disappointedly back to my room.
Upgrading the screen on my MacBook Air to something that could be read in direct sunlight is absolutely tops on my wish list for future Apple upgrades. Imagine being able to work on the patio at your local cafe (using the local municipal wireless) or watching your children in the backyard on a Saturday afternoon while you get some work done on the deck. Being able to use a laptop in direct sunlight would open up a lot of possibilities for us to get out of our dark offices and get some sunlight!
A 10-Hour Battery
I travel a lot for Nerds On Site, and my flights tend to be cross-country. It\’s just not possible to stretch a MacBook Air\’s battery that long, even at ridiculously low screen brightness settings. How great would it be if my MacBook could last just as long as my iPad, even at maximum brightness! While I love my iPad, it just isn\’t ready for the rigours of serious business work yet. It really is more of a consumption device than a creative device, though that is slowly changing. Really, the MacBook can do everything I need to do, while the iPad can only do a lot. When given that choice, I take everything! In addition, my work takes me to jobs that requires a fully-fledged laptop, such as a recent job that required our team to configure new ATMs for a chain of convenience stores. It just wasn\’t possible to get through more than a half day of work without looking for a wall outlet again.
As you can imagine, as we go down this list these items become less and less critical for me, but integrated 4G access would really be handy. Of course, we can all hotspot off our smartphones these days, but that\’s an extra step – something Apple is famous about eliminating. By building the 3G/4G radios into the laptops, we would be able to switch networks seamlessly when wifi isn\’t available anymore. Especially in rural areas, this would be a huge benefit for mobile warriors!
Don\’t get me wrong. I LOVE my 11\” MacBook Air , and wouldn\’t trade it for anything except a new MacBook with some of the above features. I\’m just hopefully that Apple might take a moment to consider one of their fan\’s opinions on making this an even better machine!