Guys, I hate to say this, but I honestly think the writing is on the wall. Apple considers the keyboard a CDROM drive now. Remember when they removed the CD/DVD drive on the original MacBook Air and INSTANTLY everyone was up in arms at how the computer would be UNUSABLE? Yes, they provided a super drive option, but it was like $99 back then. And yes, they provided a way to use CD/DVDs from other computers, but that was wonky (I know - I used it!).
But to me, the most telling way I know this is from yesterday’s Apple Education event. Here they were trying to usher in the new wave of what Apple can do for schools. They are doing this in the face of the absolute ONSLAUGHT of Chromebooks in our schools. (For the record, I despise chromebooks, but that is what the schools have given my kids...). One of the chief complaints I’ve seen educators give (beyond the obvious price concerns) about using iPads in schools is the lack of keyboard. I had hope Apple would provide an option for a BETTER Smart Keyboard or even something more traditional like a super thin version of the butterfly keyboard in a case for the iPad. NOTHING. CRICKETS.
What they did announce was a Logitech keyboard case that TRIPLES the thickness of the iPad and likely more than doubles the weight. I puked in my mouth. Back when I originally got my 12.9” iPad (which is my FAVORITE computer ever!), I seriously looked at alternatives to the Smart Keyboard. Bear in mind, at the time, I also had the 13” Retina MacBook that had also just been introduced. ALL of the keyboard case options I found made the iPad Pro larger, heavier, more bulky than the 13” Retina MacBook! I will never do that - to me, a huge part of what makes my iPad Pro my favorite computer is the freedom it provides. It has a nice, huge screen, is super fast, I use it caseless so it is thin and light and it has LTE so I am online anywhere I go, instantly.
For Apple to NOT provide a keyboard solution at an Education based Apple event, for them to decide to tell everyone about this Logitech crapboard, for them to NOT EVEN PUT A SMART CONNECTOR ON THE LAPTOP, this tells me they consider the keyboard something that “some people will need, but most people will not”. This is the way of Apple, for better or for worse.
To be honest, from what I’ve seen, this is kind of the way of the up and coming generation. They type 95% of what they type on their phones, on a glass screen. I wonder what the journalistic or coding world will look like when they start their careers. I don’t know.
What I do know is that Steve Jobs once said famously of people that thought the command line was how things should always be done (and that the mouse/GUI interface was therefore doomed) - he said “those people will eventually die off”. Harsh, but true.
Steve Jobs also had the cars and trucks analogy. I think that is apt here as well. Today, we would consider phones and tablets to be “Cars” and Laptops and Desktops to be “Trucks”. Jobs said we were moving toward cars but we’d always need trucks.
I think typing on glass will go the way of Cars (more common than today, even the “norm” as all screens become touch screens, but we will ALWAYS need Trucks (keyboards).