Overlooked urgently needed updates to Apple hardware

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Mr. Amiga500, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Mr. Amiga500 macrumors regular

    Mr. Amiga500

    Jan 19, 2007
    Everybody knows Apple products need faster CPUs, better graphics cards and higher density displays, but what about updates you urgently want that nobody ever talks about? Let's hear what product updates you think are urgently required.

    Here are a few things I want to see (but probably wont):

    1. iPod "Shufflephones"
    I want good quality lightweight headphones (not earbuds!) with the shuffle built in - meaning there are no wires. The headband provides ample space to put the shuffle internals - even enough space to put twice the battery of the existing shuffle. Headphones sound better than earbuds too. The shuffle can easily be operated without looking at the controls, so having it on the side or top of your head shouldn't be a problem. The main benefit of Shufflephones is the complete lack of dangling wires. I hate having iPod earbuds unexpectedly and violently ripped out of my ears when they snag on a door handle or piece of clothing (which happens about 10 times/day). Those iPod commercials with the wires bouncing all over the place are to me a perfect example of what is wrong with the iPod. They should show the silhouettes dancing and then the cord snags on something and they stop and say, "Ah, f@#% it!" while they reach for the earbuds to put them back in. It's also a pain in the arse untangling the cords every time you want to use the iPod.

    2. Apple Trackball
    I thought the mouse was neat back in 1985 when I first played with an Amiga 1000, but after a few months, I realized the mouse is actually a pretty stupid invention. A trackball makes much more sense. With a trackball, you don't need cleared desk space. You don't need to constantly centre it to avoid running out of space. You don't need a tacked-on scroll wheel (or other lame scroll device). And your hand doesn't cramp up into a twisted claw after hours of use like with the mouse. I think Apple should trash the "Mighty Mouse" and instead have a nice large trackball similar to the MicroSpeed trackball (but smoother rollers). Like the MicroSpeed trackball, it should have two buttons and a lock - you lock on the scrollbar to scroll. This is much simpler than the Mighty Mouse. (Apple's excuse for not having two buttons is pretty dumb)

    3. Redesigned Keyboard (for desktop Macs)
    I think the latest keyboard (since 2002?) for desktop Macs is cheap crap. When I first saw it, I was disgusted with the cost cutting. To me, Macs always meant "top quality", but this keyboard is cheap! It seems these days, people expect a keyboard to be cheaply made to keep the total computer cost down, but think about it: the keyboard is your main tactile connection with the computer. I think if you're touching it all day long, it should look and feel that it has a quality to it. I'd certainly pay a few extra bucks for a quality keyboard. It's pretty sad that a 1982 Atari has a better quality keyboard than a 2007 Mac.
  2. chief_wiggum_PI macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2005
    Yeah, the current keyboard has to go. The previous version was better. I found a couple on ebay to keep me happy for a year or two, but I hope Apple comes out with something better by then.
  3. mattscott306 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2007
    Shufflephones: how do you plan on transfering files unto these?

    Trackball: Only used in certain applications, not a widespread demand.

    Keyboard: What do you mean? I think the keyboard is great, it fits the apple minimalist hardeware style.
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Why not just buy some other headphones for your iPod? Why do people think that this impossible to do? But make sure you buy Mac compatible headphones.

    You didn't say Trackball did you? Trackballs have to be the most annoying input device ever created. The mouse doesn't require that much space, and find this a petty complaint.

    The keyboard I've never used, but again, buy one that you like.
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Mmmm...I do love trackballs... but if you're constantly re-centering your mouse, working on your skills and increasing the acceleration are much more expedient than getting a new input device. With a properly set up mouse... you shouldn't need much more than a total of about 6" x 6" to be able to fully access the screen.
  6. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Amen. I picked up a Razer Pro mouse and all of my ergonomic problems have gone away. Before this mouse I was using a thumb trackball, and my thumb would cramp up. It got progressively more difficult to move the wheel as the rollers got gummed up. It meant constant cleaning. With my new mouse, I can roll up the sensitivity so high that I can access my entire display with about 1" of movement. Awesome. It takes some getting used to, but you get better with it pretty quick.

    And to the OP:
    Shufflephones? Really? Headbands mess up my hair, and your design idea reminds me too much of those headphone radios ca. 1992.

    And I actually like the current Apple keyboard... so much so that I bought a bluetooth one to go with my Macbook Pro
  7. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    New keyboards and mice are a must. The current ones are fine, as a base spec, but something more advanced needs to be available now.

    Other than that, I think Apple has to be careful about expanding its product lineup - it needs to concentrate on the core business and not spread itself too thinly. Not that this should stop innovation.
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    The shuffle headphones might work. They would have to be a lot bigger than the current headphones, and that's bad. Also, as someone else said, syncing them is going to be a problem. So I don't know about this one.

    I much prefer mice to trackballs. Don't assume your preferences are universal.

    And the apple keyboard is one of the nicest I've ever used. Not sure what you're talking about.
  9. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    The keyboard is terrible, I had one once with an emac, it hurt my hands to no end because it inclines up and away from the user. It should lie flat and it is cheap plastic crap with the USB ports facing away, forcing you to go find them.

    I wouldn't mind a Apple keyboard in the the same style as a MPB.
  10. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2006
    I dunno. I rather like the standard keyboard. You are right about the USB ports though - what a pain.

    I am using the Apple Design Keyboard just now and it is great. Nice keys. But again, the ADB port is in an annoying place.
  11. Mr. Amiga500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mr. Amiga500

    Jan 19, 2007
    How is transferring a problem? A simple connector like on the current Shuffle could be on it somewhere. If there are worries about moisture getting inside the connector, it could have a little rubber flap like on most phones.[/QUOTE]

    What the ...? You're not paying attention! The whole point is to have headphones with the shuffle built in. This way there are no wires to get in the way. (...and don't suggest using wireless headphones with an iPod - that would be lame)

    What "current headphones"? You mean "current earbuds"? Well... yeah, headphones are bigger than earbuds. I did say "light headphones", so think of small, sleek light headphones, not the giant neck-breaking things.

    I hate thumb trackballs and all the Logitech and similar puny trackballs. I'm talking about big trackballs (ball the size of a billiards ball - like old Centipede arcade). With big trackballs like the mentioned MicroSpeed trackball (which has nice slanted handrest), you can use any part of your hand to move it so it doesn't stress any one part. Big trackballs are surprisingly very hard to find, so most people have never tried one.

    After a couple hours using a mouse, my hand aches and cramps, but I can use a trackball for 16 hours straight with no problems. It feels more accurate too. You can use the tip of your finger to slightly position the pointer, but with a mouse, you must move your whole arm.
  12. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    You need to use a real mouse then (no, the Mighty Mouse doesn't count). My hands never ache or cramp, nor do I use my whole arm. I never have to recenter it, never mind "constantly", and I never run out of space. I've used a big trackball...in fact I own one. I prefer mice for normal use.

  13. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I like the trackball idea. Although I think that the mighty mouse needs updating.

    First: The sensors were made for the iPod. There is a newer more accurate sensor (in the same chip family) that would make the mouse easier to use and cuts down the amount of mistakes (I always would drop files when transfering them, having to then find where I accidentally dropped them).

    No more AA in the wireless. Lets get some rechargeable Lithium ion batteries in there.

    And finally I want a laser mouse from Apple.

    It would be hard though for Apple to compete with the Logictech MX mouse (oh so sweet:D )
  14. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
    I find the current keyboard very cramped, but ive gotten used to it.
  15. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Dude, just use wireless headphone ;)

    Ok I get your point and that would be cool, but your suggesting a brand new shuffle idea not a flaw in Apple's design. I can think of a ton of reason why putting the shuffle in the headphones is a bad idea. The first reason is so people can use whatever headphones they want. Particularly wireless ones.
  16. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    I'm not sure I believe anyone that says the G3 - G4 era keyboard was better than the current one.
  17. Mr. Amiga500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mr. Amiga500

    Jan 19, 2007
    I need to use a "real mouse"? Isn't that a little dangerous? It might bite. ;)

    I guarantee you that you use your whole arm. Try fixing your elbow in one spot and move the mouse pointer around the whole screen. You might be able to do it if you twist your wrist in an unnatural way, but you'll still have to use upper arm muscles. Try the same with your trackball. You can use forearm muscles only. See what I mean?
  18. Mr. Amiga500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mr. Amiga500

    Jan 19, 2007
    Yes, I know some people want to use their own headphones or the earbuds. I'm not saying they should get rid of the existing Shuffle. I was hoping they could have both Shuffle and ShufflePhones available.

    Sadly, I know that it doesn't "fit" into their current lineup. It's annoying and disappointing that there has to be potential for a series of similar products for Apple to make something. It looks like my only hope is for some third-party manufacturer to sell headphones with a slot for the Shuffle to plug into. That's hardly an elegant solution though.
  19. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I like the smaller keyboards that came with the original iMac.

    I think there will be new keyboards with the new Mac Pros!
  20. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    Nope, I dont see what you mean. :p

    I use a mighty mouse, 2 screens, my elbow never leaves my chair arm rest and my mouse never leaves the mouse pad.
  21. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    The OP needs to get used to the idea that different people have different preferences... which doesn't mean his suggestions are no good, just that they are simply another option.

    And so, f.ex. I hate trackballs - they tire my hands. Meanwhile, I have zero problems with mice. I have a mini laptop mouse which is about 1/3 the size of a regular mouse and is very light. I not only don't move my elbow - I don't even move the palm of my hand when I use it... just using my fingers to gently move the mouse and it perfectly covers the screen, while my hand is resting the entire time. See, there are many solutions out there, and I wouldn't dream of proclaiming mine "obviously" better than others... and neither should you. Different strokes for different folks.

    And the shuffle thing: well, good for you, and I hope that such an option would exist for you. For me it would be useless since I'll never buy a shuffle (not until it holds 500GB), and I'm holding off on an iPod until those get some bigger capacity HDD.
  22. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    1) No, I don't big headphones...I like my earbuds because they fit in my pockets easy. "normal" headphones are far to big and cumbersome

    2) Hell no...I'm far better with a mouse then anything else. I'd be insulted if Apple started use trackballs with their Macs(laptops or desktops_

    3) Whats wrong with the current keyboard? Its SO much nice then any keyboard from PCs I have used in the past.

    Honestly I think there are things apple should look to fix, but all of the following aren't even issues IMO
  23. murfle macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2007
    I've scoured google/google images for a picture of the current keyboard layout... I know the ones our G5s have at work are like this:

    Personally, I can't stand the layout, with the upside down L shaped enter key, and the placement of the | key, which i use quite often...

    Now I've also found this one
    which is exactly what I'm looking for. When I get my first mac, I'm probably going to get the bluetooth version.

    Can anyone verify which layout the current versions use?

    Thanks! =D
  24. Richard Flynn macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2006
  25. murfle macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2007
    Thanks for the reply :)

    I'm neither in the US or the UK, so I'm going to have to assume I'm getting the UK keyboard (since that's what we have at work, and I'll be ordering through the same company) :( Since I can't order from the US store (they won't ship here), I might have to look into some other options...

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