There are too many things my phone can do that my Mac can't

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mildredop, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    My Mac is bigger, more powerful, more expensive - but as time goes on, there are more and more things my phone can do that my Mac can't. Apart from the obvious make calls and send texts (natively), there's also:

    - I can talk to my phone. "Ok Google" and it wakes up.
    - My phone has a SIM card so can connect anywhere, not just where there's wifi.
    - I can download Google maps to my phone for offline viewing.
    - I can touch the screen to tap etc.
    - It has a fingerprint sensor so I don't need to remember endless passwords
    - It's got GPS

    There were loads more and, of course, now I'm writing them down I can't think of them, but there shouldn't be things I can do better on my phone than I can on my Mac.
  2. maartin macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2015
    It should also have at least 24MP camera, possibly with exchangable lenses.
  3. MushroomMan macrumors member


    May 31, 2015
    Ok, I'll bite - your phone doesn't have:

    1. A nice large screen to view video, pics and larger image files
    2. A full size keyboard which is evidently the industry leader
    3. A USB port(s)
    4. A Thunderbolt port
    5. An SD card reader
    6. A Firewire port (or possibility to plug one in)
    7. An optical drive (or possibility to plug one in)
    8. An ethernet port (or possibility to plug one in)
    9. Perhaps most importantly - the ability to run OS X

    And the list probably goes on.

    Different tools for different jobs?
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Why are you comparing a phone to an Mac? :confused: Of course there are things you can do on a smartphone that you can't on a computer, that's sort of why they're a different product. Conversely there are lots of things you can do on a computer but not on a phone.

    My smartphone can't drive me to work. But I can't swipe to unlock my car.
  5. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    Well, of course there are things the Mac can do that my phone cannot, but that wasn't what I was getting at.

    My point is, why can't the Mac do things my phone can? Why can't I download Google Maps, why doesn't it have a SIM card slot or GPS, why doesn't it have a fingerprint sensor, why can't I talk to it?
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Apple can't help it if Google won't release a mapping application for OS X, though there's Maps already on OS X. They'll likely soon integrate Siri in OS X too.

    Software issues aside, I think this is the Mac you're looking for. Problem solved!
  7. CE3, Nov 27, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015

    CE3 macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2014
    I disagree - there should mostly definitely be things both devices do better and differently.

    I think "Ok Google" is available on Chrome, and I'm glad my MacBook isn't automatically listening and waiting for a voice command. I don't use Siri that often, and if I need it I have it on my iPhone, which is always close by.

    I don't need a SIM, I have a personal hotspot on my iPhone that I can connect to if wifi isn't available.

    Why would I ever use GPS on my Mac when I'm out and need directions? A smartphone is 10X smaller and much better equipped for the task. I might plan for a trip on my MacBook, however, and then send routes and iteneraries to my iPhone.

    Touchscreen? I had a touchscreen on my HP Envy and never used it.

    The only thing on your list that I think would be useful on a Mac is a fingerprint sensor.
  8. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    A car isn't a computer, so that analogy doesn't work.

    But a Mac and a phone are both just computers. The iPhone isn't a phone in the traditional sense in the same way the MacBook isn't a traditional book.

    Both a Macbook and an iPhone have processors, a screen, a battery, memory etc. But if my Mac has no connection to the net, I can't load Google Maps. It's useless in that sense. But I'm able to download the maps onto my phone.

    If there's no wifi, my Mac can't check emails, browse the net etc., but my phone can.

    Why doesn't the MacBook have a fingerprint sensor?

    Everyone so far has just got petty and defensive rather than answering a simple question.
  9. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    Apple Maps is also useless without a net connection.

    Attached Files:

  10. andreyush macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2015
  11. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011

    1) Cost for Apple. Adding more stuff = more money.

    2) Need. With Wi-Fi hotspots everywhere, and tethering fully available from phones, the requirement for a 3G-enabled laptop is far, far less in 2015 than it was in 2008. It's a very niche market.

    3) Cost for the consumer. A 3G-enabled laptop would mean an extra SIM card. If Apple brought that out, most people here would rightly ask: "why the heck do I need that? That's ridiculous. Why not tether to my phone, I've already got a SIM card? Apple are losing their vision. Tim Cook? More like Tim Crook, am I right guys? What happened to the Apple I knew?"

    4) Fingerprint sensor is doable on a laptop. Lots of patents about fingerprint sensor on future trackpads and things like that. But you just need to type in a password at the moment, it's not the end of the world. Plus they have properly good encryption on the Mac. There's Find My Mac. Lots of great security features that you seem to be disregarding in the argument. Again, with all that, the immediate need for a fingerprint sensor is slightly dampened. I have no doubt Apple are looking into this, though.

    5) It needs to work. I think this is the main problem. If Apple released all this stuff, but it was half-baked and didn't work right, you'd be the first to complain. If you had a fingerprint sensor, you'd need it to aesthetically go with the MacBook's visuals. You'd also need to ensure that it would never wear out or have problems down the line. They could be testing one now for all you know.

    With Apple, they concentrate on doing less things, but ensure it works. Your argument is very synonymous with the touchscreen on OS X argument. Without a heck of a lot of work, it's nothing but a gimmick, that at the moment really isn't necessary or beneficial for 1% of consumers.

    There are plenty of laptops out there that have what you want. Apple don't pander to doing everything and anything that can be feasibly done. It would be best to buy something else that is better suited for your needs.
  12. MushroomMan macrumors member


    May 31, 2015
    To the OP - I don't think anyone is being particularly defensive, but to some of your points:

    1. A fingerprint sensor is an obvious one which exists on competing products and could possibly be included in the next hardware redesign? (although unlike a smartphone, many Macs are used by multiple users making this function less relevant than a person's private phone...especially at institutions etc.)

    2. A SIM card inclusion would be ace, and also exists on competing products but I am not sure if its inclusion would complicate sales in areas which require some kind of security, or deal with telecommunications authorities, ie. it would mean your laptop would have to have an IMEI number?

    3. I would still argue that a phone is a phone and not a computer regardless of the phone's additional functions, as it is primarily designed to be able to make and receive cellular calls - unlike an iPod for example.

    4. I don't think many people would want to walk around holding a laptop running mapping software, although this is common for devices running iOS.

    Ultimately, right or wrong, one device is designed to be 'portable' so that you can use it in several different locations, while the other is designed to 'always' be 'continually' used in different physical locations. Apples and Oranges.

    Just out of interest, does the hotspot thing not work for you for some reason?
  13. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Google actually removed "Ok Google" from Chrome recently because people weren't using it.

    As for the fingerprint scanner... It has to be natural, and you either have your hand on your trackpad, or it's on the keyboard. But your thumbs aren't going to be flat like they would on the home button on an iOS device. And that could be holding them behind, especially as everyone has different styles of typing/using the trackpad.
  14. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    Yes - it works very well (better than my home broadband, in fact), but it just seems odd to me that in a lot of situations, my nice thin, light portable Mac still relies on my cheap little phone to remain truly useful.

    I personally think the future is ultra high speed internet over the airwaves, and I'm surprised Apple aren't championing that idea with a SIM slot available in their MacBooks.

    I never use my home phone anymore. If someone came to me and said I could connect to wireless internet (meaning I don't have to pay £16.99 line rental to BT every month) I'd do it in a heartbeat. My home broadband is around 13Mbps, the 4G on my phone is 90Mbps.
  15. MushroomMan macrumors member


    May 31, 2015
    Fair enough, but if your 4G speeds are that good why not just hotspot for everything and get rid of BT? I know several people who live like this in different places and they seem to do fine where data restrictions are not too bad.

    I really think the SIM card thing has to do with some additional cellular regulations but I am no expert so hopefully someone may be able to confirm? A friend bought a DELL XPS or something with the SIM card slot and that looked ace.....until the laptop died from some unknown cause and had to be returned weeks later. :( - to be fair it was a refurbished model, but the design idea was certainly there.

    Also, there are many places around the world that have great public wifi networks....shame where I am in Australia is not one of them.
  16. PhantomGhost macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2015
    Yeah...most of the OPs points make no sense. Sorry man, but a phone is a phone, and a laptop is a laptop, two completely different devices for completely different uses. The general public has absolutely no need for a SIM card in their laptop. There is wifi all over the place now, and in the event I can't find wifi, I can tether my Mac to my phone in about 2 seconds without even getting my phone out of my pocket, why in the world would I want to pay extra for another device to be on cellular?? That is quite literally throwing money away. Why would I want to carry around my big laptop for mapping directions, when you can hold your phone in the palm of your hand? Why would I want to talk to my laptop, when I can type precisely what I want far faster than waiting on voice search to figure out what I mean and then look it up. Google even tried this with Chrome, and eventually got rid of it because no one used it. Apple has to think about these things, they can't just cram every single little feature and add-on they can think of in a laptop and throw it out on the market, it would be more expensive, less reliable, lower battery life, cause more confusion, and would add next to nothing for the average user.

    Also, a Mac can natively send calls and texts. I use mine for texting all the time.

    According to you, my phone should be able to run everything my Mac can do, can it? Nope, not even close. They are different devices, each designed to be used for their own things.
  17. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Not quite the same, but close.

    I just tether to my phone. I mean, my car has a place for a SIM card and that would allow me to have a dedicated phone line in my car, but what's the point? My smartphone is always with me, and it connects to Bluetooth and provides the same functionality. Why would I want to pay for an additional line to do the same thing?

    I don't see any use for this. Tether your phone or use your phone instead. If I need a map, I don't want to drag my laptop out my smartphone is easier to use and better suited to use on the go.

    It'll come someday, but I don't see this as any kind of a benefit. OS X UI isn't designed with a touchscreen in mind.

    This will be nice, and I'm sure Apple is working on it. But in the meantime, you have a physical keyboard and typing passwords is easier than on a smartphone.

    But who cares? Are you really going to use your laptop in the car to navigate? While you're walking? It doesn't seem like a useful feature.

    There are loads of things the Mac can do that your smartphone can't. They have some overlapping functionality, but they serve different roles.
  18. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    If a Mac had a SIM card, then it would need a carrier account and phone number and monthly usage bill. Plus it would be a pain to have different antenna for different parts of the world. Making a phone call on a computer would be extremely awkward when you are on the subway, for example.
  19. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Those all boil down to the fact that a phone is a more mobile/handheld device than a laptop. Sure, those features could be useful on a laptop in some situations, but they're generally better suited for a phone.
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Different tools, different abilities. A Mac is designed to do a collection of tasks that the phone cannot do, and vice versa. I would not want a solution that does everything poorly but something that does something that it was designed to do very well.

    For instance, take a look at Windows 8 (not 8.1 or 10), it was designed to a lot more then it ought to have, and people complained. It was a poor operating system for non-touch computers. It was trying to be a single solution for both tablets and desktop/laptop computers.
  21. Kissmyne, Nov 28, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015

    Kissmyne macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2015
    1. There are apps and means to "talk to your computer". There are also apps that allow you to place phone calls without needing a smartphone to surrogate the call.. and SMS apps... not to mention SMS online web services..

    2. Get a 4G USB dongle from your carrier.. and then your computer will too.

    3. Besides the mute point created from #2, there is this

    4. Touchscreens on portables are nothing but a FAD, ergonomically speaking it can really ruin your wrists..

    5. Fingerprint Sensor would be nice on the Mac... I recall reading a patent application for this... also if you have an iPhone I believe there is an app that allows you to unlock your Mac using your phones Touch ID sensor(if memory serves)

    6. Umm... I'm not sure about this, why exactly would it be beneficial to have GPS on Mac? for Navigation(Back to #2, Cell Tower Triangulation)... this use case is lost on me... anywhere I NEED GPS my Mac would be extremely inconvenient...

    As others have pointed out, comparing a smartphone to a computer is not really a valid comparison... Along the same tone you may as well compare a Stove Top with a Refrigerator(or a screwdriver and a hammer... hell I could go on), and I'm sure you could find things that each does better just as well...
  22. MushroomMan macrumors member


    May 31, 2015
    Maybe the OP needs something like this:
    (SD card with a Nano SIM slot)

  23. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    And now I'm on iPhone, the things my phone can do that my Mac can't continues to increase.

    On my iPhone I can send GIFs over iMessage. I can't do that on my Mac.
  24. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Sell the Mac and get an iPad it seems like your best option then you'll have two devices that can do exactly the same stuff which seems to be your objective.
  25. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Can you easily attach a text file that was stored in a specific directory on your phone, or run multiple apps.

    I prefer to use my computer for remote access into my work computer, while technically possible to do no my phone, its not really feasible.

    Also something about using a mouse and large display comes in handy when working on spreadsheets and documents ;)

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