When is iPhone/iPad tech going to make it's way into notebooks?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mildredop, May 18, 2014.

  1. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #1
    Personally, I find tablets quite useless. But there are some aspects of them that make a lot of sense and, when the iPad was released, I thought it wouldn't be long before certain aspects made it in to Apple notebooks. But still they haven't.

    I'd love Apple to release a MacBook that had:

    - SIM slot. I could use an iPad almost anywhere, but not my Mac.
    - Touchscreen. I still believe there's mileage in the idea of having a touchpad and touchscreen.
    - Text messaging. I'd love to send SMS messages from my Mac.

    There are loads of other, but of course I can't think of them now.
     
  2. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    -SIM slot could be useful for some users but it would increase costs slightly. I would prefer if they added GPS to aid in finding it if I ever lost my Mac.
    -Touchscreen could either be an excellent addition or a disastrous one depending on implementation, right now I'm not too bothered as it would just mean my beautiful retina display covered in finger prints. But I could see it being pretty cool.
    -Messages is already sort of covered by iMessage, only two or three people I have in my contacts list don't have an iPhone.

    Just so long as they don't switch to ARM processors in their Macs. Some people want that and I personally think it's a stupid idea as your sacrificing power and usability for nothing but battery life and I can already stretch my Mac to 11hours. I am looking forward to 10.10 at WWDC as I'm sure we will see some iOS 7 inspired theme.
     
  3. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #3
    GPS! That was another one. Why does my £200 phone have GPS when my £1200 Mac doesn't?

    SIM slot would add cost, but not significantly, surely? And then I'd have the option of using my Mac anywhere rather than only when tethered to wifi.

    iMessage isn't a substitute for SMS. I get your point about the fact all your friends have iPhones, but for me it's the opposite. I don't have an iPhone so have never used iMessage.
     
  4. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #4
    Stop texting. Can you imagine having to add your Mac to your phone's plan? Paying another $10 a month or so? Just use WhatsApp or FB chat or Hangouts or iMessage like everyone else :)

    For the SIM card, I think I prefer a $20 USB stick over paying $100 extra to Apple. Also there might be a possible issue with the design (unibody is not good for antennas) and maybe with power consumption.

    GPS would be a nice gimmick. Touchscreen I'm not so sure.
     
  5. TheIguana macrumors 6502a

    TheIguana

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Dunno, probably because they want you to buy a phone and a computer ;)

    It is more than just the SIM slot, it is the cellular radios and antennas. Additionally, it means they would now have twice as many inventory items to deal with - potentially decreasing how limber their supply chain can be.

    Apple charges $130 to add it to the iPad so that would be a logical starting point of the price of adding it to the consumer - the actual hardware is probably closer to 1/4 to 1/2 that price.
     
  6. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #6
    I use whats app a lot (barely go on FB, don't have an iPhone for iMessage) but I can't find a Mac app for Whatsapp. Am I missing something?

    ----------

    This is what I think - it's not that Apple can't do it, it's that they know they'll make more money by crippling the Mac by not having GPS, SIM card, SMS etc. because you'll need a phone too.
     
  7. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a

    ohbrilliance

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    For the SIM, OS X would need to be made more cellular-friendly. I can already see the class action lawsuits when dropbox syncs 10GB of data for users on 500MB plans. Currently this scenario is quite a headache, and requires the user to lockdown a laptop in terms of data usage before hitting the road. Locking down being switching off automatic updates, disabling dropbox, etc.
     
  8. Felasco Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #8
    How about empowering MacBooks to connect to the net from almost anywhere like a cellphone can?

    It seems there should be a big clamor for that feature. What am I missing here?

    As example, my life revolves around working online and being in nature. If my laptop could connect like my wife's phone does, I could work from a number of beautiful places, rather than my pretty boring office. It would be a game changer feature for me, and would likely result in a new purchase.

    If Apple's not interested, how could we add the connect from anywhere feature to our laptops ourselves?

    Can you buy a small portable battery powered router that will create a wi-fi network anywhere it can get a signal?
     
  9. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    I doubt we're going to see a SIM slot (and by extension SMS messaging) or a touch screen.

    Apple has had prototypes for 3G Macbook Pro's under work before the Unibody machines came along but they discontinued development on them before they ever brought them to market. The reason why we know about them is because of a prototype that ended up on eBay. As for touch screen laptops it's much the same and Steve Jobs even even publicly admitted when asked that they had looked into it and even built prototypes, but concluded that they weren't going to be very comfortable to use, so they discontinued development on them.
     
  10. Felasco Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #10
    Ok, thanks for this. Hmm, puzzling... What am I not getting here?

    I'm sure there must be a reason why Apple doesn't make a 3G laptop (right?), but I can't figure out what it might be.
     
  11. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    The inclusion of a SIM won't happen as you are partly right that it would eat into the sales of other products as well as increasing costs (I can't see many users opting for a celular option) but GPS would be nothing but beneficial, I don't know how the unibody would affect the signal or the increase in cost but I would like to see it included to help protect my >£2k investment.

    Plus tethering is so simple, it's easy to setup and once setup so quick to use. I have 4G on my iPhone and have used it a couple of times with my Mac (to avoid horrendous Airport WiFi) and it worked great. I just left my phone in my pocket - although I could also charge it and use it over USB at the same time if I wanted to.

    The whole touchscreen MacBook thing is probably one of these ideas that works out best if left to the imagination. Just like Microsofts stupid W8 Metro interface - if I'm using a mouse/trackpad and keyboard then I don't want to have to be lifting my arms again and again to do stuff I can do quicker by the flick of a mouse. I'm sure if Apple could get it to work then we would have seen it by now. I'm not bothered by not having a touchscreen on my mac. Again it would increase cost/complexity/thickness.

    Aside from a modernised UI, GPS and further improvements to battery life, there's not much else I want brought over from iOS devices. For me it's the first time I've used a computer and felt like it's totally nailed it, I'm left wanting nothing. Just so long as they keep updated the CPU and GPU, RAM, SSD etc then I'm totally content.

    As for my iPhone it's more than fast enough, my old 4S still feels pretty fast. I just want a slightly bigger display and I'll be totally contented with that too (I'm a big guy with big hands, the 4S and 5S both feel a bit small in my hands).
     
  12. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #12
    I see quite a lot of people using iPads in bluetooth keyboard docks, and that looks quite cool (see that 'shot on the iPhone' Bently ad for an example).

    I think it'd be great as an additional way to interact with the computer.

    ----------

    I totally agree. I can't see why they don't have a computer that can do all the things a cheap smartphone can do. They're forever making them smaller, but could they not hand over a little bit of space to a GPS chip and a SIM slot? At least give people the option.

    Seems odd that to use my Mac outside of the home, I need to tether it to my phone.
     
  13. Felasco Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #13
    How do you do that please? We have an iPhone and a MacBook, don't know how to connect them though. Thanks for any instruction.
     
  14. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #14
    On the iPhone go to Settings - Personal Hotspot and then choose a password. Once turned on the Mac should find it as any other WiFi hotspot and connect with the password. Your cellular network contract needs to support tethering, if it isn't enabled straight off ask them if they can enable it.

    Once setup just turn the Personal Hotspot on on the iPhone and the MBP should connect straight away (esp if no other known WiFi network in range).
     
  15. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #15
    Apple notebooks have actually benefited heavily from the smartphone tech — in the form of superb touchpad with multitouch. That is clearly from the iPhone division. I also think that the display/battery technology learned a thing or two from smartphones. There are also lots of very important software aspects (such as layers and layer-backed views) which come from the iPhone team. A sim-card slot could be neat, but I think others in this thread have presented clear arguments why its more tricky than one would think. And, if I am not completely wrong, weren't there a picture of a MBA prototype with a sim-card slot going around some time ago?
     
  16. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #16
    I don't have an iPhone, I'm on Android. It's a simple case of turning it on and then logging into my phone's wifi hotspot. My phone is 4G, too, so it's usually quicker than on my home broadband.

    Maybe someone else could explain how to do it on an iPhone...?
     
  17. Felasco Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #17
    Hey, thanks much for this.

    I will certainly give this a try and see if I can get it to work with our equipment (iPhone 4 and five year old laptop running Snow Leopard).

    This will be great for when my wife and I are together. (my laptop, her iphone).

    In order to do this full time, it seems I'd need my own iPhone, and my own connection contract. So then the question becomes whether creating a mobile connection for my laptop is worth $100/month, or whatever the connection contract would be.

    As you can see, I know very little about phones. Any advice, however basic, is most welcome and appreciated.

    I don't really need or want an iPhone, so if another cheaper connection box can accomplish this, that would be good to know too.

    ----------

    Ok, thanks. Given that I don't really need a phone, perhaps a simple cheap Android would serve the purpose of connecting my laptop to the net? An iPhone may be overkill for my purposes. All I want to do is connect my laptop to the net from anywhere (I can get a signal).

    ----------

    Don't you find it puzzling that iPhones, iPads and even $250 ChromeBooks can do 3G, but you can't buy a MacBook with 3G at any price (if I understand correctly). And I can't recall reading a single thread complaining about this.

    Is this very odd, or am I being dense and missing something obvious?
     
  18. 5to1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #18
    Where possible I prefer to pay for integrated WWAN capabilities (have done on Win Laptops, iPad, etc), over a cheap USB dongle. I guess it depends how critical such a feature is and ones usage pattern/requirements. For casual use in good reception areas (although I often find wifi is available in such areas), I can see a $20 dongle would suffice. For business use, in areas with average reception, I happily pay the premium for a well engineered integrated solution.

    In my experience power consumption is generally lower with integrated parts. Thats not surprising given a USB dongle is built on a budget and has limited space to implement a decent antenna. Whereas an integrated part will have greater scope for integrating a decent antenna design, better radio parts, etc. As you will have likely noticed from your mobile phone, the better reception it has, the less power it consumes when sending/receiving data.
     
  19. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #19
    Probably too tiny of a market, the machines had a fold out antenna (a necessity due to the aluminum construction) which clashed with the design and since Steve Jobs came back Apple has been very careful not to overextend themselves and offer more products than what they have the capacity to support properly.

    There was the infamous meeting where Steve looked at the over a dozen machines that Apple was offering when he came back and told them that they needed to reduce it to just 4 (two laptops and two desktops, one for consumers, one for pros).

    So in other words I really doubt we're going to see anything of the sort from Apple. If you want something as niche as that, you're generally going to have to go to a company that focuses less on the products and more on covering lots of product segments.
     
  20. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #20
    Once it is "integrated" it is also non-upgradable. So all those MBPs made in 2010 would be stuck on 2G max, 2011 might have 3G etc etc.

    USB dongles are instantly (almost) upgradable, solve the external antennae issue, and minimize power draw (to zero), when not in use. I'd imaging quite a high proportion of MBP users also have iPhones so tethering is also a free capability for occasional use there.
     
  21. Felasco Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #21
    Ok, could be, seems a reasonable theory. Why put 3G in iPad then?

    ----------

    Same question here, why does this apply to laptops, but not iPads?

    Thanks for this. Could you please explain further? What is a USB dongle, and how might it help add 3G to a laptop?
     
  22. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #22
    3G in iPads as the market is bigger and they don't have USB ports.

    If you don't have the option of external (although tethered is still possible), then you have to integrate something, hence putting 3G into iPads.

    Google "USB data stick" it takes less time than posting questions on forums that are easily answered by your own research....
     
  23. 5to1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #23
    The integrated part will also draw zero power when not being used. However, assuming a less constrained antenna design (a lot more space on a laptop) it should draw less power when in use.

    Yes we are on the cusp of a change in mobile networks, but it's hardly a common occurrence. There have been two meaningful changes in the past 15 years, 2G -> 3G and now 3G -> 4G. One might not want to buy an integrated part during a transition period, but after that I'd suggest the laptop would be obsolete (given the requirements of the kind of person that would pay a premium for an integrated part) before the integrated radio part.

    My experience over they years has always been integrated parts perform better are more convenient and obsolescence has never been a problem (my last laptop with integrated 3G WWAN is on its way out just as 4G is becoming attainable in enough places for me to worry about having only 3G in that machine).

    I do agree that it is a relatively niche market. But so were high res displays until recently. Given the way the majority use their machines is changing, always on connectivity is going to become ubiquitous IMO. People will want their devices synced, access to cloud storage/data on another device, 24/7 access to social media on whichever device they choose, etc. It's not far away IMO, especially with margins dwindling for operators in the traditional offerings such as voice, mobile plan data, etc.
     
  24. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #24
    My iphone can tether to my macbook pro (by wifi, bluetooth, or USB) and provide internet. The only downsides are:

    1. drains battery of phone a little faster
    2. still bound by data cap
    3. your plan has to allow it
    4. if someone calls your phone, you lose internet on your computer (for Verizon at least)
     
  25. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #25
    If you look globally you will find way more variety in mobile hardware than just 2 changes in 15yrs.

    Integrated will never draw zero power, especially as most of the uses you quote as benefits mean it will likely stay powered on, if its integrated OEM Apple have to quote battery life with it in place, if its USB it can be discounted from the quoted battery life.

    Of course integrated parts can perform "better", but that doesn't mean the market exists for all products to have integrated mobile.
     

Share This Page