The MacBook Pro was expected to make an appearance at the Keynote last week. However, for some reason it did not. This had the expected reaction everywhere. People started contemplating the reasons for its no show and many bizarre theories were put forward. Now, we won’t be adding to that rumor mill as it is a futile activity. The heads at Apple only know the reason for its no show. So while some are speculating the release date, we here are speculating the features that might be added to the MacBook Pro this year. All our speculation is based on rumours and leaks by some of the trusted sources in the industry. However, it still is speculation. So here we go-
The new MacBook Pro models are most likely to be powered by the Skylake processors. These are new, sixth generation chips by Intel. Skylake will bring significant performance improvement to the new MacBook Pro. Essentially, it will make it an even faster machine. Competitors like HP, Dell and Microsoft have already moved to Skylake.
Skylake would improve battery life as well. The 13in Retina MacBook Pro already offers 10 hours of battery life while the 15in model offers 8 hours. It would be a treat if they improve it to match the 12 and 9 hours offered by the MacBook Air.
The 15in models of the MacBook Pro currently offer quad-core i7 processors. As a result, they compare very favourably with the 27in iMacs. It is expected yhat the 2016 model maintains these quad-core processors.
Both AMD and nVidia are looking to introduce new GPU products in 2016. Hence, it is conceivable that some could make their way to the 2016 MacBook Pro. Both AMD and nVidia are set to launch the new GPUs later this year. However, it’s unclear at this stage whether they’ll be ready in time to be used with the 2016 MacBook Pro. For Mac gamers everywhere, hope for the best.
There are also an increasing number of rumours which suggest AMD set aside a GPU design for Apple. It is rumoured that the new GPU will be twice as fast as the current MacBook Pro, making it a worthy upgrade.
The new Macbook Pro 2016 is expected to have a 2304x1440 resolution. It will be the same resolution as the current 12in models. Apple, however, is expected to increase those pixels per inch from 226 pixels per inch (ppi) to 400-500ppi.
As per one rumor, the 2016 models will have a touchscreen, and that it might even be detachable from the screen. This sounds a lot like the Surface Book.
The MacBook Pro is not expected to change much. However, reports by Ming-Chi Kuo tell a different story. It’s possible that a gold model will be launched this time. Apple may reserve this option for the 12in MacBook. It had already got new color options in May this year.
A new hinge design created by Amphenol is also said to be a part of the new MacBook as per TechRadar. This will lead to a thinner, lighter MacBook Pro with several new features including the Touch ID sensor and touch bar.
No Audio jack
So the iPhone 7 will be without an audio jack. Hence, it’s logical to think that it might not be the only Apple product to lose the feature. Apple really wants to move the public on from wired headphones. So it is perfectly understandable to completely kill off the port from the rest of its range. This will include Macs, laptops and even iPads. As a result, the MacBook Pro 2016 could be first on the list.
John Gruber, a celebrated Apple blogger recently speculated that Apple may have intentionally delayed the announcement of the 2016 MacBook Pro. It is a move related to the iPhone 7’s new audio setup and how it is received.
He further wrote on his blog, “Will MacBooks ship with a Lightning port in lieu of a headphone jack? If so, will they ship with headphones? (Probably not, I say. Cough up the extra $29 for a new pair of Apple EarPods.) Is this why we haven’t seen new MacBook Pros yet – because they’re waiting for the new iPhone so that both can go Lightning-for-audio at the same time? Perhaps.”
This is nothing more than speculation as of now. However, this would explain why we didn’t see the new 2016 Macbook Pro the Keynote.
The Butterfly key mechanism is expected to make a return in the new MacBook Pro 2016. This mechanism had already been used in the older MacBook 2015 keyboard. So it is logical to expect to see this flush, easy-to-type-on key switch used in the upcoming version.
Touch ID power button
As per KGI Analysts, the new MacBook Pro will feature Touch ID support. It is speculated that it will be incorporated within the power button. This will make it easier to authenticate and switch on your MacBook. As of now, this is just a rumor. There are no records or patents suggesting that Apple is developing the feature. However, it is seen as a great addition.
Ming-Chi Kuo, a renowned analyst is expecting a redesign for the MacBook Pro this year. His expected device is having a thinner and lighter body, Touch ID, Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. Skylake processors powering this latest MacBook Pro along with new graphics cards. The most surprising thing that he predicted was an OLED display touchbar just above the keyboard.
“While long overlooked, the MacBook line is the brightest spot for Apple’s 2016 rollouts,” Kuo said in his report.
As per him, the OLED display touch bar will replace the physical function keys. It comes with a set of customisable software keys. These keys can be adapted to the needs and functions of individual apps. With one tap of the OLED touchbar you will now be able to open nearly all the apps. It will also show a set of controls (and display relevant notifications) for the software.
Leaked photos of the upcoming MacBook Pro chassis have added fuel to the fire.
Cellular 4G connectivity
In 2007, there were rumours around the MacBook having a 4G connection by use of an external antenna, but given Apple’s sleek design, it was most likely scrapped. Given how technology has moved forward, it would be feasible to see Apple integrating a cellular connection through the MacBook’s outer shell.
The cost of 4G connectivity and SIM only deals has gone down drastically. So it’s very much possible that Apple will introduce a 4G-enabled MacBook Pro. The 4G MacBook Pro would most probably be an added hardware cost to buyers. This may follow a similar price structure as the iPads. On 24 May 2016, Patently Apple shared a patent filed by Apple, which showcased a MacBook with cellular capabilities.
Apple Pencil-compatible trackpad
A patent application was recently granted to Apple that may introduce a new way to interact with your Macbook Pro – via the Apple Pencil. While it may not be as glamorous as an OLED touch bar or 4G connectivity, it does improve the productivity. The patent was originally filed back in 2014. It mainly focuses on interaction with a touch screen display. The best part is that it doesn’t stop at trackpad compatibility. The patent goes on to describe how the Apple Pencil (or stylus) could act as an ‘air mouse’, or even a joystick. It is rumored to have the ability to detect lateral movement in three dimensions as well as being able to detect and track rotational movement and orientation.