As it stands the upcoming arrival of the iPhone 7 is garnering most of the Apple-related attention, but there are also rumblings of a new MacBook Pro in the pipeline.
It is thought that Apple will introduce a new flagship laptop by Q4 2016, and there is plenty of excitement about the proposed changes. In the case of the iPhone 7 analysts are predicting only minor updates, but the new MacBook Pro could have some groundbreaking features, according to The Week.
Hopes are high for new MacBook Pro
Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes that the new MacBook Pro will be “the most significant upgrade ever taken by Apple.” One of the biggest rumors at this stage relates to the potential arrival of an OLED touchbar.
The idea is that a touch-sensitive strip will be built in just above the keyboard, in order to replace physical function keys. As the display is touch sensitive, the computer can change the function of the buttons depending on which software and apps are open. As such it could become a dedicated control for media players such as Spotify, before switching to monitor ongoing downloads in Explorer.
There is a strong chance that the new MacBook Pro will include the feature, as photographs of a MacBook chassis with space for the new component have been published on MacRumors.
Thinner, lighter laptop with USB Type-C ports
Another change will apparently come in the form of a thinner design. As it stands the MacBook Pro is noticeably thicker than the standard model and the MacBook Air, but it looks like the new version will be thinner and lighter.
According to Kuo, Apple is set to use metal-injection mould-made hinges and the shallow keyboard found on the 12-inch MacBook, which would allow the new MacBook Pro to be much thinner. Apple may also shave off some more thickness by getting rid of some ports and only using USB Type-C connections.
Performance and battery life also look set to get a boost thanks to sixth-generation Skylake processors. “The move to Skylake is likely to warrant massive speed improvements across the board in addition to more impressive battery lives”, according to TechRadar. While the processors boast support for wireless charging, it seems unlikely to be a feature of the new MacBook Pro.
Kuo also says that Touch ID is set to make its first appearance on the new MacBook Pro. The biometric scanning system is already found on recent iPhones and iPads, and now the feature could add better security to laptops.
The addition of a stylus-friendly trackpad has also been subject to rumor after patents filed by Apple were found to relate to the technology. Such a feature would be able to work in conjunction with the Apple Pen, allowing users to draw on their MacBook Pro trackpad. It seems likely that the trackpad would be much larger in order to appeal to designers and creatives, who make up a core Apple market.
We may well see the new MacBook Pro by the end of the year, but as is always the case with Apple there is little to go on in the way of official information. It would be strange for Apple to launch the new laptop alongside the iPhone 7 in September, so we may be waiting a little while to find out more.