The long wait for a MacBook Pro refresh appears to be nearing an end, if the latest rumors are correct.
The new MacBook Pros expected to launch this fall will feature a Touch ID power button and a touch-sensitive OLED strip that will replace the physical function keys on the keyboard, both 9to5 Mac and Bloomberg reported this week.
The strip reportedly will bring up functions appropriate to the application that’s in use. For example, it may display media playback controls when a user opens iTunes. It also might display editing commands, such as cut and paste, when a word processing program is running.
The strip may allow Apple to add new buttons through software updates rather than hardware refreshes.
“If you’re a new user or a younger or more flexible and adaptable person, you’d think [the strip’s] great,” said Laura DiDio, principal analyst at ITIC.
“Media playback controls when iTunes is open… editing commands during word processing… I can see kids catching fire with this,” she told TechNewsWorld.
However, “there’s still that not-so-silent contingent of traditionalists out there who want to remain with the status quo,” DiDio cautioned.
Still, “you have to constantly reinvent yourself as a vendor,” she said.
The new MacBook Pros will be slightly thinner than current models, and have a smaller footprint, according to Bloomberg’s report.
The thinner form factor is generating interest, DiDio said. “You might see some people bringing the new MacBook Pros with them on the road.”
The possibility that Apple will bring Touch ID fingerprint technology to the MacBook Pro line also would be well received, she suggested.