Keyboard sensitivity: Leave the iPhone 4 out of this


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The Macalope comes not to praise the MacBook keyboard but to bury it.

Not literally. That can get expensive and void your warranty. And with this keyboard, you’re going to need the warranty.

As you may have heard if you follow Apple news, or just news, or if you follow Marco Arment on Twitter or have a front door that he may have knocked on during his door-to-door “MacBook keyboard awareness” tour, there are problems with the MacBook keyboard. Are you aware? Specifically, we’re talking about the butterfly keyboard on the MacBook and MacBook Pro, for which Apple has now finally (yes, finally) started a service program.

Personally, the horny one has yet to run into a problem with the keyboard on his 2016 MacBook Pro. And, if you listen to Apple, most people won’t experience a problem. But, if you ask around, it does seem like a larger number of people will than is reasonably acceptable. No, “asking around” is not a scientific methodology, but it’s kind of all we have to go on. Only Apple knows for sure what the percentage of people is and it says it’s “small” but declines to define “small” in this context. Suffice it to say, the problem is real and it’s not spectacular.

So, The Macalope isn’t here to defend the keyboard. At all. No, he’s here to defend the iPhone 4.

Wait, what?

Yes, believe it or not, we’re still arguing about a phone that came out eight years ago. Cast your memory back if you can, dear reader, to a time before we were even complaining about how lame Siri is. Apple released a phone that was—please make sure you’re standing close to your fainting couch before reading further—imperfect in a way that pretty much every other phone on the market was.


You should have been closer to that fainting couch, Irene.

For the last word on the MacBook keyboard problem, let’s go to Paul Thurrott. Because… uhhh, self-loathing? The Macalope’s not really sure why.

“Apple Finally Admits to MacBook Keyboard Design Flaw.”

Indeed, this problem is an open embarrassment for Apple…


…and its worst design failure since the iPhone 4.

Uhhh, what.

There’s a pretty big difference between these two things. The MacBook keyboard is a problem that’s unique to the MacBook. Keys can go non-responsive for very small reasons and the fix (before the repair program) was to replace the whole keyboard for $700. The antenna attenuation problem on the iPhone 4, on the other hand, was present in pretty much every shipping smartphone at the time, it was just that people expected more of iPhones.

But the parallels are even deeper: Just as Apple quietly revamped the antenna design of the iPhone over the next several revisions…

Other than holding a whole event to talk about it and giving everyone free cases, yes, Apple never said a thing.

… it, too, has been quietly trying to fix the butterfly keyboard design too.

Also, too. Yes, just fixing things is not OK. You have to continually flagellate yourself for ever and ever.

And, please, continue keeping the issue quiet so that Apple can keep receiving its industry-best brand reliability award from Consumer Reports, whose scores are based solely on owner feedback. Your silence is what makes this work.

Yeah, people have been real quiet about this issue. Literally no one who has owned one of these devices has been talking about it or chastising Apple over it or filing lawsuits. Clearly there’s some kind of big cover-up going on in order to boost Apple’s rating from a company grandmothers everywhere rely on when picking a humidifier.

“Apple stands out as being the most reliable laptop brand,” the agency reports, while calling out Microsoft for being unreliable.

Oh, nowwww, The Macalope sees what this is about. The horny one really knows nothing about Surface reliability. He’d wryly remark that it must be pretty bad if their rating is worse than the current MacBook’s, but, really, Thurrott should learn to be less salty about Consumer Reports’ opinion. Maintaining that level of precious sensitivity about things that don’t matter isn’t healthy, Paul.

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