back to article Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

For the past few weeks, this tech reporter has been tussling with a complex issue: which new laptop to buy. Just a month ago, this seemed like an exciting proposition: not only was Apple going to update its MacBook Pro line (at last), but Microsoft had gone all Apple on us and come out with some genuinely innovative products. …

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    1. gregthecanuck

      Re: The customer is always.... a cash cow

      "This far, no further...". Hmmm that sounds familiar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tleSnj4OD0g

      1. Barely registers

        Re: The customer is always.... a cash cow

        Yep

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The customer is always.... a cash cow

      Whilst I agree with you point we've ended up with the laptops we (in aggregate) deserve. Most don't know how to upgrade or will ever upgrade them, so out went easy access and modular components. Then the masses cheered as the weight of the laptops came down and each time they got thinner and lighter in order to compete more with tablets until it was too late and every bastard component was soldered onto the main board. Yes, the mass computer buying public have given the tech literate the machines they deserve. Unfortunately we all now have to live with this shit.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: The customer is always.... a cash cow

        >Whilst I agree with you point we've ended up with the laptops we (in aggregate) deserve. Most don't know how to upgrade or will ever upgrade them, so out went easy access and modular components

        No, no, no, no, no, no, no ... you really believe everything, right ? Like, farmers who say: "Customers do not want tomatoes that have taste."

        In the case of Apple, it is planned obsolescence, in the case of farmers, it is tomatoes made on the cheap, plants have never been in contact with "earth".

        Seriously, if you have a garden, even tiny, plant some tomatoes and taste them, yes, they will taste like the tomatoes you ate 30 years ago.

        There is NO, absolutely NO (!) technical reason why you would solder RAM and SSD. How much space does M2 take up ? See, BS! It is back to the 70's and 80's ...

        Thanks to Tim C[r]ook, Apple now sucks just as much as MS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, & co, in a different way, I agree ...but just as much!

        Eurocom look reasonable, thanks Trev' ;-)

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: The customer is always.... a cash cow

          Seriously, if you have a garden, even tiny, plant some tomatoes and taste them, yes, they will taste like the tomatoes you ate 30 years ago.
          Likely you'd need to go back further in time than that. When I commenced my organic market gardening in the mid 80s, my customers weren't the trendies; they were the old folks who remembered the taste of real food. And gourmet chefs.

          But yes, tomatoes grown in humus-rich soil taste ever so much better than hydroponically grown shite.

        2. Blotto Bronze badge

          Re: The customer is always.... a cash cow

          the eurocoms are simply not comparable, headline spec is close but overall is like comparing a Skoda to an Audi. nothing wrong with a Skoda, just the Audi is a much more polished example of a car. same as the MacBook and eurocom other on paper equivalent.

  1. agatum
    Coffee/keyboard

    But it has lost the loyalty.

    Definitely. When I first saw the pricing for new mbp, see icon. And I am not in UK.

    1. patrickstar

      Ahaaaa - so THAT's why they removed the Esc key in the new MBPs...

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        There I was looking for the joke or troll icon, checking date, definitely not April, ok, let's google, this cannot be true, must be a ... FFS, NO, I have not looked at MacBooks in years ... a keyboard without Esc key is no computer keyboard.

        I must be the only person on this planet using vim/vi on a daily basis ...

        Mind, soldered RAM/SSD was already nogo, do not care what other insanity they come up with ...

        I beg you, I really beg you, investors, can you get Tim Cook out of there, NOW ? He is killing Apple, it might already be too late ...

  2. H H

    Exactly the same scenario here. Hanging on to my user upgraded 2011 iMac 27" for dear life and just replace a 2007 (!) white macbook with... an Air - after seeing the new models. Two years ago, I got the then just discontinued 2012 Mac Mini for my media serving needs - also right after seeing Apple newter the new models. This is getting really sad.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Joke

      Ahh the bastards - newting it. Another case of the Lizard people extending their grip. ((You have to understand that they are subtle in their devious ways and have decided that attacking the problem through their amphibian underlings will stay below the water)

      1. H H

        Thanks for the educational comment.

        1. Fink-Nottle

          There's nobody newter than me!

    2. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Upgrade to last year's model

      Two years ago, I got the then just discontinued 2012 Mac Mini for my media serving needs ...

      I think that for a lot of knowledgeable people this is the reality - "upgrade" to last year, or the year before's model.

      Unless you have pretty specific, high-end needs it's entirely likely that whatever is on-sale at the end of the year at Best Buy or wherever will give you a perfectly fine machine for at least a few years.

      For those of us who are a) old enough to be really tired of building our own and b) not rolling in cash, this is the preferred route.

      (Though I did in fact just finish building my own box. Figure it's good for the next five years.)

      (Re Apple: gave it my best for three years with a Powerbook as my primary machine, but ultimately really, really couldn't work within the Apple paradigm. Something about the way Apple's OS does things just doesn't work for me.)

  3. Steve Kerr

    Bye Bye Apple

    Not an apple fan boy.

    Have had Macs for years as when I get home, I can't be arsed with messing around with PC's, I do that enough for work, I just want something that does what I want.

    So the MBP 13 from 2009 will be carrying on until it dies, maxed out memory at 8GB and a 1TB SSD. Does fine for me for my current needs, got a fast PC for anything else anyway.

    Since Steve Jobs popped his clogs, Apple pulled the plug out, and now they're circling the drain, they just don't realise they're on the event horizon of it yet, all just drinking the kool aid and patting each other on the bak.

    With all that cash sloshing around, they could really start innovating with really interesting stuff, but no, the accountants have probably taken over so rehash after rehash.

    Nearly disappeared many years ago, bounced back to a hugely profitable company, now going make to being lacklustre and just another faceless company at the back of the room.

    1. goldcd

      I am slightly incredulous

      as to why their stock hasn't vanished down the pan.

      They have enough money to try/do "ANYTHING THEY COULD IMAGINE"

      And yet.. their latest innovation seems to be to piss people off by ONLY supporting type-c (after others) and adding as an expensive option the OLED F-key replacement slider (Lenovo previously tried and canned).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bye Bye Apple

      " the accountants have probably taken over..."

      Nope. Jony Ive. And ever since that self-righteous prick took over it's completely form over function.

      I was no fan of Jobs, but that man understood how to balance the equation. Cook? Seems more like a placeholder than a leader.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Bye Bye Apple

        AC "...it's completely >>form<< over function..."

        You've spelled 'profit' incorrectly.

      2. jason 7

        Re: Bye Bye Apple

        Ive is the problem. His 'design philosophy' is now tired and bankrupt. Apple needs to dump Ive and get some new blood in.

        I don't blame Cook, he's not an ideas guy and to be honest neither was Jobs. Ive had the design ideas to begin with but he's been flogging a dead horse now for 5+ years.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Bye Bye Apple

          Apple's customers don't buy computers - they buy phones and music downloads.

          The only reason Apple still make macbooks is that journalists buy them to write about phones and music downloads.

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re: The only reason Apple still make macbooks

            is that Apple employees doing web pages, programming or stuff in the Apple store don't have a Lenovo or Dell logo on the laptop lids.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Bye Bye Apple

          No technical innovation is going to come from Ive, he just packages up stuff. If he did insist only on USB-C ports and nothing else on the MacBook Pro because it looked nice he would have been slapped down by Jobs or someone in Mac Hardware. Only the head of hardware for computers now is the same head of hardware for phones, who is trying to get rid of as many ports as possible and fit everything onto just one board. The head of software for computers is the same head of software for phones, who is trying to get rid of as many features as possible to make the interface easy to use by pointing and drooling and has spent the past five major versions of OS X just turning it into another version of iOS.

          Jobs knew how to bang their heads together and tell them to get real. Cook doesn't. I don't think Apple's going to change any time soon.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Bye Bye Apple

            >Ive, he just packages up stuff. If he did insist only on USB-C ports and nothing else on the MacBook Pro because it looked nice he would have been slapped down by Jobs or someone in Mac Hardware.

            Seriously, you think Jobs would have disagreed? Jobs' return to Apple was marked by the iMac, a device without a 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive. It was under Jobs that Macbooks lost their optical drive.

            I'm not saying that the transition to USB-C will be easy - but these things never are.

        3. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Bye Bye Apple

          Ives isn't a HW or SW guy, purely an Arty type copying Dieter Rams. Fine for book cases, radiogram or a pocket radio in 1960s, bankrupt for computers, phones and tablets. He's a stylist with no originality. Not a product designer, never was.

          1. jason 7

            Re: Bye Bye Apple

            But I bet Ive's suggestions and mandate carries more weight in Apple than the technical guys.

            "People buy it for the Apple look...not the middle of the road hardware inside it!"

            I still reckon Apple would dump the whole Macbook/iMac line if it could.

          2. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Bye Bye Apple

            >Ives isn't a HW or SW guy, purely an Arty type copying Dieter Rams.

            Strange thing is Mage, Dieter Rams has a very different view to you:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8555503/Dieter-Rams-Apple-has-achieved-something-I-never-did.html

            Dieter Rams has his view because, like Ive, he is a product (not industrial) designer. He knows you can't arrive at a good design just by copying - even if the results might look superficially similar. Seriously, if you were to learn about what product design entails - please do, it's a fascinating subject! - you wouldn't hold your current opinion. It is a little depressing to have one's field knocked through ignorance - when an informed discussion is much more fun.

            A good place to start would be Esslinger and Frog Design - he worked for Wega before they were bought by Sony, then developed some early Macs and later the NeXT Cube. Or look at the design process for the original Sony PlayStation.

            I for one remember beige boxes with some half-arsed attempt at a 'sculpted' front panel that only made it hard to find power buttons or USB sockets. May we never forget.

  4. PghMike

    The thing is, I like OS/X. But I have to admit that I'm also disappointed with the choices Apple made. I've using a late 2011 MacBook Pro, which I've upgraded to 8GB of memory. I've been holding off putting a new SSD disk in it, since I was hoping I'd be able to get a really light MacBook Pro 15". And I guess I can -- the new 15" model is 1.6 lbs lighter than what I'm using. But it's expensive, and I still have to see how badly they've messed up the keyboard. And I need dongles for everything.

    But I'm half tempted to go down to a 13" display, and if I do, I'll go to the one that doesn't have a touch bar, and save $300.

    But I think I'm also going to have to at least look at what the Linux ecosystem looks like these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > But I think I'm also going to have to at least look at what the Linux ecosystem looks like these days.

      I'm in a similar position (MBA 2011, still works well but feeling the pain of 4GB RAM which was the max at the time)

      One of the possible benefits of going the Linux route is to run Qubes OS and have something which is genuinely secure, and compartmentalised (e.g. work I do for different clients can be properly separated)

      1. Rainer

        > One of the possible benefits of going the Linux route is to run Qubes OS

        > and have something which is genuinely secure, and compartmentalized

        > (e.g. work I do for different clients can be properly separated)

        Yeah - Qubes OS is awesome.

        But getting hardware that is fully supported might be tricky.

  5. Blotto Bronze badge

    I'm in a similar dilemma with my 2008 unibody 13" MacBook 8GB ram 256GB SSD

    Some great points raised here.

    I too see this as a stop gap machine until the s revision next year with the updated cpu.

    Apple clearly wanted a better cpu for this machine but did their best with what is currently available.

    The oled strip is evolutionary and will be expanded upon over the years.

    The blistering fast nvme ssd is a game changer. 3/2.7 GB Read/Write is unparalleled and mitigates future ram requirements as swapping ram to disk is so fast. The inability to upgrade ssd and ram is uncomfortable but is in all likelihood not a problem so long as you get a big enough ssd to start with. 512GB is enough, anything important should be backed up off machine anyway so near line or cloud storage is essential anyway.

    Quad core hyperthreading will also keep the machine in contention for a few years but there is simply nothing better cpu wise right now they can offer.

    Thunderbolt 3 promises off machine graphics so gpu for vr down the line isn't that relevant in my opinion but I won't be playing games on this.

    The 15" isn't that much bigger footprint than my 2008 13"

    It's a lot of cash, but it should last 8 years.

    Questions for me are what speeds can we expect from the upcoming xpoint etc ssd tech, will they be quick enough to do away with the concept of RAM.

    When will xpoint etc be ready for inclusion in a machine. If it's coming in 12 months I'll wait, 2 years or more I'll buy this now.

    I would prefer the 13" if I could also get a powerful quad core i7 mini pref with tb's of replaceable nvme attached by thunderbolt 3.

    Time for some research before shelling out several months mortgage and bills on a computer.

    1. goldcd

      I've issue with the OLED Strip as an innovation

      If it's "for contextual keys" - presuming you use the app regularly, htf are commands on the OLED better than simply knowing what each of the F-keys does?

      If it's to be used an analogue input, well then that surely belongs on the trackpad?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I've issue with the OLED Strip as an innovation

        But with no keyboard feel you have to look to know if you pressed it, so it's no better than a taskbar icon.

        If Apple had convertible laptop/tablets with QHD+ screens with full multitouch and Microsoft launched a laptop with a tiny little touchscreen below a dumb passive screen they would be ridiculed.

    2. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: I'm in a similar dilemma with my 2008 unibody 13" MacBook 8GB ram 256GB SSD

      Not sure what your drinking but I want some.

      Not an apple customer either. With my recent laptop upgrade I too don't expect to upgrade storage for a while. 512G maybe pushing it for now, which is why my lenovo P50 has 2TB of SSD (2x512G samsung 950 pro and 1x1TB samsung 850 pro). My previous laptop(2011) had a 512G samsung 850 pro as well(that laptop went through 3 HD upgrades over it's life )

      For a 'tech pro' 512G is likely bare minimum these days.

      And how is 3GB per sec enough for swapping in place of ram? I looked up the specs of my i7 6820HQ cpu and it has 34 gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth. I assume that is with all 4 memory slots filled, currently using 2(16G upgradable to 64G)

      My 6 year old toshiba with i7 620M CPU apparently has 17 gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth.

      Apple has the money and skill to make machines for that market, probably their longest most loyal userbase. I bet most of them would be perfectly happy with the older form factors just with updated components.

      Sad that they just don't care.

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: I'm in a similar dilemma with my 2008 unibody 13" MacBook 8GB ram 256GB SSD

      >The blistering fast nvme ssd is a game changer. 3/2.7 GB Read/Write is unparalleled and mitigates future ram requirements as swapping ram to disk is so fast.

      Sorry that's a rubbish idea because

      1) Swap is a fudge, not an ideal to be aimed for. Using it on an SSD shortens its life (maybe that's the plan... /tinhat)

      2) "Sorry we can't upgrade the RAM" is not a thing. Ok, it is a thing - its an Apple strategy thing, but it is not a technical thing.

      Quite simply the "pro" is not a pros's machine, its a macbook up-sell for consumers who don't know any better.

      For consumers, I doubt 16G RAM will be an issue for the lifetime of the machine. RAM requirements seem to be levelling out. I'm guessing the reason the RAM is not upgradable on the pro machine is that it would be embarrassing to have it non-upgradable on some machines but upgradable on others. I get that everyone has to make a profit, but this is not the way to do it. Apple is basically hoping that the rest of the industry follows suit so that it doesn't have to explain itself.

      Magsafe data links might be technically tricky but the rest of it is well within their capabilities - they just chose not to do it. If Apple had left on a couple of USB2 ports, swappable battery, SSD and RAM and given us a new cable design for magsafe power with dual optical (or shielded electrical) thunderbolt3.1 links to the Apple version of the Razer Core with graphics and additional SSD slots, they would have made a lot of people very happy and people would be cooing over their "innovation."

      If they had brought out a range of peripherals to take advantage of the high-speed ports, they would also have less flak. When they swapped floppy for usb drives, the actual USB drives were better. There's no apparent reason to have these new ports... except to sell more dongles so you can connect all the same kit you already have. If they had said, "Here's our new 10GbE Server/SSD RAID box. You can also get our 8/16-port 1GbE/10GbE switch that you can connect to the 10GbE link on your new pro." People would have said, "ok, its a pro box, I don't need it but I accept that its better than the old one and justifies the price hike."

      I feel that consumer gear performance is probably impinging on business-system performance and the enterprise vendors don't want consumer pricing in their arenas. I'd love an 8-port switch which can take 10GbE or 1GbE SFPs. Thunderbolt interfaces can run at the right speeds, but no-one does the in-between bits to get to ethernet or the small switches. Everyone wants to do the 48-port version for $15k. Given that the complexity goes up exponentially, I would have thought a low port-count switch would have been a winner. We have PCIex16 slots going begging on most consumer desktops but where's the really high-speed networking and SSD arrays? No-one wants you to add another 256G SSD, they want you to throw out the old one and buy a new expensive 1TB one.

      The problem is that my steam library is larger than many business databases and its very hard to segment the market when those who have a good reason to spend cash have the same requirements as those with no profit-motive for buying kit. This is why we are seeing a drop in innovation on the desktop. No-one wants to compromise their existing profit margins. And this is why we must tilt the playing field back towards companies who have nothing to lose and why IP laws (and the threat of IP litigation) have got to the point where they are damaging. If we stifle innovation via the law courts at home, the Chinese will do it and have the market to themselves. Sure, they'll be rubbish to start with - but so was the first iphone and so were Japanese goods in the 1970's.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depends on your needs, though.

    I can see where you're coming from and yes, for you, this may be the end of the line.

    But that is, however, a personal opinion based on your specific needs. For our needs, for instance, the upgrade could not have come at a better time. I will have to kit out a few new companies, and starting with USB-3 connectors only then makes sense - if I've seen this right it may even be possible that Apple will then have solved the most vexing problem of all: a power lead that you can actually detach at the PSU so it doesn't get damaged.

    Apple may reign supreme in the design department but I think we can safely say that whoever designed the way the lead to the laptop leaves the PSU must have been smoking some very bad stuff that day because it appears to be explicitly designed to damage the cable - cable that carries quite high currents. If it's now a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 socket where you can just jack in another cable if you damaged it I would be very happy indeed.

    For the rest, meh. I needed new machines so it's not a real issue, but I can imagine the pain if you're still on the previous generation - my own laptop is here with 5 leads going into it. Somewhat irritating..

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Depends on your needs, though.

      I think it's meant to be an opinion piece. One person who made one decision writing it up because it's a site about that sort of area.

      My experience is even more contrary than most, I think — no major performance hurdles or developing hardware issues with a 2011 Air and its 4gb of RAM, used primarily for native Mac app development — but the weight of evidence suggests I'm massively in the minority.

      1. Yesnomaybe

        Re: Depends on your needs, though.

        I am not a fanboi. But I love my MagBook Air. And it is becoming the default laptop I buy for people, as it is reliable, good ENOUGH, and "cheap". And the brand is still seen as one of the better ones.

        So people feel good when I steer them towards an Air. Saves me money and trouble in the long run.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Depends on your needs, though.

          The big advantage of the macbook air is that when they come back to you to ask how to do/fix something you can say "Sorry don't know anything about macs" - that's worth the extra $500 easily

          1. Yesnomaybe

            Re: Depends on your needs, though.

            Hahaha, yes that helps! Touch wood etc, but they have been very reliable. Presumably the batteries will start failing at some point, but the aluminium shell does make for a rather robust laptop. And it's a bit of cheap "bling" for people to have on show in meetings. Yes, sad I know....

  7. sjsmoto

    I was considering upgrading my Macbook Pro, and waited for the announcement. But it's unlikely now due to the steep price just to get to where I am today. I'll probably just get a new Mini and remote into it from my Toshiba. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was considering upgrading my Macbook Pro, and waited for the announcement. But it's unlikely now due to the steep price just to get to where I am today.

      I'm more wondering how much they give back for my current one (because they do), but it's academic for now: I first want to see this thing on the market for half a year so that I'm certain all hardware wrinkles have been dealt with..

  8. Andy 73

    Another option...

    The MacBook Pro finally converted me to Apple (if only for the dev stuff - still avoiding the consumer lock in). But after a little over one generation, I'm out again..

    I've just discovered the Razr line of laptops, that seem to be taking up the design chops of Apple without the idiotic corporate lock in. As a developer, having bash is vital, so the recent moves by Microsoft may make me return to the fold.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another option...

      As a developer, having bash is vital, so the recent moves by Microsoft may make me return to the fold.

      Running Linux: yes. Running anything made by Microsoft: after 2 decades of that, switching to Macs was an incredible relief so I don't think they'll see us back anytime soon. Apple's price hike has narrowed the margins, but for us the numbers still point towards Apple.

  9. DougS Silver badge

    "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

    Then you'll switch to the Galaxy S8 or Pixel? What exactly are the "spectacular" things those do that the iPhone doesn't? What do you think you would get from those that your 6 doesn't do now, and the 7 doesn't do? It sounds like you're complaining the 7 looks too similar to a 6, which is a stupid thing to complain about. Do you replace your car every few years when your favorite model comes out with a redesign, just because they made the headlights and grill look different and changed the slope of the hood?

    At least on the laptop side you've actually bothered to list a couple things you find useful that is lacking on the Macs. I happen to think touch screens are completely useless on a laptop, but everyone has different opinions there. For my part, I just ordered a new 17" HP laptop, and specifically chose the model WITHOUT touch not even primarily because it saved a few bucks but because it somehow saves nearly half a pound!

    Upgradability is more of a concern, though in 15 years of owning laptops I've upgraded exactly once - replacing the hard drive in my current one with an SSD. Hopefully Apple knows what it is doing here. I will say the techie crowd at the Reg sees lack of upgradability as a FAR worse sin than the average buyer will. A small minority of PCs/laptops are ever upgraded during their lifetime. However, if Apple loses the techie / pro market where people who upgrade or at least value the option to upgrade, that can only hurt them in the long term. I think making the RAM and storage non-upgradeable in a product sold as "Pro" is indefensible. I could see doing it on the non-Pro lines though.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

      Widgets on the Home screen.

      The iPhone Home screen has barely changed from the original array of static icons - the only new things are that the calendar icon now has the actual date and the email has a thing saying how many unread emails in the inbox.

      My phone has both of those, yet also shows me the time at the international offices, the weather forecast, the alarms I have set, the subjects of recent emails, my next flight and next appointment.

      When any of it becomes unimportant I can remove it, and when new info becomes important to me I can get an app that puts it right on my Home screen.

      Usually in several different ways so I can pick the one I like.

      - Eg when on holiday I pull work emails completely off the home screen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

        Widgets on the Home screen.

        The iPhone Home screen has barely changed from the original array of static icons - the only new things are that the calendar icon now has the actual date and the email has a thing saying how many unread emails in the inbox.

        Not quite. iOS 10 now has a swipe-left lock screen that can contain all sorts of data, all of which you have to authorise before it appears. One of my favourite uses is having a few OTP passwords visible on the home screen of the public sites I handle (the critical ones still require login), it's a neat function of the OTP Auth app.

        It is, however, still not quite as flexible as Android's homescreen.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

          Most Android lock screens have that kind of thing as well, though the Apple implementation is definitely better than most.

          However, I can't put data on the Lock screen because it's a clear security risk. I expect many people have the same consideration - OTP codes are a particular risk.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

            However, I can't put data on the Lock screen because it's a clear security risk. I expect many people have the same consideration - OTP codes are a particular risk.

            Hmm, maybe comprehensive reading isn't your forte or I didn't make myself clear. Let me highlight the relevant words for you:

            One of my favourite uses is having a few OTP passwords visible on the home screen of the public sites I handle (the critical ones still require login), it's a neat function of the OTP Auth app.

            The specific OTP app mentioned which is capable of doing this will fail safe by default - for accounts to be shown on the home screen you have to explicitly enable that (and even then it sometimes doesn't show anything until it's seen at least one login - not found time to work out what governs that yet). I wouldn't do that for anything important, but the few experimental Wordpress sites I use really don't need that level of control - hence those accounts being allowed on the locked frontpage.

            On the other hand, there is no way I'd run *any* website without OTP..

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

      "I will say the techie crowd at the Reg sees lack of upgradability as a FAR worse sin than the average buyer will."

      It's not just a matter of upgrading. It's also a matter of servicing. The laptop that can't have its storage upgraded is a laptop that can't have a dead drive replaced. Same goes for a dead battery: it should just be a quick order from one of the numerous online shops flogging spares, not a ceremonial visit to a "Genius" and a long wait. The average buyer might not be moved by upgrading but few would be prepared to do what another commentard here did; buy a second machine to cover the two weeks it took to get his battery replaced.

    3. Geoff Campbell

      Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

      Two things that Samsung and others currently have, that Apple don't:

      One real biggie for me - wireless charging.

      One curious but currently pointless thing that might develop into something big - VR.

      There are, I hear, lots of usability things like widgets and folders that Android has and iOS doesn't, but I've not used iOS enough to comment on those.

      GJC

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