Blog

Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

Apple's sneaky fix for its butterfly keyboard

Last week Apple (finally) updated the internals of their Macbook Pro line with the latest Intel processors, among other improvements (optional 32GB of ram!). The news however was overshadowed because all focus was on whether or not Apple has fixed the issues with their butterfly-switch keyboards. The greatest laptop in the world would be quite useless if mere grains of sand can render keys wholly inoperative. Bold move indeed if Apple kept the same keyboard in the new refresh. 

The good news is Apple did update the keyboard in the new Macbook Pros, calling it their third generation butterfly mechanism. Missing from the PR literature however is any mention of fix for sticking and unresponsive keys. With multiple lawsuits in preparation against it, Apple is likely not at liberty to openly admit any faults innate to prior generation butterfly keyboards. Therefore the official company line is that the gen-three butterfly keys are quieter than the previous versions. 

Journalists who’ve had a first-hand look have found this to be true.   

The team at iFixit did their usual diligence and tore open a brand new 2018 Macbook Pro. They found that underneath each key-cap is a silicone membrane/gasket covering the butterfly mechanism. The new part appears to be what’s damping the clicking noise (ergo quieter as Apple says), though it also functions to prevent small dust particles from seeping in further underneath the key-caps - a de-facto remedy for the malfunctioning keys problem. 

So it seems Apple did fix the issues of the old butterfly keyboards; they just won’t say so officially, again probably due to the pending lawsuits. A PR move dictated by the needs of the lawyering brigade.

Nevertheless, owners of Mac laptops outfitted with the first or second generation butterfly mechanism ought to demand that Apple retrofit this rubber gasket solution onto their Macbooks. On the other hand I wouldn’t buy a Mac laptop that hasn’t got the gen-three butterfly keys; Apple needs to update the rest of its laptop lineup quickly.  

 Apple should also continue to work on its 'Portrait Mode' algorithms. The blur on the stem as it meets the flower head is horrendous. 

Apple should also continue to work on its 'Portrait Mode' algorithms. The blur on the stem as it meets the flower head is horrendous.