But in some ways, the new MacBook Pro is the most techy and expandable laptop Apple has ever made. They are trusting their pro users to wade into murky USB-C waters in search of the holy grail of a universal, open standard for moving data and power between devices.
I’m not here to change your mind about the MacBook Pro. Yes, it’s probably too expensive and more RAM is better than less RAM. But everyone posting complaints without actually using a MBP for a few weeks is missing out on all the clever things you can do because it is built on USB-C. Over the past week or two with a new MacBook Pro (15in, 2.9ghz, TouchBar), I’ve been constantly surprised with how USB-C makes new things possible. It’s a kind of a hacker’s dream.
This argument about the future of the Mac being all USB-C1 is really compelling to me, but there is still an elephant in the corner of the room: iOS and its proprietary Lightning port.
The idea of having a single port that all of my peripherals can use to connect to my computer loses a bit of luster when I have to have either carry another cable or an adaptor to attach those same peripherals to my iPhone or iPad2.
John Gruber a few months ago on the possibility of iPhones switching from Lightning to USB-C:
Second, even if Apple wanted to switch to a standard port, they wouldn’t switch to USB-C — it’s significantly thicker than Lightning. Josh Flowers made some excellent renderings in March showing just how much thicker USB-C is than Lightning. That’s the end of the story, right there, if you assume that Apple wants to keep making iPhones thinner and thinner. (And if you don’t assume that, you are wrong.)
Unfortunately, I think that Gruber is right here. I am generally on board with Apple doing whatever is needed to keep making their devices thinner, but this time I don’t think it is worth the price.
USB-C on the MacBook Pro is going to be great, but every time I use it I will be reminded how much better my USB-C experience would be if I used a Google Pixel instead of an iPhone.