‘How to Correctly Use a Computer’

I love this new ad from Apple for the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard. What’s not to love? Pitch-perfect use of Futura Bold on the title screen, a vaguely Brazil-like dystopian atmosphere to open, and, once the iPad part kicks in, some fun shots of the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard in action out in the world. (Remember going out in the world?) One thing I noticed: not one appearance of the available-to-order-right-now Smart Keyboard cover — only the coming-in-May Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard is hot; the Smart Keyboard is not.

But speaking of not hot: It’s impossible to miss that MacBooks are just as much the butt of the jokes as any PC. “Do not touch the screen.” “Your computer comes with a standard arrow cursor.” “You must stay within reach of a Wi-Fi signal.” “It does not have a camera; to connect one, refer to your instruction manual.”

I get it, all of these are things that make iPads fun and useful. The Mac can take it — it’s the mature workhorse platform. But it’s a little incongruous coming on the same day Apple launched its best-ever MacBook Air — featuring no touchscreen, no option for cellular networking, and the worst built-in camera in Apple’s product line. And, yes, a standard arrow cursor.

Thursday, 19 March 2020