“Apple Inc. is preparing the first significant overhaul of its MacBook Pro laptop line in over four years, according to people familiar with the matter, using one of its older products to help reverse two quarters of sliding sales,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg. “The updated notebooks will be thinner, include a touch screen strip for function keys, and will be offered with more powerful and efficient graphics processors for expert users such as video gamers, said the people, who asked not to be named. The most significant addition to the new MacBook Pro is a secondary display above the keyboard that replaces the standard function key row. Instead of physical keys, a strip-like screen will present functions on an as-needed basis that fit the current task or application. The smaller display will use Organic Light-Emitting Diodes.”
“Apple’s goal with the dedicated function display is to simplify keyboard shortcuts traditionally used by experienced users,” Gurman reports. “The new top-of-the-line MacBook Pros will be slightly thinner than the current models but are not tapered like the MacBook Air and latest 12-inch MacBook, one of the people said. The new MacBook Pros have a smaller footprint than current models and the casing has shallower curves around the edges. The pressure-sensitive trackpad is also slightly wider, the person added.”
“Apple is planning to bring over its Touch ID fingerprint technology from the iPhone to the new MacBook Pro line. Apple has tested versions of the upcoming laptops that integrate the scanner beside the new function key display, according to one of the people. The sensor would allow users to log in more quickly and theoretically authenticate Apple Pay purchases,” Gurman reports. “Like with iPhones, the new Pro laptops will encrypt fingerprint data so it can’t be removed from the devices.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Looks like the Secure Enclave, or a version of it, is coming to the Mac!