Apple refreshes MacBook Pro with updated butterfly keyboard (using Liquidmetal?)

Apple's first 8-core MacBook Pro, the fastest Mac notebook ever, with fourth generation butterfly keyboard
Apple’s first 8-core MacBook Pro, the fastest Mac notebook ever, with fourth generation butterfly keyboard

“In the second update to the current crop of MacBook Pros since they were released in July 2018, Apple this week has expanded the available CPU options for both the 13-inch and 15-inch models,” Samuel Axon reports for Ars Technica. “Just as importantly, Apple has made another update to its butterfly keyboards in the MacBook Pro. This marks the fourth generation of the butterfly keyboard that has divided users and seen some widely publicized hardware failures that resulted in an ongoing repair program from Apple. Apple claimed significant improvements to reliability in the third generation that shipped with laptops introduced in 2018, but users continued to report issues.”

“Apple says it has changed the material it is using in the new, fourth-generation keyboards, and the company expects the change to substantially reduce the prevalence of issues with keys double-typing without user input or failing to type at all with user input,” Axon reports. “The company hasn’t yet gotten more specific than that, so we’ll have to wait on teardowns and testing to learn more.”

“That said, Apple has made another welcome change regarding the keyboards: it has extended its repair program to cover butterfly keyboard-equipped machines introduced in 2018. Previously, the repair program only covered the previous two generations,” Axon reports. “The program offers users repair or replacement for their failed butterfly keyboards at no cost throughout its duration, and Apple claims it has made improvements to its repair processes to reduce the time it takes to complete the repairs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why did Apple not mention that fact – 4th gen. butterfly keyboards – in the press release?

Regardless, hopefully, the fourth time’s the charm!

Liquidmetal? Apple has changed the material it is using in their new, 4th-gen. butterfly keyboards & expects it to substantially reduce issues. Apple’s US Patent (10,056,541) concerns using bulk metallic glass in the fabrication of, among other things, keyboards.

Related articles:
Apple introduces first 8-core MacBook Pro, the fastest Mac notebook ever – May 21, 2019
Apple patent describes Liquidmetal housing for electronic devices – January 27, 2017
Evidence suggests Apple to use breakthrough Liquidmetal somewhere soon – October 18, 2016
Apple supplier Catcher CEO: One iPhone model will adopt glass casing next year – May 19, 2016
Apple granted key U.S patent for Touch ID fingerprint recognition integrated into Multi-Touch display – May 18, 2016
Apple supplier LG Innotek embeds fingerprint sensor into display – May 4, 2016
Why the 2017 iPhone will be made of Liquidmetal – April 18, 2016
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s 2017 iPhone to feature new ‘all glass’ enclosure – April 18, 2016
Professor behind Liquidmorphium Turing Phone invests in Liquidmetal, named to Board, enters into cross-licensing agreement – March 14, 2016
3D fingerprint sensors under Gorilla Glass may let Apple kill iPhone’s Home button – July 21, 2015
The Turing Phone is not made out of Liquidmetal – July 15, 2015
Why does Apple keep extending their partnership with Liquidmetal? – June 25, 2015
Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2016 – June 23, 2015
Apple working on eliminating the Home button on iPhone, iPad, sources say – June 22, 2015
Two new Liquidmetal patent filings from Apple revealed; list watch and jewelry among potential uses – April 23, 2015
Apple files for patent to move Touch ID fingerprint scanner from home button to display – February 9, 2015
Liquidmetal’s Apple alliance yet to bear fruit – September 30, 2014
Apple’s new Liquidmetal-related patent sparks speculation – July 7, 2014
Apple patents method for embedding sapphire displays in LiquidMetal device chassis – May 27, 2014
Liquidmetal-Visser agreement paves the way for more rapid adoption of amorphous metal manufacturing – May 21, 2014
Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2015 – May 21, 2014

24 Comments

    1. Of course, were you a true poet or even a true Angel, you would have noted the retitling for the modern era (typed on a 1st, 2nd or 3rd-gen flutter-by crap-board:

      ‘Once Bytten, Twiice Shhy”

      1. That is not what he wrote. When Apple screwed up under Jobs, the offending parties were given the choice to fixit immediately or leave permanently. Today at Apple there is zero accountability. None whatsoever. 4 years of tinkering hasn’t produced a laptop keyboard that is worth a sh!t. That is the problem. Such pathetic efforts to rectify errors should never be tolerated.

  1. Please just get it right this time; reliable keyboards are not a miracle. I can’t help but think Steve Jobs would have fired at least a couple hundred people over this keyboard issue.

    1. Agreed.

      I’ll take it one step further – SJ would have used the new keyboards five minutes and barked at Jonny – “these F’n things are loud and the keys are sticky”

  2. The current Big Three in the PC side (HP, Dell, Lenovo) all have thinner machines with far better keyboards, and better price:performance ratios. At this point the only reason to get a Mac is because you’ve trapped yourself in its ecosystem.

      1. Security…
        and some really love macOS over windows( im not a fan of macOS though),
        Plus ecosys is a huge part of Apples appeal… it cant be easily discounted .

        1. There was a time when I believed Apple was well in the lead on security. But like most things under Cook, it appears Apple has been coasting on that front as well. While on the Mac front the hackathons are proving repeatedly that with physical access, Macs are nothing special, the bigger worry to me is iOS. Now that Apple is the gorilla of the industry, it’s got a big target on its back. Given that an iOS user can’t do squat without beaming data back and forth to Apple (and its subcontractor AWS, Google, Azure, and other companies) servers, you know very well that bad actors are chipping away at Apple’s security. For example:

          https://www.redherring.com/startups/apples-china-app-store-attacked-aa-flights-grounded-ad-blocking-apps-boom/

          “This week’s featured cyber attack victim is Apple. The company’s iPhone and iPad users in China have been hit by a malicious program targeting the App Store.

          Apple has said that the program, called XcodeGhost, has embedded a code into the apps in the App Store which allows hackers to collect sensitive data from users’ devices, according to the BBC.

          Worryingly, even the most popular apps were compromised, including WeChat and a widely used car-hailing app.”

          It would be a service to Apple to stop blindly assuming Apple is infallible and start requiring that the company be more transparent and forthcoming about its security lapses, especially in giving users early warning and instructions of how to minimize the risk and damage. My observation is that when it comes to security, most Apple users are acting on blind faith, not even doing the basic steps to be secure.

      2. Easy. MacOS.

        If it weren’t for MacOS there would be no reason to have a hardware line. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but PC manufacturers have been ripping of Apple HW designs for years.

        1. The other guys haven’t been ripping off Apple designs lately.

          Here’s a comparison between a 15″ Dell XPS and a 15″ MacBook Pro — I’ll leave it to you to identify specifically what you think Dell borrowed from the Apple design.

          Interesting factoid: the Dell offers an estimated 14 hours of battery life, the MacBook Pro only 10. The price of Dell’s increased performance and superior keyboard? 0.05 inches of increased thickness.

          Now you know why Apple customers are disappointed. Apple doesn’t even care about the basics. They are a fashion company first, even on their self-proclaimed “Pro” products.

          1. Well you are limiting yourself then. Even Windows is better than iOS in terms of capabilities. Usability on iOS, never a strong suit, hasn’t improved much. In Windows usability has probably degraded, it sucks compared to macOS on many interface issues, but iOS is the worst.

            Here’s a task for you: A friend in the Netherlands sent me a bunch of old movies and CDs that are basically unavailable in the USA. I’m going to archive them for her onto a hard drive, using a Mac. Why? Well across international boundaries, iCloud is a mess. She doesn’t want to subscribe to some cloud service to store what she already legally owns. With iOS devices, I’d not be able to do anything. With a Mac, it’s a trivial task to rip the discs, tag the metadata properly, and save to an external hard drive.

            An iOS-only user is a consumer. If you actually create or own any media of your own, you need a Mac or a PC. Period.

            1. Sure.. i did not say i only use iOS… I said i Dont like macOS ….Evan though i own an iMac now i felt a lot more productive on my windows before.
              There are also other limitations in addition to what u mentioned… iOS is not fully PC/MAC independent.
              Just try and put a piece of music u created on ios in your music library without itunes on pc or mac…. many little handicaps that still require one to have a mac or a pc. … i just like Windows work flow better. ( and i am aware macOS is a more secure platform)

  3. The cure for an Apple keyboard is to not buy one.

    I am using my trusty Logitech K811 Bluetooth keyboard with illuminated keys on my desktops and have a couple of the older Apple designs as backups. I dropped the MacBook Pro for a Surface Pro 6 and it has no keyboard issues.

    1. My 2014 MBPro is docked at my desk where I use a Logitech K750 wireless keyboard. The MBPro is from the last generation of good keyboards, and works just fine when I’m away from home.

      1. I have the 2015 MBP 15″ and don’t think the keyboard is all that great. I sent the first one back because it felt too squishy, for lack of a more technical term. Bought a second and it was the same so I just deal with it. The keyboard on my wife’s 2013 feels more solid, though my 2012 13″ non-retina is even better.

        Never tried the 2014 but it seems they’ve been mucking around with a good thing for a long time, sacrificing quality for thinness.

    1. MDN sounds as stupid as Gene the TV Oracle when it trots out the worn out LiquidMetal meme …. Despite harping on all other media outlets, here again MDN has no facts to support its recurring supposition.

      FACT: all metals can be liquid at the right temperature. All Liquidmetal was supposed to be was another flavor of thin casting technology. It’s nothing special and certainly not anything that would be used in a keyboard. Even if this type of casting was somehow superior to other casting methods, Apple has not used it to differentiate itself from the competition, which is arguably using more advanced manufacturing since they redesign their products MUCH more often than Apple. The chassis used on Apple products are churned out for 5-10 years before retiring them. That’s in the realm of automobile production cycle timing. Even when facing a fundamentally flawed keyboard, Apple refuses to redesign the chassis to accommodate a good keyboard design.

      Thanks to Pipeline Timmy.

      1. Liquidmetal not a meme, it’s, like, the name of the company. 🙂

        And, as you obviously don’t care to know anything about the properties of amorphous alloys, we’ll just stop right there!

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