Key Touch Points

12 October 15

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times here on the site, Apple has been sending signals about new input devices, and an update has been necessary with recent input advancements on the iOS side. Now it looks like Apple is ready to launch a new keyboard/mouse/trackpad collection very soon, likely alongside the rumored 21” Retina iMac. Most important: Will Apple continue to make the Magic Mouse through conventional means or will they finally use true magick to make them? Not doing so is a clear insult to the Witch, Warlock and Wizard community and a crucial loss of spellcasting jobs in a bad economy.

Four quick observations:

  • From the leaked FCC documents, the keyboard is only seen from the back. What’s notable is that it appears to be totally flat. Where’s the battery? According to the FCC specs, it’s hard-wired in. How do you recharge it? Is Apple grabbing the power from Bluetooth wirelessly? Are they harnessing power from the keypresses? Are they doing mini-recharges through a lightning port like the Apple Pencil?
  • The front of the keyboard has yet to be seen. Will it look like the new MacBook keyboard? Probably. Get used to the grotesk humanism of San Francisco, and say a fond farewell to friendly VAG Rounded Light. The MacBook and the new iPad Pro keyboard also have black keys. It’s a big change as the style of Apple Keyboards sets the standard for the entire industry. Apple’s 80’s keyboard style, in Universe Light Condensed Oblique, was introduced in 1984 on the Apple IIc and used by almost all keyboard manufacturers for over thirty years. Apple used it through 2007.
  • My pipe dream of a flat-panel display-based touch keyboard waits for another eight years. Yes, it’s been that long since Apple introduced the first version of the current Bluetooth keyboard. It debuted in August 2007, and has been one of the most durable Apple designs. The current Apple aluminum style has been so broadly copied, if not just outright duplicated, that many customers might never know Apple came up with it first. A new Apple keyboard is practically a generational shift in computing. They’ve really only had a handful of types of keyboards through their near 40-year history.
  • The Mouse and Trackpad will likely support 3D/Force Touch, heralding the full integration of new touch options into the Mac. Previously, it was only in the new MacBook, and Apple had to limit 3D/Force Touch use. Now it’ll be in the majority of Macs, and the MacBook Pro and Air will undoubtedly get updates in the coming months.

And if there really is a new keyboard, does this make my international keyboard survey article irrelevant? Aw.