A year ago, in April 2017, Apple invited the press to confirm something much anticipated by the public: the company was working on a new fully modular desktop computer (to correct a design flaw in the current model) and a new one. monitor for use with the new machine (sold separately, of course). She did not give the pair a deadline, however, to hit the market, only indicating that this would not happen in 2017 (which automatically made the world believe in 2018).
Apple, however, has been slow to develop its products (as it did with AirPods and HomePod; not to mention the new AirPods with wireless charging case and AirPower wireless charging cradle, which so far have not seen the light. of the day). And now, one more for the account: according to TechCrunchthe long awaited new Mac Pro not arrive this year!
Matthew Panzarino spoke to the people responsible for driving Apple's professional product strategy (John Ternus, vice president of hardware engineering; Tom Boger, senior director of hardware marketing for Macs; Jud Coplan, director of product marketing and Xander Soren, director of music application product marketing) and had access to demonstrations of how Apple is addressing the upgradability, development of its professional applications, and how it has changed its process to better understand how these professionals actually use their products.
And that's when he got the latest news that the new / long-awaited desktop wouldn't hit the market before 2019.
We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our professional community, so we want them to know that Mac Pro is a product for 2019. Not something for this year.
We know that there are currently many customers who are making purchase decisions on iMac Pro and wondering whether or not to wait for the Mac Pro. That's why Apple wants to be as explicit as possible now, whether institutional buyers or other large customers are waiting. To invest their budgets say, in iMacs Pro or other machines, they must do so without worrying about the idea of a Mac Pro appearing later in the year.
Professional workflow team
Demonstrating that in fact professional users still receive the attention they deserve, Panzarino said Apple has created a team within the building that houses its professional product group. Called the “professional workflow team” and led by Ternus, the group works closely with the engineering organization. The "stalls" of people working with Final Cut Pro, for example, are a few doors away from the engineers in charge of making it work well with Apple hardware.
We said at last year's meeting that the professional community is not just one thing. very diverse. There are so many different types of professionals, and obviously they go too deep into hardware and software, and they're pushing it to the limit. So one thing you need to do is engage with customers to really understand their needs. Because we want to provide complete professional solutions and not just deliver great hardware what we are doing, as we did with iMac Pro. But we have to look holistically.
This, however, is not easy. Apple wants its architects to sit with real customers and understand their flow, seeing what they are doing in real time. Except that while Apple customers are generally very receptive, it is not always easy to achieve this as many end up working with proprietary content. An example is John Powell, a Logic Pro user who is working on the new Star Wars franchise movie focused on the character Han Solo such a content, of course, is highly secret until the production debut.
The solution? Simply start hiring these creatives some of them under a fixed term contract; others as full time employees. 😱 They are undoubtedly perfectly capable of testing hardware and software and pointing out points that can cause frustrations and disappointments among professional users.
The idea, according to Ternus, was to get focused and then increase staff and disciplines over time:
We also focus on visual effects, video editing, 3D animation and music production. And we brought amazing talent, really masters of their craft. And now they are sitting and building workflows internally with real content and really looking for the bottlenecks. What are the points of suffering. How can we make things better? And then, we took this information where we found it, talked to our architecture team, our performance architects, really detailed and found out where the bottleneck is. in the operating system that is in the drivers, in the app, in silence, and then we analyze everything to fix it.
Apple then went from “just designing Macs and software” to designing a workflow and really understanding every step of the way. “As we build the hardware, the firmware, the operating system, the software and we have these close relationships with third parties, we can attack everywhere and really find out where we are, where we can optimize performance,” said Boger.
The notion of a modular desktop computer has permeated Apple's thinking for a long time. Well, that's what motivated the creation of a new Mac Pro for a limited structure like the current one. This new form of work generated by the professional workflow team, however, is greatly influencing Apple's architecture and plans for the future of its line of work, not limited to Mac Pro and extending to other computers, such as itself. iMac Pro, the normal iMac and the MacBook Pro. “There is an absolute need for modularity in certain places. But it's also clear that the iMac or MacBook Pro format can be exceptionally good tools, ”said Ternus.
In his walks through Apple's labs and a show of modularity that many people can't imagine Panzarino saw, for example, an iMac Pro with two iPads Pro attached to it, allowing direct control, shortcuts and Logic access while mixing music on the device. main. He also saw an eGPU with a MacBook Pro editing an 8K resolution video with color gradation and applied effects.
What we now know is that the Mac Pro is modular and is being shaped by feedback from these internal professionals and external conversations with developers and professional users, and that we will most likely * hear * nothing about the machine in the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2018 keynote. , next June.
Panzarino's conversation with Apple apparently left out information about the monitor — a much simpler and easier project to complete than a new modular desktop computer. But given that it is critical to the Mac Pro, even if the monitor gets ready before the computer is highly likely to be released together next year.