In what’s probably one of the least surprising announcements of late, Digitimes reports Apple is planning to bring the scissor-switch keyboard design it (re)introduced with the 16-inch MacBook Pro to the next update to its 13-inch variant. Somewhat more eyebrow-raising is the suggestion it might use the same key design in future iPad’s Smart Keyboards.
The end of butterfly-gate, hopefully — The only good thing to come out Apple’s decision to use its butterfly keyboard in its entire MacBook range is that the endless problems it created distracted from the company unceremoniously ditching USB-A ports and card-reader slots. You know, the key tools of working “Pros.”
But we’ll gladly accept our dongle-laden fate if it means never again having to contend with infuriatingly shallow key-travel, incessant clacking, and the possibility of our spacebar being incapacitated by a single, stray crumb.
Butterfly is dying, not dead — As I write this, Apple is still running a repair program for the laptops saddled with the worst keyboard the company has ever made. It’s going to take a full range refresh cycle to banish the butterfly keyboard from new devices entirely (condolences to those who've recently bought the most recent MacBook Air), and a whole lot longer than that before the all the afflicted laptops on Earth are retired.
But that’s the price of hubris. And at least the end of this saga is in sight. Apple should preserve a few butterfly keyboards in glass display cases outside of its headquarters to serve both as a reminder and a warning, lest future Apple designers forget the folly of 2015’s team. So long butterfly keyboard. We look forward to eating cookies over your grave.