No new Mac hardware leaves me feeling pretty dark mode myself

In a world filled with the latest bleeding edge technology, one company has dedicated itself to promising nothing and delivering less, at least when it comes to what was once its flagship line of computers.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

Video: What would it take for Apple to turn the Mac mini into a Mac mini Pro?

Well, that was a bummer. Sure, I know. We saw new iOS, watchOS, and tvOS features. Whatever. Yawn. And fine. MacOS Mojave, with dark mode and desktop stacks. That seems nice enough.

But Poppa needs a new pair of cores. CPU cores. I need a new computer.

Apple announced nuthin'. Not a single new piece of hardware. Not an updated Mac Pro. Not a revved iMac. Not newer MacBooks. Not even the long overdue and desperately needed Mac mini. No new iPads, either. Nothing.I know why this new version of macOS is called Mojave. It's because Mac users are in the desert when it comes to new, quality hardware.

Also: Ode to the Mac mini: Craving an update for Apple's little box that can do it all

In my mind, I've imagined what the Jony Ive-narrated commercial would be like. In dulcet tones with his British accent, you see a white screen. Slowly, the white dissolves to an image of a single, solitary sand dune.

"Mojave," Ive begins. "Empty." The view pulls back and we see a menu bar at the top of the screen and a dock at the bottom.

"The epitome of simple design," Ive intones. "Nothingness as something. Emptiness, full of meaning."

Now, the image slowly goes dark, until we see what's almost, but not quite, a gray scale image of the same sand dune.

"Twilight. Dark mode. Evening," continues Ive. "Designers here at Apple have studied the deepest grays, the grayest blacks. To properly design the ultimate in background screens, Apple's very best designers have lived and worked in darkened rooms for a full year, just to bring you this perfect background image."

"Of course, darkness implies denial, and without light, our designers had to forego creating new machines. Who needs new? Old," says Ive, "Is the new new. The desert is as ancient as time."

"That," he says in his signature, oh-so-smooth British intonation, "is why we've brought you macOS Mojave. Darkness. From our souls to yours."


Animoji Tim. Personally, I'm waiting for the bobblehead.

So, yeah, that didn't happen. But it might as well have. Mac power users are left with limited choices.

We can buy MacBook Pros with the much-maligned touch bar, uncomfortable keyboard, limited memory, and paucity of ports. Those are being sold with year-old hardware.

At least the iMacs and iMac Pro that Apple sells are only about six months old. Even so, it appears Apple doesn't know how to service the brain-bleedingly expensive iMac Pro and while the iMacs are nice enough, they're saddled with a heavy, yet limited-width screen, which prevents using them on a rack, or in pretty much any custom utilization scenario.

As for headless Macs, the currently-still-being-sold Mac Pro is the trash can from 2013. Even though it received a teensy-weensy update 15 months ago, it still can't run Thunderbolt 3 devices.

CNET: Here are the Macs that will work with MacOS Mojave | How to install MacOS Mojave | TechRepublic: How Apple macOS Mojave could improve productivity and organization for business users

Finally, there's the great sadness, the Mac mini. It's an amazingly flexible machine, simple in function and design. Yet, it remains ignored, last updated in 2014. Even so, Apple still sells this ancient model at full launch price.

Apple ended its WWDC 2018 keynote with an ode to developers. But developers need machines with power and flexibility -- and we're stuck with old machines sold at as-if-new premium prices.

Also: Maybe it's time for Apple to spin off the Mac as a separate company

For those of us who crave an upgrade to our hardware, the choices are limited. My main development machine is a 2013 iMac. If you want power, it's an iMac or the problematic iMac Pro. That's it. MacBook Pros, while they can add an external GPU, have very limited ports and even more limited memory.

There's one final choice, and it's the one I'm thinking very seriously about: Hackintosh. I'm thinking that if I build my own machine, it will be much less expensive, more flexible, and more powerful.

Because I rely on some Mac-only apps for my workflow, I need to run on a Mac. I really did want to give my money to Apple for a new machine. But since Apple is consigning all macOS users to the desert, I'm feeling pretty dark mode myself.

What about you? Are you happy with Apple's software upgrades or are you concerned that hardware didn't even get a mention?

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

Editorial standards