Apple's butterfly keyboards came in for criticism at last night's Academy Awards. Talking to press backstage after winning an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi took the opportunity to voice his frustration with the controversial MacBook keyboards (via The Verge).
"Apple needs to fix those keyboards," he said. "They are impossible to write on — they've gotten worse. It makes me want to go back to PCs. Because PC keyboards, the bounce-back for your fingers is way better. Hands up who still uses a PC? You know what I'm talking about. It's a way better keyboard. Those Apple keyboards are horrendous."
"I've got some shoulder problems," Waititi continued. "I've got OOS [Occupational Overuse Syndrome, a term used in New Zealand for RSI] — I don't know what you call it over here, this sort of thing here (gestures to arm), that tendon which goes down your forearm down into the thumb? You know what I'm talking about, if you guys are ever writing. And what happens is you open the laptop and you're like this (makes uncomfortable hunched-over-laptop pose) — we've just got to fix those keyboards. The WGA needs to step in and actually do something."
It's unclear if Waititi has any experience with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, which features a redesigned scissor switch keyboard, largely based on the standalone Magic Keyboard for the iMac. Given the tried-and-tested design, the keyboard should prove far more reliable than the troublesome butterfly keyboards used across the MacBook lineup in recent years.
Apple is expected to launch a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard in the first half of 2020, following in the footsteps of the 16-inch MacBook Pro last October. There is some hope that the 13-inch model will become a 14-inch model, but that remains uncertain.
Taika Waititi jokes about what writers should be asking for in the next round of talks with producers: “Apple needs to fix those keyboards. They are impossible to write on. They’ve gotten worse. It makes me want to go back to PCs” #Oscars pic.twitter.com/vlFTSjCfZm — Variety (@Variety) February 10, 2020
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that Apple will transition its entire notebook lineup to scissor switch keyboards in 2020, including all MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.
It wouldn't be surprising if Apple completely does away with its butterfly keyboards, which have suffered from issues with sticky, repeating, or nonfunctional keys since their inception in 2016. Apple continues to offer free repairs to affected customers as part of its worldwide service program.