2019 16" MacBook Pro (unboxing & on-boarding)

Still working on a video player solution. Until then, check out the video on YouTube.

Likes

The unboxing experience from Apple is generally a good one. The shipping boxes including space to fit one’s hand in as well as a clever lifting mechanism in the form of two pieces of folding cardbard that secure the device in the box and also allows the user to easily remove the inner box. Even getting into the shipping box was made easier by way of a pull strip designed to release the flaps of the box.

The plastic helping to protect the store box from scratches comes equipped with a pull tab, which makes it easy to remove without tools. The base and lid and snuggly fit leaving just enough room for the base to slide out while the lid is pulled off.

All components that could easily be scratched are protected by plastic, tissue paper, or wax paper. This subtle approach to detail (miniature delightful moments) can be felt throughout the experience (similar to the reMarkable).

On-boarding is pretty uneventful and there’s a good balance of direction and clarification: If you do this, then this will happen; or, this is why we are asking for this information.

Dislikes

As we progress with this experience this will expand, but for now I really want to focus on getting things set up. iCloud doesn’t feel as informative as it could be. I usually replace my laptop every 3 to 5 years. When I do, I usually like to start fresh rather than do a full transfer from one machine to the next. I can do this pretty comfortably because I use iCloud a great deal, leverage external hard drives, and have Time Machine backups of my device. So, chances are, if I need something I can either install it or grab it.

With that said, iCloud takes forever to catch up to a new device.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to do there, but it can take two to three days and doesn’t let you know what’s happening. It’s that last bit that makes it a bad experience in my book.

Finder doesn’t show that anything is happening related to iCloud drive (at least for me). So, you look at iCloud Drive and nothing’s there; or, the Documents and Desktop folders are there but none of the iCloud Drive folders for apps like Preview, Downloads, Keynote, and so on.

If you use iCloud Keychain for passwords and networks - same thing.

Email - same thing.

I do love iCloud, but this initial period is so frustrating. Is it working? Is stalled? I got nothing.

Suggestions

I almost want a minimally visible UI with activity indicators for things that actively being updated. I would also like to see a rational default ordering, that will alter itself based on my activity.

So, if I just get in and get set up, maybe ping iCloud to get a lay of the land. What folders do I have in Finder (just names and icons will do). Email addresses and passwords. Keychain storage.

In Finder, display all the folders but have them be disabled. In Mail, display the email addresses but have them disabled as we’re downloading the reference files. Keychain - same thing.

Now, what if I click on an app folder in iCloud Drive? Assume that’s me saying, “Stop what you’re doing and try to make this happen faster.” For the UI just display a label centered in the window that says something like: We’ve started downloading the contents of this directory, please wait. Could be a progress bar or something like that.

The normal process can be running while the machine is idle, but if I hop over to my inbox in Mail, it would be nice if it populated. Or a mailbox (folder) I’ve setup in an account.

Basically, if I’m clicking on the screen, presume that’s the most important thing to me at the moment and telegraph that because I made X my priority, so has the setup process.