Business Insider Edition

Apple made 2 subtle changes to the controversial keyboard on its new MacBook Pro that should address a major issue

Lisa Eadicicco , Business Insider US
 May 25, 2019, 12:24 PM
Unlike this MacBook Pro, Apple's new computer won't have a touch-sensitive Touch Bar.
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • Apple recently updated the keyboard on its new MacBook Pro models to address persistent customer issues with the butterfly-key design.
  • Now, a new report from iFixit provides a closer look at exactly what has changed.
  • For more stories, see www.businessinsider.co.za

The butterfly keyboard on Apple's MacBook laptops has come under fire in recent years after some users have reported malfunctions that result in keys registering two taps instead of one, or simply not responding at all.

The company released a new version of its MacBook Pro earlier this week with an improved keyboard aimed at mitigating these issues, and now iFixit has provided a closer look at precisely what has changed.

In its recently published teardown, iFixit noticed two key changes in the MacBook Pro's keyboard: a new transparent switch cover and a possible change to the metal dome switches in the keys. Apple has not specified the updates it has made to the new MacBook Pro's keyboard beyond saying it has changed the materials to significantly reduce the issues described above.

iFixit notes that the new switch cover is transparent and made of nylon, while the cover in the 2018 model is made of a semi-opaque silicone material. It's unclear exactly what this change means for the new MacBook Pro, but it could potentially be important considering this layer keeps contaminants away from the dome switch, which is a key part of the keyboard assembly, according to iFixit.

The report also mentions that the metal dome switch may have changed, although it doesn't get into specific details. This too could be critical, considering any change to the dome could change the way the key works when pressed, as iFixit also notes.

Other than its updated keyboard, Apple's MacBook Pro is also getting a speed boost. The 15-inch model now comes in an eight-core variant and Intel's 9th generation processors, while the 13-inch version with Touch Bar is getting Intel's 8th-generation processors and faster quad-core configurations with higher turbo speeds. Apple also recently expanded its Keyboard Service Program and made improvements to the repair process to reduce the amount of time it takes to fix butterfly keyboard-related issues.

Still, it's unclear if these minor updates will address the persistent complaints that have surfaced about Apple's butterfly keyboards in recent years. Apple also added a silicon membrane to the keys in its third-generation butterfly keyboard, as iFixit previously noticed, but some customers continued to encounter malfunctions.

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