MacBook Pro: internally, Apple explains what the silicone membranes of the new keyboard are really for

Now almost as silicone as a reality TV star, the 2018 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard has the advantage – according to Apple – of making significantly less noise than its predecessor when typing. A pious lie from the firm to the apple if we are to believe a document sent internally to employees in charge of after-sales service.

Discovered in preview by iFixit specialists, the addition of a silicone membrane under each key of this third version of the butterfly keyboard, would not have the sole objective of making it quieter. If we believe a document distributed internally by Apple (document leaked by MacRumors ), the purpose of this improvement would be above all to limit the entry of foreign bodies under the keys as much as possible. A problem that is currently costing Apple a lot on its MacBook and MacBook Pro 2016 and 2017.

MacBook Pro: internally, Apple explains what the silicone membranes of the new keyboard are really for

If we ask Apple why silicone membranes have been added to the butterfly keyboard, the firm will answer that it is to limit noise. Hmm… that's not entirely wrong, but it's not entirely true either.

If the news is not a shattering revelation in itself, it is actually Apple's communication on this matter that leaves much to be desired. Rather than recognize that butterfly keyboards are particularly vulnerable to everyday grime – and that is why protective membranes have been added to the new keyboard – the firm prefers to hide behind the argument of a butterfly keyboard quieter. In terms of comm ', we will have seen more frank.

Apple is walking on eggshells with its butterfly keyboards

The keyboard has membranes installed under each key to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism ,” Apple says in the internal document released by MacRumors, “ the procedure for replacing the space bar has also been changed. Documentation for repairs and service videos will be available when parts are shipped, ”we also learn.

There are therefore two weights, two measures at Apple. On the one hand we explain to the customer that the new keyboard is quieter (being careful not to specify for what reason), and on the other hand we admit internally that the addition of membranes serves above all to avoid entry debris in the mechanism.

It must be said that if the brand has finally agreed to come out of its denial by offering a 4-year warranty extension to holders of MacBook and MacBook Pro 2016 and 2017 (precisely because of the rumors around blocked keys, or other similar problems ), publicly acknowledging that the butterfly keyboard deserves a substantial improvement is a step that Tim Cook's teams do not seem ready to take yet.

For now – officially at least – the first two versions of the butterfly keyboard aren't victims of a large-scale design flaw. In the face of its customers, the brand's posture seems to be to have seen nothing, heard almost nothing, and hardly said anything… After all, that is always better than a class action, right?

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