I’m daring to believe we’re living in one of the best years for the Mac in ages. A recent report from trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo brims with rumors regarding everything from a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an “all-new design” to a 31-inch 6K standalone Apple monitor. There may even be a 32GB upgrade for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it looks as though we’ll finally be getting the modular Mac Pro.

But it’s that “all-new design” that intrigues me the most. Kuo didn’t offer many specifics, so I’ve allowed my imagination and wishlist to run wild. For the most part, I’ve left out hardware upgrades—such as a better graphics card (like the Vega)—and focused on the general user experience. With these changes, I believe Apple could recapture some of the wonder the MacBook used to spark in years past.

More ports! My kingdom for more ports!

I doubt we’ll ever see USB-A ports return to the MacBook (although, yes, I’d love to have at least one for emergencies). After all, USB-A is ancient; a relic from the days of CDs and flip phones. Apple is right to assume the versatile and smaller USB-C port should replace it, not least because you never have to worry about a USB-C cable being upside down when you try to plug it in.

macbook pro portsLeif Johnson

Would more ports make a new MacBook Pro more portly?

But at least give us more USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. The mere two USB-C ports on both the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air make it had for me to take them seriously as work machines. I tend to keep one of these ports stuffed with a power cable, and at the office, the spare port usually connects to an external Cinema Display. That means I need to unplug one of these whenever I want to use an SD card reader, wired mouse, or a wide range of other peripherals, and it’s maddening. That’s not “pro”—that’s a problem.

Three ports on all MacBooks would be an improvement. Since Apple is going big, let’s go ahead and wish for either a USB-A port or an SD card reader on the 16-inch Pro along with the four USB-C ports we’re familiar with from the 15-inch models.

Ditch the Touch Bar

The Touch Bar is a nifty idea that sounds great on paper, but in practice it’s needless and distracting fluff. It’s innovation for the sake of innovation. In many cases it complicates workflows rather than simplifying them. Apple should kill it and give us the old setup with escape and function keys, and the latest MacBook Air suggests Apple may be comfortable that direction.

Apple should limit any future “touchscreen” elements to the Touch ID square we find on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air keyboards, as it simplifies the act of logging in, entering passwords, and paying for apps.

macbook pro touch bar with function keysLeif Johnson

I didn’t even feel like resetting it for this photo.

I gave the Touch Bar a good go, but these days I keep it set to the digital F1-F12 keys. If Apple feels it needs to keep the Touch Bar, it should include both the Touch Bar and the function keys.