Apple design chief talks MacBook Air midnight color inspiration, more

The new M2 MacBook Air is set to go on sale this Friday. With its first redesign in years, this machine features the second generation of Apple silicon and a lot of inspiration from the 2021 MacBook Pro. In a new interview, Evans Hankey, Apple’s vice president of industrial design, talks about the new MacBook Air and its development.

For GQ Magazine UK, Hankey reveals the inspiration behind the new midnight color for the MacBook Air. While it was first rumored that this machine would feature lots of new colors, just like the M1 iMac, we all know that Apple focused on only one new sober color: midnight.

“So that one came from the volcanic rock Basalt,” says Hankey. “Do you know this rock? My dad was a geologist.”

Evans Hankey has been in charge of Apple’s product design after Jony Ive’s departure from Apple in 2019. While his contract with the Cupertino company just ended, it’s important to highlight how Hankey was deeply involved with all Apple products has been releasing ever since.

It’s a workload that she compares to “drinking from the firehouse” but even accounting for that vast portfolio of responsibilities, the Air’s redesign has been a unique challenge. “It was the first time we ever set out to do a family of products together,” she says. “We didn’t design the Air in isolation, but we designed it in tandem with the MacBook Pro.”

global PC market |  M2 MacBook Air shown in Midnight

In the quote above, it’s important to see how Apple is making the language of its notebooks more similar. Although the new MacBook Air doesn’t feature a miniLED display or ProMotion technology, it has a notch that houses a new 1080p camera. Apart from its Thunderbolt ports, Apple also added the MagSafe charger to the computer. Different from the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro, the new Air model, with its fanless design, should last as long as its previous iteration with up to 18 hours of battery life.

Both Hankey and Kate Bergeron, VP of hardware engineering, talk about how the MacBook Air has always been innovative since Steve Jobs introduced it back in 2008.

“It has always been a product where it’s a bit provocative,” says Hankey, Apple’s vice president of industrial design. “The first MacBook Air started in the studio when we put display housings together from what I guess would have been the PowerBook at the time.”

“If you go back, that product was world-changing in the sense of shape, but it wasn’t going to be the computer for everybody,” says Bergeron. “It was the computer for people who were like, ‘I absolutely need portability.'”

While the MacBook Air once was just for portability, it now has all the features it needs to be most people’s computer. With an everlasting battery, powerful chip, and beautiful design, it makes sense why people are already facing shipment delays during the pre-order period.

You can read the full interview here. Are you excited about the new MacBook Air? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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