MacBook Air gets dedicated Dictation, Spotlight and Do Not Disturb function keys

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Apple has tweaked the function key layout on its new M1 MacBook Air, swapping Launchpad and keyboard brightness for Dictation, Spotlight, and Do Not Disturb.

The new function key arrangement was first spotted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and only applies to the Apple Silicon MacBook Air. Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 chip has a Touch Bar.

The removal of dedicated keyboard brightness keys means that users must navigate to the macOS Big Sur Control Center to adjust keyboard backlighting. Launchpad can still be triggered relatively easily by pinching a thumb and three fingers together on the MacBook Air trackpad.

The Spotlight search key will make it easier for users to carry out the systemwide search, while Do Not Disturb and Dictation appear to be aimed at digital health, productivity, and accessibility.

In addition to the swapped keys on the MacBook Air, Apple has also added the emoji globe icon to the function key on both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

Separately, both M1 MacBook models sport Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, bringing the laptops in line with iPhone and iPad and enabling faster data transfer speeds.

 
 

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