Despite the increasing popularity of 2-in-1s, tablets, and touchscreen laptops, Apple still doesn't want to make a touchscreen version of the MacBook. Why?
Let Apple SVP of software Craig Federighi explain. In an interview with Wired, he says Apple still isn't thrilled about the idea of introducing touch displays to its MacBook lineup.
Federighi believes that putting a touchscreen on MacBooks is unnecessary because MacBooks are made in a way that the only thing a user is ever going to need are the keyboard and trackpad, and that the ideal way to use a laptop is to rest both palms on its surface — not to reach over and touch the screen.
Touchscreen MacBooks? Not Ergonomic
"We really feel that the ergonomics of using a Mac are that your hands are rested on a surface, and that lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do."
Ironically, most critics of the newer MacBook Pro models have argued that the Touch Bar — a horizontal OLED strip above the keyboard that displays different buttons depending on what app is open — is unnecessary. Not only does it remove the traditional physical function keys, it increases the overall cost of the device as well.
Apple's lack of interest in touchscreens is also why there's no touch-based iMac Pro.
Federighi also threw some shade at the Microsoft Surface line, calling them as nothing more than "experiments," which once again highlights the company's distaste toward touch-based interfaces for its laptop and desktop lineups.
"I don't think we've looked at any of the other guys to date and said, how fast can we get there?" said Federighi.
Cross-Platform iOS And Mac Apps
Aside from dismissing touchscreens, Federighi also gave a glimpse on how Apple plans to run iOS apps on Macs. That's right — soon, users will be able to open iOS apps on their MacBook, and the fact that Apple is speaking openly about this initiative is a clear nod to how it sees the future of apps.
But as one can imagine, such a move certainly raises a lot of big questions. How would iOS apps on Mac even work? If Apple is against touch-based Macs, how would a user navigate through an iOS app on their Mac? Is every iOS app included in this initiative? Will the fact that iPhones and Macs run on different chip architectures impact how apps run across both devices?
"In a lot of our core APIs, things like Metal, we've done the hard work over the years of making them run well on both Mac and its associated CPUs and GPUs, and on iOS," said Federighi.
Would you like to see a MacBook with a touchscreen someday, or is Federighi right when he says touch-based interfaces aren't ergonomic? As always, if you have any thoughts, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!