Why Apple Will By no means, Ever Create a Touchscreen Mac

Apple's M1 Macs seem to be a real revolution, offering a huge quality of life improvement to suffering Mac owners who have had to get by with mediocre performance on their expensive machines for far too long. But for all the praise, there was one complaint that just won't die: That Apple failed by not giving its latest Macs a touchscreen. However, this idea is not only extremely optimistic, it also has absolutely no bearing on how Apple thinks or what its users want. Can we all please bring this idea to bed?

There's a very good reason Apple will never make touchscreen Macs: they'd be an ergonomic nightmare. Constantly reaching for greasy fingerprints all over your screen not only disrupts your workflow when you move your hand away from your keyboard or trackpad, but it's also stressful and extremely uncomfortable in the long run.

But don't just take my word for it. Apple has repeatedly said it's a bad idea. Here's Steve Jobs speaking in 2010: "We've done tons of user tests and it turns out that this doesn't work." Contact surfaces don't want to be vertical. There is a great demo, but after a short while you start to get tired and after a long time your arm wants to fall off. It doesn't work, it's ergonomically terrible. "

Too long ago How about this from Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, a few days ago, “I have to tell you when we published Big Sur and these articles came out and said, 'Oh my god, look, Apple is getting ready before touch & # 39; I thought & # 39; Whoa why? & # 39; We had designed and refined the look for MacOS so that it felt the most comfortable and natural for us, without considering anything about remote touch. & # 39;

Apple's belief hasn't changed here. It is still believed that vertical touchscreens suck. It knows that smartphone touchscreens can be ergonomically flawed and has managed to avoid their pitfalls. Why should there be the reverse approach for Macs? If you think the company's perspective is about to change, you're kidding.

Missing the mark

Why do we keep hearing all these talking heads berating the company for not turning around and paving the way for the inevitable pain-related complaints? I think the answer is pretty simple: the trade press doesn't understand Apple or Apple users.

Here is the thing. We tech journalists are a minority. We are obsessed with the latest trends and fashions. If it's new and shiny, we want it. But spending so much time on high-end technology and new innovations creates a gap between us and the everyday people we write for. If we're not careful, we lose sight of what most people actually want from their devices.

And that's what seems to be happening here. If Mac users really want a touchscreen Mac, don't you think they'd talk more about it? Don't you think Apple would have done something by now? After all, it's been 10 years since Steve Jobs turned the idea of ​​a touchscreen Mac on its head – if the demand for one had increased in recent years, we would certainly have seen the results in new Apple products. Apple doesn't cover its ears here and yells at the barrage of demand – it does user testing and constantly collecting feedback, but has never found a strong desire for change. It just doesn't happen folks.

Two options, but neither are realistic

Microsoft Surface Studio 2Dan Baker / Digital Trends

OK, maybe the title of this article was a bit presumptuous. There are a few possible routes Apple could take with a touchscreen Mac, but they are niche and narrow and by no means guaranteed. In fact, I would say they are downright implausible.

The first is that Apple is bringing out a 2-in-1 laptop with a touchscreen. After all, many of the company's competitors have done this, and it removes (partially) fears of arm strain because you can use the touchscreen portion of the device as a tablet.

However, I would be extremely surprised if Apple ever released a 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop. Company executives have often said that if you want a touchscreen device, if you want a touchscreen device: the iPad. Apple's tablet is already a computer thanks to its incredibly powerful chip and range of Mac-like accessories. Why cloud the water and further confuse your customers by bringing out something that's wedged right between the already closed Mac and iPad?

The second option is for Apple to emulate Microsoft and launch a large, artist-centric Mac that looks and feels like the Surface Studio. A moveable, angled display is much better suited for touch input because you don't have to hold your arms up at painful angles.

Again, this approach seems unlikely. The Surface Studio is a niche product. How many people do you know who need a huge digital drawing pad and computer combo that starts at a cool $ 3,500? For the record, I'm not knocking on the Surface Studio – I think it's a really strong device – but its sales numbers aren't even remotely interesting to Apple. If you need a large drawing pad, Apple already offers it with the iPad Pro, which in combination with the sidecar function of MacOS can be used to draw on your Mac.

Let the dream die

iPad Air 4Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

After unsuspecting experts claim for the millionth time that Apple was wrong, wrong, wrong for not bringing out a touchscreen Mac, it gets a little exhausting. Of course, I know we'll do it again at the next Apple event if the comment class gets into another sincere rage over Apple's alleged "arrogance". None of this matters much, not to Mac users, and certainly not to Apple's bigwigs.

If you want Apple touchscreen devices, there are already some fantastic options out there. The iPad can do more than ever and can simply blow the competition away. And if you want a touchscreen laptop, there are plenty of excellent options including the excellent HP Specter x360 13.

But sometimes you just have to let an unrealistic dream die. For the remaining few who hold onto the idea that Apple will pull a rabbit out of its hat and bring out a touchscreen Mac, now is probably a good time to move on.

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