With every update to iOS and macOS, it seems that Apple is one step closer to bringing the two operating systems together.
This is especially true now that the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini carry a new M1 processor with ARM cores that can run iOS and iPadOS apps natively.
Plus, the Big Sur aesthetic borrows some aspects of the iPhone and iPad interface – the buttons are larger, with more space around, which numerous sites noted would make them perfect for finger manipulation.
This has led some to speculate that Apple could launch touchscreen Macs , but according to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, that is far from happening.
Speaking to The Independent in an interview, Federighi denied this possibility:
I have to tell you when we launched Big Sur, and articles started coming out saying, ‘Oh my gosh, look, Apple is gearing up for touch.’ I was like, ‘Whoa, why?’
We had designed and evolved the look for macOS in a way that seemed more comfortable and natural, without even remotely considering anything about touch.
We live with iPads, we live with phones, our own sense of aesthetics, the kind of openness and lightness of the interface, the fact that these devices have large Retina displays now. All of these things led us to the design of the Mac, which we found to be the most comfortable, but it really has nothing to do with touch.
I’ve never been more comfortable moving between our family of devices as a user, which I do hundreds of times a day now, moving between iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and MacOS Big Sur. Everyone feels like part of a family, there is less cognitive load in the process of change.
It’s just that they all feel like the natural embodiment of experience for that device. And that’s what you see, and not a sign of a future change in input methods.
For years, many have been speculating that Apple might eventually introduce a touchscreen Mac computer.
After all, we’ve seen a number of Windows PC and laptop manufacturers go down that path, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched. However, according to Federighi’s statement, don’t expect to see a touchscreen Mac in the near future, if there is one.