At WWDC yesterday Apple revealed that they are in the process of creating a framework which would let developers easily port iPad apps to MacOS computers.
When asked if this was a precursor for touch-screen Macs, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, was very clear this was not the case.
Speaking to Wired, he said he’s “not into touchscreens” on PCs and doesn’t anticipate he ever will be.
“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,” he said.
He also called current touchscreen laptops (which are largely Windows 10 laptops like the Microsoft Surface) “experiments” which were not compelling, saying:
“I don’t think we’ve looked at any of the other guys to date and said, how fast can we get there?”
While some may say Apple is just not inclined to do all the hard work necessary to bring touch to the Mac operating system, it is also true that touch is not a massive attractor on Windows, with the operating system still as usable or even more usable using a keyboard and mouse as by using the touchscreen. It is also true that with Windows 10 the development of tablet mode on Windows has taken a massive step backwards, such that if you wanted a first-class touch experience it is still better to buy an iPad to complement your PC than to get a convertible Windows 10 laptop.
That means Federighi’s reluctance to bring touch to Macs is a symptom of Microsoft’s failing – if the Windows 10 touch experience was better competition would force Apple to act even if they had philosophical issues with the idea.
On the other hand, Microsoft is believed to be working on a touch-first experience with the Andromeda shell for Windows 10, so Microsoft may eventually have something to blow our socks off … probably around the time Apple brings touch to the Mac.