Thursday, 1 December 2016

Apple Is Terribly Wrong About Touchscreens On Macs


For part of this week I've been using my MacBook Air - a machine that set the gold standard for laptops for so long and is only now, after almost six years on the market, starting to look like a tired design.

Internally the i5 processor and 4GB are more than enough to keep up with the sort of software I run. However in other ways it is as outdated as the landline telephone and public telephone box.

The reason is the absence of a touchscreen. Furthermore I can say with some confidence that the presence of the Touch Bar on the newest MacBook Pros is a very weak alternative that underscores just how desperate the Mac is for a full refresh.

For those days when I was using the MBA I yearned to have my super-flexible, touch friendly, stylus-toting Spectre x360 back.

The truth is that the MBA was least useful the one place I needed it to perform the most - in my lap. I couldn't flip it into a better orientation when reading and reviewing documents, I couldn't drag things around on screen to interact with them, every screen interaction required a trackpad action and there was no option to flip it round to tablet mode to write on the screen.

Nothing about the new MacBooks (Pro or otherwise) suggests to me that it will address any of these problems.

My gut feeling is that Apple is busy talking down touchscreens whilst it tries to re-engineer MacOS to support touch. When its ready it will launch the new touchscreen MacBooks as if no other touchscreen laptop ever existed before. It has form for this behaviour. It's only a matter of time, I'm sure. 

No comments: