Here’s a question to chew on for awhile. “If the iPad Pro has a keyboard, and it does, then why doesn’t the Mac have a touchscreen?” Apple claims there are all kinds of reasons, especially the user experience, but since both iOS and macOS are based upon the same Unix innards, why not do what Microsoft did with Windows 10?
When Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in 2007 he pointed out that it had OS X inside. Well, not really OS X in the macOS sense. After all, the iPhone was a touchscreen device, and the Mac is a traditional PC point and click device. Supposedly, much of what was underneath OS X’s exterior was in the iPhone’s interior, underneath the touchscreen user interface.
As a somewhat social creature I have friends, co-workers, and family members on both sides of the technology world. The light of Apple, and the dark side of Windows, Chromebook, and Android. Allow me to dispense with an Android comparison for the moment. This is about iOS on an iPad Pro with a touchscreen, and macOS on a Mac without a touchscreen. Most Mac users own notebooks and that seems to be the case with most Windows users I know. That’s not a scientific conclusion, but let’s roll with it.
Every notebook I know of– Mac or Windows PC or Chromebook– has a trackpad. Many new Windows 10 notebooks and Chromebooks come with a touchscreen, too, and some of those double as a tablet; the touchscreen detaches from the keyboard. For iPad, the keyboard is an add-on accessory.
Here are a few observances about the differences.
First, Apple touts the iPad Pro as a PC replacement, and often advertises the device with a keyboard, despite the massive touchscreen which gets used more often.
Second, Windows PC notebook users seldom use their touchscreen notebooks as tablets, despite Microsoft’s commercials to the contrary. However, I have observed that some touchscreens are used to zoom in and out of photos, to do some PDF markup, much as Mac users utilize the giant trackpad.
Apple’s executives and engineers say the user experience– notebook tablet hybrid with touchscreen– isn’t as good as an iPad and not as good as the Mac. I can argue against the latter, but not the former. Windows 10 is not made to be as touch-centric as iOS on the iPad or iPhone. It’s a compromise. With macOS, Apple provides some touch-centric gestures and options, but they are limited to the trackpad.
And, according to Apple, never the twain shall meet.
I understand the reasons, and there is ample evidence that notebook users with touchscreens do not use the touchscreens as a tablet the way iPad users utilize the device’s touchscreen.
But tell me the truth. Wouldn’t you like to have an $899 entry-level Mac notebook with a touchscreen and detachable keyboard running on, say, Apple’s A10X Fusion CPU architecture?
You know you would.