199: The Touch Screen Mac
For twenty five years, we've been defining and redefining what a notebook is. And what a notebook can do. And today. We're going to do it. Again. It's twenty eighteen why don't we have multi touch screen max, the company line is that it's not gonna make that having to reach up and across to touch the screen of a MAC to get things done inefficient. But it's not about having to though, it's about being able to adding multi touch the MAC doesn't remove the existing keyboard or mouse functionality anymore than making smart keyboards for pad pro removed the taps and this wipes. So for real why isn't apple making multi touch max? I'm richie. Welcome back to Victor. Thanks for joining me. Again, let's dive into this. There have been third party attempts to make max if not multi touch than at least a little bit touch over the years, including the mod book which toward the notebook down and rebuilt it with the digitize her, but there's been nothing from apple nothing more nothing. Like, I mentioned in the MAC book video Lincoln, the description apple is a multibillion dollar company billion as in money in the Bank not trillion as in market cap and it can afford to explore prototype test and tweak any and everything bloggers, social media types, and YouTubers can imagine and often years before we can. Imagine them in the case of the multi touch MAC apple has said just as much over the years. Anything can be forced to. But the problem is the products are about trade-offs, and you begin to make trade offs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day, doesn't please anyone you can converge toaster and a refrigerator. But those things are are probably not going to be pleasing to to the user Steven Levy speaking with apple senior, vice president of marketing, Phil Schiller from the Organon standpoint, we have studied this pretty extensively, and we believe that on a desktop scenario where you have a fixed. Keyboard having to reach up and do touch interfaces is uncomfortable. I o s from its start has been designed as a multi touch experience. You don't have things you have in a mouse driven interface, like occurs to move around or teeny little close boxes that you can't hit with your finger. The MAC OS has been designed from day one for an indirect pointing mechanism these two worlds. Are different on purpose. And that's a good thing. We can optimize around the best experience for each and not try to mesh them together into a least common denominator experience. Steven Levy speaking again with Phil Schiller. This time for wired in two thousand sixteen following the release of the macbook pro with touch bar instead of a touchscreen with into the whole platform, if we were to do multi touch on the screen of the notebook that wouldn't be enough then the desktop wouldn't work that way and touch on the desktop would be a disaster. Can you imagine a twenty seven inch? I MAC where you have to reach over the air to try and touch and do things that becomes absurd. He also explains that such a move would mean totally redesigning the menu bar for fingers in a way that would ruin the experience for those using devices like the touch or mouse you can't optimize for both. It's the lowest common denominator thinking, apple Kim. This conclusion by testing if touchscreens made sense on the MAC our instincts were that it didn't. But what the heck we could be wrong. So our teams worked on that for a number of times over the years. We've absolutely come away with the belief that it isn't the right thing to do are. -stincts were correct Shara Tipton and kinda googly Elmo speaking with Apple's chief creative officer, Johnny. I for seen it at the same time. It's not because apple can't make touchscreen. Mac. It's because apple decided touch Unimak wasn't quote, unquote, particularly useful. And on the macbook pro which keeps getting thinner and lighter, it could be quote unquote, a burden and with Phil Schiller. Apple says, it doesn't have a problem with the Matt. And I Pat overlapping since each approaches tasks in a different way, they won't remove the iconic menu bar from the map desktop for instance, just as they'd never add it to the ipad. It's great to provide two different ways to solve some of the same things. But the also do very unique things at the other doesn't having them separate allows us to explore both versus trying to force them into one and only one model at apple we build prototypes around all sorts of ideas. So we certainly explored the topic deeply many years ago and had had working models. Grafting touch on something that fundamentally was designed around precise pointer, really compromises the experience. John hausky. Writing for BuzzFeed following Apple's new MAC pro tease in April of twenty seventeen. No Schiller said when asked if apple consider building such thing touch doesn't even register on the list of things pro users are interested in talking about. They're interested in things like performance and storage. Expandability lauren. Good speaking with Craig center reiki for wired in June of twenty when addressing my question about whether moving to MAC OS is a natural precursor to touchscreen max for the rookie told me he's not into touchscreens on and doesn't anticipate. He ever will be. We really feel that the erga nominee of using a MAC are that your hands are rested on a surface, and that lifting your arm up to polka screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do that. Are we added that he doesn't think the touchscreen laptops, out there today, which she referred to as experiments have been compelling? I don't think we've looked at any of the other guys today and said how fast can we get there? So on one hand when apple executives say, they don't like multi touch MAC is because there's some of the very few people in the world who've actually used multi touch max in the lab, it's not an idea or an. Abstract to them. It's one of the thousand things they looked at and said no to before saying, yes, the ipad pro on the other hand you have touchscreen, laptops, or laptop light products from Microsoft, Google, and others that a lot of attention from tech media and creative prose alike. But here's the thing. Apple executives are talking about the Matt as it is with an interface that goes back to Xerox PARC days to the next days to the foundations idealized around a mouse and pointer with tiny touch targets never meant for direct finger manipulation. Now, how do we do this? Well, we start with a strong foundation. Iphone runs OS ten. To bring multi touch to the Matt apple would have to redesign MAC OS, and it's interface to make fingers a first class citizen when it comes to experience and interaction the first problem there is the assertion that making things like the MAC minibar more touch friendly would force them to be less mouse and pointer friendly, the second problem is even if you firmly believe a compromise could be reached you still have to find the time and resources to reach it. It took Microsoft years to make windows touch friendly never mind touch equal or touch. I literally years in the desert through windows, eight to get to windows ten, but they had to do it windows. Mobile Microsoft's original touch based operating system didn't survive contact with Iowa's an Android despite frequent reboots compatibility breaks through windows mobile. Six point five windows phone seven eight it just hit a brick wall on phones and was never given a chance on tablets inspired a lot of the later more digitally authentic design of IOS and Android. Put it self never succeeded in the market, so Mike. Gra soft was forced to make traditional windows. Go touch Google by contrast is a far younger company and never had a traditional computer business or operating system to worry about it could by Android start work on a blackberry style device. See the iphone spin hard into multi, touch and go all in pretty much from the start. It could also take Apple's web kit. Make chrome fork web kit make blink and basically turn the browser into an operating system for a large swath of the increasingly web based world and multi touch web. Browsers have been a thing since afar on the original iphone like Microsoft, apple has traditional computer business with the MAC, and like Google successful multi, touch I mobile business with Iowa's. It could abandon the former and go all in on the ladder some analysts in the name of focus repeatedly calling apple to do just that. But there's no excess dential threat forcing apple to do it Justice revive the great interface transition of the last decade, it's already survived. It just fine creative prose. At least. Some of them are looking at products like the surface book and surface doodo with ABC. Lust in their hearts. They may be knee something that Microsoft's modular model makes easier because so many other vendors can fill the mainstream gap. We're only apple makes the MAC that can still crew mindshare, but maybe not enough to compel apple to act. The first generation of kids, though, the ones raised on pads are growing up. They're not touch immigrants like us, traditional computer user, folks, touched native, they expect screens to be like phones, I pads they expect them to respond to touch, and when they don't there's no consideration given to Ergen Amax or history or context, they simply think this green is broken. Apple no doubt believes anyone trying to touch well rapidly. Discover it doesn't work on the MAC compartmentalize the same way they do basketball from soccer rolls when it comes to hands and feet on balls and just get on with using both the way nature apple intended. But what if they don't nobody wants touch on a MAC once upon a time? Steve Jobs said nobody wanted video on an ipod. Then we got video ipods. Nobody reads books, then we got I books if you see a stylus you blue. Do it. Now, we have apple pencil like I said in the arm video for apple nothing unannounced exists and nothing apple hasn't done is worth doing until it is. We do have one more thing. We have great respect for these words, and we don't use them lightly. So let's say regardless of what the MAC market was. Or is the math market becomes a multi touch market. How could apple address that the easiest answer? Of course is to just run. I o s on MAC like hardware at least at the lower end. An IOS MAC book is something that according to rumors has been in the labs for years and MAC mini isn't hard to imagine either. Especially with apple getting back into the display business. If apple does what it previously did. And makes an IM AC and standalone version of the same display. It could feel a really interesting range of multi touch non max that would appeal to pad pro users and even those surface studio envy, but also want in value. More traditional clam shell box, all in one form factors that includes people who find additional computers off pudding, but also creatives who find multi touch increasingly essential, and yeah, they'd run on arm and haven't I o s on the mobile and entry level, end and Makowy. On the high end each with its own functionality wouldn't be any more confusing than having us on the ipad. Pro and MAC OS on the MAC pro some people might want real MAC OS on real multi, especially if they wanna go from the terminal to the finger and back, but the vast majority of people now and certainly going forward probably really don't and as gets more and more capable pushed by the ipad. Pro that'll become more and more true. And that's another easy answer as I had pro becomes more and more mature rather than being the touchscreen. Mac. It can become the thing that legitimately eliminates the need for touchscreen. Mac deluding device one that could run I o s in tablet, moat and MAC OS in. Nope of mode, would no doubt be compelling to some though the complexity of that idea probably punches every single toaster 'Fred alarm apples park. Likewise, a MAC book. That's still doesn't have touch on the screen, but has even more touch than the current bar the entire keyboard gone virtual what's essentially a MAC OS display standing up and what essentially an ipad pro display. When the could become a full on tap, dick keyboard or any control service, you need at anytime. You need it one. That uses proprio stepped of lies to fool your fingers and brain into thinking, it's real the way the first track pad does today. Yeah. It's Sifi right now. But it's always getting closer to science fact, and it's probably something to digital MAC users would hate even more than butterfly and domes witches. I mean, why else weans down to flatter and flatter keyboards? The harder answer is to start adding multi touch tobacco s harder. Not just because it would require solving interface problems like the MAC menu bar for multi. But because of the resources it would take to solve it. Yes. Even apple with billions of dollars in the Bank and a market cap that flirts in the trillions can't do everything at once not all at once. Just one constraint is engineers, apple needs engineers and designers to come up with implement test and deploy all the new code and all the new paradigm that would make multi touch max great product. There aren't that. Many top flight engineers in the world to begin with the ones that are not all of them are willing to work in Cupertino. Cal. Or for apple instead of company or start up with greater stock option growth potential and competition for the ones who do want to work for bigger companies in the valley between apple Google and Facebook is fierce even when apple is the first choice for those engineers working on MAC OS may not be not when some see it as the past and the upcoming reality OS or a Thomas technology projects the future, even though apple has some of the best engineers in the world. Putting the ones it does have on retrofitting multi MAC OS means those same engineers can't work on other projects including the next versions of us and a special projects come after that, which is a huge opportunity cost. Just like having those engineers work on the performance of dates for last year's IRS twelve meant new features like the rumor new springboard got pushed to next year. So it's easy for me. Or anyone Intech media say just add touchscreens to the MAC like all apple has to do is by touch later and slid under the glass, and then flip a switch, but we don't have to design and engineer the staggering amount of work that would actually have to go into making it all work. Apple could. Absolutely do it. But even if apple could do it much much faster than Microsoft with windows, eight and windows ten would it be worth losing a year on IOS two years while Google is plowing ahead with Android, and it's next generation underpinnings fuchsia. Would it be worth the cost that brings us to an even harder answer if briefly because I intend to go deeper into this future? Video Apple's own next generation operating system. There have been rumors of our west the reality operating system and may one day power apple glasses and other products to follow. There have also been rumors of titan of west little power. Apple's Thomas future, though, some of the ground you're aspirants behind that oil changed when apple refocused the project a couple of years ago. There's a future IOS and or MAC OS. Simply keep evolving having old mine rose like the plus file system swept up for new ones. Apia fess having demons rewritten frameworks redesigned, and otherwise you're after year step-by-step becoming what's next? There's also a future where rather than merge, MAC OS in Iowa or replace MAC OS with apple replaces them both with something new a next next. So to speak. That would be an incalculable amount of work way, more than retrofitting multi onto the MAC or adding full keyboard and track pads support I o s but it would also leave apple something far more interesting a new stack from Colonel to interface that is completely modern an input agnostic something that provides local authentication cloud connection and simply understands whatever input methods are available to it from keyboard to mouth to multi touch to the future. We're racing towards forget your toes to fridge, that's a replicator heart. But what if apple could make them at a little bit multi, touch, again, I realize way easier to say something like that then to be the person in charge of implementing it, but a compromise could be to give max touchscreen that enables gesture navigation, basically the same level of functionality the gestures on a magic mouse or magic track pad already allow, and then let people poke swipe and pinch the screen if and when they really want to flip up a page safari zoom into a map tap deposit. Play a movie that sort of thing now, obviously that could be a complete and utter mess. S if the MAC supports some gestures people could easily expect support complete full on multi, touch, and when they find out it doesn't it could seem every bit as broken as no touch at all. But it's also possible. People are smart and will adapt to the constraints and find it to be just a level of types that they need another option is adding apple Pensa port Toco s the pencil is as precise input tool as the mouse or track pad and could bring all the great pressure sensitivity and angle detection features from Pat Perot roaring onto the MAC, and because it's so precise MAC OS. Wind require the kind of finger friendly overhaul it would to support direct touch. And if apple did both gesture support for fingers and pencil support for pressure and precision that would lead to some pretty amazing computing experiences for MAC books to max, I mean, at least until the fully multi touch arm based climb shells and all in ones appear, right. That's the amazing thing about the future. It's filled with limitless potential possibilities. And if you wanna be part of that future, but you don't know where to start checkout brilliant. It's a great place to learn about the logic in theory behind coating. Algorithms artificial intelligence and more. Each course is interactive and breaks up complicated concepts into bite sized chunks to make sure you actually absorb the information strategy, which I really wish was used in traditional schools. All you have to do is hit up, brilliant dot org slash vector and get started today. Thanks brilliant. And thanks to all of you for supporting the show. It could absolutely be like net books apple ignores every trend every analyst and then releases new products like the MAC book air, an ipad that become the trendsetters, but it's harder to see touch going the way of the cheap cramped computing experiences. And the trends of already been set here. I pads helped set them any year. Now apple could surprise all of us at WDC and tell us MAC OS has been living double life one as a fully multi touch operating system. And it's finally ready to go public or that has gotten foam Ouch and track pads support and is all dressed up in fancy new clam shell all in one close or that. It's new reality is a Titanic new reality. And everything we've worried about in terms of Matt and multi touch was a colossal waste of. Time in the new next generation world. I want to ask you, what do you wanna see happen? And what do you think will really happen? Should apple bring multi can apple multi touch to the MAC hit like hit? Subscribe. And then hit up the comments below. And let me know. And thank you so much for watching.