What Apple’s silicon chips suggest about its future

Not many developers bother to write their applications specifically for the Macintosh computer. But there are hundreds of thousands of iOS apps that can make those new Macs that much more valuable. It won’t be obvious that developers submit these to the Mac App Store so that desktop and laptop users can dive deep into the world of “there’s an app for that.” The only apps that can’t be instantly moved to Mac are those that access hardware found only on mobile devices, such as gyros and other sensors. (Developers can use an existing technology called Catalyst to do a job of porting those applications to the desktop environment.)

For me this heralds another change. For years, Apple has firmly maintained a clear distinction between iOS and MacOS: multi-touch technology on the screen. “From an ergonomic point of view, we have studied this quite extensively and believe that in a desktop scenario where you have a fixed keyboard, having to reach for touch interfaces is uncomfortable,” said Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, Phil Schiller. me in 2015, when I was writing about the iMac. A year later, when Apple introduced the touch bar on the Macbook Pro, it also made it clear that while Apple wanted to add iPhone powers like Siri or voice dictation to its computers, its laptop screens would not be compatible. “It certainly is not on the horizon at the moment,” he said. Officially, Apple still maintains this position.

But after seeing this year’s WWDC keynote, I now feel in my bones that Apple will eventually introduce touchscreens on at least some of its laptops, despite their insistence to this day that this move is not on the cards. cards. Let me list why: First, with the introduction of the same silicon infrastructure as your iOS devices, Macs will be ready for touch technology. Second, the aforementioned migration of applications from iOS to Mac. Third, with its iPad Pro, Apple is already promoting the idea of ​​lifting your fingers from the keyboard to slide and pinch a screen. When adjusted on its keyboard dock, the iPad looks a lot like a real laptop, and it has on-screen touch control. Finally, competitors are already doing it, and many users love it.

If Apple introduces multitouch technology on its laptops, it won’t be the first time the company has turned around and done something it promised it would not do. Remember when Apple said that no one wanted phones that were bigger than your palm? The explanation for the 180 will be one that Apple always loves to invoke for such reversals: We found out how to do it right.

The only question is: will it be safe to attend the Steve Jobs Theater when that day arrives? I pray that the answer is yes.

Time travel

In October 2015, while writing for Backchannel (then a Medium post), I got a rare look at the Input Design Lab where Apple develops its new Macintosh models. As part of that story, Phil Schiller gave me his Great Unified View of Apple devices: