Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Real Reason for the Multi-Touch Switch

Steve Jobs and Apple have had me baffled in recent weeks with the release of the MacBook Air and "redesigned" MacBook and MacBook Pro series notebooks. The "redesigned" aspect includes higher minimum standards to ensure that OS 10.5 Leopard can run seemlessly no matter what machine you have.

The other aspect of design change is the inclusion of the multi-touch touchpad for mouse maneuvering. This is something I never understood. I have the iPod Touch and I am completely in love the multi-touch component of the screen. It allows me to scroll and modify the size and shape of windows and programs. It's an intuitive interface that anyone can pick and use (I truly mean anyone knowing that my grandparents could probably use it and they don't even know what an MP3 is!).

Now, tell me what exactly is the purpose of this on a notebook Mac? Why would I need to be able to use two or more fingers to scroll through documents and websites when I can just as easily click the down arrow with "clicking aspect" of a notebook touchpad or even more simply hitting the down arrow key on my keyboard? Anyone? Answers?

I literally found nothing in terms of definitive answers on this move for Apple and most definitely did not find a decent speculation.

Apple is doing this for a reason but what is it?

Then it hit me: this is for a future purpose and they are simply training all new Mac users for this future upgrade. My speculation is that Apple will be releasing a model of notebook and/or desktop Mac that will have an enabled multi-touch screen/monitor. This is the next step in terms of computing.

Doesn't it seem logical for notebooks? Notebook "mousing" has been an ever evolving entity. Moving from the original IBM "blue ball thingy" between the G and H keys to the classic touchpad to serial and USB mice and now the multi-touch mousepad. The only thing left is the multi-touch screen.

For the skeptics out there. I understand that there have been multi-touch screen tablet PC's and monitors for a couple of years now but they have been plagued with a series of issues and incompatibility problems that no one seems to be able to answer.

Apple is notorious for producing solid products from the beginning and I believe this is the next step for notebooks.

Prove me wrong!

Have a great day!

1 comment:

Chris W. Hansen said...

I agree that Apple has plans for multi-touch, but I do not agree that this functionality is useless on Macs.

I have one of the new MBPs with multi-touch and the gestures feel natural and easy in the apps in which they are enabled. You can do without them, but they provide a new level of interaction.

The real benefit will be when one is able to create new gestures, customize gestures and have them perform actions (i.e. copy/paste, launch an app). For example, swipe left/right could cycle through tabs or open windows, while swipe up/down could activate Expose. You can get a small taste of how great that is with the MultiClutch, though it is limited to Cocoa apps only at the moment. Given how well this works, I can't wait to see what Apple ends up releasing.