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View Full Version : Have Apple Been Preparing OS X For Touch All Along?




Mr Skills
Oct 20, 2010, 11:14 AM
Back when Leopard debuted, and everyone was wondering what on earth stacks were for, I suggested (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=4512545&postcount=1) that the big icons looked perfect for pressing with a finger.

Since then, the touch-friendliness of OS X has only increased. The large, finger-friendly interface of stacks has been augmented with scrolling (using an unobtrusive scrollbar reminiscent of iOS), navigable folders and back buttons (also in the style of iOS). Quicktime X has also appeared, with very iOS-like large, finger-friendly controls. And in adding new capability to the Dock (such as exposť), Apple has resisted the temptation to employ the right click - the clicking-and-holding method still allows for finger control. In addition, we now have inertial scrolling built into the OS.

There has been a lot of talk about an extra "iOS Mode" appearing in OS X, but I don't think they need a separate mode. In the Dock, they have an entirely finger-friendly springboard, and it would not take much for them to adapt the iLife and iWork apps to work well with touch.

This way, the basic, every-day uses of the machine would be finger-friendly for most people, and if someone wanted to do something more sophisticated or use an app that was not designed for fingers, they could just pick up a mouse.

I don't know if they will add touch capabilities in 10.7 (or ever), but I think it's pretty clear that their design decisions over the last few years (and maybe back to the design of the dock itself) have always kept in mind the possibility that one day they might want to make the OS touch friendly.



lbro
Oct 20, 2010, 11:17 AM
I would think they would go there in the future. But knowing Apple, it will be a few years because they want everything to be perfect.

Mr Skills
Oct 20, 2010, 01:46 PM
Well, with today's demonstration of Lion, with Launchpad, full-screen apps and Mission Contol, I don't think there can be much doubt where Apple is headed. Did you see iPhoto? When it's in full screen mode, it's completely touch-controllable - it even has popovers! Throw in some pinchable stacks (instead of rollovers) and it's ready to go.

Obviously, they will never admit it: the current hardware lineup would stop selling overnight. I predict that in a few months they will show off new computers with touch-sensitive, foldable screens (like their anti-gorilla-arm patent) and proceed to demonstrate how OS X is already prepared for Touch.

Andeavor
Oct 20, 2010, 02:07 PM
I don't buy their excuse of "people will get tired of keeping their hands upright". It's not like our fingers are glued to the trackpad or mouse, gestures can quickly be done on the screen instead of looking where your mouse pointer went. OS X Lion is already headed towards that kind of interface anyway.

But then again, they keep us waiting for at least 6 month before we get our hands on it and maybe, just maybe, they'll surprise us with touch screens.

Brien
Oct 20, 2010, 09:01 PM
Oh, after seeing full-window mode on the apps and all of the features of 10.6 and 10.7, they are absolutely planning on a touchscreen MacBook/iMac. It's inevitable.