Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops are coming. Later this year the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro will launch, with an uprated processor, brighter screen, and a new design. For many these laptops will be different enough to upgrade, but if you have recently purchased a new laptop, or happy where you are and need something bigger, Apple’s plans aren’t going to stop with every laptop running Apple Silicon.
Apple is not going to stand up and announce any major changes to the macOS vision anytime soon, but anyone paying attention will realise that Tim Cook and his team are bringing two platforms closer together with every iteration of the hardware and software. Where the iPad and the MacBook were clearly seen as addressing different areas and use cases, Apple has been bringing macOS and iPadOS closer to each other over the last few years.
Taking the macOS platform away from Intel architecture and moving it to Apple Silicon has been a big change which has impacted the design, the software, and the delivery schedule of Apple’s deskbound computers. It has also moved the platform to run on the same silicon architecture as the iPhone and, more importantly, the iPad.
That will allow for a synergy of hardware and software that would be impossible on Intel.
Apple is promoting the ability to run iPadOS applications on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. That increases the addressable audience for developers, but also blurs the line between the two mobile computing platforms. And with iPad being the larger constituency, you can be sure that the tablet interface will come first, with compromises for the laptop coming later in the design process.
And the current iteration of hardware are working together smoothly with the ability to use the iPad as an extension of a Mac’s screen, and to have the Mac keyboard and touchpad work no matter which screen has the focus.
In all this, there’s one thing missing. One thing that would make the interface, the hardwares and the software have maximum compatibility. Touch input on the Mac.
Which is where Apple’s latest patent comes into play. Titled “User interfaces for devices with multiple displays” and granted earlier this week, it describes a number of potential user interfaces., and the one that caught the eye of the community has been the inclusion of a stylus. Yanko Design has taken the details in the patent, including the storage trench for the Pencil, to put together a number of computer renders to illustrate the new technology.
Of course the granting of a patent does not necessarily mean that the innovations will show up in retail units. Yet the direction of travel already shown by Apple is bringing the iPad and the MacBook closer and closer together. Starting at the core chips at the heart of each device, climbing up through the operating systems, and in to the application frameworks, it’s all moving in one direction.
Apple is taking every step needed to bring touch to the Mac family. A touchscreen MacBook Pro is on its way. And if that’s something you are looking forward to, you might not want to invest in one of the new MacBook Pro laptops that will be launched later this year. Something better is coming.