Touch screen Mac?

Ever since the first iPhone, bloggers and pundits have wondered what it would be like if Apple actually baked an iOS emulator into a future version of OS X that supported multitouch displays. Something Dashboard-like, called up with a function key press. I bet it would look something like this.

What you’re seeing is a Dell ST2220T multitouch display, running the official iOS emulator. I see a couple of problems immediately with the proof-of-concept, though. The obvious one is the problem Steve Jobs has highlighted in past presentations: multitouch is meant to live on a flat, horizontal surface. Otherwise, it’s uncomfortable, and you get Gorilla Arm syndrome, where you are constantly straining your arm to keep it held up in mid-air.

The less obvious problem, though, is the noticeable delay in prodding something in the iOS simulator and it actually registering. It’s subtle, but the end effect is that it makes iOS feel like Android or some other, inferior touchscreen OS.

I’m guessing Apple would do a better job integrating iOS into OS X if they really had a mind to, but for right now, I’m happy they didn’t cave to the temptation of a mash-up a couple years ago. A lesser company would have.

By John Brownlee

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