“Keyboards are important,” Jason Snell writes for Macworld. “Apple clearly thinks to, too, because in recent weeks there have been reports about several new Apple patents regarding keyboard technology. From those patents to the controversial innovations that drove the latest generation of MacBook keyboards, Apple’s continues to push the boundaries of text input.”

“While Apple has received a lot of criticism for the feel of its new-generation MacBook keyboards, the more serious problem has been a general sense that the design is unreliable because any stray crumb or fleck of dust can cause keys to stop functioning,” Snell writes. “When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, he spent a long time explaining why Apple had chosen to replace the physical hardware keyboard common on phones at the time with a touchscreen-based keyboard.”

“Would Apple consider one day replacing the physical keyboard with a touchscreen?” Snell writes. “When you look at another recent patent filing, it’s clear that Apple has at least investigated the possibility of turning the traditional laptop into a two-screen device.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When the Apple’s software, Taptic Engine, and other innovations can provide the necessary tactile cues – as Force Touch trackpad and Magic Trackpad 2 do already – we’re all for it!

The problem is… these control buttons that are fixed in plastic and are the same for every application. Well, every application wants a slightly different user interface, a slightly optimized set of buttons, just for it. And what happens if you think of a great idea six months from now? You can’t run around and add a button to these things. They’re already shipped… It doesn’t work because the buttons and the controls can’t change. They can’t change for each application, and they can’t change down the road if you think of another great idea you wanna add to this product. Well, how do you solve this? Hmm. It turns out, we have solved it! — Steve Jobs, unveiling the iPhone, January 9, 2007

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