Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Pro could go multi-touch via simple software update

“An Apple spokesperson has told T3 that the MacBook Air’s multitouch track pad is software, not hardware, based,” Joe Minihane reports for T3.

“This means that rather than having to lash out on a new lappie to have access to all that touch-based goodness, owners of standard MacBooks and MacBook Pros could potentially download an update to give their kit a multitouch makeover,” Minihane reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If true, we hope Apple will soon add MacBook Air’s multi-touch capabilities to existing MacBooks and MacBook Pros which already feature two-finger scroll, horizontal scrolling, zooming, and secondary (right) clicking via their Trackpads.

UPDATE: 4:25pm EST: Chris Foresman has updated Ars Technica’s article regarding their coverage of T3’s claim that MacBook Air’s multi-touch was 100% software based which would have meant that MacBook and MacBook Pro units could have be given extended multi-touch capabilities via a simple software update:

It appears as if the original article at T3 was likely taken down because it was incorrect. As we learned from the iFixit teardown of the MacBook Air, it makes use of the same dedicated multi-touch chip as the one found in the iPhone. We are unsure as to whether T3 misquoted an Apple spokesperson on this issue or whether PR was merely confused. Either way, we still believe that Apple plans to put larger multi-touch trackpads in its other Macs!

Full article here.

41 Comments

  1. As the MacBook Air does have the largest trackpad to date it would make sense that some tweeking would have to be done for it to work as invisioned on MacBook and MacBook Pros smaller diameter track pads. Personally, I own a MacBook Pro and I can’t wait to have access to this cool feature. I could see why they would wait as it is a feature that sets apart the MacBook Air and it makes sense they would like to capitalize on it to boost future sales in the near term and releasing an update to other laptop model owners within a few months time.

  2. due to sarb-ox accounting laws, Apple may have to charge a nominal fee for this. Think $2.99. The $20 for the ipod touch was more because it was adding a lot of features.

    This is exactly why apple chose to account for the iphone in a different way. So that they can add major changes that they knew were coming (but not yet ready) without charging for them.

  3. I have to ask, if its just a software update, why hast a third party come along with an app to add the functionality?

    Also, does it really matter? I played around with the multi touch on the AIR and found that it was not that helpful in most situations

    Just my two cents.

  4. They charged $20 for the Touch update because Sarbanes-Oxley forced them to charge something for it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes-Oxley_Act

    IF they upgrade existing computers to multitouch ,they will charge for it.

    But it’s a big if. Apple is in the business of making serious money. More likely they will update the MacBook Pro with a larger trackpad and multi-touch, and if you really want it, you have to buy a new machine.

    Unless, of course, someone supplies a hack to unlock the feature a la screen spanning doctor, which unlocked extended desktop for iBook owners.

  5. I agree with Z-Money. As far as charging a bit extra, cool. The thought of making my new 17″ MacBook Pro that much more fun makes me warm and squirmy. Good gravy if we can afford one of these wonderful machines isn’t even $20 a nominal fee to add such a great feature? Don’t buy a mocha for one day a week for the next month. Perspective folks perspective. The 20 for the iPod Touch update was well worth it. Wait until you can afford it you can’t.

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