Correction: Apple’s MacBook Air multi-touch is not all software-based

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.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Island Girl” for the heads up.]


  1. I believe it is still likely. There is a big picture here, though. Currently, there are various Apple devices, with various UIs and OSs (iPod Nano/Classic, AppleTV, iPod Touch/iPhone, Mac). Apple is making a strategic, long-term effort to converge these around the multi-touch paradigm (where applicable; obviously, not AppleTV), and OSs are slowly creeping towards greater similarity and consistency (coverflow, multi-touch gestures, etc). More than likely, Apple’s (i.e. SJ’s) vision is to eliminate keyboard/mouse interface on all devices. They have already patented pressure-sensitive keyboard with ‘force-feedback’ type of response. This could be useful for emulating QWERTY keyboards for typing on a touch-screen, when absolutely necessary. Other than typing, everything should be doable by (multi)touching.

    Eventually, Apple will have everything work the same way: iPhone (multi-touch as we know it now, undoubtedly further refined), Macs with touch screens (from 13″ through 24″), as well as any further computing devices with screens. The concept of vertically positioned display will die. We will return to the way we had worked for centuries (millennia) – with our work laid out in front of us on a table/desk. Rather than using an interface where you press or move something (keyboard/mouse) in order to cause a change somewhere completely elsewhere (display), we will directly interact with our work, in a most intuitive way possible.

    Multi-touch is surely coming to the rest of the Mac line. Watch for new MBPs with it anytime soon.

  2. > We are unsure as to whether T3 misquoted an Apple spokesperson on this issue or whether PR was merely confused.

    The Apple “spokesperson” was probably an Apple Store sales person trying to sell the T3 author a MacBook before they are updated with the new trackpad.

    T3 guy at Apple Store >> You know… I need a new MacBook, but I want the multi-touch trackpad. Do you think Apple will release a software update for existing track pads?

    Apple Store employee >> It’s possible, but we’re not allowed to speculate about future Apple products.

    T3 guy >> So you, an Apple employee, think it’s possible. That’s good enough for me…

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