App Store graphic revives wild speculation about touchscreen Mac
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Apple has downplayed rumors of a touchscreen Mac, but a new macOS Big Sur graphic on the App Store has revived rumors that such a device could be coming.
The App Store graphic, spotted by developer Louie Mantia, features a stylized human hand tapping on various widgets and user interface elements in macOS Big Sur.
why in the mac app store is there a human hand touching macos interface elements pic.twitter.com/51xyCDYCHB— Louie Mantia, Jr. (@Mantia) November 13, 2020
Apple has since removed the animation and the hand graphic and replaced it with a static image depicting the widgets feature in the new macOS update.
so... they removed the hand, and with it, the whole animation, it's just a static image now pic.twitter.com/zhDDUX9FZE— Louie Mantia, Jr. (@Mantia) November 13, 2020
However, as one would expect, Mantia's tweet picked up a bit of attention and reignited rumors and speculation that Apple is in the process of transitioning macOS to a touch-based user experience.
The macOS Big Sur update brings a complete visual overhaul to the Mac operating system that heavily borrows from iPadOS and iOS. That has led some people to believe that it's a first step toward merging macOS and iPadOS, or at least a step toward bring a touch-based UX to the Mac.
In an interview from earlier this week, Apple software chief Craig Federighi downplayed rumors that a touchscreen version of macOS was coming, and claimed that touch-based controls weren't in mind during the redesign.
On the other hand, Federighi didn't outright deny that a future version of macOS could incorporate touch support. And, in fact, Apple patented touch-based command systems for macOS earlier in 2020.