Tuesday, February 7, 2023

macOS Isn’t As Small As You Think

Matt Birchler (Mastodon):

I think Apple should add touch to Macs, and I think that this will allow them to not only make current form factors better, but it will allow them to create Macs that are more flexible, more powerful, and more accessible than any Macs before them.

That said, there are people in the Mac community who disagree with me here, and their number one concern is that macOS has a UI that is simply unusable with touch.


Again, all of these comparisons are being done at the default UI scaling mode. If you have less than perfect vision and boost the UI size at all, by all accounts, the UI on a Mac is as big, if not bigger than the same UI elements on an iPad mini.


There’s a narrative out there that touch is just so incompatible with macOS and that in order to make it work, the macOS UI would have to get blown up to comical proportions, but I don’t think that’s the case.

I think that’s right, but I would argue that it shows that macOS is not properly optimized for its form factor. Information density has gotten worse on the Mac over the last decade or so, as both Apple and developers have brought their iOS designs “back to the Mac.” It’s also happened with some iOS apps such as Music. Configurable font sizes are good thing, as they improve accessibility. But bulky designs and increased spacing everywhere reduce the amount of stuff you can see at once. In some cases, this just means a bit more scrolling, but it can also cause serious frustration and feel like part of your display has been stolen. Getting rid of title bars has negative consequences and doesn’t make up for the space lost elsewhere.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

The problem is with Apple repeating ad nausea "we strip away the chrome so you can see more of the content", but ignores that for content creation and development, the chrome IS the content.

I didn’t understand his point. IMHO there is a touch Mac already, it’s called iPad. I don’t see all the excitement around touch windows laptops anymore. Actually, I don’t even see people using their touch screen on a windows laptop unless it’s some kind of hybrid like the Lenovo’s Yoga or the Samsung’s ones, which IMHO tries to compete with the iPad, being an awkward chimera. I fear a touch Mac would just screw the computer UX like Microsoft did with Windows 8.

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