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macOS Isn’t as Small as You Think

Interesting comparison of macOS and iPadOS interface elements by Matt Birchler:

I will say that there are certainly some macOS UI elements that could be tricky to use with touch, but I think they’re the exception, not the rule. Still, Apple will certainly make some UI changes to accommodate touch as an officially-supported input method on the platform.


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. Changes will be made, but I think macOS is more touch-friendly today than many people give it credit for.

I don’t disagree, and count me among those who think Apple should consider bringing touch support to the Mac.

I’ve seen this argument regarding the concern of “blowing up” the macOS UI in recent years too, and I think it’s shortsighted. Look no further than the iPad Pro: in a single device, Apple was able to let touch, pointer, and now even hover interactions coexist. Even without display scaling, I don’t think iPadOS has a comically large interface, as some believe.

There is a lot of work to be done to achieve a similar kind of input balance on macOS (think of all the elements that haven’t been redesigned in recent years, like drag controls for windows; the list is long), but it is possible, and I hope Apple gets there in the near future.