According to the most loyal Apple fan, two are the “dream products” Apple has in store: the iMac Touch and the MacBook Tablet. While we don’t know whether such machines would make for great innovations or terrible hybrids, the loyal Apple geek surely can dream. And it’s not that patents Apple is granted do anything to convince him that these products aren’t real.
As noted by Patently Apple, the much rumored and long-awaited MacBook Tablet showed up again in a patent published a few days ago. It’s a convertible MacBook / iPad-like device with a touchscreen and a physical keyboard, something that Steve Jobs could really describe as a MacBook hooking up to an iPad. Other patents Apple was granted include one for multi-touch scrolling behavior and the iPad’s virtual keyboard.
Dell is getting ahead of Apple in the convertible notebook market with its latest Inspirion Duo hybrid, and we’re not sure whether Apple will actually ship something like a MacBook Tablet in the next few years. It sounds cool thinking about some sort of MacBook Air with a touch screen, but, as usual, Apple patents are something the loyal Apple fan shouldn’t rely on.
A few weeks ago we saw the first screenshots of the next version of The Incident, which will allow you to mirror the game on your TV and control it with your iPhone. Admittedly, the iPhone can serve as a great “external” controller, even better than when you’re using it to control and play at the same time because you don’t have the actual game covered by your fingers. With a small multi-touch surface in your hands, the possibilities for TV gaming are endless.
The next version of Chopper for Mac, Chopper 2, will allow for a similar setup, although the TV isn’t involved this time. Instead, Chopper 2 will let you pair your iPhone with your Mac and control the game on your computer using the accelerometer and multi-touch technology on your iPhone. The demo video below gives you a brief preview of what’s coming, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Mac games that will be published in the Mac App Store will take advantage of this pairing technology or not.
What’s for sure is, the iPhone can be a great game controller. Read more
You’d think the iPad has a pretty large display. Think again. These guys are working on a 58-inch multitouch table that accepts connections from a jailbroken iPhone 4, basically a giant surface with just a 30-pin dock connector. 58 inches of multitouch goodness right under your hands.
Now, this could either be the most awesome hack ever or the stupidest thing some guys ever wasted their time on. The project is nearing completion and a first demo video will be shown in 3 days, but you can check out the mockups below.
Why would someone need something like this is a different story. Perhaps for digital ping pong. [Engadget via Table Connect] Read more
I bought an iMac about a month ago. It’s a great machine, it’s sexy and it’s powerful. Still, when I’m working on it I do miss one thing: they keyboard and trackpad configuration of the MacBook Pro. Having a full-size keyboard above the trackpad is undoubtedly more comfortable than having to constantly switch from the keyboard to a Magic Trackpad on its side. Placing the Magic Trackpad under the keyboard doesn’t help either as it’ll end up moving and sliding on your desk.
So what we have here is possibly the coolest gadget we’ve covered on MacStories in a while: the BulletTrain Express Keyboard is a solid aluminum platform that can embed a Magic Trackpad and an Apple keyboard, all in one single and ergonomic surface. Read more
Is The Mac Ready for Multitouch?
As good as I think Apple’s touch products are, I find it hard to believe they’d let the Mac grow stagnant, especially when sales continue to climb. The Mac may have taken a backseat to iOS products at WWDC, but it’s going to remain a core product for the foreseeable future. They’re not going to suggest you write iPhone apps on a Windows machine, if nothing else.
That’s why there’s some speculation—at least in the Gizmodo editor’s chat room—that the October 20th event could hold a big reveal for a new MacBook Air that includes some sort of new multitouch method, a flip-over touchscreen that turns the Air into a tablet. Instead of running iOS, however, the new Air would run OS X.
Something feels off to me about that idea. I have a hard time imagining that Apple would release a hybrid product that instantly makes current Macs feel outdated and makes iOS products like the iPad seem less powerful.
But at the same time, if Apple were going to experiment with bringing multitouch to the Mac, the Air would be the product with which to do it.
Joel Johnson over at Gizmodo argues that the Mac’s transition to multitouch technology is inevitable. I agree, but I think it’s in Apple’s best interest to keep product lines well separated and distinct. I frankly don’t see Apple releasing a “convertible computer” because the way I see it, Apple thinks compromises suck. They never liked “half & half” products. I may be mistaken (we’ll know on Wednesday), but I don’t see Apple ever shipping something like this.
If you read MacStories or any other Apple-related blog out there, I guess you’re all big fans of the multitouch technology. You know, that little patented thing that powers your iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macbooks. Gestures, that’s how we interact with our devices nowadays. And now a group of researchers of Arizona State University is telling us that our beloved multitouch might actually lead to musculoskeletal disorders.