I Want a MacPad!

Wasn’t Jobs still alive at that point in time?

It was a non-starter then.

The thing is, the Mac OS works fine w/ a stylus — I’m using a Wacom One on my MacBook as I type this, and if Rosetta née Calligrapher were still around, I’d’ve written it out using the stylus.

1 Like

I agree that a straight port would probably be bad. But I don’t really like MacOs anyway, so I’m not going to like it as a port to a smaller screen.

What I envision is more of a 2 part OS that is similar to what Windows 8.1 was trying, but even more separate. iPadOS while not docked/no mouse detected and MacOS Mobile or whatever they can make to still work for smaller ish screens when a mouse/dock is detected. Because, while I agree with @dstrauss that iPadOS actually does have more compromises than they’re willing to admit, it’s still much better than trying to reconfigure MacOS for touch in general. It would be nice if the thing that joins the 2 OSes together in this case is the file system, that is more like Finder and less like iPadOS’s joke of a file system. Being able to access the same files from a mobile version of an app, and a desktop version of an app on the same device would be amazing.

At the same time, back when Netbooks first came out and were all the rage, they were even smaller than the 11" IPP and ran a version of Windows that barely had touch as a thought. I doubt MacOS would need that many tweaks to get it to the point of useable in that form factor.

I agree with you that at the time Modbooks were compromises that people were willing to make for the benefit they got. We now have much better technology and a lot of gained experience in a lot of these fields. Apple has gained a lot of experience in their Apple Pencil with IPPs, and have had plenty of time to view the many ways Windows has attempted integration. At any time, they could make the hybrid OS I mentioned above, with touch and pen enabled power, claim they invented it and it’s the most unique offering of all time, and people would clamor for it.

And honestly, for me anyway, it wouldn’t even eat into their sales of Macbooks. I will still use a Macbook Pro for my work, or perhaps a Mac Mini at this point, and would use the MacPad where I use my IPP currently, for art and personal use. It would be great just to have a full file system on it and it not have the weird issues i have with my art files and OneDrive, for instance.

It’s not a MacPad by any stretch of the imagination, but apparently MacOS fits nicely on a 12.9" iPad Pro…


One more thought (that’s a lie): the more I think about this, the more I realize MacOS in a window would be better than dual booting as I’ve always demanded. That way I get FaceTime, iMessage, News+ AND Office!

Interesting. I didn’t think you could get Sidecar and Universal Control to work together like that.

“… I can move everything from my Mac Mini down to my iPad screen and turn my iPad into a portable touch and stylus-enabled Mac.”

No, not really. You can only use touch where Apple allows touch, such as pinch-zooming in a drawing area. You won’t be using your finger for UI elements.

“I’m not sure if this is a bug, or it is intended, but the folks at MacRumors do point out that both can be used at the same time.”

Since he has to make many attempts to enable them both at the same time to get it to stick I’m guessing it’s an oversight by Apple. But hopefully they perfect it rather than disable it in the future.

So it’s almost a MacPad if you’re within wireless range of your Mac, which might be good enough for some people. I know I’m pretty happy with simply being able to use Rebelle 5 on my iPad Pro 12.9 via Sidecar. Makes for an excellent pen display for that art application.

So this is in essence how I would be onboard. If Apple could find a way to relatively seamlessly switch between desktop Mac OS mode and IOS tablet mode I would respond with “Apple take my money right now”

In other words MacOs with what I believe would be a few minor tweaks to the UI such as a finer grained control of the display control “looks like” scaling would be fine on an 11 inch iPad with the magic keyboard attached.

Then,when I remove the magic keyboard, and/or start up the device in tablet mode I get the IOS interface. And I think it would be even acceptable if it takes a few seconds to in essence “redraw” the environment with each switch and ideally also have a way manually toggle between the two as well.

But the big qualifier to all of the above is that it allows me to use the same apps in either environment and not require any intervention by the user for document/data compatibility.

And that last strikes me as quite an ambitious undertaking, but if anyone is capable of pulling it off, it’s Apple and perhaps based on the rumors of touchscreen macs coming (though the rumors we hear is that it will come on a redesigned desktop iMac first) that may be what Apple has planned.

And in the favor of that possible outcome, especially since the unification of chip architectures across both iPad and Mac, Apple has been rapidly unifying frameworks and libraries across both platforms, most recently with for instance with Stage Manager having identical core display architecture.

BTW, I sometimes perhaps come off a bit strongly when arguing/discussing topics like this, so even when I don’t explicitly say it, it always has the qualifiers of IMHO and or what I want specifically.

And as my engineers know, I love to be proven wrong or change my opinion when presented with a solid fact based counterpoint. And one of the things I like about this board is that I get that, and hopefully return it as well when discussing topics like these. :grin:


The thing is, I think the iPad interface only really needs to kick in when touch is involved (but it’s been a long while since I used an iPad) — things which I remember working quite well:

  • text/cursor interface, and the mini window which would pop-up for text cursor positioning/details of selection and esp. the ability to “roll” one’s finger for fine positioning
  • detection of target — this seemed to almost always be right — to some degree it is helped by UI element size, but it seems to determine center of touch area with both high precision, and high accuracy

A stylus (and the odd touch/fingernail flick) worked well to control a Newton — Apple should revisit that UI research.

1 Like

I think that’s workable but the devil would be in the details. In other words, not so much in most parts of core MacOS, but in almost all of the major third party apps, the content is iIMHO borderline too crowded or dense to be navigated by touch and is even iffy by pen.

But in your scenario, Apple already has tech that could be deployed to facilitate this which is LIDAR which could be used to switch the UI to “tablet/touch mode” as the users finger/pen nears the display.

Of course the caveat there is that LIDAR is currently deployed on the rear but not front camera.

I am 100% with you on this. I think the evidence possibly supports that Apple is moving in this direction, but there have been many cases when evidence has been misinterpreted, so we’ll see. This is one area where Apple’s tight control over the apps in their ecosystem might be a pretty large benefit for them.

I will say though, the more I think about this, and where Apple is in the process, the more I realize the actual implementation is a long ways off. I think I’ll be sticking to a 2 device solution for at least a few more years.

1 Like

You are a great example for both…and your opinions are very much appreciated, despite my stubbornness…

Want to guess five (more years)…