Is a Touchscreen MacBook on the Way?

Jan 21, 2020

Ever since Apple released the first-generation MacBook over a decade ago, the Cupertino company has been reluctant to use touchscreen technology. Rather, Apple’s long-running line of iOS-powered laptops have relied on traditional input methods, such as a keyboard and mouse. That may soon change, however, as there’s new evidence Apple is planning to release a touchscreen MacBook in the near future.

According to Apple Insider, Apple recently filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a new method of touchscreen input. With that said, Apple’s new patent isn’t a conventional touchscreen display — it leverages the touchscreen capabilities of a smartphone for use with a MacBook. What does this mean exactly?

The patent explains how a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, can be used to control a MacBook. The user essentially performs touch commands on his or her mobile device, which are relayed to the MacBook. As a result, the MacBook itself doesn’t feature a touchscreen display; it simply leverages the touchscreen capabilities of a mobile device.

It’s not uncommon for people to use multiple devices at once. Apple says, however, that some of these devices are connected to poorly optimized displays or feature poorly ergonomic input methods. Apple’s new patent could solve these problems by allowing users to control a MacBook with their mobile device.

A user sometimes interacts with multiple devices to access content stored on or accessible through the respective devices,” wrote Apple in the recently filed patent. “However, some devices have or are connected to displays that are less optimal for viewing content. Further, the user is sometimes more comfortable with using certain input devices to interact with content.”

The new patent essentially allows users to control a MacBook using a mobile device. Once the two devices have been paired, the user can perform touch commands on his or her mobile device to control his or her MacBook. It’s an innovative idea that could revolutionize the way in which users control their MacBook.

Whether or not Apple releases a touchscreen MacBook remains to be seen. Regardless, though, the new patent certainly shows promise. In the United States, it’s estimated that 81% of adults own a smartphone. If Apple proceeds to make its patent a reality, it could open the doors to a new world of possibilities for the MacBook. Using a smartphone or tablet, users will be able to control their MacBook.

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