Apple executives address lack of Face ID and touchscreens on Macs
30th October, 2021 at 8:09 pm by Shreyaan
- Face ID and touchscreen input are two of the most talked-about features missing from the Mac.
- A pair of Apple executives spoke to this in an interview with Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal.
Face ID is one of the most common complaints about the Mac. Since the iPhone X's launch, some have wondered if Apple will ever bring Face ID to the Mac. Earlier this year, a report suggested it would happen in the future, but the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with the notch, as well as the lack of Face ID, have reignited the debate.
Apple's vice president of iPad and Mac product marketing, Tom Boger, explained to Stern that Touch ID is more convenient on the Mac because users' hands are already on the keyboard.
Users can easily authenticate by placing their finger on the Touch ID sensor in the upper-right corner of the keyboard. Face ID on the Mac, on the other hand, would presumably be even easier, as the Mac would unlock once a user looked at the display, similar to how Face ID works on the iPhone and iPad.
"And Face ID? When I stare at the laptop's giant notch, I wonder why I can't unlock the machine with my face. Mr. Boger said Touch ID is more convenient on a laptop since your hands are already on the keyboard."
The Mac's touchscreen capabilities have also been a hot topic of debate. The assumption has been that adding touch input to Macs would reduce iPad sales. Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, John Ternus, seems to agree, saying that it's not something the company has felt compelled to do.
"We make the world's best touch computer on an iPad. It's totally optimized for that. And the Mac is totally optimized for indirect input. We haven't really felt a reason to change that," John Ternus, Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering"
Ternus and Boger also answered more detailed questions about the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, as well as Apple hardware in general. Recent MacBooks have non-user upgradeable RAM, which means that if a user needs more memory than what came with the computer, they won't be able to get it later.
Both executives claim that Apple silicon's "unified memory architecture" allows for higher performance on Macs, implying that similar performance levels would not be possible without UMA.
Many features that Mac users loved were removed during the laptop's redesign in 2016 and were brought back in the new MacBook Pros. Apple has reintroduced additional ports like HDMI and MagSafe, removed the Touch Bar, improved the displays, and more.
Boger told Stern that Apple is always "listening to its customers," which meant it had to reverse some of its previous Mac design decisions this year.
Stern also reviews the new MacBook Pros in the full article, praising the return of more ports, full-size function keys, and other features.