Apple files patent for dual-mode iMac touch

I've long dreamt of a world where, instead of launching Front Row's movie interface or DashBoard's widget screen on a Mac, I could just launch a version of iPhone/iPad's iOS and use all my existing apps and games -- and a newly discovered Apple Patent for a dual-mode iMac touch shows Apple might one day may that dream come true.

Or not. As with any patent there's no way of knowing which will ever end up as real shipping products and which will live on only as doodles and descriptions. However, Apple is moving inexorably towards iOS and multitouch so perhaps this one has a shot?

What do you think? Is a world where you can slide away your keyboard and mouse Magic TrackPad, flip down Mac OS X, and start multitouching your way through IOS a world you want to live in?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Think third generation os (multi-touch) and Apple's penchant for bringing revolutionary new os concepts to life and you'll know this is a very viable step in the process that started with the first iPhone. User testing with prototype devices like this will determine the product we end up seeing.
  • I think it's just a fake rumor and it will never happen :(
  • Epic win. If Apple released it, I would probably be in line on launch day. A computer that could sit on my desktop, but offer touch compatibility AND become the equivalent of a Cintiq sketch tablet when I need it? Yes, please!
  • I like the iPad keyboard, but I could never see myself banging out a 25 page graduate seminar paper on a touch keyboard. I don't see how Apple or anyone is going to break away from that.
  • Al, Don't think you wouldn't have to with this set-up--you run os X with keyboard (if you want) and when folding the screen it kicks into iOS mode. The patent also calls out macBook design.
  • I'd rather see this with a MacBook. kinda like those swinging tablets. MacBook when open like a laptop and then iPad when flipped around. best of both worlds if you ask me.
  • I like it :-) - a lot. I think that we will see this for iMac and Macbook. To address some concerns, I think it could easily just use a physical keyboard as well - the iPad/iPhone does now. Also, I hope they make the iMac somewhat more adjustable like the G4 (I've got a broke one I'm trying to fix). The desk our iMac on is about normal size but the iMac is just too high. I bet w/in ten years we see all this, if not sooner. It would blow the competition out of the water. Dell has a touchscreen notebook now but you don't hear news headlines about it. Here's to hopin'!
  • iOS is WAY to immature to consider this right now. You can't even share files easily between applications right now. With this design there would have to be a mechanism for two operating systems to share files. I'll be excited for this product in two more iterations of iOS.
  • This would be amazing! I am hoping it happens soon, I want one for my retail shop that uses it as a POS.
  • sweeeeeeeeeeeeet concept, desktop-only computers should die already.
  • While very cool, I wouldn't expect to see this anytime soon. We haven't even gotten an iPod touch with a camera yet.
  • There does exist clearly an important bunch towards realize relating to this. As i assume you have made various decent factors through features furthermore.