Continuing with this usability musing on possible touch-based MacBook, Jack Wellborn writes in response to an article by Federico Viticci:

The Mac was also built for a mouse, and while I would argue macOS is more usable than Windows, there is no getting around the fact that controls optimized for pointers are inherently unfriendly to touch input. It’s foolishly optimistic to think that Microsoft or even Apple can make pointer interfaces as touch friendly as iPadOS without also destroying the very thing that makes them more productive than iPadOS — information density. Smaller controls means these platforms can disclose more information and interactivity to their users at once. That’s why a bunch of windows on even a 11″ MacBook Air feels natural while only four windows on a “large” 13″ iPad feels ungainly.

Conversely, it’s impossible to make iPadOS more information dense without sacrificing the very thing that makes it the best tablet OS — touch friendliness. iPad users want more information on screen because that will help them be more productive, but the only way to present more information in iPadOS without sacrificing touch friendliness is a larger display. Not only is a larger display not portable, iPadOS’s support for larger displays still sucks. There’s nothing Apple can do about large displays not being portable, but better support for larger displays? That’s a problem Apple can solve. Source: Touchability, Productivity, and Portability — Pick Two – Worms and Viruses

I couldn’t put my finger on it (pun intended), but this article brings up an interesting point that might explain something I couldn’t do myself: The size of controls in a user interface largely dictates information density. Many longtime Mac users decry the iPadification of its UI. I’m not one of them but I value information density a lot.