Skip to content


Could New Features in Snow Leopard be in Anticipation for a Touchscreen?

virtualkeyboard.pngCult of Mac reports that Apple has made some changes to the virtual keyboard in Mac OS X Snow Leopard that may be in anticipation for a touchscreen.

While before the option to display the virtual keyboard was under the little-used “International” tab in System Preferences, in Snow Leopard it can also be found in the newly created “Keyboard” tab, which was previously combined with the “Mouse” tab. Cult of Mac suggests that the move was made to make the virtual keyboard more easily accessible and present it as a viable alternative to a physical keyboard.

Snow Leopard has also made changes to how the virtual keyboard looks and functions. While the old keyboard was small and did not include any of the keys to the right of the return key (fn, delete, home, end, page up and down, and the numpad), the new keyboard can be enlarged to a much greater size and includes all of the keys found on a physical keyboard.

There has been speculation about whether Apple would choose to use the iPhone OS, Mac OS X or something in between on a tablet computer. If it wanted to use Mac OS X, an update to the virtual keyboard would have been necessary to make it useable and this update has achieved that. The more accessible placement of the virtual keyboard option under “Keyboard” may also indicate that Apple is promoting the option as an alternative to a physical keyboard. It is, however, also very likely that the improvements made to the virtual keyboard are not related to plans for a future touchscreen device and putting the option for a virtual keyboard under “Keyboard” makes sense even if Apple does not intend to promote it as an alternative.

Posted in Tech.

Tagged with .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.