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Apple reportedly testing Macs with Face ID and touchscreen displays

Published Feb 11th, 2019 7:06PM EST
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A recent report said that Apple will launch the AirPods 2 this spring, and that the new wireless headphones will be more expensive than their predecessors. The report detailed the upcoming AirPower wireless charger as well, also set for a spring release, and offered an unexpected tidbit about the Mac line. Apparently, Apple is testing Macs with Face ID and touchscreen displays, although it’s unclear when these devices will launch, if ever.

After bringing Face ID to the iPad last year, Apple is expected to do the same thing with the Mac line down the road. Face ID would certainly be a better unlock mechanism for laptops and desktops than passwords or fingerprints. As for touchscreen displays, Apple said quite a few times that it has no intention of bringing touch support to macOS laptops and desktops.

On the other hand, we do know from Apple that future versions of macOS should be able to run iOS apps from the App Store. Those iPhone apps were created with a touch interface in mind, so maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising to hear that Apple is testing touchscreen Macs.

That said, MySmartPrice buried this gem at the end of an extensive report about the AirPods 2 and AirPower:

In addition to the new AirPods 2, Apple is currently testing Macs with Face ID as well as touchscreen displays. However, you shouldn’t expect a new Mac with Face ID to launch anytime soon. The current prototypes with Face ID and touchscreen are only meant for internal testing.

That’s all the report said, but all the information in it came from a trusted source familiar with Apple’s plans. That source said the AirPods 2 will have the same design as their predecessors, but they will come in black and white, complete with a new coating for improved grip. Furthermore, the report said the new AirPods will have more sensors on board, likely packing health-related features. Finally, the new AirPods will have the same battery life, but the wireless case will feature a smaller battery than before. AirPods 2, the source said, will cost around $200.

The report also noted that the AirPower wireless universal charger will cost $150 and that it’ll be slightly thicker than initially expected, because of its 8-7-7 coil configuration. The accessory will deliver “exclusive features” that were not detailed, in addition to wireless charging, but they’ll require iOS 13 or later. Finally, TV commercials are being filmed for the new product.

As you can see, this trusted source provided plenty of information about two upcoming Apple products, including details that weren’t part of previous leaks. If all this pans out, then it might mean that Apple is indeed working on Macs with support for Face ID and Macs with touchscreen displays. Then again, Apple keeps testing and inventing plenty of technologies that do not make it into commercial products — just look at the large number of patents that Apple receives every year.

Other Mac-related rumors did say that Apple is working on ARM-powered Macs that would pack A-series chips instead of Intel processors. So Apple is indeed looking at various innovations for the Mac. That said, it’s unclear at this time which Mac models will see updates this year, and whether any significant changes are in store for existing Mac and MacBook lines, other than the expected processor updates.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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