Rumor Has It: Multi-touch in the iWorks for Apple Tablet

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The New York Times reporting on tablets at CES offers up a tantalizing rumor concerning Apple’s imminent device, that the company has been developing a multi-touch version of iWork.

According to the New York Times, conversations with former engineers at Apple indicate pervasive use of multi-touch technology for the tablet that will require a “complex new vocabulary of finger gestures.” For example, opening an application might mean swiping downward and rotating multiple fingers—ouch. Considering the number of functions one performs with a mouse or trackpad and Mac, the potential for confusion—not to mention a new class of ergonomic injuries—makes you have to wonder how this will work.

The answer to that is FingerWorks. The company manufactured several keyboard and touchpad devices incorporating gestures before being acquired by Apple, including a membrane keyboard that allowed multi-touch input over its entire surface. That’s important because the New York Times spoke with another former Apple employee, one who said the company has “spent the past couple of years working on a multi-touch version of iWork.”

If this rumor is true, it would seem that Apple not only thinks differently, but is actively engaged in making that vision a reality, rather than waiting on third-party developers. If this rumor is true, and that “if” is huge, then the world of personal computing may be about to undergo a paradigm shift not seen since the GUI replaced the command line.

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