Apple has extended an olive branch to Windows-using Mac owners. The company recently updated its Boot Camp utility to support the Windows Precision Touchpad feature on certain devices, as spotted this morning by Reddit user “ar25nan."
Windows Precision (opens in new tab) touchpad drivers offer a variety of gestures you can use to switch between windows, access the action center and open Cortana, among other things. It also enables basic functionality, such as two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom. Most of those features have a macOS equivalent, many of which use the same gesture.
Yet, until now Mac owners running Windows 10 via the Boot Camp (opens in new tab) utility were unable to take advantage of Windows Precision Touchpad. That’s always been a notable omission, especially since Apple places such emphasis on touch-based interactions with its devices. Even the company’s basic mouse (opens in new tab) was designed with gestures in mind.
That situation has finally been rectified…for some people.
Macs That Support Windows Precision Gestures
Apple said in a support document (opens in new tab) that Windows Precision gestures support is limited to Boot Camp users running macOS Big Sur on an Intel-based Mac that features its T2 Security Chip (opens in new tab). Anyone using an older version of macOS or an M1-equipped Mac is out of luck.
The list of Macs that meet these criteria is pretty short:
- iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020)
- iMac Pro
- Mac Pro (2019)
- Mac Pro (Rack, 2019)
- Mac mini (2018)
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020)
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
That might seem like a fair number of devices, but that’s only because of the way Apple is counting them. The actual list is just “Macs that were released between 2018 and early 2020.” Every other device—and versions of macOS released prior to Big Sur—will be stuck with the limited tracked options available before this update.
Here’s the good news: The limitation to Intel-based Macs almost certainly stems from the fact that Boot Camp doesn’t even support Apple’s custom silicon yet. Apple has said that it’s up to Microsoft to make sure Windows 10 on Arm runs on its new chips. Hopefully, support for Windows Precision touchpads will be there to greet it.
Either way, this should be a welcome change for the subset of Mac owners it affects, and it shows that Apple hasn’t completely abandoned its Intel-based Macs just yet.