This ‘hybrid Mac-iPad’ laptop and tablet will blow your mind

Federico Viticci at MacStories has done something that’s truly incredible, even by his standards. In his search for the perfect keyboard and trackpad combination for Apple Vision Pro, Federico came up with something even better: “MacPad.”

Using a combination of macOS, iPadOS, and visionOS, the outcome here is absurd – in a good way. Federico describes it as the “hybrid Mac-iPad laptop and tablet that Apple won’t make.”

When Federico sent me this story last week, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. He’d been talking about his search for an Apple Vision Pro keyboard and trackpad combination since before Vision Pro was even released.

Having watched Federico do a bunch of crazy stuff over the years, I knew some sort of Frankenstein Mac was the end game. What I didn’t expect was the integration with the iPad – but I should’ve known better.

As Federico writes, MacPad serves a few purposes:

  • It’s a keyboard and trackpad for my Vision Pro;
  • It’s a Mac with a detachable display;
  • It’s an iPad Pro with an external keyboard and trackpad.

He continues:

You know where this is going. These aren’t three separate devices: it’s one computer made of, well, two computers working together thanks to the magic of Apple’s ecosystem. It’s a Mac with an iPad display that I can detach and use as a tablet whenever I want; it’s an iPad that transforms into a Mac when docked. And, it’s the ideal keyboard and trackpad accessory for the Vision Pro.

In researching keyboard options for the Vision Pro, I ended up building the convertible Apple laptop-tablet that I so desperately want the company to make.

I don’t want to give too much away about what Federico has done here, so I’ll refer you to MacStories for details on the full journey. It’s a roller coaster with an excellent conclusion: “It all started because I wanted a better keyboard for my Vision Pro, and I ended up accidentally creating the Apple computer of my dreams: a Mac-iPad hybrid with two form factors I love, and none of the constraints of either of them.”

I don’t think I’m handy enough to create something like this on my own, but I find myself quite jealous of what Federico has created.

Sincerely, someone writing this story using Vision Pro paired with a measly Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, and TwelveSouth’s MagicBridge.

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