Is Apple Planning on Converging Mac OS X and iOS Into One OS?

http://www.applegazette.com/os-x/comes-os-x/

http://www.applegazette.com/os-x/comes-os-x/

 

Recently there have been rumors of what the new Mac OS will look like in the future. Since the introduction of the iPhone, one argument that always comes up is that Apple should merge its desktop and mobile operating systems into a single product. Whether Apple will move to merge the operating systems or keep iOS and Mac OS X separate has become a heated topic with different reports of what may become of the Mac OS.

 

Touchscreen iMac

 

 

Jason Snell with Macworld recently interviewed Apple’s Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and Bud Tribble about Macs past, present and future.  A topic of interest that Jason touched on with the Apple executives was the prospect of converging iOS and OS X.  Craig Federighi senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple responded to this rumor by stating:

“It’s obvious and easy enough to slap a touchscreen on a piece of hardware, but is that a good experience?  We believe, no.”[1]

 

iPad Mac Book

Philip W. Schiller senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple added, that he believes it would be a waste of time to make iOS and OS X merge together to create one interface.  Shiller also stated that Apple does try make the user experience that use both Macs and iOS devices as seamless as possible.  One example is the messaging and calendaring apps having the same name on both OS X and iOS to prevent confusion.  [2]

 

http://infotous.com/windows-8-1-vs-mac-os-x-mavericks/

http://infotous.com/windows-8-1-vs-mac-os-x-mavericks/

 

This contradicts what Microsoft and Google are doing with Windows 8 Surface products and Google’s touch-enabled Chromebooks. Microsoft has always championed the idea of running the same operating system regardless of the type of device you are using.

 

Apple on the other hand has always maintained two separate and different operating systems:

  • One for the iPads and iPhones
  • The other for the Mac computers

 

http://www.wpcentral.com/apples-ceo-tim-cook-has-dig-microsofts-windows-8-pc-and-tablet-convergence

http://www.wpcentral.com/apples-ceo-tim-cook-has-dig-microsofts-windows-8-pc-and-tablet-convergence

 

Federighi explained why Apple continues the different OS per device type trend:

The main reason to keep the different OS’s separate is because using a mouse and keyboard just is not the same as tapping with your finger.

 

Federighi continued saying that a MacBook Air screen, “has been honed over 30 years to be optimal” for using keyboards and mice. Schiller and Federighi both stated that Apple believes using a touchscreen on a PC or a clamshell keyboard on a tablet will not create the best user experience.[3]

 

There has also been opposite claims that Apple is currently working on an “iAnywhere” operating system. This OS would allow a dock to transform a tablet into a full-blown workstation desktop computer designed for the professional-user market.

Mac iAnything

Marco Tabini a developer for Apple in a recent article stated that merging iOS and OS X into a single platform would not be an easy task while still maintaining the level of polish Apple usually does all its products. Tabini continues that the operating systems are basically the same product where it matters for the user experience.  Both iOS and Mac OS X are based on the same software and share a large number of frameworks that can be used interchangeably on either a Mac computer or an iPhone / iPad.  [4]

 

Mac Computer iPad and iPhone

 

Other interesting points that Marco Tabini makes in his article include:

  • Although Apple may have the resources to build an “iAnywhere” operating system, the majority of software developers that develop apps for the App Store would not be able to keep up, especially at the price points that users now expect for this kind of software.

mac apps 2

  • Apple is likely to continue moving away from an integrated user experience and iOS and OS X will continue to share those components that are beneficial to both platforms while keeping specialization for those that results in a better user experience.

 

  • Rather than designing a dock that transforms tablets into desktops, Marco anticipates that Apple’s engineers will focus on producing more powerful hardware and better data synchronization, making the switch back and forth between the platforms as seamless as possible.[5]
Mac iCloud Syncing

We will have to see what Apple does with future OS designs and there are already reports of what the next OS X will be like.


[1] Gurman, Mark. (January 27, 2014). Apple Execs Say iOS and OS X Won’t Merge, and 10.10 Will Prove That. In 9to5Mac. Retrieved Feb 16, 2014, from http://9to5mac.com/2014/01/27/apple-execs-say-ios-and-os-x-wont-merge-and-10-10-will-prove-that/.

[2] Gurman, Mark. (January 27, 2014). Apple Execs Say iOS and OS X Won’t Merge, and 10.10 Will Prove That. In 9to5Mac. Retrieved Feb 16, 2014, from http://9to5mac.com/2014/01/27/apple-execs-say-ios-and-os-x-wont-merge-and-10-10-will-prove-that/.

[3] Gurman, Mark. (January 27, 2014). Apple Execs Say iOS and OS X Won’t Merge, and 10.10 Will Prove That. In 9to5Mac. Retrieved Feb 16, 2014, from http://9to5mac.com/2014/01/27/apple-execs-say-ios-and-os-x-wont-merge-and-10-10-will-prove-that/.

[4] Tabini, Marco. (February 14, 2014). Separated at birth: Why Apple won’t merge OS X and iOS. In Macworld. Retrieved Feb 16, 2014, from http://www.macworld.com/article/2097721/separated-at-birth-why-apple-wont-merge-os-x-and-ios.html?%23tk.out_mod?=obinsite.

[5] Tabini, Marco. (February 14, 2014). Separated at birth: Why Apple won’t merge OS X and iOS. In Macworld. Retrieved Feb 16, 2014, from http://www.macworld.com/article/2097721/separated-at-birth-why-apple-wont-merge-os-x-and-ios.html?%23tk.out_mod?=obinsite.