What comes after OS X?

“With OS X nearing the end of its life cycle, it’s perfect timing to start thinking about merging OS X and iOS,” Brian Meyer writes for OS X. ” With a completely new major version of Mac OS coming up, and fairly constant major versions of iOS happening all the time, it’s easy to see that a merge could be hiding down he road.”

“The iPhone 5S has a new, extremely powerful 64-bit processor in it, which shows that iOS is ready to run on desktop machines and handle apps with a 64-bit architecture,” Meyer writes. “Right now it’s amazing when a desktop and iOS app work seamlessly with one another, but with a merger of operating systems, this would be the norm.”

Meyer writes, “With Apple having so much success with both their operating systems, it makes sense that OS 11 (or Xi, maybe?) could at least use iOS as it’s backbone, similar to how the Apple TV uses iOS but does not look similar to the iPhone OS in the least.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Think code convergence (more so than today) with UI modifications per device. A unified underlying codebase for Intel, Apple A-series, and, in Apple’s labs, likely other chips, too (just in case). This would allow for a single App Store for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users that features a mix of apps: Some that are touch-only, some that are Mac-only, and some that are universal (can run on both traditional notebooks and desktops as well as on multi-touch computers like iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and – pretty please, Apple – Apple TV). Don’t be surprised to see Apple A-series-powered Macs, either.


    1. EXACTLY!

      Seems the vast majority of people have completely forgotten that when the iPhone was initially unveiled it was presented that the iPhone OS was based in large part upon OS X! The iPhone OS started out as a very tailored, derivative subset of OS X.

      Desktops/laptops are a different operational environment than phones and tablets (and there may be a third environment of TVs and entertainment systems, but there are at least two environments). Steve said it himself years ago… There is no place in the iPhone environment for roll over pop ups in your browser. Somethings just don’t translate.

      Will there someday be some way for there to be a merge in all interfaces? Absolutely.

      However, right now I appreciate a touch screen phone and tablet with the advantages and disadvantages inherent in that interface. I DO NOT want a desktop/laptop that has a 100% touch environment. Period. I won’t buy it until the overall interface changes radically.

      Just look at the lunacy that is Windows RT. A too rapid merge ( really re-merge as iOS is really a schism off of OS X) of OS X and iOS will end up with the worst of both worlds.

      Apple needs to take their time and do this right. OS X will be around for quite some time until then. OS X is no where near the end of its life cycle.

      1. “Will there someday be some way for there to be a merge in all interfaces? Absolutely.”

        Siri is that interface. The consummate concierge who will become deft—Siri will learn all there is to know about you because, she’ll be in your head—providing select choices for myriad environments, predicated on sensory input processed by the computer you have with you, once it interacts with the “domain” you’re in.

        Siri will become the face of iOS within ten-years and within twenty, perhaps the holographic image. I see a day when I’ll look into my wrist watch and Siri will be looking at me, waiting for some instruction, otherwise she may begin to yawn, before insisting time is valuable, sleep the screen and turn to more productive activities.

        She/He will personify the happy traits of the human face when things are running smoothly, but as you miss appointments and calls, the facial expressions could be programmed to provoke a positive response from you with some encouraging wit.

        The granular settings for the Siri System will become infinitely programmable for the user—Parental/Corporate Controls embedded, naturally—to share as much of your personal life with Siri as you like; the more you share, the more there is nag you about but we’ll find a level we can live at and make it work.

        Siri will put us to bed and wake us up and we will interact with them more than any other person on the planet because they’ll be inside our heads, providing us those choices that would make us happy in any given situation.

        In contrast to that though, Siri could be programmed to evolve into your soul mate— which is probably what that new movie is all about—to begin making decisions for you, just like Sugar Crush™, Siri will highlight the choices, green being the best, press okay to continue.

        But knowing the human condition like I do, it won’t be long before Siri starts performing chain-reaction events based on levels of permission automatically such as, affecting atmospheric changes to your environment, i.e., lighting, heating, multimedia, many of those things will become no-brainers for Siri, but it won’t stop there.

        Siri will become your Accountant who pays all your bills. The Usher who escorts you through an activity, discretely providing myriad information relevant to the situational environment.

        In short, Siri will be your best friend. You will create your Siri from the object-oriented libraries to look and sound exactly the way you want.

        Can you imagine what some people’s Siri’s would look and sound like? Who’s for Mommy? 🙂

  1. Being different is not a good enough reason to swap out OS X for iOS or some mix of the two. It still has to make sense for those who use computers for productivity reasons. And the desktop is now more about productivity than consuming which is what iOS was originally designed for. It would have to be pretty compelling.

    1. I thought the same upon first seeing that, but it only took a second to see the cleverness in combining X with iOS to come up with Xi – the lower case “i” makes sense then. 😉

    2. Strictly speaking, yes. But since we are at 10.9 (or X.IX) they could go for OS XX. 😉

      But what happens in ten years’ time? OS XXX sounds … Wrong, somehow.

      1. Precisely my reaction. This has got to be the most moronic article imaginable. Not only has Apple given no sign of EOF’ing OSX, it has actually done the opposite: Created a new naming system that carries it into the future.

        Moreover, Tim Cook has been crystal-clear with respect to his views on convergence: iOS and MacOS are two separate platforms. And this is a direct extension of Steve Jobs’ view that in the future, there will be “cars” and there will be “trucks.” The sensibility of this approach is proven every day by the disaster that is Windows 8.

        So this begs the question: Who is Brian Meyer and why did he write such a completely uninformed piece of crap article like this?

        1. “Moreover, Tim Cook has been crystal-clear with respect to his views on convergence: iOS and MacOS are two separate platforms.”

          MacOS? Mac OS ended with 9, but was emulated under OS X until the Rosetta was dropped under Leopard.

          I doubt Tim Cook thinks all that much about Mac OS anymore.

  2. While the concept of unification is exciting, I think we’re still not there yet (but, I must say, I know nothing—this is just a hunch). This article assumes we’re nearing the end of the Mac OS 10 life cycle. We might be, but who knows. I think we should first see an iOS 7-ification of Mac OS design first before more substantive convergence.

    But we’re definitely headed toward A-series powered laptops. Hence 64-bit. Whether that the Apple A8 chip or the A13 chip, though, is the big question.

    1. A-series powered laptops. Hence 64-bit

      All Mac laptops have been 64-bit since 2006.

      I’m glad you brought up the ‘unification’ issue. So I’m going to chatter about it here.

      The A-series chips are RISC chips, meaning that they have a reduced (minimal) instruction set. In contrast, Intel chips are CISC chips, meaning that they have a complex instruction set. The A-series chips therefore have a far lighter overhead, which allows them to be relatively faster and efficient. They are highly suited for task specific devices. Intel CISC chips are not. That’s one reason the Intel Atom chip has a tiny installation base in handheld devices. (And yes, I’m expecting flames to the contrary and I won’t be responding as they are rubbish).

      No way no how are A-Series CPU devices ever going to support the Intel instruction set. Not gonna happen. Therefore, no way no how will Intel API based applications going to be running on A-Series CPUs.

      If a ‘unified’ code base for Intel and A-Series chips is created, I don’t see the point. The A-Series chips would have NO advantage in this situation and would actually be SLOWER because of the required software based (versus hardware based) support for Intel calls. It would be, frankly, idiotic to create such a scenario.

      IF Apple ever did go all A-Series chip based Macs, there could theoretically be a ‘compatibility layer’ similar to ‘Classic’ in early versions of OS X. In contemporary terms, it would be like running Sheepshaver on OS X on Intel CPUs. You’re not going to have ‘unified code’ as the resulting applications would BALLOON vastly in size in order to cover all the required Intel code not hard wired in the A-Series chips.

      Therefore, a transition to A-Series chips would require full rewrites of all applications in order to take advantage of the CPUs.

      Then of course, let’s do a serious speed comparison between the current A-Series chips and Intel CPUs. Can the A-Series chips compete in a Mac? Not yet!

      Now lemme have it! Flame away or inform me otherwise. Speculate the future!

  3. iOS MUST have multi-user and true multi-tasking (i.e., I want to see the calendar AND my text document at the same time- especially if I’m on a 13″ iPad) before it can really claim desktop status.

    1. iOS is already multi-tasking (and quite probably multi-user as well). That’s because it is OSX – at least the kernel and Core is OSX. (iOS 7 runs Darwin 14.0.0 while OSX still runs Darwin 13.0.0.) The difference is the UI and while Apple has made this quite simple at the ObjectiveC coding level, there are obvious differences that must be kept in mind for the development of apps on both platforms.

      I haven’t done it, but I would guess the migration of an app from OSX to iOS or the other way would be rather straight forward. The COCOA level code would require a lot of coding change but the underlying code wouldn’t need much at all.

    1. That’s because, to the unimaginative analyst mind, you can’t count program version numbers past 9. OS X 10.10 can’t exist. Right? Rubbish.

      Dear Tech Analysts:
      Know your subject BEFORE you write about it. OK? Do you think you can handle that requirement? Or do you need to ride the short-bus to work? 😛

  4. Hopefully Apple will not change OSX too much. I want to stick to Indesign CS6 for a very long time and do not want to pay CC subscription or go back to stupid XPress. To me my Mac is to make my living and to feed my family. That’s why iOS and OSX can stay separate.

  5. Although the evolution of the Apple OS’s is happening, I would suggest that Brian Meyer is speculating, what he would do if he ran Apple. So who cares?

    Let’s just wait and see what comes forth. I’m pretty sure Mr Meyer’s opinion is not taken into account by the Apple executive team.

  6. More dumbing down of a real operating system so real computers will be more like mobile gadgets?

    I’m willing to wait until it happens but my fear is – Stupid is as stupid does.

    1. It’s not the dumbing down of a real operating system; it’s the “smarting up” of a once-mobile-only operating system. Making all apps much more accessible, and in a way that doesn’t resemble on-screen repulsion like Windows 8.

      1. Giving granny access to the UNIX CLI on her iPad? I don’t think so. Apple won’t even want to deluge iOS with all that UNIX baggage. Handhelds and tablets are task oriented devices with minimal overheads and maximum efficiency. Turning then into full blown UNIX devices is NOT going to happen.

        Now, if you-the-geek want to crack your iPad and go all UNIX on it, that’s fine by me! But don’t ask Apple to do it.

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