Tim Bajarin: I see Apple moving many users to an iOS-based mobile device over the next 3-4 years

“Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup adds something unique: a Touch Bar atop the keyboard that I believe is an important evolution of the laptop user experience,” Tim Bajarin writes for PC Magazine. “The first time I saw and played with the Touch Bar, the macros of yore popped into my mind. MacBook power users all know the value of creating macros to speed up a particular business process we may use with our applications. With the Touch Bar, Apple gives the power of macros to the masses.”

“Apple’s philosophy on touch does not extend to Mac for one key reason,” Bajarin writes. “Steve Jobs always believed, right or wrong, that when your hands were on the keyboard, the best position for input was via a keyboard and mouse. Moving the hand from the keyboard to the screen to navigate was unnatural… The Touch Bar demystifies the concept of shortcuts for repetitive tasks and provides fast access to all types of functions within applications that will support it. This is why the Touch Bar matters. Once people start using it, Touch Bar will be viewed as a logical next step in UIs for laptops.”

” I sense that Apple is actually on a trajectory to move the MacBook Pro line over to just the high-end professional market for the next two to three years as it migrates the rest of its mobile customers to the iPad Pro to make iOS the center of almost all its hardware products,” Bajarin writes. “I still think Apple will do iMacs and Mac Pros as non-portable solutions, but when it comes to mobile, I see the transfer to an iOS-based mobile device over the next three to four years.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Not a far-fetched idea.

MacPad.MacDailyNews, February 21, 2013

Now, does it make more sense to be smearing your fingers around on your notebook’s screen or on a spacious trackpad (built-in or on your desk) that’s designed specifically and solely to be touched? Apple thinks things through much more than do other companies. The iPhone’s and iPad’s screens have to be touched; that’s all they has available. A MacBook’s screen doesn’t not have to be touched in order to offer Multi-Touch. There is a better way: Apple’s way. And, no Gorilla Arm, either.

The only computers using Multi-Touch properly, using device-appropriate Multi-Touch input areas are Macintosh personal computers from Apple that run OS X (and Linux and can even slum it with Windows, if need be) and iOS even more personal computers (EMPCs), namely: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iPad mini.

Note that none of this bars a “MacPad” from production. Any iOS-based iPad would become a high quality display (possibly still “touchable,” but likely not due to the reasoning stated above) when docked into a “MacBook” (running OS X, and providing keyboard, trackpad, processor, etcetera). Such a convertible device would negate having to carry both an iPad (car) and a MacBook (truck) around. They’d be one thing, but able to be separated into two, each providing the best capabilities of their respective form factors.MacDailyNews, May 4, 2013

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.MacDailyNews Take, January 9, 2014

Anyone in the market for a 12.9-inch device that’s an OS X-powered MacBook when docked with its keyboard base and an iOS-powered iPad when undocked? — MacDailyNews, October 7, 2014

Illustration from Apple's hybrid Mac-iPad patent application
Illustration from Apple’s hybrid Mac-iPad patent application

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      1. I’m always saying that most people can get along with just an iPad throughout the day. So last week I worked with nothing but an iPad Pro to prove my point.

        I was successful. I’m good at it. I know all the tricks. I can multitask on an iPad like nobody’s business. BUT IT IS HARD!

        It is extremely clumsy. That’s the best work I could come up with.

        Apple’s implementation of multitasking is goofy. Sliding that list of giant icons up and down is silly. I know they can do better than that. Why do those stupid icons take up so much space anyway.

        Bottom line though, when I sat back down in front of my 27″ iMac it was like I took my brain out of a sealed box. The heavens opened up and angels sang and I had SPACE and I had lots of windows and multiple desktops, and lots of apps open at the same time, and I could do so many things at once it was incredible.

        Strictly working on the iPad was like running with weights on, and when you take them off you feel so light and fast.

        EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT A VIDEO EDITING PRO, OR A PHOTOSHOP PRO OR WHATEVER, the experience of using macOS PRIME vs iOS makes iOS look shallow and primitive in comparison.

        Don’t get me wrong. It works, but if there were no macOS, I’d use Windows before making iOS my primary OS.

        I had to demonstrate this to myself to understand that when it comes to productivity, even clerical workers are truck drivers.

        I really don’t know how Apple is going to sell iOS as a mainstream OS.

        They need to remember also that the Mac is not the hardware. It’s macOS. macOS makes the box a Mac, not fucking USB-C, and touch pads, etc.

        If they offered a 38″ curved retina iMac with 64GB of RAM for $5000 tomorrow, I’d rob a bank to get it.

    1. I have thought about buying an iPad pro instead of a new MacBook – mainly because the MacBook Air had not been updated for ages and then, when it was, the options were outrageously expensive.

      However, the problem with an iPad Pro + keyboard combination is precisely the same problem that is said to exist with a touchscreen Macbook. It is that every time I need to highlight text in a document or move the cursor to another place, I have to touch the screen – which is far more inefficient than using a trackpad. Which is the reason why Macbooks do not have touchscreens.

      For as long as the iPad has no mouse or moving pointer, it does not work well with a keyboard when working with documents.

      FWIW, it is always Mac users (rather than Windows users) who complain about smears on the screen of touchscreen laptops, when saying nothing negative about the same on iPads, even when using an iPad + keyboard combo results in this. If it doesn’t result in this because of the use of Apple pencil – there is no reason why a MacBook could not have a touchscreen, as there would be no smears on the screen if using it with an Apple Pencil.

      1. If you learn to use the arrow keys with some of the control keys properly you’ll never need to select text with your finger or a mouse. Text documents can be navigated much faster directly from a keyboard regardless of whether it’s an iPad or iMac.

  1. I’ve been saying this since at least 2010: that the Mac OS would eventually ‘fold’ into the IOS for general purpose computing use. Mac laptops and desktops will still be around, but they will gradually become a diminishing presence in the Apple product line.

      1. Yes, it is an inferior operating system in some ways.

        I produce HTML5 animations for the web. I use 10-12 supporting apps to produce content for my animation app. The majority of those apps are available (same interface on OSX and Windows) The developers of my critical animation app are ex-Apple employees, but they are now considering development of their app for Windows.

        Who would have thought it possible? Me, never, but its for real.

        The only Apple apps that I use in that process are Mail and Safari.

        Even though I have been a Mac user since 1988, if the developers of my critical app make the jump, why should I not consider it too? If the operating system is tolerable, and Windows 10 actually is pretty much a no drama operating system, then its the apps that matter. If they run equally well on both…….?

        I also work on Windows 10 in a school system, it works fine, its the app that matters.

        1. Yeah I’ve heard the argument before – all that matters is the apps – until i hear the grieving problems my PC using friends have. Even so I am on the cusp of considering a PC Workstation, or Hackintosh, not getting what I want from Apple in the pro field. I just detest the way Windows works and the MacOS is a much better fit for me, so it isn’t a decision I take lightly. Every user needs to make up their own minds for their own particular uses so I wouldn’t blame you for doing what you have to do. 🙂

          1. I get what you are saying.

            But in school I run a lab that has 19 Windows 10 computers, and one on my desktop running apps that bring in PHP data, sophisticated graphics, etc. No more issues than OSX, believe me, it gives me pain to say that. I see maybe a crash per day, but thats in 7 class periods with never less than 7 students in a class. Not bad.

            It is clunky to look at, no doubt, the OSX workflow in the system is easier to look at, but honestly if my critical other job apps work well, then its something to consider.

            1. It’s the Windows interface and feeling of clunkiness I can’t stand and 1970’s nomenclature like “C: drive.” I mean C’MON! It’s hard for me to give in to Windows way of working since it’s not the way I WANT to work. I know they’ve come a long ways since swiss cheese Windows XP.

            1. I don’t owe you a thing, nor proof. Not giving that kind of info out to a troll who chooses not to believe no matter what proof is presented since it makes his own puny world that much more diminutive and unimportant having accomplished nothing but grief on the Internet.

              But over the weekend I gave a video interview for a relatively famous older movie I worked on for a future Blu-Ray. I saw DR. STRANGE last night at the Academy Theatre in Bev Hills (a very good movie btw) because I am a member and have gone to the awards many times.

              Now I expect being the moron you probably are to ridicule these notions and belittling me because you must. It’s in your insecure and hateful nature. I’m sure you won’t disappoint.

            2. No.. Its not just that.. somehow he also finds the time to reply to us on probably the lowest common denominational Mac News Website. Instead of, oh I don’t know. Getting on with life and work. Here’s my excuse for being here. I am a worthless peon who sysadmins *nix systems for living for the past 30 years. I’ve automated myself out of a job. Why are you here?

  2. Too many things you just cannot do on an iPad. Dimensioned drawings. Drawings period. Sketches yes, fingers and stylii just don’t provide control. I, a decidedly non-power user, need more than finger-painting in a universe with no file system and little control.

  3. “Steve Jobs always believed, right or wrong, that when your hands were on the keyboard, the best position for input was via a keyboard and mouse.”

    Right, not wrong. It is the only way for a great many of us, thos e who produce more than very basic content, developers, engineers, the list is far longer than iOS consumers could possibly imagine.

    But, that fact in and of itself, illustrates the difference between producers and consumers. Consumers generally have no idea where the things they consume come from, nor do they care, which is their problem to deal with.

    Those of us who produce will find a way to produce what we produce whether it is with a Mac with a mouse and a keyboard or not.

    But whatever it is, it will have to have an input system that is more sophisticated and detailed than any touch system can provide. But those of you who believe it is will never produce, say, the successor to the 747 aircraft or something like that.

    Not a problem, you just keep on jamming to the music and stay out of the way of those who actually design things.

  4. Honestly I agree. Most users don’t need the performance a workstation or even a powerful mobile computer brings. But, workstations will still be needed in the future.

    Computers will get even smaller and more powerful in the next 10 years. And docking stations may allow you to work on a desktop with a full size screen.

    But also because of the same reasons workstations will be smaller or much more powerful allowing amazing possibilities.

  5. I absolutely would not be able to get rid of my iMac. Last night I had a window open in Safari which I was referring to in Mail, whilst I had a smaller window open from Notes. I also had iTunes open, was recording a streamed broadcast and copying some dvds into iTunes (the entire 10 series having been cheaper on dvd than one series was to download). I am not what I’d call a power user, but probably far more of one than most, but even my mother who is nearing 70 prefers her MacBook Air.

  6. The title on this one got to me: “Tim Bajarin: I see Apple moving many users to an iOS-based mobile device over the next 3-4 years”

    Moving users to an iOS-based mobile device? I have one in my pocket right now. A mobile device running iOS, called an iPhone.


  7. They can’t even run persistant apps on iOS… great little terminal program that would have made my workflow usable on an iPad Pro… but, it loses connections after x number of minutes when you don’t touch it… its an iOS limitation. Completely and utterly useless for my Pro Work.

    Great for the kids scribbling with the digital crayons though.

    1. They allow some of their own threads to be persistent (e.g. you can continue to play your music in the background w/o direct interaction for hours). 3rd party developers just can’t create their own since Apple has locked down that portion of iOS to them.

  8. If Apple keeps iOS evolving into a more simplified, social media OS, there is NO WAY, NOOO WAAY, you are ever going to do serious, “PROFESSIONAL LEVEL” work on an iDevice and iPad.
    iOS is NOT a seriously powerful enough OS for intensively serious creative type of work!
    Unless, Apple start merging more of macOS into iOS (NOT the other way around), you’ll never be able to substitute a more portable, touch screen tablet to do the kind of work that can be done on laptops and more, importantly, desktop class computers, like the iMac and Mac Pro.
    I don’t see Apple using mobile devices or laptops to get important design work done in some of the photo images and Apple design department TV interviews I have seen.
    I see both older and newer Mac Pro models being used.
    If Apple doesn’t start offering new Desktop models, I may either go with a used older, but newer iMac OR I have been thinking of jumping the ”Apple Cruise Ship of Design to Nowhere” and get myself one of those super cool and super innovative, Microsoft Surface Studio computers.
    I absolutely love that entire computer design concept and the whole ability to draw right onto a very large and hi res touch screen.
    Microsoft has blown Apple out of the water, in terms of innovation, design and functionality of the Surface Studio
    Microsoft really has a winner with that computer!
    Microsoft’s Cortana even works far better than Apple’s Siri voice activation for cryin’ out loud!

    I am steering clear of iOS 10, at the moment, until Apple gets its collective heads out of their arses and starts adding more “Pro” features and more seriously useful work features into iOS.
    Especially for iPad and iPad “Pro” users!
    Screw all of the social media crap and animated “stickers” and all the other messaging garbage that Apple put into iOS 10.
    If Apple can’t add more productive and “profesdional feature and better multitasking for iOS 10 anytime soon, I guess I will be skipping this version of iOS until another one comes along that will be an marked improvement.
    I totally skipped iOS 8 on all of my iDevices, I can skip iOS 10 just as easily!
    Apple users still need much more powerful desktop class computers.

    1. “Screw all of the social media crap and animated “stickers” and all the other messaging garbage that Apple put into iOS 10.”

      Agree, because not everybody is a high school freshman, although many hipster types certainly think and act that way.

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