Apple’s iPad might influence the future of the Mac interface

“Much has been written — a lot of it by me, admittedly — about how Apple’s commitment to let iOS developers bring their apps to macOS in 2019 has the potential to dramatically change the Mac. But adding iOS apps to the Mac might not be where Apple stops,” Jason Snell writes for Macworld. “What if the company uses macOS 10.15 (or, dare I suggest, macOS 13?) to further unify the interfaces of its platforms?”

“For all the discussion about whether iOS apps running on a Mac can possibly live up to the platform’s interface standards, it’s entirely possible that this year, Apple will choose to redefine what it is to be Mac – like in a way that turns iOS and macOS into a continuum of interface decisions that are all, for a lake of a better phrase, ‘Apple-like,'” Snell writes.

“Longtime Mac users might chafe, but iOS users might welcome it,” Snell writes. “As someone who is both, I am not sure where I fall, but it’s worth considering just what Apple might do to make the Mac more closely resemble iOS.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We certainly have no problem with Apple bringing tabbed multitasking to iOS – the Safari browser on the Mac this Take is being typed on currently has 22 active tabs – or with syncing that concept on the Mac. A Mac version of iOS’ Control Center is also intriguing. Could Apple clean up the Mac’s menu bar with a Mac Control Center? Also, note the differences between Dock behavior on the Mac vs. the iPad. Some unification in usage paradigms between the two platforms seem possible.

Anything that makes the Mac easier for iOS users to pick up that does not degrade the Mac experience is a Good Thing™.


  1. “Longtime Mac users might chafe”
    HA, might? They would chafe at the words just being written (see below). Whatever the next thing past chafing would be…Yeah, it’d be more like that if it actually happened.

  2. Jason Snell has declined from an insightful reviewer of all things in the Mac sphere to just another tea leaf reader who has to fill his columns with speculation. That’s what happens when Apple becomes a one-trick pony. Apple seems incapable AND unwilling to invest in making the Mac platform as broad and deep as it could be. By this point we all know what iOS is: it will always be thin-client computing, designed to keep the user dependent with a 24/7 connection to the mother ship which will come with monthly fees. But that’s not the only issue. The dumbing down of the Mac PERSONAL COMPUTER is a tragedy. The list of things you can no longer do with a current Mac is practically as long as the things that Apple claims to enable as new features. Making the Mac more and more like iOS is degradation, not an improvement.

    To Jason I say: HELL NO!!!!!! The last thing Apple needs to do is offer a me-too Windows 8/10 Surface with an ugly inefficient touchscreen interface.

    If Apple wants to offer Wacom-like input to a fully capable Mac, then all they need to do is allow the user to connect his iOS device to his Mac WITH A CABLE to enable one of a few user-selectable modes: EITHER pen input OR screen mirroring OR external drive. If Mac users want to run iOS apps, then the touchpad already exists. Don’t ruin the macOS interface further with a touchscreen gui – sandbox the iOS into its own Space.

    Of course Apple has refused to allow users to effectively connect iOS and Macs for the last decade because Timmy doesn’t want you to have a personal computer. He wants you to rent iCloud. He will never make iOS devices be effective tools to use WITH the fully featured Mac, he wants to degrade the Mac further into just another thin client. He doesn’t want users to have control over their files or hardware without Applecare insurance and iCloud monthly fees and media subscriptions picking your pocket every month. This is NOT a future I will support. Apple can rot in hell before I buy into that Big Brother future. I am not alone, either.

    It is almost as though Cook wants Mac users to go the Hackintosh route to get the features and repairability that a PERSONAL computer should have.

    1. I’ve felt for some time that Apple has little interest in keeping the Mac going… I’ve been helping folks get switched over to other platforms for awhile. Until about 3-4 years ago, I always had this sinking feeling that Apple was going to do an about face, then I’d be the bad guy. Maybe RIGHT after their switch, Apple would produce the system of their dreams and they’d be salivating at it while they’re forced to work in Windows or whatever. Luckily (for me at least) Apple stayed the course and continued to drive those pro and prosumer customers away.

      Now, those folks are glad they switched over. They upgrade when THEY want to upgrade, they install whatever they want to install. The choices for mobile systems goes from light performance skinny systems to huge 10+ pound mobile workstations and their software runs on it all.

      Sure, there was some pain, but one area of thier life that has improved greatly is that… when they read some new crazy thing that’s going on in the Apple world, they could not possibly care less! They just sigh, go back to work, and think about upgrading their test system to the very latest GPU that just came out yesterday. 🙂

    2. ” Making the Mac more and more like iOS is degradation, not an improvement.” The understatement of the millenium!

      What could possibly go wrong? (sarcasm alert)

      Just everything that I have worked on since 1988.

  3. Steve Jobs was many things: an arrogant ass, an undisciplined boss, a petulant child, a master marketer, among many others. However, one thing that he absolutely could do is see what products are viable in the future once shown those technologies (generally the future of a given technology).

    That said, Steve Jobs was adamantly against the merger of the Mac and iOS user interfaces and the detailed functionality of the operating systems. Having used both for many years, I agree with Steve Jobs on this one.

    Macs have no business running an iOS interface and providing iOS functionality. Similarly, iOS devices have no business with having a macOS interface and providing the vast majority of the macOS functionality.

  4. the iPad should be more like a Mac

    like a proper file system , easier to connect external devices like drives etc.

    if it confuses people than a Pro iOS should at least be a switchable option

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