Is closer integration between the Mac OS X and iPhone OS in the future?
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Is closer integration between the Mac OS X and iPhone OS in the future?

Will the day come when we'll see closer integration between the iPhone OS and Mac OS X? Some folks think so.

But let's back up. The iPhone OS is actually a derivative of Mac OS X. They share the Darwin foundation. Darwin is an open source POSIX-compliant computer OS released by Apple in 2000. It's comprised of code developed by Apple, as well as code derived from NeXTSTEP, BSD, and other free software projects.

In other words as John Gruber wrote three years ago at "Daring Fireball" (http://daringfireball.net/2007/01/os_x) the iPhone’s version of OS X contains everything from Mac OS X that’s applicable to a mobile phone, plus new bits specific to the phone. It’s a “full” version of OS X not because it contains everything from Mac OS X, but because it contains everything you’d actually want from Mac OS X, he noted.

I would think it's even possible that a device could run Mac OS X proper AND the iPhone OS. After all, Intel-based Macs already run iPhone OS for iPhone app developers.

So what's in line for the operating systems down the road? Well, in a recent job posting, Apple advertised for a full-time engineering manager to work on the iPhone OS platform. Apple is looking for an engineer to focus on the iPhone OS’s underlying architecture who will work with teams focusing on hardware, software and custom silicon. The ad says the employee will will work on “a range of hardware platforms, including iPhone and iPod”. That suggests that Apple is looking to bring the iPhone OS to more devices. Those could include other mobile devices and probably the Apple TV.

As noted by "Infoworld" (http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/apples-possible-plans-bringing-iphon...), if the Apple TV moved to the iPhone OS, "it could be sold for free with a small cable TV-like subsidy and be no bigger than an Apple Airport Express" and "hen, it could be attached to the back of HDTVs like a power supply." With the iPhone OS, it would instantly have access to 100,000-plus apps (though, as "Infoworld" notes, these might not easily translate to the TV platform) and the interface would be familiar to the millions of iPhone/iPod and iPad owners.

"InfoWorld" also thinks that the iPhone OS might pop up on a MacBook Air. "With Apple processors and iPhone OS, that price could be brought significantly down," says "Infoworld." "Most people use the MacBook Air for light Office applications, email, Web browsing and maybe a little Photoshop here and there. With iPad's iWork office productivity apps, online editors getting better, and new apps on the horizon to fill in these shoes (and for the love of everything decent and holy, 3G), it wouldn't be hard to see the MacBook Air going iPhone OS in two years either."

It makes sense to me to see the Apple TV using the iPhone OS. But I'm dubious about the MacBook Air. In fact, if the iPad is as big a hit as I expect it to be, I think the days of the MB Air are numbered.

Also, some analysts -- as noted by "Business Week" (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2010/tc20100225_313033...) -- think Apple may put the iPhone OS onto web-connected TVs and devices that help viewers watch 3D programming. Apple could also license the iPhone OS to outside cell-phone manufacturers, the article says.

I'd bet a large sum of money that the latter won't happen. Apple doesn't license Mac OS X, so why should it license iPhone OS? No, that ain't gonna happen. Also, as I've said before, I can't see Apple entering the TV set business. Though I can see the company building TV features into the iMac, as Sony has done with some of its Vaio desktops.

Now the big question: will future Macs run iPhone OS? Nope, not the mobile operating system. However, I expect to see Macs with more iPhone-like features as elements of Mac OS X and iPhone OS are merged.

Nick Bilton, writing for "The New York Times" (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/why-cant-pcs-work-more-like-iph...) thinks that Apple could use the iPhone interface as the basis for a new round of Apple computers. However, that's not as easy as you might think.

A former senior Apple engineer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements signed while an employee, told Bilton that adding full multitouch to OS X would require a hefty redesign of many components in the code.

“It’s one thing to add multitouch to a few applications, implementing the ability to pinch and zoom from the trackpad on the laptop with the Preview application,” the engineer said. “But it’s a whole different story if you want to implement these technologies on the desktop, or globally on OS X.”

An easier approach, the Apple engineer indicated, would be to add the iPhone OS as a layer on top of Mac OS X, similar to Apple’s Front Row experience. And that is what I think we'll see.

Another former Apple programmer Bilton consulted said theMac OS X is a “kludged mess of code from past operating systems.” The programmer added that if Apple could start over with the desktop OS, it “would take into consideration that Google’s Android OS is going to look and work almost exactly the same on computers and mobile phones, and it won’t have a desktop feel.”

If Apple were to adopt an iPhone-like OS for its computers, developers would have to build applications for only one platform, the programmer said told Bilton. "It’s like Apple has the opportunity for a do-over."

I don't think we'll see a complete "do-over" (as Mac OS X seems to be doing pretty well, and Macs sales are up). But, as Bilton says, we may see a makeover.

And we may see it sooner than most folks think.

-- Dennis Sellers

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Opera 44.0.2510.1449 - High-performance...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Opera 44.0.2510.1449 - High-performance...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 6.0.2 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 6.0.2 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Fire Emblem Heroes event announces new m...
As reported yesterday, Nintendo was gearing up a live press event for their popular mobile game,Fire Emblem Heroes. While the stream revealed a lot of new things, the event was entirely in Japanese. Luckily we have a rundown of what was announced... | Read more »
Best games we played this week
Another week, another slate of new mobile games. Although there weren't as many big name releases as last week, there were plenty of unique video game titles that came out that's sure to keep you interested over the weekend. Everything from classic... | Read more »
Olli by Tinrocket (Photography)
Olli by Tinrocket 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get drawn in with Olli by TinrocketOlli instantly turns your everyday moments into hand-drawn art and animations. • Watch... | Read more »
Penarium (Games)
Penarium 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Fire Emblem Heroes is way more profitabl...
Profits for Nintendo's mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes are apparently impressive enough to beat out other Nintendo titles likeSuper Mario Run, despite having 10 times fewer downloads. [Read more] | Read more »
Classic series Robot Unicorn Attack 3 no...
The classic Adult Swim browser game, Robot Unicorn Attack, branched off into a series of popular mobile games. Now, the latest entry into the series, Robot Unicorn Attack 3, is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. [Read more] | Read more »
Sudoku Sweeper (Games)
Sudoku Sweeper 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A minimalist mashup of Minesweeper and Sudoku. Logic puzzle perfection. Every row, column and zone contains a bomb and one of... | Read more »
Under Leaves (Games)
Under Leaves 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Journey into the forest, the jungle or the depths of the deep blue sea. Find chestnuts for the pigs, a caterpillar for the... | Read more »
Ninja Pizza Girl (Games)
Ninja Pizza Girl 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: In the not-so-distant future, rampart traffic congestion has resulted in only one way to deliver pizzas across town in thirty... | Read more »
SCRAP (Games)
SCRAP 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: That day, for no apparent reason, SCRAP decided to wake up and run. He had to, because his activation was a mistake the "Factory" could... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook P...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $2599…$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar Mac...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Touch... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1348 $151 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Weekend deal: Up to $420 off new MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available for $230 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
Price drop: 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro...
Amazon has dropped their price on 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) to $1709.99 including free shipping. Their price is $290 off MSRP for this model. Note that stock may sell out quickly at... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $899, save $100
B&H Photo has the 2.8GHz Mac mini (model number MGEQ2LL/A) on sale for $899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New System Clock for macOS by B-Eng Now Avail...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of System Clock, the company’s new system monitor and information app developed exclusively for macOS. System... Read more
DEVONtechnologies Celebrates 15th Anniversary...
DEVONtechnologies celebrates its 15th company anniversary with a 30% discount on all its software products from May 1st through 5th, 2017. In spring 2002, DEVONtechnologies opened its website and... Read more
WaterField Designs Invites Customers to Help...
San Francisco based WaterField Designs invites customers and air travelers to participate in developing the next generation in-flight travel case, the Air Porter. Frustrated with limited legroom,... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* OS X Server Administrator (Active Se...
** Apple OS X Server Administrator \(Active Secret Clearance\)** **Description** Come be a part of a top notch team, apply today\!\! Tuva TUVA provides turnkey Read more
*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**501846BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Location Number:** 001126-South Bay Center-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Read more
Consultant or Sr. Consultant, *Apple* Allia...
…improve our business and your clients will be heard.Project Manager, Apple AllianceLocation:San Francisco preferred, open to other locationsLevel:Consultant or Sr. Read more
*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.