There have been speculations running for a while now that Apple might take the steps Microsoft did (and what Google is doing with its ChromeOS and Android porting) and merge its macOS and iOS.
Well the company’s CEO has taken his time to debunk this speculation and putting to rest the debate. In Cook’s interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, he made a suggestions that Apple is not on the path to merge the desktop and mobile operating system.
During the interview, held at the education-themed event in Chicago during which Apple launched its last iPad, Cook said:
“We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [the Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two… you begin to make trade-offs and compromises.
So maybe the company would be more efficient at the end of the day. But that’s not what it’s about. You know it’s about giving people things that they can then use to help them change the world or express their passion or express their creativity. So this merger things that some folks are fixated on, I don’t think that’s what users want.”
There were reports earlier this year that Apple was working on a new developer tool that will allow for the creation of apps that run on both the iOS and macOS platforms. These apps would be designed to use either touchscreen or mouse/trackpad devices. While you might interpret Cook’s recent remarks as debunking such rumors that might not necessarily be the case.
For apps to run on both iOS and macOS, they do not need to be developed for a unified operating system. It, however, underscores the fact that Apple will produce its own processors – at least for the Macs – and drop Intel chipsets.
That is the only explanation for app portability across macOS and iOS, as an Apple-owned chip will base them on the ARM and bring macOS and iOS closer. Though from Cook’s remark, you won’t be so quick to think Apple will be bringing macOS and iOS closer anytime soon. At the same time, it doesn’t mean Apple will not go the ARM route; the company already has years of experience making ARM chips for the iOS devices. Then you need to consider the fundamental roadblock that comes with the x86-64 architecture.
Microsoft has been merging Windows 10 Desktop and Mobile
Apple’s biggest rival, Microsoft, has been merging its latest operating system. Though this is more evident with the Windows 10 tablets and desktop than with the Windows 10 Mobile. Google too has not been left behind, having enabled Android apps to run on its desktop ChromeOS.
Though Apple has never launched any touchscreen Macs, its macOS and iOS do share some services and features like the APFS file system. However, the two operating systems are currently very different.
“I generally use a Mac at work, and I use an iPad at home… and I always use the iPad when I’m traveling. But I use everything, and I love everything,” said Cook during the interview.
That said, Apple see tables and laptops as very different devices, not like Microsoft does, or Google. Cook firmly believes that they will put their best effort in serving both markets separately, as opposed to coming with a hybrid of the two, which might require some trade off on each platform.