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Developers Expect iOS and MacOS To Merge 436

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'm-sure-its-been-discussed dept.
AHuxley noticed the frightening little Ars story talking about a certain expectation that iOS and MacOS will merge, leading to a single DRM-locked OS on your MacBook and your iPad. Certainly Apple would love a piece of every app sold. Now I'm sure that this has been discussed over there, but I wouldn't expect it any time soon.
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Developers Expect iOS and MacOS To Merge

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:06AM (#32663842)

    ... they won't even be selling Macs anymore. Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin, the big bucks are coming in elsewhere.

    Remember, the name of the company no longer even contains the word "Computer."

  • by mitchell_pgh (536538) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:08AM (#32663850)

    I believe Sasser sums it up rather nicely: "I could see a gradual, slow merger between iOS and Mac OS X styles and approaches," he said. "It doesn't make sense for them to be developing two of everything, one good, one not as good--two calendars, two address books--it's got to merge somehow."

    Apple should learn from Microsoft's mistake of trying to have two rather diverse platforms (Windows and Windows mobile). Granted, Microsoft seems to be moving in a better direction these days with their mobile platform, but they could have been much further along if they would have used this method.

  • FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:09AM (#32663860)
    If you're uncertain what FUD stands for, please re-read the summary. Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt.
  • Re:Oh Please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:10AM (#32663872)
    This is the kind of babble we've been hearing about Windows for over a decade here now. I swear even the smallest of issues and another retard is ranting that it's another nail in MS's coffin and that they'll be toppled any day now.

    I swear if I listened to all the fanboi rumblings I would have given up on Windows, moved to Linux and after a few years of frustration from their lagging behind I would now own a Mac.

    I can only imagine what the ravings would have been like had Slashdork been around during the Amiga years.
  • by samsonov (581161) <pennacookNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:11AM (#32663884) Journal
    I think the mentality of most home users are that they want Apple to tell them what apps can run on their device(s). Let's hope the power users talk some sense into Apple. I for one don't like the idea of only being able to consume apps that are published via the App Store...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:13AM (#32663906)

    It's been 5 or 10 seconds since the latest one was posted.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:14AM (#32663912)
    It doesn't contain "computer" because Apple is in the electronic gadget, movie, and music industries. They didn't remove computer because they want to stop making computers they removed it because they do a lot more than just computers.
  • pure flamebait (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:14AM (#32663914)

    My how slashdot has fallen. Pandering to the anti-apple zealots so blatantly? Why do all of my favorite sites(/.,ars,reddit) seem to be declining in quality so rapidly, and in unison? I am beyond disappointed. A new low for slashdot.

  • WTF (Score:1, Insightful)

    by .tekrox (858002) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:14AM (#32663916)

    Who the hell dreams up this crap...?

  • by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:19AM (#32663972)
    I'm going to be blunt about this: your comment is completely wrong. It makes perfect sense to have a separate operating system for desktops and mobile devices, because they're two completely different things. Trying to run an OS on one designed for the other leads to frustration and unusability. In fact, I think Windows Mobile failed because it wasn't enough of a mobile operating system: it had things like a desktop, the Start Menu, and full multitasking, which make perfect sense in a desktop operating environment and are a terrible idea on a mobile one.

    iOS and Mac OS X already do share a lot of code already, but that's just code reuse - proper programming practice. They've got two totally different user interfaces and paradigms, each working best for its target device. Trying to run one on the other would be unusable, and say what you want about Steve Jobs, but it will be a cold day in hell before a product comes out of his company that can be described as "unusable". Such a merger is a horrible idea, there's no evidence it is ever going to take place, and this article is just so much FUD to get the Slashdot crowd ranting and raving about Apple's walled garden.
  • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:22AM (#32664000) Homepage

    "It doesn't make sense for them to be developing two of everything, one good, one not as good--two calendars, two address books--it's got to merge somehow."

    I can't imagine how a calendar developed for a 2" touchscreen could have the same interface as a calendar developed for a 21" keyboard-and-mouse, and not have it be terrible. Similarly, a copy of Word on the iPhone and a copy of Word on a PC would necessarily need to have very different interfaces... You can't get hover tips on a touchscreen, people don't gesture with keyboards, mice aren't multitouch, and iPhone screens are tiny.

    The idea that you can write one app and have it work on such disparate devices shows a fundamental lack of understanding of good design.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:22AM (#32664008)
    "If Mac OS X loses this, watch GNUstep (Free clone of Cocoa's predecessor) suddenly attract a boost in activity."

    A boost, perhaps, but nothing that would even register on Apple's radar.
  • Oh, come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by salgiza (650851) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:26AM (#32664052)
    The article is about how some of the APIs (UIKit, mainly) in iOS are probably going to be included in future versions of MacOSX, and suddenly the summary is about MacOSX becoming a big iPhone full of DRM! Slashdot: where not even the editors bother to read the articles! (Either that, or someone hates Apple too much...)
  • Re:Oh Please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:28AM (#32664074) Homepage

    The "walled garden" won't be the death of Apple. The alternative of a similar garden without walls will.

  • by gig (78408) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:28AM (#32664082)

    The main difference between Mac OS and iOS is you can't code on iOS. It's partly a security feature and partly an anti-complexity feature. iOS is for a non-coding approach to all tasks. You may not know this, but a Photoshop pro writes a ton of code. The home user working with their photos doesn't need to.

    Another feature of iOS is no custom drivers. The USB audio interfaces that work with iOS are the "class compliant" ones that work with the system's universal driver. This provides stability and ease of use, but it limits the quality to consumer-quality 16/44 stereo. Audio pros still need a system to hook on an 8 channel 24/192 interface. OS X has a pro audio subsystem the likes of which you can't find anywhere else. Are we going to just abandon that and tell music producers to use toy Windows? The iPod app on iOS is filled up by people using Mac OS.

    The mouse is going away, no doubt. But you will still have a consumer OS and a pro OS. Web developers need Apache and Ruby and PHP to make websites for iOS users, movie makers and graphic artists need to code workflows, and app developers need to code apps and Apple needs to code OS X itself. The idea that Mac OS can go away is just so fucking stupid and ignorant and disrespectful when you consider how much of our fucking culture is made on Macs.

    Anyone who thinks there is no longer a need for Mac OS is an iPad user. Get an iPad ASAP and enjoy! STFU about Mac OS otherwise. You probably don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

       

  • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:33AM (#32664144)

    "It doesn't make sense for them to be developing two of everything, one good, one not as good--two calendars, two address books--it's got to merge somehow."

    It doesn't make sense for Ford to be making both cars and trucks. It means they have to have at least two separate lines for most of the components. They should just merge the two concepts.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:37AM (#32664190)
    "it's a business choice to make this the sole channel, one that doesn't seem to make sense for desktop computing, and one that I doubt they'd pursue."

    Well hang on...why wouldn't the walled garden work for desktop applications? Users do not seem to mind it for the iPad, which is really a tablet computer (I am sure someone will disagree with me, since it is not "marketed" as one), nor do users seem to mind it for video game consoles, nor for a certain large web community. We are already hearing people saying that traditional desktops are for "serious work," not for "consumers."

    So why not? Why not have Apple impose an "approval" process for Mac OS X desktop applications? I see no reason why Apple could not create a spectrum of computers -- iPads at one end, and high end workstations at the other, with various levels of application approval processes needed. In that world, you would have to pay thousands of dollars for a top of the line Power Mac workstation to be able to install "unauthorized" applications; a "consumer level" notebook would require an extra payment for "unlocking" to install those applications (or perhaps you would have to "upgrade" to another version of Mac OS); and an iPad would have no options for unapproved programs.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:40AM (#32664226) Homepage

    I guess it depends on which parts you're talking about - a certain OS kernel that runs everything from mobile phones to supercomputers seems to get a lot of praise around here. Presentation can be a rather thin layer compared to everything below you can share.

  • Re:Probably not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jo_ham (604554) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .999mahoj.> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:44AM (#32664276)

    They already share APIs - iOS is heavily based on OS X with a touch UI on top.

    This article is just total FUD. It's the same sort of "analysis" as that story from a couple of months ago how Apple "will definitely" move to an App Store model for OS X. There's just no sense in it at all, given the direction that Apple are taking OS X.

    They forked OS X, for want of a better term, and created iPhone OS (now iOS), and continued development on OS X itself. There is nothing to suggest they will merge the two again. Why suddenly cut out the creative suite, office, other third party pro apps, games, the new Steam client (finally games are becoming top tier)? There's just no compelling business reason to move to iOS on the desktop; and ultimately Apple are in this business to make money.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:44AM (#32664280) Homepage

    "Microsoft seems to be moving in a better direction these days with their mobile platform"

    You haven't been following very closely then, have you? It's a jumbled mess of mutually incompatible systems, all with the label "Windows" on it. They almost seem to be trying to emulate the diversity of Linux systems. Microsoft's mistake, however, isn't with having multiple OSes, but having multiple OSes that are all UI clones of each other (without the common code base) regardless of the platform.

    Jobs and his lieutenants have talked at length about what a mistake it was to try to put desktop Windows (with extensions) on tablets. This is why the TabletPC platform has been such a snoozefest in the market: it's the wrong UI for the hardware. Apple could have released a MacBook Touch (a laptop with a touch screen or a slate, either running OS X) five years ago, but they knew it wouldn't work, so they didn't. The same story applies to Windows Mobile: wrong UI for the hardware. Same outcome: dismal sales for something with the Microsoft brand on it.

    Clearly Apple believes that "iOSX everywhere" is the wrong approach. Adobe CS would make no sense on a phone or slate, and neither would Tap Tap Revenge make sense on a desktop or server. They put a whole lot of effort into developing a new OS for slates and phones, using the parts of OS X that fit that platform, and engineering new parts for the rest. They'd be fools to throw out the parts of OS X that still make all kinds of sense for the desktop or traditional laptop just to merge it with iOS, and I see no evidence that they're fools of that sort.

  • by delinear (991444) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:00AM (#32664480)
    To say they don't make much from the App store is to completely ignore the fact that it's their main marketing tool now for all iDevices. Every advert is about what you can do with app X or Y with very little focus on the hardware.
  • by pmontra (738736) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:32AM (#32664810) Homepage
    They'll keep selling Macs because it's the only platform you can use to write an i* app. You won't be able to write them on i*s because they are locked down devices by design and that doesn't play well with the needs of a developer.
  • Re:FUD (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:35AM (#32664838)

    And at that time it was.

  • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:41AM (#32664904) Journal

    Why would they want to spin off the Apple brand name into a business they obviously don't know how to do, and have failed at with each previous attempt? That's called 'brand-name dilution' and it's looked down on in marketing circles.

    There isn't 'Magic Apple Fairy Dust' that can be sprinkled on a new 'IT Division' that will make it successful. They're just not good at the enterprise biz and have finally figured it out.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:03AM (#32665162)
    Apple wants to kill the Mac OS desktop.

    It might, but I would be curious to know whether there was any evidence for this beyond the reported opinion of a handful of third-party app developers. These guys are targeting their products towards Apple's little handheld media boxes (and good luck to them) but their opinion doesn't necessarily reflect reality.

    Personally, I hope it doesn't. OS X is certainly not everything I would like it to be, but it is at least a unix-based platform that is useful for my purposes. I would be quite surprised if Apple were to actually dump OS X, given that maintenance and development of a "real" computer platform on established third-party chipsets must be a comparatively small drain on their resources by comparison with what they surely must devote to their phone and tablet devices.
  • by jbolden (176878) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:09AM (#32665246) Homepage

    I don't think you are a troll just a bit unrealistic. There is a huge difference between what users expect from Cell phone OSes and what they expect from Computer OSes. In particular Computer OSes need to support custom applications easily.

    Apple would lose their place in the IT market, the scientific market, the music market, the video market with a limited lockdown system. They would lose their margins with a high level of control and supervision for a highly capable system. Yes they would love to have the control and the homogeneity. So would Microsoft, so would Linux. Its just that the order on computers is:

    a) features -- can do what I want
    b) reliability -- does what I want consistently
    c) price --
    d) convenience -- does what I want easily.

    For cell phones the order seems to be
    a) basic features
    b) form factor
    c) other features

  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:30AM (#32665552) Homepage

    He's not. He's saying that you have a choice: to buy or not buy an iDevice. He, like me, is tired of hearing "it's all about choice" from people who then turn around and say, "of course if you chose Apple you are an evil mutant fanboi hypocrite that I shall never, ever shut up about." My *choice* to buy an iPhone was just that. At the moment I'm happy with the *choice*, if that changes I can *choose* to go buy and Android phone. Therefore no *choices* have been taken away from me at all.

  • by bonch (38532) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:32AM (#32665570)

    leading to a single DRM-locked OS on your MacBook and your iPad.

    There is zero evidence that any such convergence (beyond the fact they already share the same Darwin core and Foundation classes) would be "DRM-locked." You threw the phrase in there as flamebait to ignite discussion. Don't be an alarmist site.

  • by bonch (38532) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:33AM (#32665594)

    Apple wants to kill the Mac OS desktop. Thus far I've been called a Troll, Naive and Insane. Now I am vindicated as developers have said the same thing.

    How does the speculation of a few developers vindicate you?

    Steve Jobs himself has already addressed this topic and said traditional PCs won't go away. They'll be like trucks; the people who need them will simply be fewer than those who just drive regular cars.

  • by jbolden (176878) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:22AM (#32666348) Homepage

    I'd say it was features first for Microsoft.

    What Microsoft did for the office environment was offer the ability for departments within a company to roll their own software out. They didn't have to go to the mainframe people, and so departments switched from:

    a) dumb terminals on the mainframe
    b) Office computers using terminal emulation

    Of course for small business and home personal computers offered some ability to get computers at all. All computers were unreliable in the 1980s. In the early 90s OS/2, Xenix and Unixes existed but generally didn't offer the application diversity (features).

  • Re:Oh Please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by insertwackynamehere (891357) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @12:00PM (#32666982) Journal

    Yup, that's how people sell things

    Oh wait no, this is Slashdot "MOMMY THEY CHEATED WITH MARKETING AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

  • by node 3 (115640) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @12:42PM (#32667590)

    Apple wants to kill the Mac OS desktop. Thus far I've been called a Troll, Naive and Insane. Now I am vindicated as developers have said the same thing.

    Apple doesn't want to kill the desktop, the desktop will be around for quite some time, and they want to be there until the end.

    Apple isn't going to kill the Imac and Macbook lines, they will simply replace the current NEXT based OS with the future versions of IOS and naturally more complex systems are more prone to unexpected issues.

    iOS is Nextstep, just with (mainly) UIKit replacing AppKit (there are more differences between Mac OS X and iOS, but this is main difference in terms of its relation to Nextstep). As for replacing Mac OS X with iOS, this doesn't make any sense. iOS is designed for small multitouch screens. This notion of iOS on the desktop is just as misguided as the idea of an iPad running Mac OS X. It can be done, but it would make the product worse.

    Having two disparate OS lines is detrimental to the long term success of this goal [homogeneity].

    Perhaps, but the gain in homogeneity would not offset the loss in quality of the Mac platform.

    Control. Fanboys may defend Apple's control for various reasons, mostly using cognitive dissonance

    FYI, when you get called a troll, it's for bullshit like this. Calling those who disagree with you "fanboys" makes you a troll, de facto. You may not realize it, leaving you to wonder "what the hell did I say that makes me a troll?" leading you to a conclusion that it must be just a bunch of "fanboys" who just don't want to hear the truth (hence your claim of cognitive dissonance), reinforcing your notion that we're just "fanboys", and therefore our arguments are dismissed out of hand.

    Anyway, my point being, if you don't want to be seen as a troll, drop that word from your vocabulary completely, even when you think that there's a situation where it incontrovertibly applies.

    They want to stop the hackintosh, they want to prevent more clones and they want to control what the end users experiences.

    And this is why you are wrong, whether you get called troll or not. The above, which is pretty much the extent of their "control" is fairly limited, and very weak grounds upon which to base any sort of grand notion that Apple wants to increase control over their users.

    The "control" over the hackintosh is obviously very limited, and not the sort of control which leads to any sort of slippery slope issues. They want you to buy a Mac if you want to run Mac OS X. The Mac and their OS are a whole. You may not like that that's how they see it, and that that's how they go about it, but some sort of overarching "control" it is not.

    As for "controlling what the end user experiences". That's overstating things quite much. They don't want to control what the user experiences, with the fundamental exception that they want to exclude a set of very rational things. Primarily, buggy software, spyware, and ports which fail to make good use of the platform. They don't want control over my experience other than to help see to it that I don't have to deal with such crap. And when us "fanboys" say (as you said in your post) "it's for your own good and other such excuses", what we're saying is that "it makes the product better". That's why we willingly choose Apple products, so we don't have to deal with a bunch of crap. It's also a huge part of why Apple products do so well even when surrounded by competition whose primary advantage is less "control".

    This wont happen overnight, not even the RDF turned to eleven could pull that one off. It will happen over time in baby steps and be hailed by the fanboys.

    It (although not the "it" you've been going on about) will be hailed because it will make our lives better. The "it" won't be locking down the Mac, or replacing M

  • by Spaseboy (185521) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:37PM (#32669308)
    I guess maybe that's true if you're planning on releasing an app for free, which even that can be done with a profit on iOS thanks to iAd and other in-app ads. The iOS gold-rush has not even come close to seeing its peak, with a relatively low market penetration compared to other platforms.

    I've used Slashdot since the 90's and there's always been this whole concept that shareware devs deserve to be paid. So now, basically all shareware-type apps on a platform are making mad money and people are screaming because apple rejects like, 2% or something?

    If you have a good idea and you can program decently enough that your app won't crash in basically a single-tasking environment, buy a Mac, pay an extra $99 and get rich. Um, where's the downside? Because you're a 40 year old dev used to paying hundreds for other IDE's and making no money and now a 14 year old has made more in a few months than your lifetime earnings? Buck up.
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:37PM (#32670350) Journal

    Because deep down, those users are telling themselves, "It's ok that this thing sucks, it's just a mobile, it's 'not a personal computer' and I still have my personal computer for whenever I need more power and flexibility."

    Previously you could say the same thing for iPhone vs other stuff - "it's just a cellphone, it's not really a computer". But now iPad came out, and it's "just a slate, not really a computer" - but notice how the dividing line has crept up.

    This kind of division is entirely subjective, and, furthermore, easily manipulated - and Apple is really, really good at marketing. If they release a locked-down desktop and call it, say, "entertainment hub", I bet you'll see the same "not a computer" arguments applied to that. And users will buy it in droves, and will be quite happy with it, because it really does pretty much everything they need to do (or, at least, think that they need to do). So, again - why not?

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