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Apple Patent Points To iMac Touch Running OS X and iOS 239

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-they-can dept.
siliconbits noted an interesting little tale of a recently surfaced Apple Patent covering an iMac Touch with a flex base that switches from iOS to OS X based on orientation. There's some interesting food for thought in there ... I can't decide if I like the idea or not.
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Apple Patent Points To iMac Touch Running OS X and iOS

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  • This is what it has looked like for a long time. iOS is on their every other line of devices and the walled garden apps economy is a significant money maker for Apple. Combine that with the recent patent of remotely detecting and disabling jailbroken iPhones [slashdot.org] and I think Apple really wants to control the whole area, and obviously wants more and more money. Say goodbye to hobbyists or hackers, and just imagine if Microsoft did the same.

    • by cowscows (103644) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:44AM (#33355188) Journal

      Apple is not going to kill the desktop OS that is required to write applications for their mobile OS.. Steve Jobs isn't stupid, he knows that people aren't going to be coding 3D games or run photoshop or whatever on iOS. Killing OSX would kill iOS, and Apple knows that.

      • Steve said... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by copponex (13876) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @11:13AM (#33355652) Homepage

        Steve said... [techie-buzz.com]

        Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin’, and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.

        If Steve thinks the desktop metaphor is too difficult for most users, he'll take it away from everyone. If he thinks only signed applications should be allowed to run on your computer, he'll make it so. Of course, Microsoft could do the same thing, but Apple is certainly more likely to make those decisions. I can only hope they will keep the "mouse option" for pro creative users, but with Apple randomly removing FireWire, ExpressCard slots, and still failing to provide professional level graphics cards, most people see the writing on the wall: average joe consumers along with iPods and iPads are the future. Steve is a smart guy, but I wouldn't put it past his ego to declare the end of computers as we know them.

        OS X developers think the same thing. [arstechnica.com]

        Last week, we also hosted a live chat featuring several developers whose apps were picked for our Ars Design Awards for Mac OS X. We asked them what they thought about the future of Mac OS X and Apple's development platform during the chat, and then followed up on their thoughts about languages and APIs. While current Mac developers aren't nearly as concerned as our own John Siracusa about the Objective-C language in particular, they do see new and improved APIs coming down the pike. Developers are seeing iOS influencing Mac OS X instead of the other way around.

        The developers on our panel unanimously agreed that Mac OS X will eventually be subsumed by iOS, but that the Mac has plenty of life left. "Mac is the awesome old grandma, whose kids (iPhone & iPad) have left home," Atebits' Loren Brichter said. "Not dead; not really dying. But it's our job to keep her comfortable until she's gone."

        • I don't see what difference replacing OSX with iOS makes. Jobs needs developers to make apps for iOS. if he's going to supplant OSX with iOS entirely you are going to need dev tools that run on iOS. So you pay your hundred bucks a year and get the dev app for iOS. Or maybe the dev tool actually runs on windows or linux at that point, but i think that's less likely.

          I would think that once iOS has a dev app, you would also need to leverage source control and multitasking. In the end how is it going to be m
        • Hmmmm

          Of course, Microsoft could do the same thing, but Apple is certainly more likely to make those decisions.

          Trusted Computing...?

        • Nope. There's a reason Apple makes a consumer and a pro line. If Steve thinks the desktop is too hard for most users, he'll relegate it to the pro line, but not remove it completely

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Apple has always had problems with its Pro line, either in the Price:Performance department or the reliability department, or both. If they can make good margins selling consumer devices, and turning the PC into an appliance, who's to say they shouldn't? I for one am glad to have some "safe" computing environment where choices are simple for the masses. It's not for me, of course. If I were to use a mac it would be because of some application I can't get somewhere else, so it would be next to another comput

        • Most traditional PC users aren't people who run anything other than Email, browsing and word processing and simple games.

          People like my Mom. Who is thoroughly in love with the iPad.

          The only thing she couldn't do with out is Farmville but that's available as an app on the App Store.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by guruevi (827432)

          The desktop IS too difficult for most users. Today I had to explain somebody how to freakin' print a PDF that does not have 'Letter' dimensions (the printer would ask for a different size paper which they didn't understand even existed). However Apple is not going to take the control away from desktop computer because that would be suicide. If anything, this would basically be something similar to Dashboard - run iOS apps in Mac OS X natively or maybe a detachable iPad-like device.

          Apple has maintained and e

      • by statusbar (314703)

        Rewind 26 years.... Steve jobs released the Macintosh.

        Apple already had the Lisa.

        Initially, all Mac development had to be done on a Lisa.

        Your comment was probably said back then regarding Lisa instead of osx.

        --jeffk++

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Kill it? Of course not, nobody is claiming Apple would kill Mac OS X.

        On the other hand, they might try a tactic of only supporting Mac OS X on their most expensive workstations, and shipping lower end computers with only iOS.
        • they might try a tactic of only supporting Mac OS X on their most expensive workstations, and shipping lower end computers with only iOS.

          True, Apple could make Mac OS X exclusive to Mac Pro hardware. Then Apple might move to a Nintendo-style model where you have to have a dedicated office and published applications for someone else's platform in order to qualify for the iOS SDK.

      • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @11:29AM (#33355894) Homepage Journal
        I would think that Mac OS would continue in some form for the high end desktops and laptops. I would think for the lower end machines, which must come down in price to compete, might move to iOS.

        I would also think that as iOS is moved to higher power machines, xcode or something like would also be made available to code on these machines. Running the emulator for iOS is necessary for the moment. At some point the devices will be powerful enough to allow software development in situ. The iPad almost could run a graphics based IDE with a set of fixed routines.

        It is also worth remembering that the Mac is 25 years old and is what I consider to be the third major revision of the OS. To me we have the initial System, which evolved from 1984-1990. Then we had the Mac OS which started with System 7 in 1991 and ran to the turn of the century. We are now in the Mac OS X era, which really started big around late 2002. We may be in an overlap time. Versions of the Apple ][ persisted to 1990, even though the Lisa was introduced ten years prior and most people were buying Macs. I don't like the idea of iOS for general pupose computers, it is too closed, but maybe Apple is planning on leaving the GPC business.

        • by Sancho (17056) *

          I would also think that as iOS is moved to higher power machines, xcode or something like would also be made available to code on these machines. Running the emulator for iOS is necessary for the moment. At some point the devices will be powerful enough to allow software development in situ. The iPad almost could run a graphics based IDE with a set of fixed routines.

          I can't imagine coding on what is essentially a single-tasking device. I can't imagine sitting at a desk and using a touchscreen over a mouse. And I don't think I'm alone. There would need to be significant changes to iOS for it to be a decent coding platform--not the least of which would be an easy way to make it dual-screen (documentation/reference on one screen, Xcode on the other.)

      • by Rozzin (9910)

        Apple is not going to kill the desktop OS that is required to write applications for their mobile OS.. Steve Jobs isn't stupid, he knows that people aren't going to be coding 3D games or run photoshop or whatever on iOS. Killing OSX would kill iOS, and Apple knows that.

        Couldn't they just ship XCode for Windows?

      • by krischik (781389)

        Indeed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alen (225700)

      Apple has been doing this before iOS

      few years ago you has OS X, Apple TV and Time Machine. only thing now is that Apple seems to be going to iOS which has more lock in and runs on ARM CPU's so that they can control the entire hardware and software experience. people have run OS X on non-apple hardware but not iOS

      since apple is a hardware company they are trying to sell you 20 devices each with the same OS but gimped software that is dumbed down for a few tasks. instead of general purpose software like OS X

    • by mcvos (645701)

      This is what it has looked like for a long time. iOS is on their every other line of devices and the walled garden apps economy is a significant money maker for Apple.

      That was my first question: how does the combination of a very closed system like iOS combine with the openness of OS X?

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      iOS is on their every other line of devices and the walled garden apps economy is a significant money maker for Apple.

      Some months ago, I suggested that future iMacs would start using iOS and the walled garden and my comment was met with much denial and scoffing from the fanboys.

      I hate people who say "I told you so", so I'll just leave it at this: Of course I fucking told you so. The iOS devices are much more successful for Apple than the OSX devices. There is no doubt that they're going to continue to t

  • by alen (225700) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:44AM (#33355186)

    Apple trying to dumb down the computer and to vertically integrate the entire experience to lock everyone in will probably fail. Right about at the peak of Microsoft's power is when the company saw they had to support other technologies. IBM's peak in the mainframe age vanished when PC's came along and freed people from the tyranny of the mainframe.

    i like my iphone and think it's the right experience for a mobile device, but not the computer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rogerborg (306625)

      You're comparing apples to car analogies. Microsoft and IBM both represent(ed) the default provider, the one you had to find an excuse to switch away from. Apple's customers are almost entirely voluntary.

      Put it this way, when Ballmer said "Vista is just fine - you're using it wrong", a preponderance of Windows users said "Noooo, no, I don't think so. I'll stick with XP or wait for 7". But when Steve said "You're holding it wrong", the preponderance of iPhone 4 owners said "Yes! YES! I am holding it wr

      • If I could have fixed Vista with half an inch of duct tape, I wouldn't have minded it so much.

        • by AndrewNeo (979708)

          You didn't know? You put the half-inch of duct tape on the install DVD, therefore preventing you from getting to most of Vista's problems!

      • by alen (225700)

        there was a huge outcry in the iSucker community when SJ said that

        at one point MS was the excuse to switch from IBM and Novell. When Windows 95 came out people lined up to buy it and upgrade computers. it was just like the iSuckers lining up at Apple Stores. By Vista no one wanted to upgrade a computer for an OS upgrade. especially because PC's became so cheap the price to upgrade wasn't worth it.

        original iPhone was like Windows 95 in the 1990's. Apple is using iOS to lock everyone in and it probably won't

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Samalie (1016193)

        Sorry, but I'm getting fucking sick of the:

        "But when Steve said "You're holding it wrong", the preponderance of iPhone 4 owners said "Yes! YES! I am holding it wrong! It's my fault! Thank you sir, may I have another?""

        type bullshit around here.

        All but the absolute "Steve Jobs is God" wackjobs realize that Apple humped the dog HARD on the antenna design of the iPhone4.

        Yet I still bought and have my iPhone4...and my decision was made post-antennagate.

        Why? Because corporately I have two choices based on my or

      • Put it this way, when Ballmer said "Vista is just fine - you're using it wrong", a preponderance of Windows users said "Noooo, no, I don't think so. I'll stick with XP or wait for 7". But when Steve said "You're holding it wrong", the preponderance of iPhone 4 owners said "Yes! YES! I am holding it wrong! It's my fault! Thank you sir, may I have another?"

        No, the majority said "what the f*** are you on about with reception problems? My iPhone works just fine". People who complained loudest about iPhone reception problems were all Android users.

        • Every Iphone4 person I know can block the signal by holding it. We are talking over 40 people now. This is in the DC area so they have a strong signal.

          Try holding the phone in your left hand. That is how these people have the issue.

          Someone in the design stage/team screwed up. Blaming the consumer (your holding it wrong) or saying that all phone have this issue is a cope out by Apple.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      There are applications that a touch screen would make better. Ever played a MegaTouch game? They're in a lot of bars. Personally, if I'm in a keyboard-based app like a spreadsheet or word processor, I think it would be a lot easier to do mouse stuff with a finger on the screen than getting "mouse elbow" from switching from the keyboard to the mouse.

      Of course, better yet would be if these programs had better keyboard support. Hell, we didn't used to even have mice.

      • Getting all their apps rewritten by hand, to run on low-memory, low-power devices. Getting all their distribution and supply controlled by keys. Don't make money on the app store, just keep it as the portal everyone must access, let developers and customers get totally addicted to it, and just keep it controlled, with good quality, PR, prices, statistics, tracking, everything under control. Institute many penalties and disadvantages for breaking the walled garden. Fixes piracy, security, badware apps, hack
      • by adonoman (624929)
        So get one of these [hp.com]. Touch screens for PCs have been around for years, it's just that a Minority-Report style interface is going to destroy your shoulders a whole lot faster than a mouse will hurt your elbow.
        • by peragrin (659227)

          I love slashdot. No one ever reads the articles.

          Take that hp touch machine you pointed out add a hinge and a tilt sensor. And some intelligent software. The patent describes a method of tilting a touch screen tochange the GUI.

          So the computer works like normal with mice and keyboards. But then you tilt the screen and the GUI changes to one that works better for touch screens, scrollbars vanish, drop down menus vanish. Think of turning your smart phone from vertical to horizantal the screen changes. This pat

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomhudson (43916)
      That's because Apple is the new AOL. For people who think that anything more complicated than turning a computer on and off is for "those command-line gurus". Just look at their ads. It's a far cry from the days when Apple was a premium brand.
      • by jbolden (176878)

        First off Apple is still the choice of tech geeks. I assume (given you slashdot number) you remember "Macintosh, the computer people really use". Mac from day 1 catered to the "I hate PCs" crowd.

        • by tomhudson (43916)

          First off Apple is still the choice of tech geeks.

          Want to bet on that? I believe the server stats show more slashdotters use Windows or linux.

          I certainly wouldn't use it if given the choice between OXS and linux.

          • by jbolden (176878)

            I think more use Windows. I doubt more use Linux. The /. numbers for Linux have always been terrible. Most embarrassingly during the period of time when Linux advocacy was a big part of /. culture like 2001.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          No, maybe people who think they are tech geeks. Real tech geeks use a *n.x with X and a proper package manager.

      • Your analogy sucks. AOL was always cartoonish and for noobs. Apple actually has a pro and enterprise line along with their consumer line. You're just seeing the ads for their low-end stuff, as opposed to when they advertised their towers

    • the mainframe age vanished because PC's were cheaper and almost as good. At least they let people accomplish most of the tasks they wanted to in a simpler manner. That sounds a lot like the edge the ipad has. It's cheap and it lets you browse your photos and stream a netflix with relative ease.
    • Apple trying to dumb down the computer and to vertically integrate the entire experience to lock everyone in will probably fail ... i like my iphone and think it's the right experience for a mobile device, but not the computer.

      I believe it is far more plausible that iOS will supplement Mac OS X, not replace it, and be used for specialized applications where a Mac is used in a kiosk or some other embedded environment where an extremely simplified and touch based interface is desirable.

  • Apple patent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gumbi west (610122) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:46AM (#33355202) Journal

    By the time a patent becomes public the inventor has sent it in about three or more years prior. If we haven't already seen this, it isn't likely to happen soon. go to appleinsider and checkout all the "apple patent points to" things you've never seen. Obviously, they don't report on the patents that you have seen (who would read, "Apple patent points to phone with touch screen and accelerometer.") so it is a little hard to know the time to market versus time to patent delay, but I've never seen anything an "Apple patent points to".

    • but I've never seen anything an "Apple patent points to".

      Me neither, but I read the entire article and the only thing popping into my head was

      "Yeah, I guess its been a while since a Macrumour was around or a prototype phone was leaked"

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Apple's UI patents (the pinch-to-zoom gesture springs to mind) neatly presaged the iPhone's announcement, although in that case they were likely filed back when it was a tablet project. To emphasise and confoundyour point, it's not something that'll ship this year, but that doesn't mean it'll never happen.

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        You mean pinch-to-expand? Pinch-to-zoom would be unintuative.

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          Semantic mismatch. I've always thought that, unqualified, "zoom" could mean "zoom in" or "zoom out". I don't think of "zoom (in)" and "expand" as opposites.

      • It only "presages" the iPhone in hind sight or when combined with knowledge that an iPhone is likely soon.

        Think about it: that is a great technology for my laptop too, who says it isn't going there, or to an iPod touch type device? Plus, in this environment, you patent everything you think of, not just the stuff you are going to use.

  • While touch-based input is well suited to many applications, conventional styles of input, such as a mouse/keyboard input may be preferred in other applications. Therefore it may be desirable for some devices to provide for touch-based input as well as mouse/keyboard input. However, a UI being displayed by the display device during a touch-based input mode might not be suited for use during a mouse/keyboard input mode, and vice versa.

    I certainly hope you have to hit the escape key to switch modes. It would be vi/emacs all over again.

  • Otherwise I would hate it with a firey hate.

    .
  • Why would you want iOS on an iMac? I could see going in the other direction, and putting OSX on an iPad, This doesn't make sense to me unless iOS kicks in when it's taken off its base and used as a tablet.
    • by cowscows (103644)

      Maybe I just want to play my iOS games on a larger screen. Maybe my kids wants to use a "fingerpaint" app on the computer. There are things that a touchscreen interface is better for than a keyboard/mouse. Why not have a machine that can switch between the two interfaces depending on what you want to do?

      • Maybe I just want to play my iOS games on a larger screen. Maybe my kids wants to use a "fingerpaint" app on the computer. There are things that a touchscreen interface is better for than a keyboard/mouse. Why not have a machine that can switch between the two interfaces depending on what you want to do?

        Just to be clear here, we're talking about an iMac with a screen that doesn't detach from its base, right? It's hard to picture playing the same kinds of games on an iMac Touch (as this is envisioned) as on an iPad or iPod Touch. With the latter two, you pick up the display and hold it. With the iMac Touch display, you reach out and touch it. It's a different animal.

        I have no issue with a iMac with a touchscreen. It just seems like putting an OS for portable devices on an iMac (other than in emula

    • Usefulness to the user has nothing to do with this. This is about Apple gaining control over its users and their computers, and deciding what can or cannot be installed. It is plenty useful for Apple to do this.
  • Like it or not (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hsmith (818216) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @11:24AM (#33355796)
    Apple and Andorid are reinventing the way we look at software, "Apps" to be specific. Who knows where it will really take us - sure desktop software is a different ballgame than mobile, but what are people using more of? Our main "Software" of use has been the web browser as of late (For a majority of people) as well as word processors. Beyond those, what percentage of people use 2-3 other desktop applications?

    How many mobile apps do they use?

    As someone that writes mobile apps, the process is frustrating. We are seeing a mass dumbing down of the already dumb consumer. Everyone now expects all software to cost $0.99 - be feature packed, and work flawlessly. As anyone that develops software knows, "pick two of those."
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      As someone that writes mobile apps, the process is frustrating. We are seeing a mass dumbing down of the already dumb consumer. Everyone now expects all software to cost $0.99 - be feature packed, and work flawlessly. As anyone that develops software knows, "pick two of those."

      While I agree that consumers are expecting more for less -- what they're really looking for is an app that is stripped down to do the core functionality without the "kitchen sink" scope creep that has beset most software. It's amazin

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cowscows (103644)

        I think that the evolution of iOS will follow a similar path as the desktop MacOS did. More and more capabilities will be added, the interface designers will come up with satisfactory ways to accomplish more tasks, and consumers will build their touch-interface "skillset", allowing more more complicated interactions, and eventually more complicated applications.

        Despite all the talk about "intuitive" interfaces, that won't actually get you very far, everything is learned. What's important is some consistency

    • by hal2814 (725639)

      "Apple and Andorid are reinventing the way we look at software"

      Bullshit. They're just adapting the video game console software model (which has existed for DECADES) to more general purpose software. If you want to see where this will take us, look at the PS3/Wii/360. I'm not saying I like it, but stop pretending this is something new, because it's very much not.

  • I wouldn't mind being able to run Angry Birds HD on my home computer. For 99c, my kids get a great experience kinda thing? Not bad at all.
  • Avoiding the meaningless baiting and religious zealotry that brings nothing to this conversation...

    I'm a long-time linux user (since pre-1.0 Slackware), but have presentation needs that I personally prefer some software support for. Thus I use a presentation package --- PowerPoint typically. For a long time I would run linux on my laptop and dual-boot windows when I needed to do presentations. The nature of my work and personal preference requires the use of a Unix-based OS to get anything meaningful do

  • My best guess is that Apple is trying to create a nice "walled-garden" for content providers. Apple has been trying for years to get all the big content providers from TV, Film, etc on the Mac, but these guys saw what happened to the music industry so they have been slow to move. When the iPhone came out you finally had a operating system that the normal user (i.e. not people who are JailBreaking there stuff) couldn't access.

    Now they have the iPod, iPad, and the soon to be released iTV (rumor). If they want

  • app store lock in will kill macs and the law may even force apple to open ios to any store / app.

    Not only will apple hardware cost more then pc with way less choice. The app choice will just as bad and lot's of free software will go away as well for the mac.

    $99 /year just to have free apps in the store and if you want to sell apps pay 30% of the sales as well?

    or makeing windows software where it's free for free apps with no Nazi like censorship and if you want to sell stuff you don't have to pay M$ 30% of t

    • or makeing windows software where it's free for free apps with no Nazi like censorship and if you want to sell stuff you don't have to pay M$ 30% of the sale.

      Nazi like censorship? So who did Apple murder recently? Any names? If they survive, it's not "Nazi-like".

      And you are welcome to sell your software on a market stall, but you will have to pay significant money for the stall. Maybe a door-to-door sale then. Knock on everyone's door, up and down the street. That is about the only way you can keep 100% of your sales, and you will likely have more cost in replacing worn out shoes than you make from your software.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Say Apple charged 30% of the price for distributing OS X applications (not apps).

      For a lot of software companies, that would make life easy. They would not have to worry about an infrastructure to keep people notified about updates, nor worry about buying bandwidth for app update downloads, nor worry about having have a download site (or physical boxes.) Advertisement is easy -- just tell people to go look at FooApplication in the App Store, and be done with it. You have a single source to write demos an

  • by rochlin (248444) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @12:38PM (#33356996) Homepage
    Isn't IOS based on OS X? Maybe it's not an either/or thing. Maybe it's simply re-enabling a few more features in IOS that had to be axed to fit it on a phone with limited battery life. True Full multi-tasking comes to mind. Better support for peripherals & ports, and other such stuff.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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