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Users Don't Want iOS To Merge With MacOS, Apple Chief Tim Cook Says (smh.com.au) 156

Rebutting a widespread speculation, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said the company is not working toward building an operating system that both Macs and iPhones could share. From his interview on Sydney Morning Herald: Later, when I ask about the divide between the Mac and iOS, which seems almost conservative when compared to Microsoft's convertible Windows 10 strategy, Cook gives an interesting response. "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 thing that some folks are fixated on, I don't think that's what users want." A surprising comment, considering rumours from well-connected reporter Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, who wrote the company is working on a project called "Marzipan", which involves merging the codebase of macOS and iOS apps.
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Users Don't Want iOS To Merge With MacOS, Apple Chief Tim Cook Says

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  • Well duh.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @03:23PM (#56473243)
    We saw what it did to Windows 10. It's.... not gud.
    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      Microsoft's implementation didn't meet all our hopes and dreams. But I'm not convinced it can't be better.

      I am convinced that Apple wouldn't do much better. Apple is generally much more restrictive.

      • Re:Well duh.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Friday April 20, 2018 @07:43PM (#56475021) Journal

        But I'm not convinced it can't be better.

        I am. The desktop and mobile form factors are fundamentally incompatible. They have different display sizes, different input devices, different levels of accuracy, are used in different environments, and are used for different purposes. And that's only a few of the many, many differences between them.

        Trying to make a desktop work like a phone, or a phone like a desktop, just leads to a really shitty desktop or a really shitty phone. Developers and OS designers need to simply accept and embrace this and instead focus on making both the best they can be.

        I don't always agree with Tim Cook, but:

        "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 thing that some folks are fixated on, I don't think that's what users want."

        is damned spot-on. Ultimately, Microsoft is really just pinching pennies and trying to lock people into a Windows ecosystem by merging their desktop and mobile systems. Nothing about the attempt to merge these systems is good for consumers.

        • One interface is doomed to be best on at most one form factor. But why does it need to be one interface? Put the app on the devices it makes sense to run on. Optimize it for each of those interfaces individually.

          This isn't very different from traditional cross-platform development. But better than that, you only have one code base in one language with one set of common frameworks and libraries, and one thread of versioning and updates instead of multiple to manage. The best, most maintainable cross-pla

          • Yep. These days smartphones are really powerful so I believe everything but the UI can be shared. It shouldn't be THAT hard. Instead of that Microsoft seems to be set on forcing deskop users use touch optimized UIs.
            Anyway, I'm wary of the "responsive" label. It's commonly used to define UIs that auto resize but usually make a poor use of whitespace on desktops
            • Agreed, I love the idea of proper responsive UIs given the plethora of screen sizes and interaction patterns. But too many implementations look more like sample apps than a truly rich experience.

      • Better? Maybe. Good? I doubt it. A computer is a fundamentally different device from a phone, with a much larger screen and fundamentally different input devices. It has different UI needs, and any attempt to shoehorn a common UI on phones and computers is doomed.

      • The moment I have to use my mouse I lose speed. Windows 10 requires a mouse to create a folder, unless you want to try tabbing in a nearly random pattern around a hopelessly cluttered UI.

        Alt f w f has always worked. But they removed it because it depends on your security rights. But its right there in the top with a picture of a folder permanently taking up space. And yes I create many folders as a way to organize files being worked on immediately.

        If the explanations made sense maybe I'd give them a chance.

    • I thought it was Windows 8, where they tried to go with app-like icons on their desktop and broke their most recognizable UI feature by killing the "Start" button, where they tried to merge the desktop and mobile device OS? All while they broke backwards compatibility with older Windows OSes?

      It's the reason so many people stayed on Windows 7 for so long. (Not that Windows 10 and its own issues have helped. Many individual users will be staying with Win7 until the bitter end in 2020).

      • Precisely! Giving Windows 8 an UI similar to Windows Phone 8 was pretty inane. When I got my first Windows 8 laptop, the experience was so bad that I wiped it out for PC-BSD. (Of course, it's another thing that PC-BSD has stagnated ever since becoming TrueOS)

        Windows 10 had the right idea of giving the user the option to choose b/w a Windows 7 like 'Desktop mode' vs a Windows 8 like 'Tablet mode'. While there are several things about Windows 10 that I don't like, the UI ain't one of them.

        • While it's certainly much better than Windows 8, 10's start menu is IMO worse than the one on 7.
          Also, they've changed some parts of the UI (of the OS itself and many default apps) to be touch optimized which makes poor use of real estate when using mice.
    • I was waiting for the part where he says, "...but we're going to do it anyway".

    • We saw what it did to Windows 10. It's.... not gud.

      Actually, the Windows 10 UI was fine, what was wrong in Windows 10 was the migration away from being a software centric company to a company that tries to make the user base its beta testers, forced upgrades, as well as breaking a good amount of compatibility b/w Windows 7 and 10 applications. Oh, and moving to the Windows Store as a primary way of getting new software: the better software is still software that one has to either get a DVD for, or download from a website. Notice that Office does not get d

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      God? :P

  • See, told you so (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @03:25PM (#56473263)

    People on Slashdot keep claiming merging the two is what Apple is working towards. Perhaps this explicit statement from the CEO that users do not want it and Apple has no plans to do so are enough to quiet the minds of such people, for at least a little while.

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Powys ( 1274816 )
      Users didn't want Apple to remove the headphone jack. Since when has apple ever listened to users?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        ...is disturbing.

      • Users didn't want Apple to remove the headphone jack. Since when has apple ever listened to users?

        Proof?

        • The press didn't like it [theverge.com], and do you have any proof that people WANTED Apple to remove the number one means of connecting headphones to cell phones?
          • The press didn't like it [theverge.com], and do you have any proof that people WANTED Apple to remove the number one means of connecting headphones to cell phones?

            It's not MY postulate to prove nor disprove, genius.

            • Here's more proof: iOS continues to lose market share [businessinsider.com] and even in the US, all iOS devices now number about the same as just Samsung [techcrunch.com], one of multiple Android players. Was that from the headphone jack, or the general slide in iOS quality overall? I tend to think it's both, given the headphone market is continuing to explode and Apple basically locked themselves out of a vast majority of it.

              So where's your proof?

              • Here's more proof: iOS continues to lose market share [businessinsider.com] and even in the US, all iOS devices now number about the same as just Samsung [techcrunch.com], one of multiple Android players. Was that from the headphone jack, or the general slide in iOS quality overall? I tend to think it's both, given the headphone market is continuing to explode and Apple basically locked themselves out of a vast majority of it.

                So where's your proof?

                The problem with that figure is that includes ALL Samsung phones; not just those that compete head-to-head against Apple's models. When you start breaking it out by model, an entirely different picture emerges, with Apple holding the first AND second place, in terms of units sold, with a low-end Samsung phone in third place (and no other Samsung models in the top 5) :

                https://www.bbva.com/en/top-se... [bbva.com]

                In fact, it is really hard to figure out exactly what Samsung is selling significant numbers of, with THIRTY

      • I haven't used the headphone jack in years... good Bluetooth has replaced the wired equipment.

        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          I haven't used the headphone jack in years... good Bluetooth has replaced the wired equipment.

          Whatever. [yourlogicalfallacyis.com] That doesn't explain why Apple needs to remove the headphone jack. You can continue to use the Bluetooth equipment you enjoy even if the older technology is present. Why must it be a choice between one or the other? In the words of a certain little girl on a television commercial, "Why not both?"

          • The headphone jack is a way into the inside of the phone for water, dirt, and dust. If it's unused it shouldn't be there.

            • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

              The headphone jack is a way into the inside of the phone for water, dirt, and dust. If it's unused it shouldn't be there.

              How do other manufacturers manage to make IP68 phones that still have headphone jacks then?

            • That you are not using it is not evidence that no one uses it.

              Other peoples' phones not having headphone jacks has cost me considerably in terms of sales, not to mention frustration. I will never willingly purchase a phone that doesn't have one.

              Apple could have and should have left it alone. To try to drive sales of Beats wireless headphones by unnecessarily removing useful, functional, and reliable technology from their product was a dickish thing to do.

        • Too bad good Bluetooth and iOS are mutually exclusive; AptX, AptX HD, and LDAC (all near-lossless or lossless Bluetooth CODECs) do not run on iOS. Interestingly, the first two (AptX and AptX HD) do run on OSX. So it's not that Apple is not supportive of good Bluetooth; they just don't support it for portable devices.
    • People on Slashdot keep claiming merging the two is what Apple is working towards. Perhaps this explicit statement from the CEO that users do not want it and Apple has no plans to do so are enough to quiet the minds of such people, for at least a little while.

      I was really glad to hear Cook say this, because frankly what I've been seeing with iOS and macOS led me to believe Apple was indeed working towards merging the two OSes - and, for me personally, that would deleteriously affect my ability to work effectively.

      • that would deleteriously affect my ability to work effectively.

        What are you, a cat video reviewer or a gridr mystery shopper?

    • People on Slashdot keep claiming merging the two is what Apple is working towards. Perhaps this explicit statement from the CEO that users do not want it and Apple has no plans to do so are enough to quiet the minds of such people, for at least a little while.

      Ahh I get it.

      It's a conspiracy! Tim Cook is lulling us into a false sense of security and SuperKendall is in on it!!!

    • People on Slashdot keep claiming merging the two is what Apple is working towards. Perhaps this explicit statement from the CEO that users do not want it and Apple has no plans to do so are enough to quiet the minds of such people, for at least a little while.

      Hahaha!

      You forget: This is Slashdot; where people still make Single-Button-Mouse jokes about Macs!

    • The main "merge" is the Mac App Store becoming the exclusive source of apps, locking down the MacOS in the same way that iOS can only gain apps from the official App Store.

      This cuts small developers and unofficial tools out of the market, but it has the advantage of nobody being able to make a Trojan horse or virus. It's one step backwards in freedom, but one step forward in protection of the Internet.

      • I downloaded one single application from the macStore, Baldurs Gate. Oh, and an update for XCode, I believe.
        All other applications/software I download from the vendors site.

        I wonder why people claim such nonsense.

        • You have unchecked a checkbox in System Preferences in order to do this... eventually, that box will be automatically checked and disappear.

          • Ha ha ha ha ...
            50%, probably more, Mac users are software developers.
            If we can not install the software we want, we switch to linux ... why would Apple ever do that?

    • Maybe they're working on merging the underlying architecture...?? Cook speaks merely of interfaces.

    • Slashdot should really stop post clickbait articles on what Apple *aren't* doing, although I'm sure it's a major coup for the journalist at the Green Guide to interview one of the world's most influential CEOs from the other side of the planet.

      If he's not interested in marketing products we basement dwelling nerds would be interested in, that's okay. We have differing tastes and companies that pursue our ideas of innovation will gladly take our money.

    • There are some places I'd like to see a merge. AppKit is showing its age and adding support for things like windows, drag and drop, and so on to UIKit and making the desktop a new UIKit mode (just as it already has separate tablet and phone personalities) would make it possible to share a lot more code between the two. Being able to have almost identical code bases for iOS and macOS, with just a few tweaks to the UI to make them more appropriate for the different UI models (rather than a load of code dupl
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @03:28PM (#56473301)

    UI and capabilities can be as different as users want them to be, but there is no need to force internal and external developers to do duplicate work. Few of iOS games are ported to OSX, the difference should only be in control scheme (and iOS/Apple TVs should trivially support paired Bluetooth input devices). The only reason to not do this now is if engineering effort is too high.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      UI and capabilities can be as different as users want them to be, but there is no need to force internal and external developers to do duplicate work. Few of iOS games are ported to OSX, the difference should only be in control scheme (and iOS/Apple TVs should trivially support paired Bluetooth input devices). The only reason to not do this now is if engineering effort is too high.

      Well and what's fun wasting a bit of time riding the bus is different from a marathon session in Civilization. I hope they implement it like a flip switch, here's your mobile/touch-focused UI and here's your desktop/keyboard+mouse-focused UI not mangle them to oblivion.

    • Yeah, and also, I think he might largely be talking about the GUI. For what he's talking about, you could literally merge the two operating systems, because users don't know or care about that. We nerds know what an operating system is, but "users" only know the GUI.

      Tim Cook has been talking for a while about not wanting to merge iOS and MacOS, and his reasons are always GUI related. He's basically saying, "A good touch interface will suck for desktop users. A good keyboard/mouse interface will suck on

      • Then keep 2 different GUIs but use a single technology to implement it.

        HTML5 doesn't care if it's running on a smartphone or a 50" TV. Nor does Qt, which Nokia transplanted from the desktop to a touch environment. However, different form factors require different skins, e.g. mobile CSS.

        Where UWP failed was companies writing apps for Lumia and then publishing that same app to the Windows store without tailoring the user interface - a big screen abomination. And since WP10 was a distant third place behind iOS

      • The OSes actually are merged, unless that's changed recently. They both use the same kernel. Of course, as you move up the stack the frameworks are more and more different until you get to the GUI. But even the GUI api's are similar in a lot of ways.
        • It's true that iOS is based off of MacOS, but I was under the impression that it was stripped down quite a bit. Also, I don't know if there are different optimizations to run on ARM instead of Intel chips. I don't think it's as simple as being the same OS with a modified UI.

          I could be wrong. And of course, it depends on what you mean by "operating system". Is everything running on a Linux kernel the same OS? Arguably, I suppose, but I think most people would say that Chrome OS is a different operating

          • I don't think it's as simple as being the same OS with a modified UI.

            A lot of the core system is open source, and you can look through it as I have. Even up to the UI layer (Cocoa/OpenStep) things are very similar, with obvious differences because the UI components need to be different, and other less obvious differences (probably because some developer thought it would be better to 'fix' some things, and also because they were working very, very quickly to get iOS out and sometimes the work feels hasty).

      • Really? OSX is *nix and open and iOS is locked down. Which are you going to change?

        • I believe both MacOS and iOS are Unix, large portions of which are open source. iOS isn't open in the sense that you can only install apps from their app store, but otherwise it's not that different.

          If you're asking whether I'd support removing the ability to install non-AppStore apps on MacOS, then the answer is no. If I had the choice, I'd like the ability to install non-AppStore apps on iOS devices. However, that question has pretty much nothing to do with merging the code.

    • by santiago ( 42242 )

      macOS and iOS effectively are merged already. iOS was born a fork of macOS. Non-UI code is basically portable between the two without any changes, modulo a few frameworks that only exist on one or the other for hardware reasons, and the UI code is similar, but slightly different because one is a windowed system for big screens with pointers and one is a full-screen system for small touch screens. Source: I've been an iOS developer for seven years, and had Mac OS X experience prior.

  • Any attempt to merge the two would hurt both platforms.

    Making iOS more like MacOS would result in an overly bloated mobile operating system. iOS needs to be simple, mostly stateless, and perform well on mobile hardware.

    Making MacOS more like iOS would be crippling the operating system. MacOS is VASTLY more capable in every way than iOS and works great for beginners and power users alike. Taking away features or putting it in a walled garden to make it more like iOS would be a HUGE disservice to its users.

    Pr

    • iOS and macOS are both unixes.
      Only the UI is different.

    • The most interesting idea that would come from any of this would be to equip a Mac with a touchscreen, but not make it's use anywhere near mandatory for those (like me) that have serious ergonomic concerns with vertical touchscreens; and then grow the existing iOS simulator that resides in Xcode into a full blown virtual iOS residing on your Mac that allows app store downloads and usage.

      When I need / want the full Mac experience, it's always there. If I need / want an iOS app that doesn't exist on the Mac,

    • Why not merge the underlying hardware architecture i.e. make them both based on the A series CPUs? Then one can choose whether to use iOS or OS X on either device
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday April 20, 2018 @03:37PM (#56473375) Homepage Journal

    Yes, the use cases for both are different, but there's no reason an upcoming iPhone can't power a wireless KVM with ease. Having one device to carry is what people want, and the non-private iCloud sync isn't a replacement for integration. Of course "Mac Mode" should run with KVM semantics and not with mobile semantics. So Tim is right.

    And so are the people saying a merger is on the horizon.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Absolutely agree with Cook, Mac OS and IOS are operating systems serving very different devices and therefore need separate types of operating systems. Obviously Apple saw the disaster of what Windows 8 was and realized one size OS doesn't work and is full of compromises. Microsoft is still trying to make something work for all devices with Windows 10 without a lot of real success. Give Cook credit for realizing the tablet and notebooks are used in different ways and developing operating systems that comple

    • I also agree with Cook. While Win10 may be solid under the hood, the user interface sucks. Like being designed by a three year old. Above all an awful waste of space. The Ok button does not need to be that large on my desktop. For using touch I can understand that, but not for a pc with a mouse. That's also why the borders of a window are now 1 pixel thick. Try that for resizing a window. I estimate a 30% less time efficiency using an application while (trying to) resizing windows. Again on a table
  • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @03:43PM (#56473423)
    So what he's really saying is that OSX will continue to die from neglect until everyone gets on-board with using a tablet for everything.
    • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @04:23PM (#56473727) Homepage Journal

      Besides the fact that they use GNU tools from ~2005 due to BSD reasons what do you feel is neglected, I use it for work and it mostly boots up and gets out of the way, I'm curious what must-have features you want that it doesn't provide?

      • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

        Someone will come looking for how to fix GNU core utils, it is
         

        brew install coreutils --with-default-names

        Which also fixes some goofy find/replace behavior with sed

    • by MeNeXT ( 200840 )

      Can you specify the neglect in OSX. I would agree that there is neglect on the hardware side but what OS function is missing? I find more features missing on Win10 that OSX.

  • ...finally fixing the remote desktop. That would be supercool, connecting to your mac over the internet. Right now, everything I tried is too slow.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      LogMeIn and Bomgar work great for this.

  • Finder for ios is needed and side loading.

    If the IOS lock down comes to mac os apple is dead. Right now there lack of good pro hardware is killing then in that market.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      side loading.

      Since iOS9 side loading apps is a supported feature. As long as they're open source. Yes, that is important because binary-only releases go against the spirit of the function.

      There's a spread of utilities and games that are not typically allowed (like emulators) in the app store you can compile and send to your iOS devices.

  • What they want is an iPad Pro that runs MacOS.
    • As an Apple 'hater', I could certainly live with that.

      Compare a Macbook and an iPad Pro side by side - the iPad wins easily on 'sexiness'. But I need to buy the fugly Macbook to get "real work" done?

  • We made a smart phone. For smart users. And those are the ones that do not ask stupid questions. Next.

    If a merging of both was the wet dream of our consumers, they should buy the alternative from Redmond. Next.

    You people are not asking for the impossible. You can join that line over there, behind those people waiting for the return of the headphone jack on the phone.

  • What Users Want? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tsqr ( 808554 )

    I don't think that's what users want.

    Right. Just like a headphone jack on the iPhone, or Thunderbolt-2 and MagSafe ports on the MacBook Pro, which absolutely no users want at all.

  • not a mac fan anymore but back in the day when this was the first it became a worry, the problem is nobody wanted their pc os to get dumber, which is exactly what would happen, rather than the phone os becoming something that can do actual work.
  • Instead of saying what you think they'd answer?

  • ..Then little imacOS will be brought in by the stork.

    I wish the new family all the best, but really, we don't care.

  • I don't see any reason why Apple doesn't add the touch screen display to its line of laptops with MacOS. It will simply give a user more flexibility. Every once in a while touch screen is natural to use.

    Likewise, there is no reason why Apple doesn't add a mouse/touchpad support for IOS. Primarily for use with add-on keyboard. When you use a detachable keyboard with Ipad, it is more natural to use a mouse pad rather than moving your fingers from the keyboard to display. Yeah, I know, they are keyboard shortc

  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @09:44PM (#56475607)

    If Tim Cook thinks merging iOS and MacOS would result in compromises then he lacks imagination and should not be leading Apple.

    Done properly the software could make the best use of what ever hardware it finds itself running on so the user gets to pick and choose how and where they want to use it. I'm a user and a programmer, for 40 years, so I speak from a bit of experience and I apparently have a lot more imagination than Tim Cook. If he can't imagine better things then he needs to get out of the way of people who can.

  • Over the past few years, Apple has replaced several OSX apps that worked well with new ones that are less functional, to get feature parity between OSX and iOS. Replacing iPhoto with Photos, for example.
    Now that the penny has dropped, it's time to stop limiting OSX apps to the level of their iOS counterparts.

  • I'm not an Apple user anyways, but I was expecting Apple to at least try to go after this.
    I mean, I do understand how hard it is to come up with a perfect mix on this, but I'm expecting that at some point we'd have devices flexible enough to work both in tablet or laptop/desktop mode without any compromises.

    This is probably something that'd have to be lead by Apple, like it or not. Microsoft is absolutely clueless on what to do with Windows these days, what with scaring away people with telemetry, trying to

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