Not even Steve Jobs could sell live tiles on iOS 8

Summary:A report has raised its ugly head that says Apple needs to make a mobile OS that converges OS X with iOS. This would make Apple's mobile offering more like Windows 8, perhaps with live tiles and all. Um, that's never going to happen.

Based on a report by Business Insider, an analyst with JP Morgan believes that Apple needs to radically change iOS, presumably starting with iOS 8, to be more like Windows 8. The new iOS would blend OS X and iOS into a single operating system, much along the lines of Windows 8. The thought of an Apple mobile OS with live tiles makes it clear it is not likely something the folks in Cupertino would do.

Win8 to iOS
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

With Windows 8 we've seen how difficult, perhaps impossible, it is to make a single OS work well on both traditional computers and tablets. What works well on one device type often fails miserably on the other. Putting a touch screen on everything does nothing to improve that user experience. It just doesn't work.

Imagining a future version of the iPad with live tiles on the home screen is painful. Not even Jobs could sell this to the masses.

That's what the suggestion of a more Windows-like iOS doesn't address, and a user experience that is less than good is not something that Apple would do even without Steve Jobs around. Imagining a future version of the iPad with live tiles on the home screen is painful. Not even Jobs could sell this to the masses.

Apple's insistence on making compelling hardware with software that is both easy to use and optimized for a primary use scenario is a strong indicator that this converged OS that is being speculated by JP Morgan isn't going to happen. Producing a device of any type with an inconsistent user experience is something totally against Apple's DNA.

It's long been speculated that Apple intends to merge OS X and iOS at some point down the road. I believe the reason that process isn't further along can be traced to the difficulty Microsoft has with Windows 8. Even Windows enthusiasts often agree that the 'one-OS-fits-all' nature of Windows 8 doesn't work for both mobile and desktop situations. That's what Apple faces if they try to do this, and it is this writer's opinion that it can't be done.

Let's face it, if you're going to borrow concepts to implement in your own products, you don't borrow from a product that isn't exactly well received in the market. That alone is a good reason why Apple wouldn't make iOS more like Windows.

While iOS may end up taking on some of OS X's functionality, it's going to be very minor. Anything more would force Apple to desktopify the OS that runs on the iPhone and iPad, and that's not going to fly.

See related:

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPad, iPhone


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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