iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

Summary: A new patent application by Apple called "Transitioning between Modes of Input" is loaded with hints as to what to expect from Mac OS X in the future.

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Like Apple patents? Me too.

Patently Apple got the goods on a new patent application for what it's calling the iMac touch and MacBook Tablet -- and it's loaded with hints as to what to expect from Mac OS in the future. Imagine an iMac that works with a keyboard and mouse when the screen is in an upright orientation and as a touchscreen when at a flatter, or lower screen orientation. Boom. Best of both worlds.

There's been a lot of speculation about the future of the desktop Mac OS in light of the rising star that is iOS. Some have theorized that iOS will morph into OS 11, with both users and Apple benefiting from the success of the new "app economy." What's not to love? For starters, power users cringe at the thought of losing their pro applications, and writer (ahem!) need our keyboards and mice thankyouverymuch.

Could the two OSes peacefully coexist? Up until now there's been a discreet difference between Apple's mobile OS and its desktop OS.

iOS was designed for smaller devices like the iPhone, iPod and iPad where the emphasis is on battery life. Mac OS X was designed for larger devices, with different input methods (keyboards, mice and trackpads) and an emphasis on the speed and capacity of processor, disk and memory. Two divergent goals.

Could Apple's mobile and desktop OSes live together? Apple's new patent application "Transitioning between Modes of Input" would lead us to believe so. Both the Patently Apple piece and the patent itself are recommended reading and provide insight into how we'll be using our desktop Macs in the not-too-distant future.

What's your take on the role of iOS on the desktop and the future of Mac OS X? Let us know in the TalkBack.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software

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58 comments
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  • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

    They need to be careful not to take the iOS obsession too far. The natural input method for a desktop OS is keyboard and mouse, adding a touchscreen just increases the cost and would initially be very gimmicky.

    It will be interesting to see how they approach OS 11 but I'm sure OS X has got a couple more iterations in it yet (true system wide 64-bit, further refinements to the interface etc.)
    Ben_E
    • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

      @Ben_E

      With every discussion about touch screens, comes the comment about traditional Input Methods being far superior. And at this point they are. I do believe there will be a revolutionary new method of input in the near future. Beyond touch/verbal/typing.
      It will be (my humble opinion of course) something akin to hand gestures. And lets face it, typing IS just a finger gesture that connects to a plastic board that detects the depression of the finger. I foresee a system of hand gestures that will allow, once mastered, an individual to input the entire alphabet in the same amount of time it takes to type it.
      Bodazapha
      • It Looks Like You Saw "The Minority Report" Too

        @Bodazapha
        yobtaf
      • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

        @Bodazapha "It will be (my humble opinion of course) something akin to hand gestures."

        Hmmm... You could be right, but never underestimate the benefit of tactile feed back. So while gestures may take over some day I don't think I'll be holding my breath waiting for it. I do reserve the right to be 100% wrong, but I just don't see the mouse keyboard is going anywhere for actual computer use.
        Rabayn
      • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

        @Bodazapha At the end of the day you need to point at letters and press them to get any kind of real work done.. I.E. programming, writing documents, etc. The mouse may not be the most natural input device, but the keyboard will always be king, or a touch version thereof... Programmers don't want to learn sign language to type.
        snoop0x7b
    • Wireless touchpad?

      @Ben_E
      It just struck me--Apple recently came out with a wireless touchpad that can be used with desktop systems. That makes a WHOLE lot more sense than having a full-screen touch system on a desktop.
      Userama
      • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

        @Userama I procured one of the Magic Trackpads and love it. I've a service connected disability that makes gripping a mouse all day, or a trackball for that matter, a painful proposition. With the Magic Trackpad I can open my hand up and not end up with 'claw hand' by day's end. Oddly, I've never much liked the trackpad on my Mac laptops as they seemed too small and of course didn't have all of the gesture input that the MT has. I think the MT is, however, only an interim technology. The drawing suggests a very versatile way of input.
        You can ask many of my ex-clients (retired Mac consultant here) what their monitors looked like after I'd left them. Smeared with my fingerprints from trying to show them how to move icons about and do drop menu hits.
        I've looked at an iPad and would still want a chicklet keyboard for typing input. I am a touch typist (trained in High School on an upright manual Royal) and find the lack of aural and physical feed back on the iPad's virtual keyboard to be unsatisfactory. But hey the ensuing generations may not have that problem.
        dheady
      • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

        @Userama
        Agreed, I now use multi-touch gestures on my MBP trackpad without thinking about it, and then wonder why I struggle going to other laptops!
        Ben_E
    • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

      @Ben_E So the iPhone is a gimmick? iPad? iPod Touch? Get over it, the mouse is going the way of BetaMax, Kodachrome, cassette tapes and the 8-track. It's called PROGRESS.
      eddit13
      • Mouse Obsolete? Yes, but...

        @eddit13
        I'm not so sure that the mouse is going away any time soon; years ago, I had a trackpad on my PowerMac G3 that worked wonderfully, as well as a trackpad on an old Dell PC (these had come out about the same time as the trackpads on laptops first appeared, about 15 or so years ago). Yet, mice continued to proliferate--the only real improvement was the move to an optical system, replacing the track ball. I hope that the trackpad takes hold again, but it seems like users have no great desire to give them up and manufacturers are willing to humor them.
        kg6ygs
      • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

        @eddit13
        It's not a gimmick on the current iOS devices - it makes sense on those - I have used iPod Touch, own a 3GS and plan to get an iPad. It's not a gimmick there.

        The gimmickery will be the way that the first generation of true touch-enabled OS desktops are marketed. The screen is that much bigger, and usually further away, that Apple are going to have to justify the touch interface as being something that people can work with. I love Apple products, I really do, but I am apprehensive about a potential move towards an interface on a non-mobile device that requires it to be used in the style of a mobile device. The current iOS devices all work perfectly in that regard because the hardware is designed around the software and the intended function. This is going to be a case of shoehorning the touch interface into a usage scenario where it is not necessarily the best/most appropriate way to work.
        Ben_E
    • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

      @Ben_E Depends on what business you're in... as a designer and illustrator, I'd love to have something equivalent to the Wacom Cintiq built into my computer. That is, touch screens, if the sensitivity is right, would be a huge boom for some industries.
      Carrie Johnson
    • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

      Sad the Apple zealots are out defending their cult already. Grow up people! One company has found several bug in another company's product. This is good, irrespective of the companies concerned and their sour relationship. Look at the message, not where your allegiances lie.
      In this case, Adobe has done the world and Apple a favor. Now Apple can work on fixing them.
      As for people in business demanding to upgrade one something as unsettled as a brand new OS, what a bunch of idiots.
      Read here to get your head straight: Sad the Apple zealots are out defending their cult already. Grow up people! One company has found several bug in another company's product. This is good, irrespective of the companies concerned and their sour relationship. Look at the message, not where your allegiances lie.
      In this case, Adobe has done the world and Apple a favor. Now Apple can work on fixing them.
      As for people in business demanding to upgrade one something as unsettled as a brand new OS, what a bunch of idiots.
      Read this to get your head straight: http://v12ntoday.com/news/news-news/apple-os-x-lion-to-offer-mac-users-more-virtualization-options.html
      Bonchucin
    • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

      Sad the Apple zealots are out defending their cult already. Grow up people! One company has found several bug in another company's product. This is good, irrespective of the companies concerned and their sour relationship. Look at the message, not where your allegiances lie.
      In this case, Adobe has done the world and Apple a favor. Now Apple can work on fixing them.
      As for people in business demanding to upgrade one something as unsettled as a brand new OS, what a bunch of idiots.
      Read here to get your head straight: Sad the Apple zealots are out defending their cult already. Grow up people! One company has found several bug in another company's product. This is good, irrespective of the companies concerned and their sour relationship. Look at the message, not where your allegiances lie.
      In this case, Adobe has done the world and Apple a favor. Now Apple can work on fixing them.
      As for people in business demanding to upgrade one something as unsettled as a brand new OS, what a bunch of idiots.
      Read this to get your head straight: http://v12ntoday.com/news/news-news/apple-os-x-lion-to-offer-mac-users-more-virtualization-options.html
      Bonchucin
  • This proves Apple isn't immune to having stupid ideas

    Let's face it--there are places a touch UI makes sense (handheld/mobile devices), and places where it doesn't (desktop). Touch works great on small screens, but would be an ergonomic killer on large screens.
    One more thing. Unless the law of gravity has been repealed, part no. 309 in the diagram above would have to be bolted to the desk!
    Userama
    • THIS proves it?

      Wow, you have such a blind love for Apple that you believe [b]this[/b] is the first time they've had a stupid idea?

      Have some more kool-aid son.
      NonZealot
      • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

        @NonZealot

        Seriously, we all know this is far from the first or even tenth... They've come up with hundreds of stupid designs and ideas.
        audidiablo
      • And stupid ideas make money?

        @NonZealot

        "you believe this is the first time they've had a stupid idea?"

        How impressed have you been in the early days of the iPod, iPhone, iPad? Just stupid ideas from Apple that will never fly?

        While Apple may not be batting 1000 they are miles ahead of their competition. In innovation and in overall performance (market cap in particular).

        The one other heavy hitter in the market (HP) actually fired their CEO recently because he might have done something to "embarrass" them. And he was the one bringing improvements to the company!

        Personally I believe that the double OS will be a huge threat to the rest of the consumer market for one simple reason - cheap apps. Users will be able to run their $1.99 apps on their computer, switching back & forth at will.

        Life is giong to be interesting if Apple can figure it out. And with Steve Jobs as CEO my bet is that they figured it out last year. :)
        Ken_z
      • A stupid idea is shoehorning a desktop OS...

        @NonZealot A stupid idea is shoehorning a desktop OS onto a mobile device. A good idea is designing a UI from the get-go to be used on a mobile device.

        Having a desktop with a touch screen that dynamically switches between the touchscreen UI and the desktop UI sounds like a good idea to me.
        olePigeon
    • RE: iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

      <i>@Userama said, "Unless the law of gravity has been repealed, part no. 309 in the diagram above would have to be bolted to the desk!"</i>

      Um No... It wouldn't... Your definately not an engineer...
      i8thecat