iOS: Coming soon to Mac OS 11?

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.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

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.

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