Let’s give credit where credit is due. Apple has tried for over a decade to add functions to OS X and the Mac while striving to make them simpler, easier to use, especially so for the great unwashed masses of Windows PC users.
Face the facts. Under the hood, your Mac really is a complex, complicated Unix machine with an attractive layer of eye candy in the user interface. What’s missing?
Mountain Lion vs. iOS
No tech gadget company has used the halo effect like Apple. The iPod became the world’s most popular portable media device.
Windows PC users were so thrilled with their iPods they became intrigued by the Mac, and Mac sales improved year after year.
The halo effect continued when the iPhone was introduced in 2007. Amid a world wide slow down in the PC market, the Mac continued to grow faster.
Along the way, two things happened. Apple’s iOS, the guts of the iPad and iPhone, became remarkably easy to use. And, Apple incorporated some friendly and visually memorable iOS functions into OS X Mountain Lion.
Why? Because Apple has a few hundred million customers who love their iPhone and iPad and would not be inclined to buy a complex, complicated Unix computer, but if it looked like what they already knew how to use, they would. Right?
Apple’s challenge is to keep OS X powerful while making it as friendly as an iPhone or iPad interface.
Most Macs are notebooks so they have a built-in trackpad. A Magic Trackpad is available for Mac mini and iMac and MacPro users, but even Apple’s Magic Mouse has familiar gestures built-in.
Is the Mac as easy to use as an iPad or iPhone? No. And it may never be until Siri pulls a Skynet on us and begins to rule the world.
Future iterations of OS X are likely to become more familiar to iOS users, except for one thing. The touch screen. We can touch the mouse. We can touch the trackpad. Both touches are visible on the Mac’s screen and perform similar functions to their iPhone and iPad counterparts.
What about a touch screen Mac? Wouldn’t that be cool?
That just won’t happen. We may see an optional, ultra-thin touch keyboard in a future iPad, but the easiest interface ever (until Siri can read our minds) is the finger on the screen– iPad and iPhone style.
The Mac? Do the math. No touch screen Mac because we don’t need a hundred million Mac users with tendonitis and bursitis. Moving a whole arm and shoulder simply to touch a button on a screen is heavy lifting we don’t want and won’t need.
Besides, Siri will be watching us, tracking our eyes and reading our thoughts, so all we’ll need to do to navigate future Macs is to think about what we want to do.