Windows everywhere hasn’t worked out so well for Microsoft. Yet, some still think Apple will merge iOS and OS X somewhere down the road. Industry prognosticators think the unthinkable is being thought, so let’s walk through some of the inherent issues, and what I would like to see instead.
The iEverywhere iDevice
To a certain extent, iOS and OS X share genes. After all, iOS is based upon OS X but with a touch interface vs. the standard desktop and notebook interface in OS X.
The wisdom of creating an entirely different interface for touch devices has proved itself as Apple’s iDevices crush Microsoft’s Windows devices in the mobile segment of technology.
For obvious reasons, Apple decided to use the basics of OS X in iOS, but not the interface. Good move, Apple.
Yet, there are some areas where a technological merging of the two might make sense, at least as far as apps are concerned.
For example, I would love to have iOS apps show up on my Mac’s screen as advanced Desktop accessories. iOS apps are far more powerful than Dashboard Widgets.
Having a variety of floating iOS apps on the Mac’s screen would be trivial for Apple.
OS X Apps To iOS
To a certain extent, Mac apps already reside on iPhone and iPad. Mail, Safari, Contacts, FaceTime, and the iWork suite of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote come to mind.
Garageband on iOS devices is anemic at best, though. There are limits to the limited CPU horsepower and screen size that prevent Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut Pro, et all, from showing up on mobile devices.
That said, there is one aspect of the iOS and OS X merge thought I would like to see. Mobile screens and keyboards. In other words, you could use your iPhone or iPad without touching the device. All that would be necessary is a smaller screen and keyboard wireless tied to the iDevice.
Bluetooth keyboards already enable typing and navigation on iPhone and iPad, but the limited screen size keeps functionality as a niche. Apple can already stream the iPhone and iPad’s screen to a TV or a Mac via Apple TV, so the technology isn’t the issue.
What I imagine is straightforward– a 13-inch wireless touchscreen display with a keyboard as an option for iOS devices to connect to, instead of a 13-inch iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard.
Technology isn’t the issue here. But would you buy a separate screen and keyboard combo that works wirelessly with your iPhone (giving you a bigger, better screen to type on, and view) or iPad?
Price right and Apple-like, I would.