This is a question that has been asked, and many times answered, dozens of times – but what do you think?
It was recently revealed that Apple would soon be launching a program, codenamed Marzipan, that allows developers to easily port & develop their iOS apps for macOS. While this is excellent news for macOS users, some question if there might not be an ‘easier’ change that would see more long term effects – merging macOS & iOS.
According to Bloomberg the goal of Marzipan, overall, is to boost revenue by making it “easier for software coders to create tools, games and other applications for its main devices in one fell swoop”. While this sounds great, author Jesus Diaz makes a great point in saying that even similar codebases don’t make multi-platform development easy. This statement has left many people wondering if the true solution is easier than we think – one OS.
Concept designer Avi Barel argued that Apple should inevitably get rid of macOS & iOS altogether, while simultaneously developing a new flagship (excluding tvOS and watchOS) operating system: “Keep it simple and familiar, but make it Touch-friendly”.
Tim Cook, quoted below, has stated that he believes merging the two OS’ into one would water down both products, but he doesn’t necessarily make a case against a third hybrid that would run on iPads and similar devices.
We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [the Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two… you begin to make trade-offs and compromises.Tim Cook
So maybe the company would be more efficient at the end of the day. But that’s not what it’s about. You know it’s about giving people things that they can then use to help them change the world or express their passion or express their creativity. So this merger thing that some folks are fixated on, I don’t think that’s what users want..
It could be argued that Cook, much like Steve Jobs did when asked if Apple was developing a phone, is merely diverting attention from what Apple is truly doing. With Apple looking to port tons of iOS apps over to macOS and looking to introduce features that work well on both platforms – a merge or just more unity could be beneficial.
Whether you think a merge would be beneficial or not, it’s hard to argue there aren’t strange, easily fixable, disparities between iOS and macOS: icon designs, gesture behaviors, application functions and layouts are just a few.