EDITOR: 07.26.19 The arrival of the new iPadOS, – a hybrid-like operating system that is part of the mobile and part of the desktop, further blurs the lines between iOS, "the world's most advanced mobile operating system,". and MacOS, "the world's most advanced desktop operating system," and this latest move from Apple suggests that an imminent merger of the two operating systems is on the horizon, which continues to look even more likely than ever (if not definitely).
Apple executives still have – as they have done so many times in the past – unequivocally demanding that they merge the company's mobile and desktop operating systems at any time. Apple's senior director of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said it would be a waste of energy, while Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, said users don't want it. Most recently, at last year's annual Worldwide Developer Conference, WWDC 1
However? The sheep roll begins to clarify the wolf (so to speak).
A touch-based operating system is the wave of the future and Apple knows it. The tech giant has, slowly but surely, led us in that direction – despite all the rejections of senior executives – and the first step in making a fusion of iOS and MacOS a reality is through the new iPadOS that was announced last month at. WWDC 19.
A majority of the upcoming new features in what has been called "the powerful operating system with a new name to recognize the peculiar experience of the iPad" (interesting how Apple didn't designate it directly as a mobile operating system) originate from and is already found on Mac.
Features specific to iPadOS that originate or are similar to those on MacOS that are not currently found on iOS – the basis for which the operating system exclusively for Apple tablets was built – is as follows:
- new hot keys available when connected to a physical keyboard (for example, an Apple Smart Keyboard)
- the ability to install custom fonts in the system and manage the use of
- work simultaneously with multiple files and documents from the same app
- a simple swipe (called Slide Over), quickly and view between multiple open apps
- View all open windows (called Spaces) for a single app (with App Exposé)
- save and access documents on a single central location using the redesigned Files app
- . A column view is now visible as you navigate files and documents directories
- and documents on a shared folder using iCloud Drive
- the ability to access file servers on a Mac or PC with the Files app
- locally device storage now supported
- external drives support in the Files app now allows access to files and documents located on hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, etc.
- a download manager is now part of Safari The
- pages that are now standard for desktop versions when browsing Safari
The previous features list ed makes the iPad work, feel and work more like, well, a Mac.
Efforts to streamline mobile and desktop operating systems – something that has been happening on a more regular basis in recent years – just continue to support the path Apple is moving toward with iOS and MacOS that look more and more like each other every year: and the new iPadOS is just another, and a perfect example of that fact (especially with it's a spinoff of iOS).  In the back? The Mac is becoming more and more similar to the iPad as well, with various elements of iOS (the previous incarnation of iPadOS) being borrowed and integrated / implemented in newer versions of MacOS as such subtle features as (just to name a few): The notes , the reminders and photos apps that come to the desktop environment. Or big moves like Siri, the AI digital assistant – who debuted in 2011 on the iPhone 4S with iOS 4 (historically important as this was the year the mobile operating system previously known as the iPhone OS became iOS) – finally made its way onto the Mac .
Some of the new applications coming this fall to MacOS Catalina version 10.15 that mirror their mobile app counterparts originally from newer versions of iOS are such as the new Music, TV and Podcasts applications (replacing the previous iTunes application) and screen time. And with Project Catalyst (formerly known as Project Marzipan), software developers will be able to create new – or portover – applications for Macs derived from apps native to iPad, making the apps specifically designed for the Apple tablet work seamlessly . on any Mac laptop or desktop computer running MacOS Catalina (and any future desktop operating system updates).
Next is the hardware-related side of things that provide more solid examples of this convergence we're in the middle of: evidence from Apple that wants you to fuse the experience and environments of your tablet with your laptop or desktop computer (and vice versa).
On iPad, mouse support will be a new feature coming to iPadOS, and although not designed for mainstream – it is an accessibility component for users with disabilities (see related article from this column) – it may well be a precursor ( word game intended), for the day everyone and not just the disabled have the ability to control their Apple tablet with a tap and click.
For Mac, one of the most important features that comes with MacOS Catalina, Side Car, is an application that lets you connect any iPad running iPadOS to a Mac notebook or desktop computer and use it as an external monitor to expand the work area your. Furthermore, you will be able to use Apple Pencil to interact with which Mac application window is on the iPad screen (such as an image edited in Photoshop), but touch screen controls will, unfortunately, be inactive when an iPad is connected as an external screen via Side Car.
I suppose touchscreen controller support on iPad when connected to an external monitor using Side Car may be a feature Apple decides to enable later down the road in a software update for both operating systems.  Never remember that there are already touch-based controls on the Mac, especially the MacBook Pro. Since 2016, Apple has equipped its professional line of laptops with a touch line and touch ID, and both provide users with a sampling of such touch-enabled features that previously could only be done on iOS devices like, well, iPad!
Everything the tech giant has done so far – both on the software and hardware side (first and foremost with their mobile and desktop operating systems, especially with the new iPadOS) – can the next step be a touch-screen Mac?
An important hardware-related component that points to the day we see a touch-screen Mac in the product pipeline, and more importantly, an amalgamation of iOS and MacOS – despite the new iPadOS – is the impending transition from Apple from Intel processors to ARM The chipset produced internally by the tech giant, which will be the internal components used in all hardware and devices moving forward as early as next year.
As Bloomberg reported last year, the initiative (known internally as Kalamata) is part of a larger strategy that will make all Apple hardware and devices from Mac to iPad work more seamlessly and seamlessly together.
According to information provided by the Cult of Mac website, ironically about the theme of why you never own a Mac with an ARM processor, MacOS can't natively run on ARM chips – at least not at the moment (a top secret project to port Mac OS X to ARM existed at one time) – but iOS If Apple really makes ARM its standard chipset for your computer's hardware (it's already inside iOS devices), logic would dictate the need for a new desktop operating system based on iOS, such as one that is, in short, to be unified, a hybrid version merged with the best parts of MacOS, and it seems that the new iPadOS is a step in that direction, a desktop operating system for mobile classes.
And, for one thing during the first transition to ARM p rocessors, this hybrid operating system will also need to run on hybrid hardware such as a laptop equipped with a physical keyboard and trackpad plus a touch screen. (I can only see the Apple tagline for the product now: "Say hello to the brand new iBook.").
Apple has filed two patents for Macs with touch screens: one for an iMac with a touch screen and one for a MacBook with a touch screen keyboard. Whether these designs will see the light of day in the near future remains to be seen, as the company is known for filing many patents that never ever come into production.
If you think about it? Apple technically has a pseudo-hybrid touch screen of some kind in the form of the iPad Pro that debuted in 2015. The tablet, designed for the professional user group (such as photographers and artists), has been designated as a replacement for a Mac laptop. computer. Apple Pencil – originally only available for the iPad Pro, but now supported on all iPad models (2018 iPad and 2019 iPad Air and iPad mini) – is currently as close as anyone will get in touch with the device with a mouse-like periphery. And for those who need a keyboard, Apple sells a smart keyboard to boot!
Add to that the equation the new iPadOS – with MacOS-like features – and you have an even more powerful mobile device that is a viable solution for modern computing built around an ARM chip as a hardware, and for the software, iOS as a foundation, and at its core, Mac OS X.
iPadOS was born of iOS and MacOS, all three operating systems tied together with Mac OS X at the root level. iOS itself is an offshoot of Mac OS X: remember which operating system the late co-founder and Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, said ran on the iPhone (where iOS first debuted in the form of iPhone OS) when it unveiled it in 2007?
The core of the case is macOS. There have been more than three decades of point and click with a mouse on desktops, and also in a much shorter time – a touchpad on laptops. Both external devices in recent years, more specifically Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad from Apple, have received support for multitouch and gestures (using such features found in iOS). With the touchscreens on our smartphones and tablets everywhere since Apple reinvented the phone 12 years ago when multitouch was first deployed to an iOS device (and spread further with its debut to iPad in 2010), the most logical step forward would be a touch enabled user interface for the future desktop operating system. It's just a matter of time when it will happen and that day is approaching.
A famous quote that comes to mind is one that Steve Jobs used in a slideshow during one of his main addresses at a Macworld Conference & Expo one year (I can't remember what year it was) from former ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky , which said the following:
"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."
The company should do what it wants to do and take the lead on what it thinks the industry should go and bring users in, and it certainly won't dwell on, as Cook said, users don't want it – a merger of iOS and MacOS – should happen!
After all, this is the innovator who was always ahead of his time with such features as floppy disk drive in his original iMac in 1998 in favor of a single optical disk drive when all the PC manufacturers still installed it on the desktop of the towers, or the newer the move in 2016 to remove the headphone connector from their smartphones beginning with the iPhone 7.
iPadOS is a preview of what's to come, demonstrating where Apple is headed, what about MacOS taking the back seat and its focus and efforts lately the years solely on the iOS ecosystem: from the mobile operating system itself to apps and devices (primarily with the iPhone, but the even bigger leap is now the iPad).
Apple Vice President of Product Marketing, Greg Joswiak, summed it up best when he said that iPad was the company's vision for the future of computing. And a sign that the future is already here is with the new iPadOS.
With its new powerful operating system designed exclusively for the iPad, Apple has a Trojan horse (so to speak) of sorts – what about the laundry list (again, so to speak) features adopted by Mac – and the company provides all on both sides a taste of the best of what every competing operating system has to offer before a possible fusion of iOS and macOS. If there is no evidence to suggest that a harbinger of an imminent unification of their mobile and desktop operating systems led our way? Then the tech giant has almost certainly (as Schiller said) wasted energy.