Tim Cook admits Apple may further converge iOS & OS X, Macs could run on ARM CPUs

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014


While he didn't hint at any definitive future plans, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook did admit that all options are on the table for the future of the Mac operating system, including further converging iOS and OS X, as well as potentially running Macs on ARM processors like are found in the iPhone and iPad, or switching iOS to Intel.



Cook's comments come from a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, in which he discussed the future of the Mac platform with the forthcoming Mountain Lion operating system update. The CEO said he already views iOS and OS X as "one with incremental functionality," though he expects both to continue to coexist.



As for whether they could converge even more, and further blur the lines between the two operating systems, Cook reportedly didn't rule out that option. And he also admitted that Macs could eventually run the same chips as the iPhone and iPad — whether ARM comes to the Mac, or iOS devices transition to Intel processors.



"We think about everything," Cook said. "We don't close things off."



Mountain Lion, set to be released later this summer, represents an even closer unification of OS X and iOS, as many features found on the iPad will transition over to the Mac. They include Notification Center and iCloud, as well as specific applications like Messages, Reminders and Game Center.



Even existing OS X applications have been renamed to match with their iOS counterparts, as Address Book will become Contacts, and iCal will be known as Calendar. The changes follow a plan set in motion with last year's release of OS X 10.7 Lion, which was heralded for bringing iPad and iOS features "Back to the Mac," as Apple promoted it.











Thursday's report from the Journal also hinted at Apple's rumored upcoming television set when mentioning the AirPlay Mirroring feature that will be included in Mountain Lion, and will allow users to wirelessly broadcast their Mac screen to an Apple TV on the same network. It noted that the addition of AirPlay is "highly strategic for Apple, as it contemplates new technologies for the living room."



Cook also made note of how the Mac is gaining traction in China, where the iPhone has been a resounding success and consumers are now looking to Apple's other products. Enhanced support in Mountain Lion for Chinese-language users was one addition highlighted by Apple in Thursday's announcement, as OS X 10.8 will include Baidu search in Safari, compatibility with e-mail services like QQ, 126 and 163, and Share Sheets connectivity with Youku and Toudou.



Finally, Cook declined to hint at future plans for Mac hardware, though he did praise the MacBook Air as one device that the rest of the PC industry is desperately trying to copy. AppleInsider indicated last week that Apple is planning to radically redesign its MacBook Pro lineup this year with a new lineup that will look much more like the current MacBook Air offerings.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,758member
    Hmmmm..... TMI, Cook, TMI.
  • dgnr8dgnr8 Posts: 196member
    I am not a fan of iOS on a Mac PC.



    Making the OS stupid proof.
  • christopher126christopher126 Posts: 3,409member
    Fascinating! I like the integation of iOS on the Mac....just the syncing and Mac App store are amazing!.



    The future is, more and more Apple users will have an iphone, iPad and most likely an MBA or even an iMac as well and eventually an Apple TV. And having a "family resemblance" of Apple's devices is the way to go!





    Also, for those interested, this week's macworld podcast is about mountain lion...very interesting!



    http://www.macworld.com/article/1654...n_the_way.html
  • pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    I almost think it would make more sense for Apple to transition iOS to Intel, down the road of course. ARM works great right now, but has little competition given that Intel fell asleep from ingesting too much money in the 90's and early 21st century.



    Correct me if I'm wrong, but LightPeak/Thunderbolt doesn't work on ARM, but would if Apple transitioned to Intel, say 5 years down the road.
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,568member, moderator
    I will continue to say that I do see an eventual convergence of the two. Not in the way MS is going with Win 8, that's just a mess, and is a result of them having no credible OS for tablets, and thus, no presence in that space. So they have to force the Metro UI on their users all at once.



    Apple doesn't have that problem of course, and so they can take their time.



    But what I see is a graduated response from them. In other words, we'll see the same OS, but it will have differing levels depending on the device it will run upon. The simplest will be for phones and Touches, then more will be seen on tablets, and finally, everything will be available on more traditional computers.



    This will make for an easy transition between the varying levels of devices, as people should expect. No one will want to fully edit a long, complex document on a phone or Touch, but they may want to look through parts of it and make some notes, and a few corrections. On the iPad, they would want to do more, and should be able to, when on the road. But when used on a notebook or desktop, the full ability should be available, along with all the notes and corrections from the other devices.



    The same thing might be done with Keynote, for example. The entire presentation could easily be done on a "computer", or possible even on an iPad, but in reviewing it on their phone, from which the presentation may be given, using Airplay through a projector, they may want to alter backgrounds, and a few other minor matters at the last moment.



    Programs, apps, or whatever they will be called will have each more sophisticated, and larger device see a superset of the feature set of the device below it, thus allowing a smooth increase in power where appropriate.



    Apple is doing this now, with what we are seeing in Mountain Lion. It just makes sense.
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,568member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post


    I almost think it would make more sense for Apple to transition iOS to Intel, down the road of course. ARM works great right now, but has little competition given that Intel fell asleep from ingesting too much money in the 90's and early 21st century.



    Correct me if I'm wrong, but LightPeak/Thunderbolt doesn't work on ARM, but would if Apple transitioned to Intel, say 5 years down the road.



    LightPeak is a part of the Express Buss specification. It's an actual extension of the EB outside of the machine. If a device uses an Express Bus, it can have LightPeak as well.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,056member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DGNR8 View Post


    I am not a fan of iOS on a Mac PC.



    Making the OS stupid proof.



    You have to read what he said intelligently. IOS will not become the new MacOS. They will converge further - obviously and surely not a bad thing?



    MacOS may run on Arm chips in the future - surely not a bad thing?



    "We think about everything," Cook said. "We don't close things off" - surely not a bad thing.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,891member
    Yeah, we'll eventually have a multitouch desktop OS that is operated in a way as different from the current keyboard/mouse paradigm as adding the mouse was from the keyboard/screen paradigm. I buy that.



    But it better darn well be an OS that happens to run on phones and tablets, not the other way around. We need a file manager (and this is where Apple will really shine. They'll create something brand new here; an entirely new way of organizing and looking at your files) and to retain the rest of the features that make OS X OS X while incorporating the incredible potential of multitouch that makes iOS iOS.
  • agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member
    the dumbing down of apple continues
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,568member, moderator
    For a good article about 10.8, if that's what it will be called, see this article from PCmag. It's interesting that the PC oriented sites have, for the past few years, been giving Apple products really good press. Some of the readers aren't happy, but it is what it is.



    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400311,00.asp
  • christopher126christopher126 Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    .....It's interesting that the PC oriented sites have, for the past few years, been giving Apple products really good press.



    I've noticed that, too!
  • deepkiddeepkid Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Hmmmm..... TMI, Cook, TMI.



    Exactly my thoughts. STFU Cook!
  • umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member
    "We think about everything" : Is there another CEO in this business who can say this without being immediately ridiculized ?
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,056member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I will continue to say that I do see an eventual convergence of the two. Not in the way MS is going with Win 8, that's just a mess, and is a result of them having no credible OS for tablets, and thus, no presence in that space. So they have to force the Metro UI on their users all at once.



    Apple doesn't have that problem of course, and so they can take their time.



    But what I see is a graduated response from them. In other words, we'll see the same OS, but it will have differing levels depending on the device it will run upon. The simplest will be for phones and Touches, then more will be seen on tablets, and finally, everything will be available on more traditional computers.



    This will make for an easy transition between the varying levels of devices, as people should expect. No one will want to fully edit a long, complex document on a phone or Touch, but they may want to look through parts of it and make some notes, and a few corrections. On the iPad, they would want to do more, and should be able to, when on the road. But when used on a notebook or desktop, the full ability should be available, along with all the notes and corrections from the other devices.



    The same thing might be done with Keynote, for example. The entire presentation could easily be done on a "computer", or possible even on an iPad, but in reviewing it on their phone, from which the presentation may be given, using Airplay through a projector, they may want to alter backgrounds, and a few other minor matters at the last moment.



    Programs, apps, or whatever they will be called will have each more sophisticated, and larger device see a superset of the feature set of the device below it, thus allowing a smooth increase in power where appropriate.



    Apple is doing this now, with what we are seeing in Mountain Lion. It just makes sense.



    I am not sure what you are saying here. Except for the last sentence. IOS is a derivative of OSX. In many ways that makes them the same OS but "with different levels", as you put it. So what they are doing is converging the two further visually and functionally.



    But maybe one day when the storage capacity of the iPhone is big enough, and the processors fast enough, The full MacOS will in fact be on the phone (but with an IOS GUI). Then, when you get to a large screen device you can insert or plug in you phone and it basically becomes the computer's cpu and hd. Neat, eh?
  • gustavgustav Posts: 802member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DGNR8 View Post


    I am not a fan of iOS on a Mac PC.



    Making the OS stupid proof.



    Really - how do you use the appliances in your house then? If TVs were such that you had to enter the frequency of the station directly into your remote rather than channel number, would you complain when TVs got channel numbers instead.



    I say, make it as stupid proof as possible without impeding the tasks that you bought the computer to do in the first place. There's still a lot that can be done before that happens.
  • blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,179member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post


    I almost think it would make more sense for Apple to transition iOS to Intel, down the road of course.



    I'm skeptical of that. The great advantage that Intel used to have was its unequaled size, which made it the only company with the financial resources to make the massive investments needed to stay at the cutting edge of fab technology. But now Apple has enough cash on hand to build *20* cutting edge fabs. Granted, Apple doesn't currently have the staff or the IP to do that. But Apple definitely has the money necessary to make a CPU supplier competitive with Intel over the long haul.



    So you take away that economic advantage from Intel, and what does Intel have? The advantage of x86 has always been PC software compatibility, but that's irrelevant here. So what's left? Well, Intel employs some smart chip designers. But I doubt Intel has a monopoly on smart chip designers.



    And Intel has some big disadvantages, at least from Apple's point of view. First, Intel likes to sell the same chips to everyone whereas Apple wants to differentiate its products. Second, so long as Apple relies on Intel Apple is subject to Intel's whims. For example, Intel has apparently decided to delay Ivy Bridge because its PC customers haven't sold through all the Sandy Bridge inventory. I'm sure Apple just *loves* that.



    ARM isn't ready to replace x86 in Macs today, and it won't be ready next year, or maybe even the year after that. But by 2016 or so I can imagine that Apple's in-house CPU design efforts, combined with significant investments in their CPU supply chain, might yield a competitively designed chip fabbed using a cutting-edge process that has some unique Apple-only features. At that point, Apple might move from x86 to their own custom ARM.
  • hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,871member, moderator
    Nothing really to see here.



    Same article 7 years ago simply replaced ARM with Intel.



    ARM's moving upscale with more power hungry and powerful processors and Intel is moving downscale with low power mobile processing.



    Apple would be foolish not to explore the idea.
  • blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,179member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DGNR8 View Post


    I am not a fan of iOS on a Mac PC.



    Making the OS stupid proof.



    So far I don't think this is true at all. Why would I not want the OSX messaging app to be consistent with the iOS app? What's wrong with auto-save and auto-restore of windows?



    I have yet to see an example of a technology or UI concept brought from iOS to OSX that has made me worse off. I can still run my open source unixy software from terminal -- which I do -- while gaining some of the advantages of iOS.



    The only gripe I can see about the "iOS-ificiation" of OSX is that it might shift resources/efforts away from improving the X-specific aspects of OSX. For example, it would be nice to see some advances in the file system for power users, not just for users who want to only see files from within an app.



    But I see no example of cases where Apple has taken away important features and replaced them with crippled iOS alternatives. If we wake up one day and can no longer go into terminal or open a Finder window, then we'll have something to complain about. But so far, I don't see the complaint.
  • nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Yes, processor shifts CAN happen, and Apple has proven they’re not stupid about planning for them “just in case.”



    But then all your apps stop working or need emulation. So think of it as an emergency option that will likely not be needed; certainly not soon.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    ...But I see no example of cases where Apple has taken away important features and replaced them with crippled iOS alternatives. If we wake up one day and can no longer go into terminal or open a Finder window, then we'll have something to complain about. But so far, I don't see the complaint.



    Exactly! In fact, Gatekeeper is a pleasant surprise for tinkerers/fiddlers/hackers or anyone afraid we might one day be App-Store-only. Not only does it make explicit that non-App Store apps ARE still an option... they’re allowed by default. (But not from ALL sources without changing a simple setting. The perfect compromise config for initial installations.)



    Mountain Lion seems to be the best of both worlds: ease, speed, and security for 99% of regular, non-techie people who want to USE their computer, not manage it under the hood (and yes, that includes managing filesystems). Yet at the same time, all the power and flexibility we tech-nerds love is here to stay!
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DGNR8 View Post


    I am not a fan of iOS on a Mac PC.



    Making the OS stupid proof.



    Where did he say that?
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