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Apple seen merging iOS, Mac OS X with custom A6 chip in 2012

post #1 of 186
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Apple is looking to merge its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems into one unified platform for applications and cloud services as soon as next year starting with the MacBook Air, one Wall Street analyst believes.

Peter Misek with Jefferies & Co. said in a note to investors on Wednesday that he sees such a transition possible with a new MacBook Air running Apple's custom next-generation "A6" processor. The theory, first reported on by Barron's, would have a new iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air all running the A6 in 2012.

"We believe Apple is ready to start sampling the A6 quad-core app processor and will be the first to such multi-device platform capable of PC-like strength," Misek wrote.

For Apple's more traditional and more powerful computers, like the MacBook Pro and Mac desktops, the analyst sees Apple sticking with Intel processors and the current Mac OS X software. But by 2016, he sees all of Apple's Mac devices running on an ARM-based processor like the ones found in the iPhone and iPad.

"Our preliminary view is that Apple can use a 32-bit ARM architecture to address the vast majority of the OS X ecosystem's needs in 2012-13 except for high-end professional devices," he wrote. "When 64-bit ARM is available in 2016, we believe Apple will have a single OS and hardware architecture."

Merging the iOS and Mac OS X platforms would allow users to have content be available and optimized on an even wider range of devices, Misek believes. He sees this strategy being more difficult for Apple to achieve if the company continues to keep its Mac and iOS operating systems separate.

Rumors of an ARM-based MacBook Air are not new. In May, one report claimed that Apple had built a test notebook featuring the same low-power A5 processor found in the iPad 2. The report, which came from Japan, suggested that Apple officials were impressed by the results of the experiment.



That same month, a separate report claimed that Apple plans to ditch Intel processors in its line of Macs and adopt the ARM architecture that powers the iPhone and iPad. That rumor suggested Apple wanted to transition to ARM processors "as soon as possible," likely when 64-bit variations become available at the end of 2012 or by early 2013.

Similarly, Misek sees Apple sticking with Intel processors in its MacBook Pro and Mac desktop lineup for the 64-bit support and compatibility offered by the traditional CPUs.

Apple has boasted that its thin-and-light MacBook Air has design elements taken from its wildly popular iPad tablet, including instant-on functionality. And Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, adds features first introduced on the iPad and iPhone, including Launchpad, a home screen for applications; a Mac-specific App Store; full-screen applications; and new multi-touch gestures.
post #2 of 186
Dum da dum dum...
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post #3 of 186
Don't like this iOS merging business!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is looking to merge its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems into one unified platform for applications and cloud services as soon as next year starting with the MacBook Air, one Wall Street analyst believes.

Peter Misek with Jefferies & Co. said in a note to investors on Wednesday that he sees such a transition possible with a new MacBook Air running Apple's custom next-generation "A6" processor. The theory, first reported on by Barron's, would have a new iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air all running the A6 in 2012.

"We believe Apple is ready to start sampling the A6 quad-core app processor and will be the first to such multi-device platform capable of PC-like strength," Misek wrote.

For Apple's more traditional and more powerful computers, like the MacBook Pro and Mac desktops, the analyst sees Apple sticking with Intel processors and the current Mac OS X software. But by 2016, he sees all of Apple's Mac devices running on an ARM-based processor like the ones found in the iPhone and iPad.

Merging the iOS and Mac OS X platforms would allow users to have content be available and optimized on an even wider range of devices, Misek believes. He sees this strategy being more difficult for Apple to achieve if the company continues to keep its Mac and iOS operating systems separate.

Rumors of an ARM-based MacBook Air are not new. In May, one report claimed that Apple had built a test notebook featuring the same low-power A5 processor found in the iPad 2. The report, which came from Japan, suggested that Apple officials were impressed by the results of the experiment.



That same month, a separate report claimed that Apple plans to ditch Intel processors in its line of Macs and adopt the ARM architecture that powers the iPhone and iPad. That rumor suggested Apple wanted to transition to ARM processors "as soon as possible," likely when 64-bit variations become available at the end of 2012 or by early 2013.

Similarly, Misek sees Apple sticking with Intel processors in its MacBook Pro and Mac desktop lineup for the 64-bit support and compatibility offered by the traditional CPUs.

Apple has boasted that its thin-and-light MacBook Air has design elements taken from its wildly popular iPad tablet, including instant-on functionality. And Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, adds features first introduced on the iPad and iPhone, including Launchpad, a home screen for applications; a Mac-specific App Store; full-screen applications; and new multi-touch gestures.
post #4 of 186
And people have been panning Windows 8 for merging traditional Windows with touch screen capabilities claiming it can't be done successfully.
post #5 of 186
Apple could still make software available to both platforms without needing to merge the entire OS. They already have the technology in place to do this; universal binary support and specific UI for appropriate devices and views.

They could create one version of Pages or Numbers that would work across all their devices. There is absolutely no need to merge iOS and Mac OS X to do this.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #6 of 186
I read this report. I don't think this guy gets Apple. What is the product? Who is the audience?
post #7 of 186
That be a pretty substantial jump in processing power for just one year from the a5 to something competitive with the core i5. I don't see it unless it's a new product. Plus, there's really no reason to think a MacBook air would be more productive using ios6 than lion or that laptops will suddenly become comfortable to use as touch screens. Why would apple axe their most popular computer completely to make it significantly slower, less ergonomic, and less powerful?
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post #8 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I read this report. I don't think this guy gets Apple. What is the product? Who is the audience?

He doesn't outline anything, so these are valid questions.

But a fully-multitouch desktop OS can easily be done. Its audience is everyone. It's the replacement of the mouse.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #9 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbsteph View Post

And people have been panning Windows 8 for merging traditional Windows with touch screen capabilities claiming it can't be done successfully.

Why do people assume a merger of iOS and OS X should automatically entail identical UIs? An OS is a lot more than the user interface - they can have a single OS with the same kernel, device drivers, file system, development environment, etc., with a different style of UI depending on device, in very much the exact same way that iOS handles both iPhone and iPad now. There's no reason they can't extend the idea of a universal iOS application to have a different UI for mouse/keyboard interactions too.
post #10 of 186
This has been pretty obvious, considering some of the interface changes they made to Lion. LaunchPad is one of them, but more subtle changes like this one seen in the toolbar of the following image make this upcoming change more apparent. Notice how the display options in the toolbar look like a slider switch that could be manipulated with a finger by touching.

post #11 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallking View Post

Notice how the display options in the toolbar look like a slider switch that could be manipulated with a finger by touching.

Note: LOOKED. Apple changed that months ago.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #12 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is looking to merge its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems into one unified platform... by 2016, he sees all of Apple's Mac devices running on an ARM-based processor like the ones found in the iPhone and iPad...

More like 2020 for the culmination of these trends, and the idea that something will be running OS X on ARM next year is just silly.

And is it really worthwhile at all to speculate about something that might happen in the computer industry 10 years or more from now? No one in 1999 had any idea what the computer landscape of today would look like although I'm sure you could find lots of folks back then who would tell you they did.

Try telling anyone even five years ago that Apple would turn out to be the biggest deal on the planet, that an ARM based processor would be running touch-based mobile computers in everyone's pocket and that Microsoft and Nokia would be on the skids and they would have laughed in your face.
post #13 of 186
Yes, because Wall Street analysts always get things right.

iOS and OS X have started to share similar features and maybe down the road the two may eventually merge, but I don't see it happening so quickly.

A unified platform sounds great on paper, but at this point in time it simply doesn't work. Microsoft failed by trying to shove Windows into tablets and smartphones. The user experience and expectations on those devices are just too different from the traditional desktop. And though I don't have any first-hand experience with Android, I think that platform's going through some growing pains as it tries to service both tablets and smartphones.
post #14 of 186
I could see this working in a niche product, but for many users Intel CPU's are a must. The virtulisation market is getting bigger all the time.
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post #15 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

Why do people assume a merger of iOS and OS X should automatically entail identical UIs?

Bingo. It's inevitable that Apple will merge the two OSes. Microsoft will try, but their early attempts (skinning Windows7 with touch UI) does not seem like they're taking it very seriously.
post #16 of 186
This is the most stupid thing I heard all day. I guess they have to come up with something to keep the laughter-of-the-day.

No, iOS won't "fuse" with Mac OS next year.

It's not period. And anyone who thinks otherwise is just being silly, ignorant or retarded.
post #17 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post

And anyone who thinks otherwise is just being silly, ignorant or retarded.

That's called 'being an analyst'.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #18 of 186
I've been using Lion for a week or two now and I love a lot of the changes in the GUI many of which are subtle and elegant. However some of the iOS implementation such as Launch pad has no place in my daily routine. I really don't find Launch pad a shortcut and more convenient way to my apps, a click on the Applications folder is not that difficult and it offers me more sorting options. Mission Control most likely has is fans but again I don't find myself having any need to run that many windows and apps at the same time. I never used Spaces in Snow Leopard either. I really enjoy my iOS devices but even using Pages and Numbers is a clumsy at best solution. If Apple intends on returning to a "one OS fits all" company I predict merging OSX with iOS will be a bigger challenge than the transition from Classic Mac to Mac OS X. As always it will be interesting to see what develops.
post #19 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I could see this working in a niche product, but for many users Intel CPU's are a must. The virtulisation market is getting bigger all the time.

Exactly - if Apple goes this route, I sure hope Microsoft Windows is irrelevant by 2016, because otherwise those of us who rely on running it in a VM are going to be displeased.
post #20 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Exactly - if Apple goes this route, I sure hope Microsoft Windows is irrelevant by 2016, because otherwise those of us who rely on running it in a VM are going to be displeased.

You're implying there won't be X86 emulators for ARM processors in 2016 when they exist now.

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post #21 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

the idea that something will be running OS X on ARM next year is just silly.

I agree. ARM will not be ready for Macs for several more years, if ever. Also, the idea that Apple would want to use one CPU architecture for some Macs and another architecture for other Macs is beyond silly. Apple would want to make such a transition quickly, as they have always done in the past.
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post #22 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You're implying there won't be X86 emulators for ARM processors in 2016 when they exist now.

Emulators in the past have sucked pretty hard. Don't know how it would work this time around but I would be pretty worried.
post #23 of 186
Not likely unless ARM is 64bit by then. All but the cheapest stock models of the macbook air currently ship with 4GB of RAM. I don't see them being stuck at that amount until 2016, nor do I see Apple releasing and encouraging the continued development of 32-bit versions of software after the whole system just transitioned to 64-bits last month.
post #24 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post

This is the most stupid thing I heard all day. I guess they have to come up with something to keep the laughter-of-the-day.

No, iOS won't "fuse" with Mac OS next year.

It's not period. And anyone who thinks otherwise is just being silly, ignorant or retarded.

Er.....have you looked at Lion?
post #25 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You're implying there won't be X86 emulators for ARM processors in 2016 when they exist now.

Oh there may be, but emulation and virtualisation are two different beasts (as anyone who ever ran Virtual PC on a pre-Intel machine can tell you). Emulation works, but the performance is incomparable.
post #26 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by pondosinatra View Post

Er.....have you looked at Lion?

Lion uses certain "ideas" from iOS. Other than that it's basically the same as Snow Leopard.

Merging iOS with OS X is more than changing the looks of scrollbars. iOS does not have a visible filesystem. OS X without a visible file system won't be usable even in 2016. And there are a million other things like that.
post #27 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post

This is the most stupid thing I heard all day. I guess they have to come up with something to keep the laughter-of-the-day.

No, iOS won't "fuse" with Mac OS next year.

It's not period. And anyone who thinks otherwise is just being silly, ignorant or retarded.

He said they would merge the 2 OS'es by 2016...

People should try reading the articles before commenting on them.
post #28 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post

Lion uses certain "ideas" from iOS. Other than that it's basically the same as Snow Leopard.

Merging iOS with OS X is more than changing the looks of scrollbars. iOS does not have a visible filesystem. OS X without a visible file system won't be usable even in 2016. And there are a million other things like that.

Isn't the visible part of the OSX filesystem an application - finder?Or is finder and the visible osx filesystem two separate things?
post #29 of 186
I'm getting sick of this "iOSifying" thing Apple has going on.
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post #30 of 186
ARM might solve the battery life problem. 3-4 hours isn't good enough for the 11" Air.
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post #31 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post

Lion uses certain "ideas" from iOS. Other than that it's basically the same as Snow Leopard.

Merging iOS with OS X is more than changing the looks of scrollbars. iOS does not have a visible filesystem. OS X without a visible file system won't be usable even in 2016. And there are a million other things like that.

The visible file system is a design choice...much like changing the look of the scrollbars.

Merging the 2 OS'es would basically involve merging almost all the code below the UI. They might even try merging the APIs (which are already very similar). This would mean that the same 3rd Party codebase would function across Mac, iPad, iPhone with only the UI needing to be changed.

This would be a dramatic improvement for both devs and customers.

The merge WILL happen, as long as Apple is technically capable of actually doing it. The only remaining question is when will they start.
post #32 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Emulators in the past have sucked pretty hard. Don't know how it would work this time around but I would be pretty worried.

Rosetta was pretty good. RIP.
post #33 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

Why do people assume a merger of iOS and OS X should automatically entail identical UIs? An OS is a lot more than the user interface - they can have a single OS with the same kernel, device drivers, file system, development environment, etc., with a different style of UI depending on device, in very much the exact same way that iOS handles both iPhone and iPad now. There's no reason they can't extend the idea of a universal iOS application to have a different UI for mouse/keyboard interactions too.

1) Those that assume it have no idea what they are talking about. Apple clearly has different UIs for the iPod Touch/iPhone and iPad. They even release different builds for each version of a device within a market category. For example, the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, G4 iPod Touch, and G3 iPod Touch all have different IPSWs for iOS 5.0 despite all having the same UI design from CocoaTouch.

2) Your last sentence refers to a universal application. That's different than a Universal OS that will have the drivers, frameworks, and UIs for all devices. Mac OS is already over 3.5GB just for Macs if you were to add it for all iDevices consider at least another 1GB. But for argument sake lets ignore that and just consider the 3.5GB of Mac OS and assume it also contains all the needed files for the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and AppleTV models. Does it really make sense for, say, an iPod Touch user to download 3.5GB just to update their iPod? Not in the least!

3) I can see Apple eventually moving their Xcode SDK to allow for easier code sharing for Mac OS and iOS apps the way they made it easy for iOS for iPhone/Touch and iOS for iPad apps to share code. That is where Apple, the developer and the user would benefit from well designed system, but not from having one bulky OS that will install on all their products.
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post #34 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

He doesn't outline anything, so these are valid questions.

But a fully-multitouch desktop OS can easily be done. Its audience is everyone. It's the replacement of the mouse.

Absolutely not. Multitouch works great on a device that you hold in your hands, but I believe that even Steve indicated that touchscreens don't work well on a laptop much less a desktop. The touchpad might be a viable solution for the laptop/desktop world, but there are precious few instances where I would even want to reach up from the keyboard to manipulate something on the screen itself. Today's optical mice and touchpads are much more accurate than manipulating something on the screen directly.

Maybe iOS and OS X merge sometime in the future. If this is the case, I don't see it being the near future.
post #35 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Multitouch works great on a device that you hold in your hands, but I believe that even Steve indicated that touchscreens don't work well on a laptop much less a desktop.

That's not at all what he said.

He said vertical touchscreens are worthless. They are.

You're implying the only desktop multitouch solution is vertical. That's insane.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #36 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Apple could still make software available to both platforms without needing to merge the entire OS. They already have the technology in place to do this; universal binary support and specific UI for appropriate devices and views.

They could create one version of Pages or Numbers that would work across all their devices. There is absolutely no need to merge iOS and Mac OS X to do this.

The core to the two OSes is different which is why you need two different programs.

now could Apple create a unified core with two different faces -- one touch based for iPads etc and the other keyboard/mouse based for the computers -- sure. In fact I think they will. But I don't think we'll see any of it really happening in the next year. That's what I think this guy has wrong. We've seen and will continue to see small UI things like the similar mail program and the whole Launchpad but not a full merging. Maybe we'll get there by OS 11 in a couple of years, maybe it will be longer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I read this report. I don't think this guy gets Apple. What is the product? Who is the audience?

Anyone. The advantage to a single core OS is that apps that could run in either environment only have to be bought once. No one is going to object to that. Well maybe developers, they might want the two sales. But if it's what Apple wants, they will get it. ANd the developers will get over it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyguido View Post

Why would apple axe their most popular computer completely to make it significantly slower, less ergonomic, and less powerful?

That's part of why I don't think it will happen in the next few months like this guy says. I even see them having levels to the system. the ipad/iphone would continue to use a lower level of processor for basically the same tasks it does now and the stronger levels would go to the standard form computers.

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post #37 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post

Lion uses certain "ideas" from iOS. Other than that it's basically the same as Snow Leopard.

Merging iOS with OS X is more than changing the looks of scrollbars. iOS does not have a visible filesystem. OS X without a visible file system won't be usable even in 2016. And there are a million other things like that.

While there being a million other things like that, that is the most important one. Without a usable file system, there won't be a need to use a computer.

Assume this happens, how would ANY professional work be done on a computer? Programming, Video Editing, Audio Processing, Desktop Publishing... without easy access to files you essentially kill the professional use of a computer. If Apple went this way, I'd be out, after 17 years.

 

 

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post #38 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post

This is the most stupid thing I heard all day. I guess they have to come up with something to keep the laughter-of-the-day.

No, iOS won't "fuse" with Mac OS next year.

It's not period. And anyone who thinks otherwise is just being silly, ignorant or retarded.

That's not fair to people with autism. My son has it and can still apply logic and reason far better than this analyst.
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post #39 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilw View Post

Rosetta was pretty good. RIP.

I may be talking about of my butt here, but I don't think Rosetta had as much to do. To run Windows, an emulator has to emulate an entire machine in order to provide a guest OS access to virtual hardware. Rosetta simply had to translate some instructions.
post #40 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I could see this working in a niche product, but for many users Intel CPU's are a must. The virtulisation market is getting bigger all the time.

It would be incredible stupidity on Apples part to abandon i86 on its Mac OS/X machines. Beyond that Mac OS/X just transitioned to 64 bit only, it is pretty clear Apple is moving Mac OS/X forward not side wise.

In any event I'm not sure why there is so much hysteria over Mac OS/X adopting a few concepts from iOS. For the most part everything adopted improves the Mac user experience. Heck I've adapted to Launch Pad almost instantly.

Further nobody here seems to realize that Lion, like each Mac OS release before it, has improved upon its UNIX under pinnings. Sure the UI got tweaked but Lion has had thousands of little updates or improvements that make it a great platform for power users. Frankly Apple has a much more holistic view of Mac OS than these idiots that only see the GUI surface.
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