Apple rumored to be testing macOS for M2 iPad Pro

Posted:
in iPad edited October 2022
A leaker has claimed that Apple is working on a version of macOS exclusive for the M2 iPad Pro, with it expected at some point in 2023.

The M2 iPad Pro could get macOS in a future update
The M2 iPad Pro could get macOS in a future update


One of the leading complaints surrounding the iPad is its lack of desktop-class software support. There have been constant calls for Apple to port not just Final Cut Pro, but also a full version of macOS to the iPad.

Leaker Majin Bu's sources have shared that Apple is working on a "smaller" version of macOS exclusively for the M2 iPad Pro. It is said to be codenamed Mendocino and will be released as macOS 14 in 2023.

Testing is being done with a 25% larger macOS UI so it is suitable for touch. However, apps run on the product would still be iPad-optimized versions, not macOS ones.

It isn't clear why Apple would move the iPad to a macOS interface in a half-step like this. Those clamoring for macOS on iPad do so for the software more than the interface.

Rumors about software testing should always be taken with a grain of salt. Very little, if any, detail ever leaks out about Apple's software plans.

Rumors have been floating around about macOS on iPad for more than a decade, and rumors about the original iPad said that macOS was a possibility before that device's release. Also, Apple likely has versions of macOS running on iPads for internal testing and configuration. This leaker could have seen an iPad in a debug state rather than an actual operating system.

According with my source Apple would be testing a smaller version of macOS exclusively for the new iPad Pro M2!
"Mendocino" should be the codename for macOS 14. A simplified version should be planned for the M2. pic.twitter.com/f4RrainlZ1

— Majin Bu (@MajinBuOfficial)


The other possible explanation is this wasn't macOS at all. Apple could be working to bring iPadOS even closer to macOS by adding a Menu Bar and other Mac-like interactions. It already introduced a Mac windowing feature in iPadOS 16 called Stage Manager, this could be the next iteration.

Majin Bu also suggests that the exclusivity to M2 iPad Pro could be a marketing push. If the feature is only available on that iPad, more people would buy it.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    This rumor makes no sense. 
    starof80doozydozencurtis hannah
  • Reply 2 of 79
    This rumor makes no sense. 
    Exactly. Plus I’ve never heard of this leaker before.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 79
    Almost a dozen years, when the Mac App Store was introduced, there was a lot of teeth-gnashing that Apple was aiming towards a MAS-only version of macOS that would lock out outside purchases. Apple shot that down that concern, but I wouldn't actually be too surprised if an Apple-regulated version of macOS was being reconsidered.

    As long as 'regular' macOS for Mac machines continued (and there's no reason why not), Apple could offer App Store-only A-series dual-OS iPads as a more easily-managed, updated, and security/privacy-oriented alternative in the vein of iOS. You wouldn't have to buy it if you didn't want it, but maybe a lot of people would go for it. I don't know. 

    As someone who loves his iMac and iPad mini, I'd personally consider going for a (large) iPad Pro if I could run Mac apps and have iPad apps too.

    But I think that the Surface machines show how grafting touch onto Windows is sometimes good but usually a kludge, so I'd hope that if this was true then touch/Pencil support would be intelligently but very lightly integrated into macOS itself.
    bala1234williamlondonapplebynaturePatchyThePirateV.3watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 79
    aijwsaijws Posts: 13member
    MacPad Pro!
    doozydozenwilliamlondonCluntBaby92blastdoorravnorodombyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 79
    This rumor makes no sense. 
    Yes, it's not to Apple's advantage to encourage DaVinci Resolve for the iPad if the entire OS is changing.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 79
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,860member
    To me this smells more like the kind of story Apple itself would seed in order to ferret out leakers. My guess someone is about to find their keycard access revoked. 
    jahbladeAppleZuluy2anbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 79
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,966member
    DAalseth said:
    To me this smells more like the kind of story Apple itself would seed in order to ferret out leakers. My guess someone is about to find their keycard access revoked. 
    That or it’s a misinterpretation of apple working on cross-platform app compatibility.

    Personally, I’d love it if my Ipad Pro had more feature parity with MacOS. I’ve said for several years that iPads are being constrained by iPadOS. That’s still true and many things that they technically can do are kind of kludgy and much more difficult than they are on MacOS
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 79
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,729member
    MplsP said:
    DAalseth said:
    To me this smells more like the kind of story Apple itself would seed in order to ferret out leakers. My guess someone is about to find their keycard access revoked. 
    That or it’s a misinterpretation of apple working on cross-platform app compatibility.

    Personally, I’d love it if my Ipad Pro had more feature parity with MacOS. I’ve said for several years that iPads are being constrained by iPadOS. That’s still true and many things that they technically can do are kind of kludgy and much more difficult than they are on MacOS
    "That or it’s a misinterpretation of apple working on cross-platform app compatibility." => Apple already has that.  It's called Catalyst

    "Personally, I’d love it if my Ipad Pro had more feature parity with MacOS." => Dan Moren posted an article regarding the vision behind the iPad and he summarized it well:

    "
    When the iPad came out, it felt like a burgeoning third revolution, but a decade-on much of that potential has been squandered. None of this is to say that the iPad hasn’t been a success, but that it hasn’t been all that it could be. The real opportunity is for the iPad to be the best of both worlds: taking the modern aspects of iOS and combining what worked well on the Mac, and turning it into a device that’s more than the sum of its parts."

    https://www.macworld.com/article/1339589/ipad-isnt-a-big-iphone-or-a-touch-screen-mac.html
    MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 79
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,096member
    The perennial rumor of a Mac/iPad hybrid keeps coming up because the MS Surface is such a sleek, efficient, dominating category killer. 

    Seriously. MacOS has to run intensive software on the Mac Pro, with multiple giant screens that ergonomically will not function injury-free as touch screens. Making that OS also work in a touch environment on an iPad is a recipe for widows-like bloatware that tries to do all things, but none very well. 

    It’s entirely possible someone in the bowels of the big round building is experimenting, but those experiments are unlikely to ever see the light of day. 
    williamlondonCluntBaby92raoulduke42ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 79
    I can actually believe it. These iPad Pros have as much RAM and storage as my 2015 MBP, along with a faster processor, so there's no reason they can't run Mac OS.
    williamlondonTheObannonFilewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 79
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    It would seem something like this totally bricks the original paradigm of the tablet category. Why not just add a touch screen to the MacBook Air and call it a day?
    williamlondonCluntBaby92ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 79
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,464member
    I can see it easily ported to M2 iPad Pro with today's MacOS - they have the same codebase. 

    But here's the problem - Touch UI. 

    The current MacOS is not optimized for Touch. 

    So it may mean that the MacOS elements will be modified for touch screen and the size of MacOS may be smaller than the regular desktop - eliminating all the legacy drivers and programs that iPad Pro does not need (which MacOS has a lot of them). 
     

    williamlondonbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 79
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    netrox said:
    I can see it easily ported to M2 iPad Pro with today's MacOS - they have the same codebase. 

    But here's the problem - Touch UI. 
    + keyboard
    + mouse
    = no problem
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 79
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,043member
    Of course, Apple is testing this in their labs. Just like they are likely to be testing the iPadOS on Mac hardware. It doesn't mean the product will ship. I remember working for Apple in 2000 and remember hearing rumors that Apple was testing the new Mac OS X on Intel hardware. Apple does all kinds of testing, some of it ships, and most of it doesn't.
    mwhiteravnorodomtmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 79
    glhglh Posts: 17member
    Everyone knows that iPadOS does not begin to take advantage of the capability of the iPad pro's. Even Apple knows that, obviously. So what are they to do? How much more can iPadOS be tweaked to give it the versatility and power it should have? It makes perfect sense to me that Apple would port a (severely modified?) version of MacOS to the iPad. In fact, I'll be surprised if they don't -- what other option is there for them? They certainly cannot start with a completely new OS, and it seems to me that iPadOS has constraints built in that will not allow it to address the enormous capabilities of the new iPad Pros.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 79
    Oh, THIS again.    As I write this on my *M1* Mac, should I say why it makes no sense that a "cut down" version of macOS would require an M2?  Mac OS doesn't have a touch interface.  It doesn't do well with a fixed amount of RAM.  There's not enough battery in an iPad to run a fully-multitasking OS. 

    It's a silly rumor.
    thtwilliamlondonravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 79
    thttht Posts: 5,546member
    MplsP said:
    DAalseth said:
    To me this smells more like the kind of story Apple itself would seed in order to ferret out leakers. My guess someone is about to find their keycard access revoked. 
    That or it’s a misinterpretation of apple working on cross-platform app compatibility.

    Personally, I’d love it if my Ipad Pro had more feature parity with MacOS. I’ve said for several years that iPads are being constrained by iPadOS. That’s still true and many things that they technically can do are kind of kludgy and much more difficult than they are on MacOS
    "That or it’s a misinterpretation of apple working on cross-platform app compatibility." => Apple already has that.  It's called Catalyst

    "Personally, I’d love it if my Ipad Pro had more feature parity with MacOS." => Dan Moren posted an article regarding the vision behind the iPad and he summarized it well:

    "When the iPad came out, it felt like a burgeoning third revolution, but a decade-on much of that potential has been squandered. None of this is to say that the iPad hasn’t been a success, but that it hasn’t been all that it could be. The real opportunity is for the iPad to be the best of both worlds: taking the modern aspects of iOS and combining what worked well on the Mac, and turning it into a device that’s more than the sum of its parts."

    https://www.macworld.com/article/1339589/ipad-isnt-a-big-iphone-or-a-touch-screen-mac.html
    Catalyst enables UIKit apps - iPhone and iPad apps - to run on macOS with a minimum of work. macOS has an implementation of UIKit (essentially code libraries that apps are built with) to make Catalyst apps work, especially on Intel. For ARM, macOS basically hosts the entire iOS environment stack and unmodified iPhone and iPad apps can run on macOS/ARM. Some developers are intransigent. A lot of them don't want even that and prevent their unmodified apps to run on macOS. They surely want money for that. Anyways, I digress.

    There isn't anything to go the other way. For FCPX, LPX to run on iPadOS with a minimum of changes in FCP itself, Apple would have to have iPadOS host an implementation of AppKit - the macOS code library - to make that happen. An iPadOS AppKit library would change UI conventions from WIMP to Touch. Apple doesn't want to do that yet, because unknown reasons. The biggest one is that only recently are there iPads with enough RAM to do it, and perhaps even more recently, some iPads don't have the storage performance to really do it. The hard way is to rewrite FCP in some combination of Swift+ObjC+SwiftUI+UIKit.

    Apple has an incredible amount of balls that they are juggling. FCPX surely has a bunch of crappy C++ code with Objective-C wrapped around it with AppKit code wrapped around everything. Then, there are probably custom Intel, PPC, and ARM machine code in it to make some things fast. On top of this, they are transitioning to Swift and SwiftUI, both themselves are moving targets. It's an incredibly capital intensive effort to get everything to Swift and SwiftUI. Basically a nation state effort.
    PatchyThePirateV.3ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 79
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,464member
    crowley said:
    netrox said:
    I can see it easily ported to M2 iPad Pro with today's MacOS - they have the same codebase. 

    But here's the problem - Touch UI. 
    + keyboard
    + mouse
    = no problem
    I've seen plenty of users touch their screens thinking it works like iPads wondering why they don't work for a second, even though they use them a lot. They all own iPads so it's natural for them to still expect MacBook to function the same. 

    That's why the MacOS needs to be updated for touch UI. 


    williamlondonravnorodom
  • Reply 19 of 79
    A Touch UI based macOS is not a dream, but a possibility. So Apple’a port of macOS to the iPad would be a great and respectable endeavor that every Mac enthousiast would embrace. I can well imagine a Finder lying behind this on-screen keyboard, showing a folder name touch-selected, ready to be replaced by what I type on my iPad keyboard. Actually a touch-selection can well replace a mouse-selection in terms of accuracy. The problem was the multi-tasking performance compromise introduced by multiple overlapping windows, but macOS has already resolved this issue by full-screen windows and the swipe gesture to navigate between them. That feature is just waiting for an iPad powerful enough to handle Mac-like true multitasking, the power of M2 makes this problem obsolete. Wouldn’t a tablet Mac kill the iPad? Well, not necessarily. The iPad  may continue to survive with the A series, and the tablet Mac may thrive on the M series, iPadOS and macOS being their respective OS. 

    What is the rationale of keeping the iPad and iPad OS then? iPad OS is a historical achievement. Apple has always carried the concern of simplifying the user interface. On Mac OS Classic it was called MiniFinder, then later, AtEase. On Mac OS X there was a simplified Finder until Leopard, if I remember correctly. 
    edited October 2022 williamlondonCluntBaby92watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 79
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,920member
    Not happening. If Apple feels MacOS should be ported to iPad in whatever size/features version suitable for iPad than Apple will port on all iPads and remove iPadOS. Unless there is a MacOS for MAC and iPad; Apple not going to do half hazard job. Easily confuse consumer base.
    CluntBaby92
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