I recently read a, to say the least, interesting prediction about the future of Mac OS X.
In the latest issue of the Swedish Macworld magazine they interviewed a number of developers about iPad and what they believe about it’s future. Amongst them, Jayway iTeam CTO Fredrik claimed/envisioned that iPhone OS X will be the new Mac OS X, and that there will be no Mac OS X 11, and maybe not even a Mac OS X 10.8.
Me myself being interviewed fairly frequently for magazines, I know it can be a misquote or not totally accurate, so I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt. But anyway, what if it were true?
Without delving too much into the iPad, and the various opinions about it being either the savior of computers or just being an enormous iPhone, I think we can all agree on that a fair amount of people will use it. And personally, I think the iPhone/iPad OS definitely has its place for less tech-savy users and also for more simple usage like reading mail, surfing the web, playing customized games etc. Seeing people using an iPhone for the first time, it is impressive how fast they learn it and adapt.
Using the screen keyboard on the iPhone (and most likely iPad as well) is tedious and inefficient to a real keyboard. And with the iPad, if you connect a keyboard, it kind of kills the purpose of a tablet-device, and I could just have a laptop instead.
Mac OS X
The main strength of Mac OS X is the many ways you can adapt and customize it. If you just want pretty applications, nice text rendering and easy application installations, that’s fine. But if you want to unleash the raw Unix power, terminal hacking and some deep-level coding, that’s just as much an option. And what I really like about it is the balance between these two, that I can have the best GUI and at the same time the full power behind the scenes.
And, most importantly, I can install and configure any application I want to.
Don’t mix ‘em up
I think the iPhone OS will be pretty good for iPad and similar devices, but I would never ever want it to, in any way, replace Mac OS X. Just imagine being forced to use iTunes on your computer, having the almighty App Store decide what you can install, being limited in choice, not to say the least, in choice of web browser, mail application etc. I strongly believe a full operating system will always have its place, especially when it comes to choice and personal control.
If the full Mac OS X would be replaced by something iPhone OS-like, my switch to something Linux-based (probably Ubuntu) would happen very soon.
What are your thoughts?