For a long time now it has been speculated that Apple could merge iOS and OS X so that the experience of using both operating systems was consistent. Although it isn’t entirely out of the question, don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. In an interview with MacWorld Apple executives denied that the company has plans to merge the two operating systems.
Here is the important excerpts from the interview:
“The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn’t because one came after the other or because this one’s old and this one’s new,” Federighi said. Instead, it’s because using a mouse and keyboard just isn’t the same as tapping with your finger. “This device,” Federighi said, pointing at a MacBook Air screen, “has been honed over 30 years to be optimal” for keyboards and mice. Schiller and Federighi both made clear that Apple believes that competitors who try to attach a touchscreen to a PC or a clamshell keyboard onto a tablet are barking up the wrong tree.
“It’s obvious and easy enough to slap a touchscreen on a piece of hardware, but is that a good experience?” Federighi said. “We believe, no.”
“We don’t waste time thinking, ‘But it should be one [interface]!’ How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?’ What a waste of energy that would be,” Schiller said. But he added that the company definitely tries to smooth out bumps in the road that make it difficult for its customers to switch between a Mac and an iOS device—for example, making sure its messaging and calendaring apps have the same name on both OS X and iOS.
“To say [OS X and iOS] should be the same, independent of their purpose? Let’s just converge, for the sake of convergence? [It’s] absolutely a nongoal,” Federighi said. “You don’t want to say the Mac became less good at being a Mac because someone tried to turn it into iOS. At the same time, you don’t want to feel like iOS was designed by [one] company and Mac was designed by [a different] company, and they’re different for reasons of lack of common vision. We have a common sense of aesthetics, a common set of principles that drive us, and we’re building the best products we can for their unique purposes. So you’ll see them be the same where that makes sense, and you’ll see them be different in those things that are critical to their essence.”
So although Mac may never 100% resemble iOS or vice-versa, it’s design still may become more flat. According to Mark Gruman from 9To5Mac, who has a great track record, OS X 10.10 codenamed “Syrah” will sport a flatter user interface, but not as stark as iOS 7′s look.
I am expecting OS X 10.10 to have user-interface tweaks that will make the interface “flatter,” but not as stark as iOS 7′s look. I’d also expect some blur and translucency effects in a few places, but not in anyway that is central to the experience like it is on iOS. There will be a little bit more white space, more defined menu bars, and squared-off window controls, but I would not expect a full color palette change and redesigns for every single application and icon.
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