It’s been more than a year since I had my say about how Apple needed to innovate with Mac OS X 10.7 after the ‘break’ it took to refine Leopard to get Snow Leopard. Now we know that Apple will name Mac OS X 10.7 after Lion, and we also know that it will apply everything learned with iOS from the first iPhone to the iPad to improve the user experience on the Mac. And I’m sure that what we know about Lion is just the tip of the iceberg : there will be more news on it that we will see in future events.
But now that we know Lion’s main philosophy, which is to unify some iOS features in Mac OS X, we can look further ahead and ask the million dollar question: What’s going to happen with Mac OS X 10.8? Will Apple continue this trend of merging iOS and Mac OS X? If so, Mac OS X would end up making little sense… in fact in Mac OS X Lion there are already some things that clash with each other.
Launchpad, the Mac App Store… these are details of iOS that seem to have entered Mac OS X Lion well in the absence of being able to test those features live. But if we imagine a successor to Lion with an even deeper merger, we reach such a level that we would no longer know if we were looking at a Mac OS X or already an iOS desktop version .
That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if iOS 7 or iOS 8 ends up being present in both mobile devices and desktop and laptop computers , and Mac OS X stars in an event like the one we already saw with Mac OS 9: a funeral starring Steve Jobs like the one you can see here below.
Mac OS 9 died because Mac OS X made it obsolete, but with Mac OS X it would be different. Let’s remember that Steve Jobs said in a presentation that with this system ” would mark the path of Apple’s evolution for the next twenty years “. That guarantees Mac OS X until the year 2020, but perhaps Jobs didn’t count on the boom of mobile devices at the halfway point of that life .
Another point of view to appreciate this is that, at the end of the day, iOS and Mac OS X share a common system kernel. iOS started out as a mobile system, and the only thing that has happened here is that Mac OS X can learn from its younger brother to keep growing. The problem here is that iOS is based on a new concept that can leave OS X behind, no matter how identical the kernel. There would probably be a debate : some would argue that the hypothetical move from Mac OS X to iOS would be a simple name change, others would argue that it is something much more relevant.
But whether Mac OS X continues or iOS takes over the entire hardware, one thing is for sure: will continue to innovate as Apple does , after that break I mentioned a year ago.