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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:25 PM   #1
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Apple Executives Consider Thirty Years of Macintosh, Say iOS and OS X Convergence 'A Non-Goal'

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the unveiling of the original Macintosh -- tomorrow, January 24, 2014 -- Macworld has published a lengthy interview with three Apple executives to discuss where the Mac has been, and where it is going. Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, and Vice President of Software Technology Bud Tribble -- who was a member of the original Mac development team -- all shared their thoughts and the full article is well worth a read.

Among the more interesting tidbits from the interviews is one particular statement from Federighi, where he notes that while iOS and OS X do share some cross-pollination of features and design, they will not become one operating platform without good reason. He says that the Mac has "been honed for over 30 years to be optimal" for keyboards and mice, while attaching a touchscreen to a PC -- or a keyboard to a tablet -- without a good reason to do so makes for a bad experience.

"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 non-goal," 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."
Macworld editor Jason Snell mentions that though he brought an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air to the interview at Apple's Cupertino campus, he ultimately chose to take notes on the MacBook -- something not lost on the Apple execs.
"You had a bunch of tools," Federighi said, pointing at my bag. And you pulled out the one that felt right for the job that you were doing. It wasn't because it had more computing power ... you pulled it out because it was the most natural device to accomplish a task."
Schiller said Apple believed that the Mac "keeps going forever" because its differences make it really valuable. The current Mac lineup looks very different from what Steve Jobs introduced thirty years ago, but Apple clearly considers it crucial to the future of the company.

Images courtesy Shrine of Apple

Article Link: Apple Executives Consider Thirty Years of Macintosh, Say iOS and OS X Convergence 'A Non-Goal'
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:27 PM   #2
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This is good, I don't think we really need them to merge at the moment. Maybe in the future, but for now I prefer having the laptop form factor at home - vastly preferable to the tablet keyboard, for one. I think tablets work well for viewing media, not so much for creating it or even writing things, etc.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:28 PM   #3
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That was scary for a little while there.... thought we were in for a Windows 8 move with all that talk of a 12 inch iPad and everyone wanting a more advanced OS on it.

Last edited by taptic; Jan 23, 2014 at 04:34 PM.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:29 PM   #4
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You don’t want to say the Mac became less good at being a Mac because someone tried to turn it into iOS.
Hi-hip-hooray! So glad to hear they aren't following in Microsoft's footsteps on this. Keep doing what you do .
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:30 PM   #5
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I'm glad to hear this, it's something we needed to hear (that there are no grand plans to merge OSX and iOS).

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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:30 PM   #6
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As long as they still seamlessly work together, I'm 10000% behind this line of thinking!

Next "goal" - making iOS AirDrop and OSX AirDrop the same thing
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:31 PM   #7
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not-Microsoft 8'd
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:32 PM   #8
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The evening after the 30th anniversary, there's an special event of some sort at Flint Center in Cupertino (where the Mac was originally introduced 30 years ago):


Also some sort of unconference.

These events don't seem to have any sort of official Apple, Inc. sponsorship.

Anyone here going?
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:33 PM   #9
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I think it's definitely a good thing to keep macbooks and tables/phones disjointed but not so much iOS and OSX. I definitely see some value in the rumored ipad pro having more OSX elements.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:33 PM   #10
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Very refreshing to hear. Especially Craig's last statement.
Still don't get why I can't save a Word File from an email on my iPhone without some third-party app.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:33 PM   #11
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They'll end up backtracking on the whole convergence thing, for sure.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:34 PM   #12
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Good. I hope people shut up about iOS X now.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:34 PM   #13
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Good to hear
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:34 PM   #14
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I never really understood the people who claimed that OS X was getting 'iOSified' anyway. The Launchpad is incredibly useful; not only is it the quickest way to access all your applications, but it just displays the application within folders.

To anybody who uses loads of third-party music plugins, or even Adobe software as a good example, you'll see they're buried in folders in the Applications folder.

Thank goodness they confirmed it though, it's always a fear that they'll take unified experiences to an extreme.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:35 PM   #15
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And yet tech sites will keep reporting rumors that Apple is making a convertible device.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:35 PM   #16
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I like the pic, Plastic to Aluminum, nice transition

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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:35 PM   #17
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Good to hear. I think the decision was even easier to make when they saw what went down with Windows 8 among consumer opinions. Or maybe they were just smart enough to not go there in the first place, realizing what would happen. I sure don't know why Microsoft even went there. It's so easy to see how a tablet interface has a lot of metaphors which don't make sense on a desktop or laptop computer, and vice versa. They are different devices. It boggles my mind how little you need to know about HCI to follow that path through all the way to a release.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:36 PM   #18
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Well I guess that confirms the opinion of Windows 8 for Apple fans.

Well screw em. I like Windows 8.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:38 PM   #19
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Surprisingly short article from an interview with three people. Compare it to the Bloomberg interview with Ive, Federighi and Cook.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by hurtinminorkey View Post
they'll end up backtracking on the whole convergence thing, for sure.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:39 PM   #21
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After having tried a Windows 8 tablet (yuk), I'm very happy to hear this. OSX and iOS should stay seperate, anything else would greatly diminish both the iPad and the iMac/MacBook.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:43 PM   #22
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Non-goal until someone do it with Android or Windows Phone. Then it will be a goal. IF it was technically viable having a tablet capable of doing laptop-class processing, of course I'd want it!

Why I would want two devices occupying my briefcase if I can have only one? Of course an iPad-sized Macbook Air would be a nice thing to have! If it was as capable as a Retina Macbook, even better.

Convergence is the way to go. Of course it's not interesting for companies narrowing a product line into a single one, but for consumers of course it's a good thing.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:43 PM   #23
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I for one think that at least design wise they could speak the same, not just different accents of the same language.

How about a nice black menubar to start things off?

Oh, and, just cause Windows 8 failed to converge mobile and desktop the right way doesn't mean Apple couldn't do it. And it wouldn't take away from the other, unless it was made that way.
I'd like to see this 'convergence' being functional, like making it feel you're not connecting a device to your mac, but you have two devices that can talk to each other effortlessly. MILES to go.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:43 PM   #24
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That is some really great insight from the guys at the top. Each design decision should have a meaningful reason behind it. Though I'd still love to see that patent come to life—the one of the iMac that you put your hands on the side, it detects your heartbeat to determine you're a human pulling down on purpose, and as you pull down it lowers the angle of the screen and transforms into an iOS-like interface.

I would love to buy a 30th anniversary Mac, even if it's pricey. Something like a maxed out retina iMac in space gray or black.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 04:44 PM   #25
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I don't care about merging the software, but I'd really like to merge the hardware. It's crazy to have an iPad Air and a MacBook Air instead of just one device with a removable top, but as they say, right now those are two devices with very different utilities. I need the iPad for the touch screen and iOS goodies, and the Air for my serious work and writing. I can of course buy a shell and keyboard for the Air, but that doesn't allow me to interact with all the OSX software I need. But I guess there's no incentive for Apple to unify these similar devices as long as they can keep us buying both. It would just be so much nicer to have an Air that functions as a MacBook Air with a removable iPad top, which runs both OSX apps and iOS apps as appropriate. I don't need some miraculous software convergence, just one device that runs both.
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