Mac OS X and iPhone OS - The Growing Divide

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Macwick, May 31, 2010.

  1. Macwick macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    When I bought my first Mac computer (a Macbook) four years ago, I instantly fell in love with the simplicity, beauty, and stability of the operating system. A short time later, I decided to go 100% Mac and phased out all PCs in my house. The reason was simple - using one platform across all your computing devices makes everything simpler, more seamless, and more enjoyable.

    When Apple released the iPhone they built a brand new OS, for obvious reasons. But the iPhone was still the exception to the norm, as all other Apple products ran OS X.

    But with the iPad, and with rumors of a new iPhone OS based Apple TV, it seems that Apple has adopted the iPhone OS as it's second operating system.

    I say second operating system because the two OSes really have little to nothing in common - input/interface methods, multitasking (or lack thereof), file system, etc. The two OSes may as well have been built by two different companies.

    So why does that matter? Well, with an iMac, a MacBook, an iPhone, and an iPad, I find that my digital life is becoming more complicated, in large part because of the two OSes.

    My MacBook and iMac keep files in sync, thanks to iDisk and local file sharing. But the iPad and iPhone? No such luck. I have some great browser plug ins on my OS X machines (such as 1Password) but I can't use them on my other devices. I can edit a spreadsheet on my iMac or MacBook, but getting it to my iPad is a challenge.

    I learn a shortcut on OS X, but it doesn't apply on my iPhone OS based devices. I like an app on the iPhone OS based device, but there is no equivalent on my OS X devices. Or there is, but I have to buy an entirely new license for it.

    I'm not saying there's an easy answer here. I just think Apple needs to come up with a more seamless approach to their two platforms. I went 'all Apple' because it makes my life easier to have one computing platform. But Apple is now working hard to build two completely separate platforms.

  2. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    How would this be any easier with say PCs in your house and an Android phone? Do the short cuts you learn on windows help you out with your Android phone?

    1Password is available for iPod touch/iPhone/iPad so you can have all your passwords from OS X. Don't think it's free though.

    Basically, they are not only 2 different OSes they are 2 different devices. Your computer is your main computing device, your phone/iPad is another portable device you can just pick up and use almost anywhere.

    To add to this... the iPhone OS is pretty much the most simple OS you are going to get out there... would you rather have a clunky Android/Windows mobile OS to use? lol I don't get it...
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Clearly. The OP's post has nothing to do with Windows or Android.
  4. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
    I understand what your saying but so far have not had any real issues to speak of. There are some challenges but nothing that i have not been able to over come. Some times I've found doing a little more leg work with choices has prevented me from going the wrong direction with App choice on the iPhone or iPad and the Mac side.

    I see your point tho. It's becoming a little more work to keep everything working smoothy.

    Edit* sorry bout the typos. iPad typing tends to show.
  5. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    Mac OS and iPhone OS are virtually identical beneath the GUI layer. The majority of their differences are necessitated by differences in the devices that they run on.
  6. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Who says?
  7. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008

    Both OS's are built on the same underpinnings. And contrary to your post, they both have multitasking and file systems - Apple just doesn't let users have direct control over them.
  8. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm saying they are no different. Whether you have your OS X and iPhone OS or Windows and Android... they are different....

    I don't get it referred to his whole issue with the two different operating systems.
  9. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Sorry but I totally disagree with this.

    The iDevices are, by necessity, totally different devices with totally different UI requirements and totally different target markets / users. The concept of building a single OS to work on every device, no matter the form factor and input methods, is fataly flawed and a big, big reason why markets like that for Tablet PC's have been such dismal failures up to this point. Software and hardware must work together to form a complete product and trying to combine iPhone OS and OS X would lead to nothing more than a gigantic mess that would always be a compromise on both sides and improve very little.

    Look, the iDevices are clearly going to become stand-alone products at some point (or at the least it's certainly a reasonable assumption to make). Every rumour we get seems to point to Apple extending iTunes to the cloud and once that happens you no longer need a PC running a local client in order to sync these devices and manage your media (although I'm sure the option will remain). At that point you will get a lot more people buying them as standalone options and integrating with OS X would become pointless anyway.

    Reading through the OP frankly it doesn't seem like most of the problems listed are actually with the operating systems anyway, it's more a case of workflows and in that regard I'd suggest a little patience. The iPad is still very much a first generation device and Apple make mistakes just like everyone else. iDisk, document management, printing and more may come in the fullness of time once Apple works out a) how to do it and b) how to keep it user-friendly and avoid the need for a traditional file system (i.e. getting apps to manage their own files).
  10. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    While i don't think its ever going to work having a single OS exactly the same on all devices, as has already been said the requirements for the different devices rules this out, however i can imagine future versions of both MAC and iPhone OS having more in common in terms of user experience than they do now, much less of a distinction to allow a more seamless experience
  11. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I'm confused...or maybe you are confused. Not sure which. There is an iDisk app for the iPhone/iPad that lets you read any document on iDisk. Very easy to keep a document available no matter what device you are using.

    1Password has an iPhone/iPad app. Again very easy to keep things synced up across devices.

    Apps like Simplenote (for iPhone/iPad) plus Notational Velocity (Mac) keep your notes synced up across devices.

    Cloud services like Xmarks keep your bookmarks synced up across devices. Then there is DropBox, etc, etc. I could go on and on with this so it's hard to buy into your complaint. For me the iPad and iPhone has made life and organization easier, not more complicated.

    There are jobs than only a Mac can do but an iPad isn't suppose to be a Mac replacement, just a complimentary device. To me the iPhone OS is fairly transparent. I don't really see or "feel" a divide any larger than there is between a size 00 screwdriver and a size 4.
  12. Macwick thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    I use 1Password on my Macs and on my iPad. Two issues make it far less than seamless:

    1) While the Mac clients keep your passwords in sync via iDisk, the iPad/iPhone version must be synced over Wifi with a Mac client. Clunky.

    2) The Mac version has a Safari/Firefox plugin that makes it effortless to log in to Web sites. Because the iPhone version of Safari doesn't allow plugins, you have to open 1Password, lookup the correct password, copy it, open Safari, and paste. Nowhere near as simple as on the Mac.

    As for iDisk - on the Mac it's just another disk that you can access from any application. On the iPhone/iPad, you can't access the iDisk from apps such as Pages, Safari, 1Password, etc. You have to open a special iDisk app and open files from there (presumably only a small set of known file extensions).

    I agree with a previous poster that the issue here may just be improved workflow/integration that will come with time on the iPad. Until then, I continue to feel that OS X and the iPhone OS (and the apps on each platform) are not tightly integrated. The litmus test will be when I can grab the nearest convenient device (whether it be my MacBook, iPad, iMac) and access the apps and the information I need to without having to worry about which device/OS I am dealing with.

    Granted, it's a tall order :)
  13. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
    I'm hoping with the release of iPhone OS 4.0 and the next generation iPhone some Apps will turn the page and be better to work with in relation to OS X.
  14. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
    Probably not a good time to post this but since you used it as an example in the OP I thought I would pass it on.

    1Password is having a 1/2 off sale on all Apps. Mac/iPad/iPhone. Actually a pretty good deal considering how well they work together. I use all three and love-em :)


  15. btrav13 macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2010
    I don't mean to hijack this thread or anything, but....

    I looked this up online as I found it interesting...does it work on the ipad as well? I guess I'm asking: "Could I sync my books marks through Chrome on my MBP and then have these sync'd to Safari on my iPad?"

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