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Should Mac and iPad Merge?

  • Status quo is perfect! (No change)

    Votes: 4 3.2%
  • iPadOS should be improved until functionality is equivalent. (But should stay separate)

    Votes: 90 72.0%
  • They should share an operating system. (macPadOS)

    Votes: 13 10.4%
  • iPads should just have macOS.

    Votes: 18 14.4%

  • Total voters
    125

TheDailyApple

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 30, 2019
660
2,898
I just read a Cult of Mac article that clearly explains what I’ve been trying to say about macOS on iPad.


I’m interested in where the average macrumors member stands on the issue.
 
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bscheffel

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2008
360
669
The article makes the giant assumption that i want to use the touchscreen with MacOS on iPad. There is tremendous value in letting M1 iPad Pro users dual boot into MacOS when they want and use the iPad like a Macbook with mouse/trackpad and no touchscreen. It should be a discrete feature just like boot camp on the Mac was. Don’t wan’t it and don’t need it? Fine - you’ll never know the option is there because the default will be to boot iPadOS. There are times when I NEED MacOS to get something done and having the option without having to lug around 2 devices would be very nice.
This approach doesn’t compromise or change the MacOS or the iPadOS experience.
When you bring this up people automatically default to Apple will never do it because it will cannibalize Mac sales. Well….iPad Pro now costs more than many Macbook models so that argument doesn’t hold any water.
 
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LogicalApex

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2015
1,327
2,067
PA, USA
The article seems to rest heavily on the touchscreen vs non-touch screen issue. The same argument could be made for iPadOS apps running on Apple Silicon Macs on Big Sur...

I get there are LOTS of people arguing it won't ever happen in any form, but I'm just simply not in that camp. If you look at what Apple has been building over the last few years you can clearly see that they are either going to place macOS on the iPad or they are going to enable a macOS like mode on the iPad (even if that mode is macOS apps running on the iPad when connected to the MKB). There has just been too much movement in a way that makes this possible.

We'll see at WWDC what the initial version of this looks like and I'm interested in seeing where it develops and goes, but I'm not convinced Apple is going to leave iPadOS and the iPad Pro as it has been for the last while. Apple decided to list RAM information on the M1 iPad Pro for the first time. This definitely wasn't done by accident. Apple also really loves to save money so they didn't decide to add 16GB of RAM to the 1TB+ models out of a newly found love for charity either. That 16TB is a 266% increase in RAM over the 2020 iPad Pro.

Screen Shot 2021-05-13 at 10.17.36 PM.png
 

prospervic

macrumors 65816
Aug 2, 2007
1,123
1,375
NYC
I am SO over this asinine argument. Apple develops products based on their decades of experience with the market, as well as the direction in which they want to move technology.

More importantly, as Steve Jobs said, one of the secrets of their success is their discipline to say NO ten times more than they say YES.

Apple knows that vast majority of iPad users are glad that it's not as complex as a Mac (even the so-called "Pro" users). It's THEY who are Apple's priority, not us geeks in the corner of the room.
The company's position is: "if you want macOS, we make wonderful desktops and laptops that run it."

It's ok to wish, as long as you remember that Apple is a corporation, not your personal genie.
 

TheDailyApple

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 30, 2019
660
2,898
There is tremendous value in letting M1 iPad Pro users dual boot into MacOS when they want and use the iPad like a Macbook with mouse/trackpad and no touchscreen. It should be a discrete feature just like boot camp on the Mac was. Don’t wan’t it and don’t need it? Fine - you’ll never know the option is there because the default will be to boot iPadOS. There are times when I NEED MacOS to get something done and having the option without having to lug around 2 devices would be very nice.

I expect Apple intends to develop iPadOS to the point where it can do anything macOS can do, thus making macOS on iPad redundant. In this case, allowing macOS on iPad would be a very rough and unpolished stopgap. (Apple's not really into those)

The article seems to rest heavily on the touchscreen vs non-touch screen issue. The same argument could be made for iPadOS apps running on Apple Silicon Macs on Big Sur...

Considering how clunky iPadOS apps are on Mac, I find that example supportive of the "keep them separate" group.

If you look at what Apple has been building over the last few years you can clearly see that they are either going to place macOS on the iPad or they are going to enable a macOS like mode on the iPad (even if that mode is macOS apps running on the iPad when connected to the MKB). There has just been too much movement in a way that makes this possible.

There have been multiple operating systems that have tried to pull off a dual-interface feature. (Microsoft's "Tablet Mode" for Windows and Canonical's "Convergence" for Ubuntu Touch come to mind.) No one I know of has created a very compelling solution. Additionally I think it is very important to be able to switch from a keyboard and touchpad to multitouch without having to toggle any settings. Separate interface modes would introduce unnecessary confusion and complexity to the operating system.
 

LogicalApex

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2015
1,327
2,067
PA, USA
There have been multiple operating systems that have tried to pull off a dual-interface feature. (Microsoft's "Tablet Mode" for Windows and Canonical's "Convergence" for Ubuntu Touch come to mind.) No one I know of has created a very compelling solution. Additionally I think it is very important to be able to switch from a keyboard and touchpad to multitouch without having to toggle any settings. Separate interface modes would introduce unnecessary confusion and complexity to the operating system.
I agree, but that's one reason why Apple tends to appear to move slower. They move when they can do it in a way that's better that what the rest of the industry has been doing and executing it well as a result. Microsoft allowed their Windows Phone apps to run on Windows 8 devices with the initial versions of the Store on Windows. It was a flop and still in a flop. Yet here we are and Apple added iPadOS apps and iPadOS store onto macOS.

I am not convinced they will need to have a ton of weird toggles and settings to pull any of this off. It could be as simple as what happens when you've hooked up a MKB and when you pull it off or something like that. They could also just not do anything wild and allow macOS apps compiled for Apple Silicon that are on the App Store to install and run on the iPad and not overly complicate the whole thing.

I can't predict how it would go or even envision the best way for them to implement it, but I Apple could have easily made more money shipping all iPad Pros with the M1 w/ 8GB of RAM and increasing their profit on the 1TB+ SKU as a result. It would have been still praised widely as it is a 2GB increase of 2020...

The usual arguments against that being indicative of some more macOS like tie in is usually that apps will need to be able to run on the top end 2021 iPad M1 and the low end iPad with 3GB of RAM. If that proves to be the case very few, if any, apps will be able to make full use of the iPad Pros hardware further making it confusing that Apple would leave money on the table by adding extra RAM to the 1TB+ models.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,707
I have to disagree with the large volume of assumptions about technically merging the code lines. I think it’s entirely possible to merge the code lines BUT does it make sense?

I see the the flexibility in the Surface Pro lines but that isn’t Apples philosophy. The iPad is the best tablet out there by a huge margin why would Apple mess with the formula that made them so successful?
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
9,385
11,183
Philadelphia, PA
I think this is obvious to most, but macOS should never come to a touch first device and both iPadOS and macOS should remain separated. Although similar tasks can be handled on both, they are just two completely different devices (and very different users) in my eyes. I hope that Apple accelerates iPadOS development as I am firmly in that camp, but putting macOS on an iPad is a bad idea.
 
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Adelphos33

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2012
1,618
1,945
I think what a lot of people miss is that the iPad has, for many purposes, a better "app" ecosystem than the MacOs. For my MacBook, I have maybe 15 or 20 apps that I use regularly. For the iPad, it is dozens more. Why? Because the iPad can benefit from strong developer interest for iPhone as well. Many iPad apps I use for work (Blackberry Work, Symphony, Bloomberg, many others) have no MacOS versions. If the iPad loses the benefit of running iOS apps, it loses its primary appeal. What Apple should do is keep improving and iterating iPad OS. For example multitasking, files, external display support can all be dramatically improved. But I don't really see a need for MacOS on an iPad. It is a different platform
 

007p

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2012
989
649
As soon as someone assumes that I want to use macOS with a touch screen I lose interest. I don’t have any desire to do that.

With that said, do I like the idea of being able to use macOS when I have a mouse and keyboard attached? Yes I do. Why not just get a MacBook? Because then it’s two devices to carry around instead of one and I will always have an iPad with me.

This argument is pretty stupid. Like saying you can’t play console grade games on an iPad because then it would have to support a touch screen. No it wouldn’t, you have to use a controller. This exists now - there are some games that require controllers rather than you to use the touch screen. Why would macOS be any different?

Personally I’ve moved away from the idea of wanting native macOS. I’d be very content with opening up iPadOS to allow VMs. It would solve so much of my issues with an iPad and would still be self contained in a sandbox and not have to interfere at all with iPadOS. Heck, I’d even be fine at the point if it only supported Linux and Windows ARM for the short term - that would in itself be massive.

I’d love for iPadOS to be improved, but the iPad has been out for over a decade now and look where it is still. If it was still being marketed as a tablet and not as computer (alternative) that costs more than a MacBook things might be different but…it is.

For me, iPadOS diverging from iOS was way overdue, but now I don’t think it went far enough. We are at the point now where iPadOS is going to be held back on the iPad Pros by the much cheaper standard ‘iPad’ with far worse specs, that for some reason also has to run the same OS…
 
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cardfan

macrumors 601
Mar 23, 2012
4,349
5,496
I am SO over this asinine argument. Apple develops products based on their decades of experience with the market, as well as the direction in which they want to move technology.

More importantly, as Steve Jobs said, one of the secrets of their success is their discipline to say NO ten times more than they say YES.

Apple knows that vast majority of iPad users are glad that it's not as complex as a Mac (even the so-called "Pro" users). It's THEY who are Apple's priority, not us geeks in the corner of the room.
The company's position is: "if you want macOS, we make wonderful desktops and laptops that run it."

It's ok to wish, as long as you remember that Apple is a corporation, not your personal genie.

Apple knew the vast majority ever used boot camp or windows on a Mac. I’m not sure why anyone is against allowing the same for macOS on iPad. Nothing would change for you.
 

jb1280

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2009
869
255
I can't predict how it would go or even envision the best way for them to implement it, but I Apple could have easily made more money shipping all iPad Pros with the M1 w/ 8GB of RAM and increasing their profit on the 1TB+ SKU as a result. It would have been still praised widely as it is a 2GB increase of 2020...

The usual arguments against that being indicative of some more macOS like tie in is usually that apps will need to be able to run on the top end 2021 iPad M1 and the low end iPad with 3GB of RAM. If that proves to be the case very few, if any, apps will be able to make full use of the iPad Pros hardware further making it confusing that Apple would leave money on the table by adding extra RAM to the 1TB+ models.

I believe the 16GB of memory with the 1 and 2 TB models has very little, if anything, to do with the roadmap for OS functionality and almost everything to do with the way that Apple is configuring and fabricating M1 SOC with storage.

You can get a Macbook Pro or MacBook Air configured with 1TB of storage and 16 GB of memory in a retail Apple Store. If you want 1 TB and 8 Gb of memory you need to custom order it.

Apple is giving users who want or need more a lot of headroom. Apple is enticing customers to higher dollar SKUs with more hardware. Apple gets economies of scale and simplification of their supply chain
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
6,433
5,923
there
Microsoft seemed to pull this off without annoying the "password hell" out of their users.
and dumping 5GB of dead cache has to be easier on a surface go than an iPad.
 

LogicalApex

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2015
1,327
2,067
PA, USA
I believe the 16GB of memory with the 1 and 2 TB models has very little, if anything, to do with the roadmap for OS functionality and almost everything to do with the way that Apple is configuring and fabricating M1 SOC with storage.

You can get a Macbook Pro or MacBook Air configured with 1TB of storage and 16 GB of memory in a retail Apple Store. If you want 1 TB and 8 Gb of memory you need to custom order it.

Apple is giving users who want or need more a lot of headroom. Apple is enticing customers to higher dollar SKUs with more hardware. Apple gets economies of scale and simplification of their supply chain
Storage isn’t on the SOC. They could have easily used the same M1 chip in all storage configurations.
 
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rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,690
12,851
For me, iPadOS diverging from iOS was way overdue, but now I don’t think it went far enough. We are at the point now where iPadOS is going to be held back on the iPad Pros by the much cheaper standard ‘iPad’ with far worse specs, that for some reason also has to run the same OS…

I don't think it has to be limited because there are lower end iPads though. For example, when Apple introduced content blockers and Night Shift, they limited it to 64-bit CPUs (A7 and newer).

Iirc, when Apple introduced multitasking, the iPad 4 never got any of the features, the Air only got PiP while the Air 2 and newer got split-view and slide over. When Apple updated multitasking, the 2nd gen iPad Pros got 3-windows active but older generations did not. Apple could easily do the same thing here where more advanced features are limited to iPad Pros with a minimum CPU+RAM level.
 

jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
4,760
4,482
As a software developer I need a system like MacOS. I could never do all of my development on an iPadOS device with its current restrictions. That is a simple fact. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to change the nature of the iPad just for one technical requirement.

I would much prefer for Apple to add MacOS as just another app in the iPad App Store. The best thing about using the M1 in the latest iPad Pro is that it means Apple could do this using a virtual machine which the M1 has support for. No previous iPad had that ability.

Apple would have to loosen up some of their restrictions for this to work well but the MacOS VM would still be sandboxed just like any other iPad app. Anyone who didn’t need MacOS on their iPad would simply never download the app.

OP you should add another option to your poll.
 

TheDailyApple

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 30, 2019
660
2,898
OP you should add another option to your poll.
Hmm… wouldn’t VM support fall into option 2 already? (Make iPadOS equivalent in functionality, keep them separate) That is, after all, an example of functionality Mac currently has which iPad would need to equal.
 

Wando64

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2013
2,210
2,814
iPads should keep iPadOS, but why not adding the option of running MacOS when docked if one so wish?

There aren't many things that keep me from solely using the iPad (in addition to my old Mac mini server) and the most important is Logic Pro.
I am worried that if Apple were to create a Logic version capable of running on iPadOS, it would be a dumbed down version of the software (Remember what happened to Aperture vs Photos?).
So, why not let my iPad pro run the full version of Logic over MacOS? The rest of the time I'd be quite happy to just use iPadOS and its beautiful software (mainly Procreate, Affinity and Lumafusion).
 
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Rafterman

Contributor
Apr 23, 2010
7,263
8,751
I think this is obvious to most, but macOS should never come to a touch first device and both iPadOS and macOS should remain separated. Although similar tasks can be handled on both, they are just two completely different devices (and very different users) in my eyes. I hope that Apple accelerates iPadOS development as I am firmly in that camp, but putting macOS on an iPad is a bad idea.

Why shouldn't MacOs gsain touch capabilities? Windows does it and few people use it as their primary input - usually its trackpad or BT mouse. But there are times on occasion that you just want to reach out to the screen and manipulate something. And MacOS is already suited better for touchscreen than Windows is.

I really don't understand people wanting LESS features. If you don't like it or think touchscreen Macs are a "lesser" experience, then don't use it.
 

TheDailyApple

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 30, 2019
660
2,898
Why shouldn't MacOs gsain touch capabilities? Windows does it and few people use it as their primary input - usually its trackpad or BT mouse. But there are times on occasion that you just want to reach out to the screen and manipulate something. And MacOS is already suited better for touchscreen than Windows is.

I really don't understand people wanting LESS features. If you don't like it or think touchscreen Macs are a "lesser" experience, then don't use it.
If a touch screen could be added to Mac with out changing anything, no one would have a problem with it. The issue is that macOS would have to be changed to support this, and those changes would likely negatively affect keyboard and cursor optimization. (Though admittedly some of these negative changes have already come to macOS. I.e. control center for macOS is clunky with it’s huge buttons and sliders; the icons in the menu bar are spread too widely, limiting the icons that fit comfortably; etc.)
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
9,385
11,183
Philadelphia, PA
Why shouldn't MacOs gsain touch capabilities? Windows does it and few people use it as their primary input - usually its trackpad or BT mouse. But there are times on occasion that you just want to reach out to the screen and manipulate something. And MacOS is already suited better for touchscreen than Windows is.

I really don't understand people wanting LESS features. If you don't like it or think touchscreen Macs are a "lesser" experience, then don't use it.
Clunky experience, no real value. I think a trackpad creates the best experience for a Mac in a laptop/desktop form factor. They have a form factor/OS built for touch, so why try to fork that experience into the Mac. Apple has done their research and knows this is the best approach.
 
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JSteele

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2021
110
107
The choice between iPad or iMac or Macbook should be about the form factor, not the limitations of the OS. If you want it portable you decide if you want more ports and a built-in keyboard or smaller size and touchscreen. It shouldn't be a choice dictated by I want x features/functionality but I also need to run x apps so I need to buy two devices.

We are at a point now where responsive UI's are mainstream in web development, I would like to see the same concept brought to Metal apps. The iPP has the option to add a keyboard and trackpad, I could see them allow desktop applications to be opened in full screen when docked.
 
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