Merge Mac OS X and iPhone OS?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by TheMechanic, May 19, 2009.

  1. TheMechanic macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2007
    Is it even possible?
    Ultra-protable devices like iPhone or iPod touch become more and more powerful. They are not as powerful as todays desktop or laptop computers, but when you compare the iPhone to the oldest Macs that are able to run some kind of OS X, is there a big difference powerwise?
    Then there is all the talk about Snow Leopard getting a smaller footprint. And Grand Central and OpenCL sound like they could make things faster even on current hardware.
    Recently I saw an old keynote, the one where Steve Jobs introduced OS X. Back then he talked about the "One-OS-Strategy". And now I'm dreaming of Mac OS X and iPhone OS becoming one. I'm also thinking about that Marble GUI. Maybe it will incorporate more touch-like elements and be closer to the iPhone GUI look. Or is it possible to have two different UIs (one touch based and one mouse based) in one OS choosing between them depending on the underlying hardware?
    I'm not quite sure what benefits it would get us to merge both OSes. But I imagine it would come in handy for devices that are between the iPhone and the Mac line-up.
    So what do you think? Is it possible that the exact same Snow Leopard will run on both iPhone and Mac??
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    The iPhone OS is basically Mac OS X..

    It just differs in the sense that it is optimised for a mobile phone and 100% touch screen input, rather than a full blown computer optimisation with keyboard and mouse.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I don't know to what extent this is or isn't obvious to you or incorporated into what you're saying, but the iPhone and iPod touch already run a variant of OS X. They run a Unix OS that was built off OS X with new modules and systems built to suit the iPhone and unnecessary elements removed. The API structure is very similar, a big part of the reason iPhone app development has been so rapid (iPhone apps are developed using an SDK inside the same development environment, XCode, that is used to generate OS X apps).

    There's already crosstalk, with technologies (e.g. coverflow) making their way from one to the other and (multitouch) from the other to the one. There's also talk that Apple might be developing a tablet or netbook that runs an OS X derivative much closer to the iPhone version than to the desktop version. We'll see if that's true (and in the meantime, there are plenty of threads to discuss it here already).
  4. retroneo macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2005
    iPhone OS 1.x runs Darwin 8 i.e. Tiger
    iPhone OS 2.x runs Darwin 9 i.e. Leopard
    iPhone OS 3.x runs Darwin 10 i.e. Snow Leopard

    Frameworks are moving between the two where it makes sense.

    i.e. Snow Leopard is gaining Core Location. iPhone OS 3.x gains Core Data.

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