Rumors of Coming 'macOS' Rebrand for OS X Refuse to Die

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The discovery of a change in file naming conventions in OS X 10.11.4 is behind a recent growth in speculation that Apple is set to rebrand its OS X desktop operating system.

Screenshot from Mac OS 8 released in 1997.

The rumor appears to have begun on Tuesday after Brazilian Apple blog MacMagazine reported that a name used for an Interface Builder document tucked away in the OS X System folder contained a previously unseen reference to 'macOS'.

Developer Guilherme Rambo discovered that a document in FlightUtilities.framework in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks takes the name FUFlightViewController_macOS.nib, which it did not have prior to last week's release of OS X 10.11.4.

Image: Guilherme Rambo

Speculation appears to be based on the fact that iOS, watchOS, and tvOS already take similar naming conventions, leading some to believe that OS X could be set to fall in line.

However, as 9to5Mac points out, there are good reasons to remain skeptical that the change indicates an imminent rebrand.

Apple developers often use macOS identifiers for convenience, because the naming scheme suffix shares symmetry with Apple's other platforms and allows coders to easily identify apps with cross-platform components. Additionally, a significant rebrand of Apple's flagship desktop OS is the type of marketing decision that engineering teams would be unlikely to hear about until later on in the version cycle.

Despite the skepticism, a rebrand for OS X is by no means out of the question. Indeed, the name change would see Apple revert to the operating system's traditional name Mac OS, which remained in place until Apple dropped 'Mac' from its OS X branding in 2012.

The next version of Apple's Mac operating system, 10.12, is rumored to include Siri as a desktop feature, and is expected to be revealed at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June ahead of a public launch in the fall.

Update: The file is actually not new in OS X 10.11.4, as it is present on machines running older versions of OS X El Capitan and lists a creation date of August 2015.

Article Link: Rumors of Coming 'macOS' Rebrand for OS X Refuse to Die
 

xmichaelp

macrumors 68000
Jul 10, 2012
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Good. Makes sense.

I never like it just being called "OS X". The majority of people have no clue what that means. macOS is more straight forward. The average user just calls the operating system "Mac" or "Mac OS" anyways.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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Then after the 10th iteration of iOS, we will have only one OS: macOS.
Note: this is not MacOS.
Pretty much like what Microsoft is doing on Windows, to let Windows run on more than one device.
EDIT: Apple might just want others to call macOS on all devices, either current iOS, Watch OS, tvOS and Mac OS X.
Update 2: What I say is not exactly the same as Microsoft is doing, although Windows 10 Phone and Windows 10 are still different OS interface wise.
Apple may unify their core of OS, and provide different interface/screen layout to fit iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch and Apple TV. So core is the same one, macOS, and on top of that, is corresponding interface for different type of device. What Microsoft is doing, however, is to bring touch into desktop OS. Apple would not do that anyway.
 
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xmichaelp

macrumors 68000
Jul 10, 2012
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Then after the 10th iteration of iOS, we will have only one OS: macOS.
Note: this is not MacOS.
Pretty much like what Microsoft is doing on Windows, to let Windows run on more than one device.
That's not what this means at all. Apple isn't stupid enough to think you can have only one OS for desktops and phones.
 
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Naaaaak

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Mar 26, 2010
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I never called it "Oh Ess Ten". It's an X. "Mac Oh Ess Ex version Ten Dot Eleven Dot Four". Roman numeral naming has always been stupid.
 
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Tycho24

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Aug 29, 2014
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Then after the 10th iteration of iOS, we will have only one OS: macOS.
Note: this is not MacOS.
Pretty much like what Microsoft is doing on Windows, to let Windows run on more than one device.
EDIT: Apple might just want others to call macOS on all devices, either current iOS, Watch OS, tvOS and Mac OS X.
What????
That's an OUTLANDISH guess!
They clearly have a "Mac" brand, an "iPhone" brand", & an "iPad" brand.
NEVER have they referred to the iPhone as the "Mac Phone" or the iPad as the "Mac Tablet".
You are wrong.
They are NOT trying to merge the names.
Lol, I think that's the most off base conclusion I can even imagine anyone coming up with, from this rumor.
 

profets

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Mar 18, 2009
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This would make sense given iOS, watchOS and tvOS.

I still wonder about the versioning though. Currently for example: OS X 10.11.4 (Twice the number 10 is used yet it's a number/version that hasn't changed in 15 years). I feel like they could drop the 10 from 10.11.4. Maybe next version will be macOS 12.0? Similar to the versions of iOS, tvOS and watchOS using a single decimal for versioning.

So why did they bother ditching the 'Mac' branding from the OS if they were just going to change it back?
Here's a screenshot of 10.4.11 just to remind ourselves-
Remember when they did this renaming and it sparked all the speculation about OS X and iOS converging at some point? Heck, there was probably enough speculation that it was part of what sent MS down it's path to put one windows everywhere.
 

haydn!

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Nov 10, 2008
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It would make sense, especially as they all become more aligned technically and experience wise, yet appropriately different for their target device.
 
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