iPad Pro Why does the iPad Not have its own OS ?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by TheRealAlex, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. TheRealAlex macrumors 68000

    Sep 2, 2015
    We have

    Apple TV OS
    Apple Watch OS
    iOS was designed for phones

    Why do we keep sharing a phone OS when especially iPad Pros are such unique and capable devices much more than a phone. We have Keyboard Support, Split Window, Apple Pencil and many more features that warrant an OS for iPads. And from recent credible rumors Apple is killing off all Non-Pro iPads except the mini.
  2. Bart Kela, Jan 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

    Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

    Oct 12, 2016
    My guess is that that having a shared source tree makes programming and code management for Apple easier and more efficient. Both the iPhone and iPad share many components and features like touchscreen input.

    Equally as important is a shared operating system makes life easier for third-party developers.

    And lastly, it's easier for the end users as well. I buy one universal app, download it in iTunes and that's that.

    I'm sure there are pros and cons of forking the source tree and letting an iPad OS take off on its own direction. I'm also sure that Apple has discussed this internally and the general consensus is to stay with a unified operating system for both iPhone and iPad. At this point in time, it appears Apple can decided that harnessing iPad Pro's unique features can be satisfactorily done using device-specific APIs rather than cranking out a whole new operating system.

    In the same manner, Apple has added iOS code to support new functionality as it debuts on the latest devices: better cameras, image stabilization, motion coprocessors, Touch ID/Apple Pay, retina displays, assisted GPS, 3D Touch, etc.

    Apple is not averse to forking the code when there is sufficient cause to do so as they did for Apple TV OS and watchOS.

    At some point they might feel that iPad should have its own codebase but that day isn't here, no one but Apple knows if that day will come to pass in our lifetimes. You can always hope, but don't hold your breath.
  3. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    Agreed with the previous poster, but would add that iOS isn't necessarily a phone OS but a touch screen mobile OS, which the iPad line fits.
  4. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2002
    The Village
    This is key. iOS is Apple's mobile strategy and Apple believes that we interact with mobile devices in a different way than we do with desktop machines - this why Apple decided not to use MacOS (like MS did with Windows Tablet), but their mobile OS.
  5. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    As well as why Apple doesn't believe in the touch screen laptop or desktop. They believe we use things a certain way and would prefer to in that way, and design OS' accordingly.
  6. Channan macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2012
    New Orleans
    No, iPhone OS was designed for phones. iOS is designed for both.

    Think about it, though. iOS would not work on a TV. TVs are controlled with remotes, not touch, so you need another input method. You also don't need the same features from your phone/tablet on a TV.

    Same with the watch. A shrunken down phone OS would not work on a 1" screen, and almost all iOS features are not needed on a watch.

    iOS works fine on a 4" screen all the way up to a 12.9" screen. Besides, why would you want a separate OS that requires all new apps to be written for the iPad?
  7. iDento macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2011
    iCloud Servers
    Actually I think it will be better if Apple TV & Watch runs iOS too, in fact, it does, it just the naming thats different.

    I purchased one app, it runs on 3 different platforms?! That's not possible unless it's the same OS with different names.

    Adding special features to each device that uses the same OS is a different story.
  8. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    What does giving the iPad its own OS solve?

    Apple just has to customize it better.

    The screen real estate, esp on the 12.9" is woefully underutilized.
  9. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Apr 24, 2016
    Of course it is possible. And of course there will be similarities between the platforms but that doesn't make them the same by a long shot.
  10. iPadDad macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2014
    I read a rumor that Apple may be giving iPad Pro models more unique software characteristics.
  11. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2002
    The Village
    Yep. It said it would be on iOS 10.2. Since 10.2 is here, the rumors pushed it back to 10.3. When it doesn't appear on 10.3 I'm sure the hype for 11 will build up.
  12. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    The most relevant question posed in along time.. but one that's been asked since the beginning of iPad.

    I believe it's almost time for iPad iOS. If Apple wants to keep claiming their tablets are as good as they say, on par with laptops then it's about time. I think the amount of work needed to create an OS that's better than the current one, more efficient on power, processes and everything in general is vast. That said the richest, most recognized company in the world can do anything it wants if it wants so their excuses for not making one are abetrary at best.
  13. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Apr 24, 2016
    iOS was developed for iPad. When Apple realised that a phone was what the market initially preferred they developed the iPhone along with the iPad and released it first. That's how it was described in the official Steve Jobs biography I think.
  14. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    So Pages for MacOS is different than iOS Pages?
  15. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Apr 24, 2016
    What does your question have to do with the topic?

    Btw: Aren't you supposed to be at Starbucks thinking about how cool your iPad looks in public? ;)
  16. Mainsail macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    Yes, there are definitely differences between the iOS Apps and the Mac OS Apps. If you go to the Apple support pages for iWorks and compare the features you will definitely see differences. For example, conditional formatting is available in the Mac OS version of Numbers, but not available in the iOS version.
  17. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    No, iOS was developed for the iPhone. The capacitive touch surface they developed was originally for Mac, with the idea to make a tablet with it. And then, as you said, they realised the potential with the phone.
  18. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I don't know. I guess if Pages for iOS and Pages for macOS are same thing then macOS would work well on iPad Pro but I think I might understand why Apple choose not to.
  19. ascender macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2005
    I still think the lack of a pointing device, or at the very least, much more baked-in iOS support for external keyboards is the one thing which will stop some users even considering the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. It's so close... if they could just remove the over-reliance on having to reach out and touch the screen for things.
  20. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    To a point, all of Apple's OSes are the same at the core. All have Darwin at the core, all have a set of core frameworks like CoreFoundation, CoreAnimation, CoreText, etc. Hell, MapKit is a shared component.

    The difference is the higher level frameworks. AppKit vs UIKit between macOS and iOS (among other things). And like you say, tvOS is basically iOS with a different home screen, tweaks to input and a couple specialized frameworks added. watchOS replaces UIKit with WatchKit for the more limited interface. But watch UI is simple enough that having to rewrite it isn't nearly the hurdle as rewriting for Mac from iOS or vice versa.

    Honestly, while I understand the annoyances of iOS on the iPad, I think it's a bit of a mistake to throw out the baby with the bath water by asking for a split. The iPhone should be able to accrue the changes that make sense (I.e. More file system access) when making iOS work better on iPad. And things like wasted space are a UI design problem, not an inherent OS issue, and a nice solution could be done that either helps or doesn't affect the iPhone. I can kinda understand some of the choices (max width for emails so they don't make the lines of text too wide for example), but others are a bit confusing.
  21. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    They won't do it ever. There are a couple of tangible reasons they will never open an iPad. Every torrent download from IOS would cause the death of a kitten and take a minute off of Tim Cook's life.

    Other than the piracy issues the other reason is Apple is not ready for you to be able to ditch the Mac. One day they will have sold off all of their 4 year old components but that day isn't here yet. They are updating the Macs as little as possible to shift towards this brave, new, reality.

    I am not even trying to troll. You will never see a file system because for that you need a Mac and for most people this is why you still must buy two devices.

    Apple has no compelling interest to change things right now. They could be right be for the moment it is hard to say if people will be willing to embrace Apple's version of the cloud where you no longer own content of your own.

    If people accept that notion than Cook is right and an iPad is good enough. I hope the lawsuit against Apple eventually goes somewhere on the monopoly issue or it will become worse than anything MS ever did.
  22. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Because they're identical to next year's (or the year after) iphone in terms of performance, and the hardware is similar save for screen size. Which iOS can be adapted to without needing a whole new OS.

    Watch OS and TV OS are just basically iOS with a different UI. The UI for ipad and iphone is pretty much the same anyway.

    The reason you don't have a file system on the iPad or iPhone is because

    1. you don't need one
    2. its to save you from yourself
    3. everything is going cloud based

    even microsoft is encouraging you to go for cloud services for storage. People are using more devices now, and want their files everywhere.

    I have several PCs, 2 Macs, 2 iPads and an iPhone.

    I want my stuff to be accessible on all of them. I'm not alone.
  23. GrindedDown macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2009
    Las Vegas
    I think the most valid reason to give the ipad its own operating system would be for differentiation. It would allow the ipad app marketplace to separate from the general ios marketplace. This may help with general pricing structures by allowing developers to offer "pro" level apps and ask higher prices without having to worry that their apps may show up next to a competing app that costs $2.99. Having a revamped marketplace with better pricing for developers will help to enable the ipad even further.

    Of course, apple needs to do some work on their own too like the fast app switching mess they have for running side by side apps on the pros. r
  24. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Being able to run the same software on iPad and iPhone is a feature, not a problem.
  25. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    And the basis for things like split screen on the iPad to boot.

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