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Poll: Is Tim Cook right that a converged Mac and iPad would be too compromised a device?

converged os x on tablet

Tim Cook has consistently spoken out against the possibility of converging iOS and OS X devices, most famously saying that “you can converge a toaster and refrigerator, but these things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”

He repeated this line earlier this week, stating that Apple wants to make “the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world – and putting those two together would not achieve either.”

However, some of your comments suggest that not all of you agree, so we’ve adopted the suggestion of one commentator and posed the question … 

One suggestion that has been voiced by a number of people here and elsewhere is a single device that operates as a MacBook when it is used in clamshell mode, but with a detachable screen that switches to iOS to become an iPad.

One third-party company even goes so far as to offer a MacBook Pro tablet conversion, the Modbook Pro.

Assuming that Apple continued to make both MacBooks and iPads as well, should it add a converged device into the mix? Take the poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. lagax - 7 years ago

    I just want Xcode for iPad.

    • Sam Gabbay - 7 years ago

      This should have been an option in the Poll.

    • This would be awesome. Not necessarily the full suite, but an ‘Xcode lite’ would be a real winner for me. Think of it as iMaschine is to Maschine. :)

    • Bryan Hoke - 7 years ago

      I’m hoping we’ll get something with the open-sourcing of Swift: even if Apple doesn’t ship an iDE, surely there are developers ready to jump on the opportunity to do so.

    • Robert - 7 years ago

      According to John Gruber, this is a real project at Apple.

      • lagax - 7 years ago

        Where did he state that? Haven’t heard it on The Talkshow…

    • mikhailt - 7 years ago

      Not sure how Apple can build Mac apps but for iOS apps, this is most likely a sure thing for the iPad Pro within 5 years, especially with Swift-only projects and Playground. Can you imagine coding and using the playground in the split view?

    • iali87 - 7 years ago

      An Ipad with osx is not a good idea. Leave the ipad for people who only consume media and play games.
      But the Mac should have a touch screen and designed like the lenovo yoga and comes with a pencil.

  2. methodnok - 7 years ago

    The only thing it would compromise is his pockets.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      hybrids aren’t great at either thing they’re combining. Hence why there is no hybrid OSX/iOS, or single operating system for mobile and desktop…because they don’t belong together. A tablet and laptop combine to be a poor laptop and poor tablet, because either way you are making compromises to appease the other aspect, whereas if your goal is just one, there are no compromises. One example would be that a tablet is far better in 4:3 and a laptop or desktop is far better in 16:9. Another would be that if they made a hybrid then it would be supporting both iOS and OSX taking space on a maximum of 128GB of storage.

      • shareef777 - 7 years ago

        What about my hybrid phone/music player, you know, the IPHONE!?

  3. Doug Aalseth - 7 years ago

    SJ called it a toaster fridge and that image resonated with me. Sometimes a touch screen is best. Sometimes a curser is best. Trying to do both would be frought with problems. Example from my childhood: We knew a people with their own airplanes and boats. They worked well. But the people with seaplanes not as much. They were ok but not as good at flying as regular Pipers and Cessinas nor as good at being boats as full time watercraft were. Sometimes being a specialty tool is best.

    • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

      Nonsense, the toaster fridge analogy is absurd. iOS and OSX are much more similar already than a toaster and a fridge….or a plane and a boat.

      • A plane with pontoons (and retractable wheels) works extremely well and is an apt comparison.

        The iPad itself is already an enormous compromise. Obviously cutting down OSX would be a compromise for the Mac, but augmenting OSX with elements from iOS can work – the hardware also has to be done right of course.

      • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

        A plane with pontoons, aint a boat….and a toaster and a fridge are nothing a like. iOS and OSX are more like a bicycle and a motorcycle. If Apple can’t make a converged product work, they will be left behind and prove they can’t innovate. This is purely about selling two products to the public, not just one.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Combing them is idiotic. Apple’s intelligent teams won’t do it. Enjoy.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        It doesn’t work and makes no sense to intelligent people. iOS: touch based interface, and designed specifically around that. OSX: curser based interface and specifically designed around that. Combing them simply makes them both worse, convoluted, complex, compromising, etc.. It’s not happening, give up, or go use the awful Windows 10.

      • chrisl84 - 7 years ago


      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Read above comments. The reasons don’t stop at just the mangling of the operating systems. Even only running iOS when undocked and only running OSX when docked, it has the numerous other limiting factors.

      • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

        Thats nonsense, you of all people should know that, you are one of the biggest dreamers out of all those who comment here and you are satisfied at iOS on an a PRO iPad having no growth to a true PRO device? Surprising, yes lets just keep making them big and bigger for no damned reason other than to waste screen space because innovation doesnt matter anymore.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        I think they need to do a lot more with iPad side of iOS but not make a hybrid and I know you mean hybrid that runs iOS when undocked and OS X when docked since that’s the only way it makes some sense to do it.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        My main problems with Apple are with their OS’s. I think they’re by far the best still, but they are god awful in many ways too. I think they need a tremendously larger team for them. I think the iPad OS, especially the iPad Pro OS needs significantly different features at this point, to make use of the screen space like you’ve said. I mean my god they don’t even make things bigger, like there is so much wasted space it’s insane.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        I’ll lose hope in Apple if they put a FaceTime camera on the next watch, or any future watch. Currently I still believe they are doing things pretty correctly on the hardware side. Except for not making their own gaming controller, which would benefit far more people than the Apple pencil. Well, until iPads replace textbooks in all schools, in like 20 years.

    • Doug Aalseth - 7 years ago

      I carry a Swiss Army Knife and use it a lot. But, when I want to do any real work I will pull out my took kit with a screwdriver, wrenches, pliars, and such, Each tool is the right tool for that job.

      FWIW though, I also favour keeping the peas, the meat, and the potatoes seperate on my plate. Slightly neurotic like that.

      • Software is the “tools” – the machine, the platform, is more like a workbench.

    • Rob Current - 7 years ago

      And they shouldn’t mix a phone with a pager. Or a camera, or a music player, or a web browser. It would result in a compromise and all of them would be sub optimal. Wait…

  4. mrrvdio - 7 years ago

    I think that they already have in a way with the macbook 12″ it has two ports a headphone and a power and accessory port. And its super thin like an iPad. Now its not a touch screen but I think that a good thing because as Steve Jobs stated that it was not good for the user experience. Your arms instantly become fatigued especially after many hours of work. Our hands work more naturally on a keyboard such as the macbook. I don’t every seeing them throwing away user experience for a feature that people want because you can say yes I want that feature but once you have it, it turn out to be something more cumbersome then the next great step forward.

    • Doug Aalseth - 7 years ago

      Exactly. When it comes to writing on the run I’ll take my iPad every time. But when it comes to doing the detailed editing, grabbing this bit and moving it there, changing these words to italics, etc., my MacBook is better.

  5. Ask Tim Cook why must professional creatives using Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer and other Pro NLEs and pro apps for that matter will go with a Surface Book and Surface 4 running Windows 10 and not an iPad Pro. Absolutely the iPad Pro should have been running a full OSX or modified.

    • iSRS - 7 years ago

      Why can’t they go with a MacBook Pro? Those apps are certainly not that touch friendly designed.

      • They can – but I think the point he is trying to make is that the Surface Book and Surface Pro can be used as PC’s and as touchscreen tablets.

    • JBDragon - 7 years ago

      OSX is NOT a touch Interface OS. Using Windows on a touch screen for me SUCKS. It’s a crap experience. The iPad Pro is a Pro device for some things. For other things, get the right tool for the Job, as in one of the Macbooks.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      Why? Then get a MacBookPro 15inch (w/ a much faster i7, Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, and a couple of USB 3 ports) and an iPad and use the iPad as a graphics tablet/control surface with a laptop. If I was running an NLE, I would want a bigger than 13 inch screen, 13 inch just doesn’t make it for me using the higher end NLE’s. I personally think that running a full blown NLE on a small screen would be highly undesirable and the processor they are using aren’t really powerful enough, I would want to run a more complex NLE with all of the features on a much higher end processor so that you can have tons of filters, special effects, etc. and it would run smoothly like it does on an MacPro which has considerably more powerful GPU/CPUs.

      I just can’t figure out why one would want to run an NLE on a 13 inch screen with underpowered processors like 2 core i7s and no Thunderbolt.

      MOST professionals creatives? Are you sure? How can you be sure that MOST of them are doing this? Have you checked the major film production studios? BlackMagic is a company that caters to the video production crowd and they are focused more on OS X and look at the products they have. They have a lot of things that require Thunderbolt, and the Surface crap doesn’t support Thunderbolt, whereas MacBooks do and with a MacBookPro, you can get a decent 4 core i7 and it’s got all of the I/O they need in a laptop. Plus a lot of the pros are using higher end workstations that are XEONs or the faster i7’s with tons of memory.

      I think you are mistaken by your assessment that most professionals are using Adobe Premier on a Surface product. Microsoft just released the Surface Book and SP4, and I doubt every NLE professional ran out to buy one of these underpowered products for NLE production to use a higher end NLE app.

      The iPad Pro isn’t being used how you think. There are a lot of video production companies that are going the budget route where they will use an iPad Pro with iPhones and they’ll use iMovie because what they are doing simply doesn’t require them spending a ton of money. To the crowd that has a bigger budget, they’ll go with MacBookPro 15inchers and a 4 core i7 or they will be using a desktop workstation because they need tons of RAM, storage, and GPU because they are running a lot of filters at the same time, 4K video, etc. etc. and whatever is in a tablet or lower end laptop simply isn’t enough.

      Not all NLE users NEED or use the same hardware/software.

      Not everyone that does NLE wants to use Windows either.

  6. minieggseater - 7 years ago

    I answered Yes but really it’s not a very good yes. I can think of times when it would be useful ….. But managing the two separate storage systems would be a nightmare. You almost want OSX to run in bootcamp on an iOS device but really that would create as many problems as it solves. Why take a hammer and a screwdriver when you can knock a nail in with a screwdriver …. just not well ! It’s one of those things you think you want until you really think about it.

    • ericisking - 7 years ago

      I think a lot of people who want one would realise this if they actually got one. I thought the Surface was a great idea until I was given one at work. A few hours later I realised this is just a novelty laptop with a small screen and crappy keyboard/trackpad, not something I care to work on for any length of time. It sure SOUNDS like a great idea, but in practice it’s a subpar laptop and a subpar tablet. Honestly, I struggle to call the Surface a tablet at all, almost everything it’s good for is better with a mouse. It’s a novelty laptop, not a serious tool.

  7. Scott Gerber - 7 years ago

    A converged device must include both iOS and OS X. Like others have suggested – OS X when attached to a keyboard and iOS when detached.

    • 100% yes agree. Having the best of both when you want them without having to travel with two devices.

      • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

        It simply can’t be done properly.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      So a device that has both Intel and ARM processors? How heavy would this thing be and what would battery life be like…and most importantly how much would it cost. Seems like it would be uber expensive.

      • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

        So because you can’t understand how to engineer a product Apple shouldnt? Well, okay then

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Because you can’t understand the compromises and numerous reasons why it’s a bad idea, Apple should still do it?

      • vertsub2015 - 7 years ago

        Acer and a lot of PC manufactures have managed to do it with the Windows 8/10 tablets. I have an older Iconia W510 I use at work. It works great for a windows tablet but is lacking since the USB port requires an adapter. Using the dock though not only do I get a full USB port with the trackpad and keyboard, I also get another full sized battery. I think Apple should take this one step further and could pack an Intel based CPU in there with some changes to the OS using Handoff.

        Dock your iPad? Your dock wakes from sleep, using the iPad as your screen, and whatever was running under iOS opens up on the corresponding OS X app (if there is one). Undock your iPad? The opposite happens.

        This way when you undock and are mobile you are using the best touch based OS out there, and when you dock you get to use the best desktop class OS out there. Documents, web pages, books, music all synced directly through the connection between the iPad and dock. If the 11” Macbook Air can be made so impossibly thin, why not marry it to an iPad instead of a normal LCD screen?

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        4:3 OSX. You want that?

      • vertsub2015 - 7 years ago


  8. Vincent Conroy - 7 years ago

    We’d all be complaining that the OSX icons are too small to tap with a finger. We want a tablet to use as a laptop. So why not just buy a Macbook Air? It’s small, thin, and light. Could the iPad and iPad Pro be more productive? Yep. But that has less to do with hardware and more to do with software. Enhanced multitasking features could be added without compromising OSX. The addition of Force Touch to future iPads (including Pro) should make text-selection WAY easier. But trying to make a device that pleases everyone will only a yield a device that pleases no one. Apple’s bloated product line is proof that they are already losing focus (why are there 5 iPads available?). Keeping iOS and OSX separate is key to ensuring we don’t see hodge-podged devices trying to be everything and ultimately being nothing.

  9. Chuck Smith-Dewey - 7 years ago

    Sorry, this seems like kind of a silly poll. It would not be trivial to merge or blend the two, and I trust Apple’s judgement in anticipating whether it would be successful in the market and successful in real life use. There is a trial balloon out there called Surface. If it gains any traction, perhaps Apple will take another look. There is always the opportunity cost of what else we would miss were they to dedicate resources toward this imagined product. Not willing to miss the next best thing for a hybrid.

    • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

      So your advice is to copy Microsoft if the Surface is a winner…..yeah, great….no need for Apple innovation, lets just follow others now.

    • Like it or not the Surface HAS gained traction. Demand is there, and the last time I looked iPad sales where tanking whereas MacBook sales where rising. That shows demand for a tablet running a proper operating system and not one which is a glorified phone interface would very much be in demand.

      • iSRS - 7 years ago

        Don’t read the wrong things into this. Corporations are largely Microsoft shops. They want an iPad that is Windows. The few Mac users in my group (at work, sadly, I am not one) get constant ribbing for using Macs. It is a mindset that will not apply in 10-15 years, but now? It does. The old guard is still running things.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Wow what ignorance. iPads tanking in sales and your false assumption that the surface things are doing well? First of all, Mac sales have been rising for years, with declines of PC sales. Secondly, iPad sales are tanking because people aren’t going to upgrade tablets like they do an iPhone. It’s a super simple thing to understand, it’s called market saturation. You do understand that iPads are still selling far greater than macs..right? You understand that macs are continuing to rise, but they will never be selling many more millions because people don’t upgrade computers like they do their smartphones. I have a 2010 MacBook and I’m not going to upgrade it, and while there are numerous reasons I would, none of those reasons are power, and that’s all the upgrades macs get for several years between major features.

      • ericisking - 7 years ago

        This is a ludicrous misinterpretation of statistics.

  10. I don’t want iOS and OSX. I want something else. PadOS. An extended iOS which incorporates more Pro elements of an OS that you would find in OSX, but without the full-blown desktop antics of a MacBook.

    I want my iPad Pro to be more than an iPad, but less than a MacBook. As it stands, it’s just an iPad.

  11. chrisl84 - 7 years ago

    The iPad is stale bread at this point….the Pro doesn’t impress….all future releases will be just average. Apple must converge these or they have tossed all innovating out the window for iOS.

    • stoplion22 - 7 years ago

      I really do not understand why you seem to want this so badly. Putting two already-in-existence things into a blender is not called innovating, it’s what you do when you run out of ideas.

      Also let’s say they even did do it. iOS and OS X, two platforms in one device with all the hardware required to properly do both. You’d need at least two sets of processors and two sets of storage and probably much more- all you end up with is one less screen, but I bet you the cost of this would be as much if not more than simply buying an iPad and a Mac.

      Buying one $1800 product isn’t even financially advantageous to two products if the combined price tag is lower. And all you end up getting is a heavy tablet and a compromised Mac. I really don’t get why at that point it seems like a better idea, because as it stands now you can simply choose the appropriate device for a given task.

      • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

        Its called progress, thats why. Doing nothing is how a company gets left behind.

  12. Michael Brownlee - 7 years ago

    In my eyes, the limit to how “pro” the iPad Pro is will solely be based on software. I’d love to have one but have no need for one. Add Propellerheads Reason though and I’d have to reconsider.

  13. rudygray - 7 years ago

    Even if Apple were working on a hybrid tablet, do folks actually think Tim Cook would come out and disclose it. No! And often Apple has done a 180 on products and features they said they’d never do. I’d take his words with a large grain of salt. While I don’t think adding touch support to Mac OS is needed, I’d love to see iOS gain mouse/trackpad support, especially if they want these things to be more productive.

  14. b9bot - 7 years ago

    Just look at Microsoft Windows 8 failure enough said.

  15. iSRS - 7 years ago

    I haven’t voted yet. I am trying to think of a use case that makes sense. Microsoft Office? The iPad Pro with the smart keyboard works just as well as Office 2016 on an MacBook Pro. The suggestion there would be to add a trackpad to the keyboard, akin to the 3D Touch press navigation on the iPhone 6s.

    Any of the “touch” use cases I can think of benefitting OS X are minor (such as it is easier to touch the word, cell, etc you want, or the spot you want).

    All of this is taking the compromises and not even thinking about them. There would have to be some, especially in size/weight and battery life.

    I just don’t know.

    • stoplion22 - 7 years ago

      You can use the keyboard as a trackpad. On an iPad two finger sliding does what one finger force touching does on the 6S keyboard!

      • iSRS - 7 years ago

        Good to know. Never tried it on my iPad 3. Will have to check it out. Thanks!

  16. rdemsick - 7 years ago

    We just need a better way to Port apps. Apple should get a team of software programmers that have the job of porting apps on iOS

  17. triankar - 7 years ago

    User interaction is “secretly” converging, but it’s nothing they’re advertising yet.

    On the Mac side:
    – I miss the ability to hand-draw stuff (mostly diagrams and quick notes). This requires a touchscreen and stylus/Pencil support. Finger-drawing simply doesn’t cut it. So when I carry my rMBP, I tend to have a paper notepad handy and I take a pic of anything I need to keep.
    – I mostly use fullscreen apps and I swipe left-right to switch between them. Mission Control is way too slow as a task switcher and Cmd-Tab… well I guess I’ve grown out of it. So task-switching is for me where the two OSes have already converged.

    On the iOS side:
    – we’re missing a “Finder” application that allows proper file management and ideally allows access to all “file-providers” (local files, iCloud, Google Drive etc)
    – we’re SORELY missing a file access model that doesn’t require copying files to each app’s private little island before access. Try editing Pages documents stored in your Google Drive.
    – I’m not asking for local shell access and other nerdy stuff, but the ability to create arbitrary folder structures within iCloud Drive, shuffle files therein and (un)zip stuff is very important. Google Drive does it beautifully, iCloud Drive does NOT. Hence the above problem (Pages & GD).
    – at least on the iPad Pro, Tim should better consider allowing for some kind of removable storage. MicroSD or even a Lightning-to-USB adapter should do the trick. A USB-C port is probably out of the question while Lightning is around :|

    If I edit a 4K video on the iPad Pro, as Tim likes to advertise, how am I _realistically_ going to send a 4GB file (let alone 20GB+) to my “client”? iCloud / Dropbox? AirDrop? Not really… I’m gonna usb-connect my iPad to my Mac and copy it to a USB drive (assuming that my Mac can have enough USB ports to do that – two of them, that is!). Which means I’ll have to be carrying my MacBook Air/Pro along. Very convenient, Tim…

    So, we’ve got the part that we should not be expecting any touch-enabled OSX devices in the foreseeable future. Let’s hope they do some things right on the iOS side :/

    • triankar - 7 years ago

      One more thing: needless to say how I DETEST the app-specific folders in iCloud Drive and the limitations imposed therein. It’s probably good if you’re totally computer-illiterate, but it’s absolutely useless for anyone above that. If we have too keep them, Apple please place them under an Apps/ folder (or even better, .Apps/ ) and let us manage the rest of our space freely (from within iOS). And allow iWork apps to view files outside their sandboxes :)

  18. James Casey Tucker - 7 years ago

    While I agree that having a machine that’s locked into one form factor would perform poorly with a unified OS I think there’s opportunity with a few out of the box ideas. The argument for a detachable keyboard that when attached would activate OSX and when detached would activate iOS is in the right direction but i’d like to see it taken one step further. What about an iPad Pro type device with all of the internal components as is that attaches to a cpu type base (i.e. Macbook Pro without the screen complete with usb/firewire/headphone/hdmi inputs, solid state drive, speakers, etc.) that charges the ipad and uses the tablet as a screen only; completely deactivating touch input. When the tablet is docked, data transfer is enabled for easier file sharing and merging, handoff is seamless, you get the best of both world without compromise and since the dock and ipad both are both relatively thin the form factor has a fairly small footprint. This way Apple gets to sell more Macbook like products (a declining category) in the form of a full set up (ipad pro plus docking cpu; cost right around a higher end macbook pro or more) and they sell just the docking cpu to current owners of the tablet and continue selling tablets to those being introduced to the apple ecosystem for the first time. i have a macbook pro w/ retina 13″ and an ipad mini i carry at the same time, it would be nice to carry one nice compact device that is literally a 2-in-1 device.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      You realize they thought of that long ago and understood it wasn’t what they wanted to do right? You’d be buying an insanely expensive dock that did nothing when you didn’t have it with you. Why not have a damn desktop computer and an iPad instead?

  19. greenbelt2csp - 7 years ago

    Everyone who thinks it is a good idea would be the first people to complain about it once it arrived. “Why did they do this, it’s sooooo annoying,” etc. etc.

  20. mpias3785 - 7 years ago

    Two operating systems with diametrically opposed philosophies would not combine well. The Mac is great for heavy lifting (user access to the file system and various forms of I/O and a wide open developer base), The iPad is great for entertainment and light lifting (no user access to the file system nor various forms of I/O (except iCloud and a few third party peripherals) and and an app market shut tighter than a bathysphere.)

    Different machines for different uses, though I wouldn’t mind being able to use a few iOS apps in the virtually forgotten dashboard.

  21. I would buy an iPad Pro (and pencil) if it could second second as a screen for a OS X keyboard. Basically, just let me use my iPad as the screen for my MacBook Pro. But let me remove the screen when I simply want to use it as an iPad. PLEASE. I WILL BUY IT. WAITING….

  22. bdkennedy1 - 7 years ago

    iOS is the future of Apple and OS X is on the way out. Think of iOS as MacOS in it’s early days. The more iPad comes along, so will iOS, just like the Mac did.

  23. I love Apple and I think they do a great job with their products. But I believe Mr. Cook is being a bit disingenuous about this whole merging OSX and iOS. I don’t believe Apple can’t find a way to merge them and make a great product for a segment of the market – clearly there is a demand because we are having this debate. The reality is, that as long as Apple keeps the two platforms separate, they get to sell two different device to that share of the market that wants them merged – which I suspect is significant. They always used to boast about the halo effect and how iPods, phones and tablets result in Mac sales. If they merged the two, the product would cannibalize a good percentage of both the tablet and Mac sales.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      They aren’t afraid of cannablizing themselves. Did you argue that they shouldn’t have made a Music app on the iPhone because it eventually killed the iPod? This is a bad idea. It’s only being argued because the idiots at Microsoft did it. It’s not going to go anywhere.

  24. Robert - 7 years ago

    Integrating the OS would not be a good experience, a Tim said it would be too much of a compromise. Apps need to be designed either for touch or for a pointer. What might be cool is to have a touch pad accessory for iPad that allows you to interact with a version of OSX running on the device.

    Apple’s A series chips are quickly advancing and will soon overtake Intel. This is a paradigm shift. Intel based Macs may soon be a thing of the past. We might see the Mac OS rebuilt from the ground up to run on Apple’s chips and new devices that can run either OS and switch between them. Or maybe it is a single OS that can run either interfaces without compromise.

  25. tomsupraboy - 7 years ago

    I guess Tim Cook doesn’t want to make a great product that would canibalize both Mac and iPad sales. Even if he said that’s better to canibalize ourselves instead of competition doing so. But still, making this type of product would be too much of a danger in terms of sales.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      A danger to themselves? Wow people know nothing about it. So, they’re afraid of all those millions of sales they will lose of those people that would have purchased both the MacBook and the iPad Pro? HAHAH. Hint: there will be next to none of those people.

  26. Eric Altson - 7 years ago

    Forget iOS. Apple would OWN the art and design communities (again) if they put touch and pen pressure sensitivity into an iMac. Having to use a lame and insanely expensive Cintiq from Wacom is just ridiculous when Apple already has this technology in other products. As much as the iPad Pro with the Pencil is a nice little sketching platform, it’s not robust enough for serious professionals.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      You’re suggestion an iMac with a touchscreen? I genuinely feel bad for you.

      • Eric Altson - 7 years ago

        Is that because you simply lack vision, or because you just don’t understand the professional art and design community? There was a time when Apple basically made itself through this demographic. They have already show a desire to expand their touch products beyond simple OS commands, and with the Pencil, they are investing (back) into more serious art production. But anything on an iPad is going to be limited to the specs of that device, which is nowhere near enough for professional use. However, if you put that same tech in an iMac, you directly compete with Wacom (which has a number of high priced products used by the professional community). No one in their right mind would pay for a $3500 Cintiq, which is little more than a rather poor display with stylus capability, when they could get a 5k Retina iMac that does the same thing for a grand less.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        I agree that if you were able to turn it horizontal it would be cool for professional artists to do art with the Apple pencil on it, it would never be good as a touchscreen though, and Apple would never do that for the few professional artists that would get it for their work. You could also imagine that Apple could create a smart paintbrush with bristles that sense pressure, angle, etc., but they won’t waste their time on that, because it wouldn’t be beneficial to enough people. This is why they say ‘we say no far more than we say yes’ or ‘we’d love to do many things, but choose to do only a few things really great’. This is the unfortunate thing, the fact that there could be so so many other great products that will never happen because Apple simply can’t do everything. Frankly they’re already doing too much now, too much for how many people they have.

  27. Scott (@ScooterComputer) - 7 years ago

    The bigger problem here now is that Apple tends to react to things rather spitefully. So –IF– Apple would produce a convergence device, users should fully expect the first version or so to suck exactly as much as Tim Cook is currently predicting. That’s just the way Apple rolls. They ARE NOT wrong. Ever.

    Past that, I think Cook is flat-out wrong. But I think he is also being disingenuous. Another trait in the long history of Apple oddities. Steve Jobs claiming 7″ tablets were junk. Phil Schiller hating on wireless charging. Apple speaks more with a PR/Marketing tongue than they speak with an engineering tongue. Which is sad. They say things that are complementary and complimentary to THEIR bottom line, and users need to understand that foremost. In the case of a convergence device, Apple has all the pieces. They have the bottom half of the Surface Book, but even better because the MacBook Pro Retina base is nearly as thin and includes the GPU AND CPU; it is a self-contained super computer with a good keyboard. In the iPad Pro they nearly have the performance of the TOP HALF of the Surface Book. So when Microsoft claimed the Surface Book was going to be twice the performance of the MBPr, that was crap; Apple however can do it. Today. (For anyone doubting…take a MPBr and compare the thickness of the display to the iPad Pro.) Apple just needs to tailor their two operating systems to hand/glove. Therefore, the level of “suck” is 100% Apple dependent.

    The key part that I see missing is Screen Sharing. When the Top is docked to the Base, the base will drive the display directly via DisplayPort. The iPad “guts” should act as a secondary processing unit, which should utilize OS X’s Grand Central Dispatch/OpenCL. When detached, there is no reason why the Base could not continue to act as a network-accessible processing module…now utilizing Grand Central Dispatch from iOS. There would have to be SOME KIND of Screen Sharing/communication going on here, and better than VNC would be having it happen at the layer of code between M and VC. The Mac Apps running on the Base would appear on the iPad; certainly iPad apps would eventually become hybrids, where the iPad part took on more of the UI code, sending only heavy processing instructions to the backend. Once this is done, there is even LITTLE reason why it couldn’t extend to multiple computers on the local network, and even to virtualized computing sessions in the Cloud (ala Xgrid, if only Apple hasn’t killed that). Lighter apps like Safari and Mail would only need to communicate Continuity information. Apps will evolve to effectively be two things: the UI, which will differentiate based on size of the interfacing screen, and the backend processing code. Which is pretty much how the web/iOS apps work now.

    I fully expect to see Apple move to a AWS-style cloud paradigm before too long. What is the need for most people to have a supercomputer when you can rent one in the cloud much cheaper? The only reason you’d need to buy a “PC” would be simply because you WANTED that power, locally, (think Steve Woz), or you were often in places you didn’t have good/fast access to the cloud. In the automobile paradigm, pickups are still a very large segment of the market; however when autonomous vehicles come in to the market, and you can drive to Home Depot and have a flatbed “truck” follow you home for $49.95 with your purchase, who will still buy a truck? Your iMac will be two things: a big screen and interfacing hardware, and a “computer” based solely on the amount of heavy duty local processing you want to pay for. The Mac mini will be a processing “Honda generator”. The Mac Pro, a “diesel generator”. When all this happens, every device you carry will become “vessels” packed to the gills for three things: battery (until wireless ‘God’s breath” charging is proven to work), processing, and/or interface.

  28. PMZanetti - 7 years ago

    I’d rather see iOS continue to mature over time and evolve, than to essentially give up on it (which is what macOS on iPad would be).

  29. Peter Stelman - 7 years ago

    It shouldn’t be the *only* option, but it should be an option. OS X should be enhanced to support touch-screens, so developers could program for that interface in addition to keyboard and mouse/touch-pad. You could still have apps that work just like current OS X apps. So where’s the downside to that?

    I’d like to see iOS gain more “real computer” features, like access to a file system and external storage devices. I’m a software developer, and I’d like to be able to do some work on an iPad Pro. It would have to support a web server, though. It certainly has the power to handle that. The OS just holds it back. I think Microsoft has the right idea with the Surface Pro.

  30. kittykatta - 7 years ago

    Of course Gluing and iPad to a MacBook would t work. But the real question is whether or not Apple could use their creativity and experience and talent to “Think Different” and approach the idea of convergence in a new way.

    there is absolutely no doubt that Apple could make an amazing hybrid product. But the problem is that Tim Cook doesn’t want to because it’s far more profitable to sell two overlapping products (Tablet and Laptop) than one convergence device.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      How so? Not everyone is buying an iPad and a Mac. I’m sure there are plenty of “pros” who use Macs but don’t own an iPad and plenty of non “pros” like me who own an iPad but not a Mac.

      • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

        Dude, you dont own a mac but you are running your mouth with an opinion…..good grief, limit this thread to people who actually use both because people like you have no reference point

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Yes it would really kill their massive, millions of sales of people that will buy the iPad Pro and MacBook. Hint: that’s sarcasm. You know how many people will purchase both of those? Hardly any.

  31. Mark Granger - 7 years ago

    Should Apple merge iOS and Mac OS? No.
    Should Apple add a touch screen and touch UI to Mac OS X? Yes.
    Should Apple add a real file system and pro tools like XCode for iOS and the iPad Pro? Yes.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      Why do you think Apple should add touch to OS X? Windows 8 wasn’t exactly a hit. Windows RT was a disaster. iOS is Apple’s touch enabled OS. It makes zero sense for them to have two touch based OSes.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Touchscreen on a Mac is idiotic, so that shouldn’t happen at least.

  32. DarkMx2000 - 7 years ago

    I honestly think it would be an awesome idea to have an iPad that you can use on the go that runs full OSX and IOS on it and be able to use it to sync devices and run full programs on it kinda like the Surface Pro, I think it would be a game changer but at the same time something like that would flat out canabalize the sales of the MacBook.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      How would that work though? OS X is x86, iOS is ARM. So Apple would port OS X to ARM? And developers would update their applications for OS X on ARM? Or Apple would have to create something Rosetta like so people could run their x86 apps on this hybrid device? That sounds like a disaster. Also could Apple even create a device that is a mixture of ARM and x86? If they could it seems like it would be very expensive, heavy and full of problems (check out sites like Windows Central for all the problems users are having with SP 4 and SB).

  33. Robert Stukenbroeker - 7 years ago

    I don’t think I want OS X on an iPad. Then again, I don’t like the idea of iOS on the iPad Pro either. They need to add more functionality to iOS or create something new based off iOS.

  34. Kevin M (@kevinamcc) - 7 years ago

    Sometimes it is possible to love something to death. Apple is most vulnerable right now. As a super successful company, now is when a lot companies start patting themselves on the back, and thinking their time in the sun won’t come to and end. Think MS at the end of the 90’s, think IBM in the 80’s. MS could have been first to market with a tablet but it didn’t run Windows, so they put it on the back burner. Remember that the iPad was first and jobs had the foresight to see that the os was compelling for a phone. I am starting to worry that Apple is developing that static view point “this is not what we do so…” That has hurt everyone from IBM to Microsoft.

    If we’re truly in the mobile era. The iPad isn’t compelling enough because it CANNOT replace your laptop and in another two iterations it should. Let’s cut the bs. They can make an iPad that can run OS X when docked and the iOS when not. If a Mac can duel boot Windows and OS X an iPad can be built to switch between the two operating systems.

  35. Jake Becker - 7 years ago

    Yes, he’s right. I never see any logical rendering or explanation of what some bizarre touch OSX or iOSX FrankenPad would ever look like. People look like they’re just firing arrows in any which direction. Some have also criticized Cook for not saying “no” enough – is this not what he’s doing right now?

    iPad Pro will be host to a ton of pro apps, if that output doesn’t meet expectations you need to direct heat to developers, not Apple. Apple has been encouraging a portable computing lifestyle in the Cloud for YEARS now and it gets stronger each year. It’s a different way of getting things done that other companies only recently have tried to coattail. Give it time.

  36. Doug Bixler - 7 years ago

    Listen… If Apple offered a 27″ Retina iMac with the same input capacity as a Cintiq with the use of the Apple Pencil, I would sell every piece of tech in my house to own that. The stand could easily be reconfigured to have it pivot down toward the user with a kick stand to support the lower edge on your desk. That way when you want to use the iMac not as a Cintiq, but a “normal” iMac, you glide it back into the upright position and use it as usual.

  37. charismatron - 7 years ago

    I’ve said “no” because this plethora of devices is more or less what SJ encountered when he got back to Apple: a bunch of products that no one could really differentiate one from another, which led to confusion not just among the companies which produced and sold them, but especially among the consumers who were going to buy them.

    We may not be there just yet, but Apple’s definitely headed in that direction and I’d prefer that it didn’t proceed much further. Once knowledgeable bloggers such as the fine gentlemen at 9to5 start having to finesse pros and cons from a multitude of similar products, it’s time to step back from looking at what else can be made, and take stock of what we have.

    I love new tech as much as anyone, but at the point when the purpose it serves comes into question before it’s even released, yeah, please don’t. People will just end up confused and probably disappointed they didn’t get what they needed for their basic needs met as sales folks rattle on about insignificant differences in significantly expensive products.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 7 years ago

      Things are a little messy at present, partly because Apple is keeping older devices in the line-up. Without that, the iPad line-up would be mini/Air/Pro, which makes perfect sense.

      I’m pretty sure Apple plans to drop the MacBook Airs a little further down the line, so then we’ll just have MacBook and MacBook Pro (each in a couple of sizes).

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Actually it doesn’t make sense but only because of the ‘Air’ moniker. If they don’t drop that next year I’ll laugh at the stupidity. I don’t care if they think it will get them more sales, it’s time to drop ‘Air’ so the naming is much better, simple, and makes sense: iPad Mini. iPad. iPad Pro.

        iPad Air made sense when it was introduced because they wanted to bring attention to the fact that it was a much lighter, thinner, and narrower iPad, which is fine. I’ll even give them the second one because changing it back too soon could have been confusing. It’s now time to put it back to how it’s supposed to be though, because unless someone is brain dead, they can see that all the iPads have the same design now, and the iPad Mini of course is now the most ‘Air-y’, although it always was of course (damn marketing).

  38. krakowian - 7 years ago

    Wrong question. The right question is, would you want to have an operating system that scaled itself to its usage. I.e. when displaying on a small screen, with only a touch interface, it presents a touch interface suitable to the small screen. When on a larger tablet, a tablet interface, but plug in or connect a keyboard and mouse, and now it offers a more desktop approach. Plug in a large screen, and now you have a desktop. All apps would all seamlessly change to match this scaling. Would I want that? You bet!

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      So a mega waste of space operating system? Instead of iOS taking a little space on mobile devices, they introduce this new OS that will be wasting substantial storage and not be used because it’s currently a small touchscreen device? Haha.

      • krakowian - 7 years ago

        This is what happens when people think in 2015 terms, when looking into the future.

  39. Martin Jr Powlette - 7 years ago

    I’m still of the opinion that they should be separate devices cause of their input but I do think iOS needs more powerful features from OS X that’ll see an increase in pro apps for the iPad Pro (clearly it’s powerful enough) and maybe Apple should lead the charge with some kind of version of Final Cut for iOS.

    I think all devices should offer some form of feature parity and easy switching. Continuity was a great first step but it isn’t perfect and can be improved. If Apple could make all our devices could act as one (with features and synced content) with some better at suited task but all suited to their individual interfaces I think they’d prove that they’re right about not converging platforms.

  40. viciosodiego - 7 years ago

    Their are a few things id like to Address in my comment.
    1. fused os x and iOS.
    People, fusing the 2 is simply impossible with out developing a hole new operating system.
    The technical limitations are to many for it to be done, besides I don’t think apple wants to support one more operating system.
    2. The dual boot idea.
    OSX is built for x86 and iOS is built for ARM.
    The only way to do this is for apple to built an x86 and ARM hybrid CPU, if it when intel decides to give them a license.
    3. The OS X should be put on an iPad, people.
    You would be crying about the horrible touch interface and app optimization.
    Take windows tablet mode for example, web browsing is terrible.
    Plus apps or lack their of.
    I dare someone to use the surface as a full tablet no keyboard for a month, you will see what I am talking about.
    Like I say and will continue to say, the surface is just that a hybrid that can’t be both a perfect laptop or tablet.

  41. I think having a combined ios/OS X device is a terrible idea, having a laptop/desktop, is useful, because those are made for heavy use, and weigh a lot more than smaller devices, such as tablets, because they have a number of improves specs, and other things needed by users. I’m more than comfortable carrying around a laptop, which i use often, I current;y don’t have a need for a tablet. And Laptops also have high capacities, which is something I need as a programmer and photographer.

  42. The ability to run iPhone apps as a kind of widgets on OS X would be awesome, IMO. The slide over stuff on iPad but on OS X.

  43. eklisiarh - 7 years ago

    I think this tread might have killed Funboy101. No sign of him whatsoever!

  44. Joe (@realofficialjoe) - 7 years ago

    Over 50% in favour. I’d say that’s a market right there eh Tim?

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Except Tim is intelligent enough to know that this small sample of tech readers (aka those more likely to want this), don’t mean a thing when looking at the actual market. Moreover, they’re intelligent enough to not release things people will hate and or not use once they actually get a chance to.

  45. iali87 - 7 years ago

    The moment this become available, I will sell my macbook pro and surface pro 4 and get one.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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