Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Back to the Mac?

Just a few months ago, Apple held a conference called "Back to the Mac". I had a little trouble understanding why they had titled it that. Were they implying that the public had "forgotten" about Macs? Or was it that Apple were revisiting an area of the company that had remained somewhat untouched for many months.

I was left in confusion until I stumbled upon an article (actually written by Apple themselves) that straightened out the story.

Apple first released OS X in 2001, around the same time that Microsoft released Windows XP. And Apple continued to spit out versions, but it was plain to see that they were struggling to innovate. I'm not doubting it - they created some great products within those years, but something was missing, something new, something great.

And it was coming.

In 2007, around the time that OS X Leopard (version 7) surfaced, Apple released the first iPhone, along with it's special mobile operating system, iOS (known as iPhone OS at the time). This was a true novelty to the world and people lined up in their millions to get an iPhone. Then in 2010, they released the iPad which generated much excitement (and criticism!), although it had been a much anticipated product for years beforehand.

So why is all this important? Well, this is where I will explain why they referred to the conference as "Back to the Mac". What Apple did with OS X was change it in to an Operating System which worked with mobile devices. The result... iOS for the iPhone. Then they took the OS for the iPhone and (quite literally) stretched it to fit the iPad's 9x7 inch screen, adding the obvious tablet functionality.

To create iOS, Apple had to make compromises, given the boundarys of mobile platforms. And often, those compromises resulted in discovery of new technology's, new possibilities and more. And that leaves the iPhone and the iPad, in some cases, more capable than OS X.

So by "Back to the Mac", they were talking about the way they are building the 7th release of OS X, Lion, due in August 2011. They took something good they made on Macs (OS X) and brought it to the iPhone. They took what was on the iPhone and brought it to the iPad. Now they are bringing all of the functionality back to the Mac. Folders, first introduced on the iPhone and recently brought to the iPad will appear in OS X. "Invisible" scroll bars are also included.

There is some much that can be brought from iOS to the Mac, and so much that can still be brought from Mac. And hopefully bringing these features to the Mac will sprout a whole new set of functionality, just like it did on the iPhone.



Louise Gould said...

Raffi, you blow me away. Your sheer knowledge of MAC alone is phenomenal. You're gonna go far! Such a fab idea. I'm sure Bill Gates would be fascinated to know what you have to say. You're a legend!

Alexei Timofti said...

I was browsing this blog and I looked at the latest article and then I looked at this one. Great article, great blog - keep it up!

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