Remember desk accessories? Before there was multitasking on the Mac way way back—30 years ago—we had desk accessories. Cute little calculators, puzzles, scrapbooks and other neat-o do-dads! They were great and they looked like this:
Mac OS Desktop Accessories
So why hasn't Apple considered letting users run iPad/iPhone apps on the Mac in their own windows akin to the desk accessories of yore? Imagine accessing multiple mobile apps, games, etc. on your Mac as little desk accessory apps/widgets (let's call them Desk Touch Apps). It could look something like this:
Desk Touch Apps Mock Up
There would be a ton of new uses/benefits to running mobile apps on the desktop, but here are at least 5:
(1) Most obviously, all these great little mobile tools and apps, many with no counterparts on the Mac, would finally be available on the desktop (all in little Touch UI sandbox/windows).
(2) It would make getting data in/out of mobile apps easier. For example, just copy and paste text/photos/whatever from your desktop into/out of the Desk Touch App via the Mac interface (i.e., Command-C or Command-V from/into the iPhone App). And since those Desk Touch Apps could share data via iCloud, the data pasted into the Desk Touch App would just automagically appear/propagate into the same app running on your iPad/iPhone.
(3) Unlike on your iPhone or iPad, you can run and see multiple apps side by side on your Mac.
(4) Using AppleScript across such Desk Touch Apps could really extend their usefulness.
(5) This would provide a low risk way to bring Touch UI to the Mac. By keeping the Touch UI apps in their own iPad/iPhone windows, Apple would avoid artificially foisting a Touch UI upon the rest of the desktop. Let them label it as a beta release, and it would give Apple an interesting environment to experiment with touch interfaces in desktop environments without risking a Windows 8-like UI/fiasco revolt.
Lastly, this wouldn't be difficult to do. Apple already makes an iPad/iPhone emulator as part of Xcode and it works pretty nicely. C'mon Apple. Much like larger iPhone screens, bringing touch to the desktop in more meaningful ways is long overdue.
I really see no down side. What say you? Is it time to bring touch apps to the Mac? Let us know in the comments below or #iPhoneApps4Macs on twitter @JohnKheit.