What Comes After OS X 10.7 “Lion”?

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    Posted: 13 October 2010 05:51 PM

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    As many have speculated both here and in blogs, as the lion is the king of the cats (and all beasts), OS X 10.7 Lion may be the final iteration of OS X. So what do you all think comes after that? Might we see the merger of iOS and OS X, and if so, how would it work on Macs with keyboards and mice?

    Given the number of people in the creative community using Macs, I can’t see Apple ditching mouse input for touch—there’s no way I could use the touch interface for Illustrator or Photoshop. So where’s the Mac OS going? And what might it be called?

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    Posted: 15 October 2010 12:58 PM #1

    You know, I believe that Apple sees a future of iOS devices, or rather devices built around a walled garden, but I don’t think the company is even close to trying to take us in that direction…yet.

    Of course, Lion could well be the OS of the Mac platform for years, a notion that doesn’t contradict my premise above.

    Be that as it may, if Lion ends up being the last iteration of Mac OS X 10.x, I think we’d be taken to Mac OS X 11, with a new naming scheme, as opposed to seeing the Mac platform ended.

    Apple makes billions off the Mac, which means it will not go away any time Soon?. Eventually, but not Soon?.

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  • Posted: 15 October 2010 01:18 PM #2

    I hope 10.7 will at last let me enjoy my Pages and Keynote from my Mac, but also my GrubHub app, or my Maps app from my iPhone, in the same OS.  Kind of like OS 9 and OS X used Classic to interoperate.  My iMac screen would tilt flat and boom! it’s a touch screen device.  Tilt it back up and it is a high powered Mac.  How many times, I’ve picked up my iPhone to do something, like check in with an airline, because there’s an app that is designed to do that.  Much less hassle than using the website on my laptop.

         
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    Posted: 15 October 2010 01:25 PM #3

    As Bryan said we could have Lion as the desktop OS for a number of years, but I would bet that it the last Apple OS names after a cat. So what will the next be names of next series? Astronomical constellations such as Orion, Pegasus?

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  • Posted: 15 October 2010 01:31 PM #4

    Bryan Chaffin - 15 October 2010 03:58 PM

    You know, I believe that Apple sees a future of iOS devices, or rather devices built around a walled garden, but I don’t think the company is even close to trying to take us in that direction…yet.

    I see this happening slowly.  With 10.7 I’m sure that full multi-touch LCD support that will mirror the iDevices, adding iAds for developers electing to add another option between “Free” and “Paid”, and an “App Store” for Mac.

    The latter would be more like Valve’s Steam.  It would allow for electronic delivery of software, management of licenses, and a software vault.  With that I can see Apple either offering the software vault for the “iDevices as either free or as a monthly fee as part of MobileMe.

    I’m currently not seeing an iDevice to replace what I do.  My laptop is combination of a glorified xterm to other Linux servers I manage or for managing and editing video and photography.  The former doesn’t work well in a touch screen world.  The latter could have possibilities of a mixed touch screen / keyboard.

    However, in general a large amount of people are liking the idea of a software vault and electronic delivery of software.  It has benefits and draw backs, and if Apple is even considering this I really suggest they look at Valve as a model.  They seem to have figure out how to do it right.

         
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    Posted: 15 October 2010 01:57 PM #5

    I agree that Lion is likely to be the last cat. The whole cat thing has run its course so now we’re looking at OS-11 with a different naming convention.

    Idea 1
    I would not be surprised if Cloud Computing will be a fundamental part. MobileMe and other services as somewhere to store and share your data so it follows you wherever you go is going to have a significant place in the future of Apple. Why else build that humongous data centre. I think the Mac and iOS could very well morph into some hybrid for both platforms that assumes a nearly always on network connection. So we could be looking at a cloud themed naming convention; 11.1 Cirrus, 11.2 Cumulus, 11.3 Stratus, 11.4 Nimbus ...

    Idea 2
    Touch Screen computing is likely to grow. Though it seems a little ‘odd’ to those of us that cut our teeth on a mouse and keyboard, the people coming into computing now will see it as the norm. The limitations we see (such as Photoshop) are likely to be solved with software designed with a touch interface from the start. It won’t work like Photoshop does now. It will work as a Photoshop designed for a touch environment should. All the features, just a new way of accessing them. We then could be looking at a touch themed naming convention; 11.1 Feel, 11.2 Caress, 11.3 Diddle, 11.4 Boink ... no, I guess that wouldn’t work after all. rolleyes

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    Posted: 15 October 2010 02:08 PM #6

    I still don’t understand why some have such difficulty seeing Touch-driven and Mouse-driven apps coexisting on a platform.

    An optimal system would have both input methods (e.g.: the fabled touchscreen iMac) but systems with mice can support touch apps and vice-versa.
    One example is the iPhone Simulator.app in the SDK.
    Windows for Tablets (or whatever it is called) is the converse example, but expect Apple to provide a truly viable solution.
    I think the Magic Trackpad is a sign that Apple is moving towards convergence and that iOS will be the branding. Only the hardware will be called ‘Mac’ (if said device still supports a mouse/trackpad)

    App Store for ‘Mac’ is a given, but not mandatory as it is on the mobile devices, at least not ‘Soon’; it will take some time before the ‘store’ model becomes the de-facto standard for desktop software distribution, and then by virtue of preference, not lockdown.

    [ Edited: 15 October 2010 02:10 PM by VaughnSC ]      
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    Posted: 15 October 2010 02:09 PM #7

    would be cool to use clouded leopard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clouded_Leopard) as a go between cats and clouds wink

    [ Edited: 15 October 2010 02:11 PM by YSR50 ]      
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    Posted: 15 October 2010 02:23 PM #8

    I think that some sort of iOS emulator is very likely to show up in Lion, and I’m betting that it will take the form of something like Dashboard. Just press a key/use a hot corner and ta-da! up pops an overlay that completely hides the Mac desktop and displays the Touch Apps(TM) that you’ve pre-selected to appear, again similarly to Dashboard.

    Of course, if Apple is going to make touch-capable Macs, I refuse to believe that they would completely exclude the main OS GUI from working via touch. Apple has taken small but significant steps towards making the Mac OS X 10.x more viable for touch-control, and I think we’ll see a bigger push in that direction with Lion/10.7.

    One suspicion I’ve had is that, as far back as when work started on Snow Leopard, Apple was already working on developing a really big update to the ‘Consumer-features’ and GUI side of Mac OS X. By publicly declaring that Snow Leopard was going to be mainly an ‘under the hood’ upgrade, they gave themselves not only the time to really spruce up the ‘under-the-hood’ aspects of Mac OS X, but simultaneously gave themselves a much greater than normal period of time to make some really great advancements to the user-facing portion of Mac OS X, and really get them working right. Again, that’s just my pet theory.

    So, what comes after Lion/10.7? I’m guessing that XOS (again, just my idea)
    1) We may have to wait longer than we normally do, to see XOS released.
    2) If multi-touch isn’t thoroughly integrated into Lion/10.7, it sure will be in XOS.
    3) XOS will be universal to run on Macs and portable devices - at least those devices the size of the iPad. (It seems doubtful that the same OS with the same interface would work on both a Mac and an iPhone.)
    4) Considering #3, XOS will have a radically reduced footprint. Maybe they’ll have a ‘Lite’ version, with a lot of Unix-y services, which most consumers will never use, stripped out. (What percentage of Mac users really host a website on their own Mac?)
    5) Goodbye to the hierarchal file system architecture we have used for too long, now. With all of the metadata indexing and nigh-instant search capabilities of Spotlight, and the option to make ‘smart searches’ there is no good reason to have files organized in a way that makes you look in recursively nested folders to find them.
    6) If #5 pans out, then Apple will definitely implement something like ZFS.
    7) Get back to me once Lion/Mac OS X 10.7 has been previewed. That will give us a better picture of where Apple will go next.

    [ Edited: 15 October 2010 02:34 PM by MOSiX Man ]

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  • Posted: 15 October 2010 04:15 PM #9

    Interesting question. I have always assumed that the last cat would be the penultimate, the lion. Apple may be throwing everyone off by using that moniker now, only to bring up more cats - after all, there are plenty more, just not as glorious.

    That said, assuming this marks the end of an era, where to next? General broad categories might include:

    1) Greater emphasis on cloud-based services and applications for work and play. Google may have swerved into Apple’s trajectory simply because it knew (sitting on Apple’s board, if by no other means) that Apple was headed down this path, making it a threat to Google’s business model and market. We do know, as Geoduck has pointed out above, that this huge centre is coming online.

    2) Seamless interplay (not necessarily a merger or hybrid) of the successor to the current Mac OS and the iOS, with perhaps cross-pollinisation of function for both; specifically touch capacity on the Mac OS, greater Mac-like functionality (productivity and video apps) on the iOS. If cross-pollinisation does happen, I suspect that Apple will be selective about those functions, paying close attention to how people currently and are likely in the near future to use both systems.

    3) Migrating the computer further away from the keyboard. Not suggesting that we are about to move to Star Trek - like voice interfaces, but many of our repetitive actions, like launching applications, opening files, even reading can be ported to a new interface, such as voice. Freeing our hands to do more fine work (data analysis, photoshop, etc).

    4) Under-the-hood (or bonnet, depending on your side of the pond) enhancements, including security enhancements, making computers more resilient to cybercrime or undesirable behaviours (e.g. the anti-sexting algorithm Apple have patented)

    These are just a few general ideas. As for a new naming scheme, I don’t particularly care, so long as they steer away from cattle (no pun intended) or landscapes. I like the astronomy-related suggestions.

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    Posted: 15 October 2010 05:53 PM #10

    wab95 - 15 October 2010 07:15 PM

    I have always assumed that the last cat would be the penultimate, the lion. Apple may be throwing everyone off by using that moniker now, only to bring up more cats - after all, there are plenty more, just not as glorious.

    Sure, they could name it the Tybalt

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  • Posted: 15 October 2010 07:33 PM #11

    Sir Harry Flashman - 15 October 2010 08:53 PM
    wab95 - 15 October 2010 07:15 PM

    I have always assumed that the last cat would be the penultimate, the lion. Apple may be throwing everyone off by using that moniker now, only to bring up more cats - after all, there are plenty more, just not as glorious.

    Sure, they could name it the Tybalt

    Love it.

    Although they could reduce OS size and name it after something small and lethal in the house cat genre, like ‘Siamese’. I am inclined to concur with Bryan Chaffin’s comment above, that they could keep the lion lineage going for years.

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  • Posted: 15 October 2010 08:34 PM #12

    Remember what Steve said recently at some event which I cannot remember regarding the future of computing. He compared trucks to car one is for work to do the heavy lifting, the other for moving people. Mobile devices have freed us from sitting at a desk or even having to carry a small laptop to having pocket sized computer power. The future will have both “trucks and cars” meaning powerful computers and lightweight but limited mobile devices. Lion will be the fuel for future PC’s needed in science, business, the creative field, movies, graphic work, etc… I’m not sure there will be a lot of integration of the great things in mobile devices such as touch commands since the applications that need all that horsepower work best with traditional input devices like mice and keyboards. iOS is based on Mac OS X as everyone knows and we wouldn’t have iOS without Mac OS X. The brilliance of a touch interface is when you are not at home or at work you will always have your most basic tool for input, your fingers. I don’t see Mac OS X’s need to add touch to the extent to make keyboards obsolete. What I do expect to see is Lion bring interface changes that are based on the iOS. When the iPad was release one ad mentioned “you already know how to use it” meaning the iPhone and its super intuitive interface takes the mystery and learning curve away for the masses. I’m very excited to see what Lion has up its sleeve.

         
  • Posted: 15 October 2010 10:15 PM #13

    kerryb - 15 October 2010 11:34 PM

    Remember what Steve said recently at some event which I cannot remember regarding the future of computing. He compared trucks to car one is for work to do the heavy lifting, the other for moving people. Mobile devices have freed us from sitting at a desk or even having to carry a small laptop to having pocket sized computer power. The future will have both “trucks and cars” meaning powerful computers and lightweight but limited mobile devices.

    Excellent point.

    One can interpret that to underscore that these will remain distinct entities serving different functions, and neither the twain shall meet. On the other, today we have ‘crossovers’ - vehicles with a truck-like chassis atop a car-like axle. Given how people have begun using the iOS devices, and given Apple’s penchant for integrated systems, I would not bet against tighter integration over time; which is not an argument for merger or replacement, but that the two distinct OSs function together more seamlessly than at present.

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    Posted: 15 October 2010 11:02 PM #14

    wab95 - 15 October 2010 07:15 PM

    I have always assumed that the last cat would be the penultimate, the lion.

    I don’t quite understand that statement.  “Penultimate” means “last but one,” so how does that fit in to your projection?

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    Posted: 15 October 2010 11:20 PM #15

    Does anyone here remember what Jobs said when asked what he would do if he came back to Apple?

    He said that he would milk the Mac for all it was worth, and then go on to the next big thing.

    Doesn’t it seem as though that’s exactly what he’s doing?

    If Apple could meld OS X with iOS, considering that the majority of both are already the same, they would have the UOS, the Universal Operating System. This would allow the same OS to appear on all of Apple’s computing devices from the iPod Touch to the Mac Pro.

    Each machine could have as the default UI whatever is most suitable, with the ability to use whatever elements from either UI, either modaly, depending on the program being used, and or per the settings in prefs. In addition, depending on the physical angle of the monitor, additional abilities would appear.

    This would be of great benefit to Apple as well as its customers, as development would be simpler, with one main team, rather than two. It would benefit customers, as there would be one OS for everything, with all features available whenever wanted.

    As handheld mobile devices get much more powerful processing capability, with much more RAM and Flash, even a phone will be able to do much more. We see that already with the movie editing app.

    I expect to see handoffs of jobs and data from one machine to another as we move around and change devices on the fly. Perhaps we would do a quick field edit on an iPad, moving to our desktop back at the studio, with a result downloaded to out iPhone to quickly show a client.

    The possibilities are almost endless if one OS is all that’s needed.