The Merge That’s Not a Merge: iOS and MacOS

Apple project Marzipan

The Particle Debris article of the week is from Jason Snell at Macworld.

This article isn’t what you may think it is at first. That is, it’s not an apology for the outright merging of iOS and macOS. (And Apple CEO Cook has said that won’t happen.)

macOS Mojave
macOS Mojave showcases the “Macness” of the Mac.

Author Snell is clear upfront about where he comes from.

I fell in love with the Mac nearly 30 years ago, in the fall of 1989. It’s been the center of my tech world ever since, and I’ve been writing about it professionally for 25 years.

And yet. And yet.

And yet these past months, I’ve noticed something strange creeping into my thoughts occasionally while I sit at my desk working on my iMac Pro: iOS does this better.

Immediately there’s a discussion of the macOS Finder and it’s noted that some operations in iOS are smarter and more efficient than the Finder. But to me, the real question is this: Should that sway Apple engineers to tinker with the basics of macOS? Or should all the familiar operations of macOS be preserved as essential, so-to-speak, inherent Macness for the 100 million or so users. And will (should) that perspective change in the future by those who grew up with iOS?

And, of course, that Macness extends beyond the GUI. Author Snell reminds us.

There are, of course, numerous ways that the Mac provides more power and flexibility than iOS. That’s what makes the Mac so great. My Mac gives me access to powerful command-line features that bubble beneath the surface of the interface, and I can even wrap them in easy-to-use GUI shells with Automator and AppleScript.

Keep all this in mind as you delight in author Snell’s very interesting perspectives.

More Debris

• We’ve heard the old adage that Apple always skates to where the puck will be, not where it is. iPad Insight plays off that in terms of how Tim Cook is positioning Apple for more legislative scrutiny of all the tech giants. “Tim Cook Appears to be Skating to Where the Government Regulation Puck Will Land.” CEO Cook is shrewd. Unlike other companies that have profited from collecting user data, Apple’s product line and policies have little to fear. Plus remaining on good terms with Washington, indeed being a thought leader, is smart.

watchOS 3.2 adding Theater Mode to Apple Watch
WatchOS 6 concept video. Make popcorn and enjoy.

• It’s always fun to see video concepts of future Apple products. The imagination displayed sparks our interest in the art of the possible even if Apple engineers have other ideas—or constraints. Here’s one for watchOS 6 via Cult of Mac. “Incredible watchOS 6 concept packs more new features than you can handle.

• The Galaxy Fold more or less, well, folded in its initial review units sent to journalists. BGR analyzes what went wrong. “These are the reasons the Galaxy Fold failed.” This is why we wait for Apple to do things right.

I have written before about the RF limitations of 5G and its millimeter wavelengths. Now, lifting the veil of 5G hype, Verizon has elected to speak more plainly about the kind of coverage we can expect. John Brodkin at Ars Technica reports. “Millimeter-wave 5G isn’t for widespread coverage, Verizon admits.

• Finally, we previously reported that AT&T sold its stake in Hulu back to Hulu, leaving only Disney (66%) and Comcast (33%). Right on the heels of that, Reuters reports: “Comcast in talks to sell its stake in Hulu to Disney: CNBC.” This is in line with the current market forces: each studio wants its own streaming app and 100 percent of the subscription revenue. The bet is that its own offerings will get enough subscribers to make the go-it-alone venture profitable. And each studio is betting that it’ll be one of the winners.

My estimate is that, after two years, only three or four will thrive. That includes Apple TV+. The rest will linger on, grumbling, looking for a face-saving out.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

3 thoughts on “The Merge That’s Not a Merge: iOS and MacOS

  • I consider iOS an abomination, everything that macOS is not. That being said, Apple is devolving macOS with each subsequent generation, mostly due to poorly thought out security changes. I get security. I just want control over how it is applied. The thing is, I am old. I go way back to the beginnings of the personal computer revolution, and that’s what I want. A personal computer. Not a subset under corporate dictate. That’s what the computer industry was before the revolution. Now that the PC industry has matured, it is slowly and inexorably becoming more corporate to the point of nauseam. I was passionate for Apple for decades. Today I hardly tolerate it. Whatever. Nothing ever stays the same, does it? Consumers get what they demand, and today they demand so little. A huge number have no expectation of excellence. Good enough, is good enough. And they are happy with corporate telling them what they can do with their little boxes. The revolution has failed. It is no longer a personal computer revolution.

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