Hey, Mac users: Get over it. The Mac isn't becoming an iPad any time soon.
We've had a chip on our shoulder ever since 2007, when Apple rolled out the iPhone, and the iPhone (and later the iPad) eclipsed the Mac as Apple's bigger money maker. Many of us are convinced that it'll just be a matter of time before Apple kills off OS X.
Converged iOS and OS X devices? Don't count on it.
Tim Cook once again tried to drive a stake through that particular vampire's heart this week during a recent interview with Independent.ie.
"We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad. Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants," said Cook.
Cook doesn't dispute that a converged device is exactly what some customers are asking for. I work for an Apple-authorized iPad and Mac reseller, and I'm regularly asked by my customers for touchscreen Macs — especially laptops. They've seen the two-in-one devices running Windows, and they assume that Apple will follow suit.
iOS and OS X certainly share a lot of commonality, and Apple *has* been able to blur the lines between operating systems and devices when it suits Apple's purposes: You can take and make phone calls from your Mac using your iPhone, for example, and continue writing an e-mail on your iPad right from where you left off on your Mac.
There's a key difference here, however: The goal is to enable you to be more productive, to do more with the technology you have, and to get that work done with the device largely getting out of the way. That's not convergence. It's workflow management.
What's more, a lot of people come to the Mac these days after using an iPhone or an iPad. Apple estimates about half the people buying Macs are new to the platform entirely — they're Windows users, for the most part. iOS, iPhones and iPads inform them about what to expect from Apple products, so it makes sense to make that experience as seamless as possible.
But convergence? That's a different story entirely. There isn't a need for it to happen: OS X and iOS are fundamentally different user experiences. OS X is a cursor-driven interface while iOS is a touch driven interface. As Mr. Cook has articulated, Apple understands and respects the difference.
I fully expect that as time goes on, we'll see Apple continue to find ways to streamline and tailor the OS X and iOS experiences to make sure that working with both is as seamless as possible. By keeping OS X and iOS distinct but interoperable, Apple's creating a whole greater than the sum of the parts.