Hello Again and Goodbye Again: Pretending Apple's neglected macOS

14 June 2018

Apple spent about 40 minutes at WWDC talking about the new features coming to macOS Mojave, but don’t you think it seems like Apple was ignoring its laptop/desktop platform?

In Episode II of the Ignoring the Mac saga, Forbes' Ewan Spence has some bad news.

“MacBook Pro In Exile: Tim Cook’s WWDC Continues To Ignore MacOS”

Once again Tim Cook and his team have taken to a public stage to lay out the future of Apple. Just as they did in March , they failed to give any significant love to macOS at WWDC . And that’s by design.

First of all, the reason the March event didn’t give the Mac a big spotlight was that it was an education event. If schools don’t like the price of the iPad, they won’t want a Mac, price cut or not. Apple knows what its product lines are for.

Second, what does Ewan mean that Apple failed to give macOS any significant love? (Hint: He dances around this question for the entire article and gives no real answer.)

Sure the desk-bound operating system picked up some attention - I can’t be the only person expecting fireworks and ticker tape parades now that a dark mode has been implemented…

Apart from the awesome new features (as an aside, Uluroo is 100% thrilled about Dark Mode), Apple hasn’t given any love to macOS. See? Ewan’s right, as long as you ignore all those things Apple mentioned. Right. Check the “logically sound” box. Moving on…

… but this week’s WWDC shows more signs that Apple has ‘frozen’ macOS to allow it to accommodate iOS as it catches up.

What signs are we talking about? The ones we read in the clouds or the tea leaves or the patterns of the pigeons’ flights? How about macOS got a dark mode before iOS. It’s getting iOS apps, but iOS isn’t getting Mac apps. The Mac is getting a ton of productivity features iOS isn’t.

Ewan doesn’t offer any proof for this central claim that macOS is “frozen,” choosing instead to continue operating under this assumption.

… the reality of the situation is that macOS is dormant, iOS is catching up, and the fuel that drives an operating system - the applications - is being poured into iOS.

There it is again! First of all, the application pool will not much longer be poured into iOS now that the Mac will have the same app selection (if developers choose). Second, Ewan seems to think that the reason macOS is “dormant” is because its app ecosystem is setting up to be sourced from iOS. Ewan describes apps as an operating system’s “fuel” — but that’s only truly the case for iOS.

iOS devices rely more on apps because they can do more. They have more sensors, and therefore a broader range of capabilities. They have more use cases. They’re designed to do a lot of things in a lot of places.

A Mac, on the other hand, is stationary, much like people’s workflows on a Mac. Mac users don’t rely on discovery of new apps because once they get set with a specific group of tools, they keep them longer. This is because, whether correct or not, the perception is that Macs are where work gets done.

So while a good selection of third-party apps is important for the Mac, a broad selection is not as much so. It’s less about doing as much as possible than it is about doing it well. iOS is the mist setting on a water hose; it covers a lot of area. macOS takes the water hose and narrows the opening to make it much more powerful. The Mac doesn’t need a lot of apps; it needs good apps.

iOS 12 does nothing that Uluroo sees as an attempt to “catch up” with macOS. The Mac, on the other hand, is taking a huge step forward in terms of capability.

It’s clear that macOS is no longer pushing forwards, it is being reshaped to allow the rough edges to line up with a future version of iOS.

Uluroo scoured the article for even one example of how this is supposedly happening, but nope! Ewan just throws it out there and expects us to believe it.

… while the plan is not to merge iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, there will come a point in time where the two platforms are so close as to be indistinct.

Apple can’t bring macOS and iOS too close together without violating their fundamental nature. That definitely sounds like what Apple wants to do. Way to go, Ewan.

… a more accurate question would be “is iOS performing a hostile takeover of macOS?”

I suspect the banner would say “yes”. In large San Francisco bolded, mobile friendly, letters.

Thank you for sharing, Ewan. Would you like to give any reason this is the case? iOS apps coming to the Mac is an example of the Mac gaining an advantage over iOS — did Apple mention anything about iOS devices running powerful, professional Mac apps?

What we’re seeing here is what should be happening: Both platforms take the best things about one another and adapt them to fit their own purposes. This is about inspiration, not invasion. The Mac inspires new iPhone features, the iPhone inspires new Mac features, and so on.

Is iOS moving in the same direction as macOS? No. It’s not “catching up” because it’s not meant to replace it.

Is macOS “dormant”? Watch the WWDC keynote and see what you think. macOS Mojave is a huge step forward. Let’s not pretend the Mac is stuck.

(Except for the keyboard.)