iOS to OSX Transition
Apple’s New Strategy For a Universal Platform

Apple wasn’t the first in the touch screen game, but with the release of the first iPhone they reinvented mobile phones, and everybody else followed (no offense Android!). It was unlike anything we have seen, touched or experienced before. It did away with all the classic buttons, keyboards and styluses and replaced them with a full length touch screen. Something no other company seems to have thought of. Jobs introduced us to the idea of dynamic content. As he explained, it was unnecessary for us to have they keyboard there all the time. It was inconvenient because it took up to 40% of the device real state and made the device more likely to have hardware faults. As a rule of thumb, they more hardware pieces you have, the more likely it is for your device to run into issues further down the track.

That was 6 years ago, the first iPhone came out and iOS was still at its infancy. Today we are starting to see that very same philosophy starting to make an appearance on the OSX. Three years ago Apple introduced launchpad – a concept borrowed from iOS – into its release of OSX Lion 10.7. With the introduction of iCloud, it became increasingly more important for Apple to port the essential iOS Apps to its desktop platform, but it’s very difficult to port applications without sliding in a few concepts from the primary environment – in this case iOS -.

Using Apple’s updated softwares, specially Pages, Numbers and Keynote, it immediately becomes evident that Apple is taking the concept of dynamic content and applying it to its applications at a deeper level. Let’s think about it for a second. Remember the previous version of Pages? or the current version of Microsoft Word? We are very familiar with the toolbar at the top. The bold/italic/underline toolbar, the justification toolbar and the font selector. They are always there, regardless of whether or not we need them. Very much like the hard keyboard and buttons that were there regardless of the kind of interaction you were having with your device.

I believe Apple is headed in the right direction as far as deeper dynamic content integration goes, but my question is: how well are they doing it? While the new applications are wonderfully designed for a beginner user, Apple seems to have taken out a few features that put a smile on an advanced user’s lips.

iOS is a very versatile and powerful operating system, with an unending potential for innovation and development, but I have not yet been able to use it on full time basis to replace my MacBook. This is because majority of developers focus on simplifying tasks, which  often results in leaving out many features that may be appealing to a prosumer. Apple has an opportunity to bring the beauty and simplicity of its iOS platform to OSX, while keeping the powerful features of desktop application available for the rest of us.

I’m really interested to see your take on this topic. Leave me a comment or drop me a line on twitter @samatrouh