While rumors suggest that Apple is working towards a goal of combining iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps for a “unified user experience”, it doesn’t appear Tim Cook is ready to sell the idea just yet.
In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Cook spoke about the combination of iOS and macOS, and basically outlined what he has said in the past: He doesn’t think it’s necessary to combine the two, as each platform does what it does best individually. Cook says he doesn’t see a point in “watering down one for the other”.
“We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two … you begin to make trade offs and compromises.
“So maybe the company would be more efficient at the end of the day. But that’s not what it’s about. You know it’s about giving people things that they can then use to help them change the world or express their passion or express their creativity. So this merger thing that some folks are fixated on, I don’t think that’s what users want.”
Cook’s sentiment in 2018 is similar to one he posited way back in 2015, when he said that the company is not interested in a “converged” MacBook and iPad. At the time, Cook said this:
“It’s true that the difference between the X86 [personal computer] and the A-series [Apple iPad architecture] is much less than it’s ever been,” says Cook. “That said, what we’ve tried to do is to recognise that people use both iOS and Mac devices. So we’ve taken certain features and made them more seamless across the devices. So with things like Handoff we just made it really simple to work on one of our products and pick it up and work on the next product.”
The latest reports and rumors suggest that Apple isn’t working on converging the MacBook and iPad, but making it easier for app developers to create universal apps that work on both a touchscreen and with the mouse-and-keyboard input options. This would make it easier for third-party options to work on both a macOS and iOS device without a lot extra work on the developer’s end, hopefully making it easier to launch apps for both platforms.
The universal concept is great, in theory, but as Microsoft showed us years ago with Windows 8, sometimes it’s okay to have two very distinct platforms. However, Apple’s rumored goal of offering support for universal apps that work on both the Mac and iOS-based devices seems like the best possible alternative.