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#37573 - 12/03/15 09:17 AM Desktop iOS?
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
This opinion piece appearing in MacNN and sparked by the iPad Pro offers an interesting slant on the future of Mac Computers. Most of my non-techie Apple using friends would I think be perfectly happy with the existing iOS apps and capabilities. Add to that software developers are rapidly getting on board and enhancing their IOS app capabilities to the same or close to the same as the OS X versions and there is little the average user really needs OS X for.

NOTE: I thought I had posted this earlier, but database errors apparently ate the post. mad
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#37751 - 12/11/15 05:45 PM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: joemikeb]
Bob_00001 Offline


Registered: 01/03/10
I thought Apple already released a desktop version of iOS. It's called Yosemite. It has all of those same annoyingly useless "features" that iOS has, and they've removed many of the truly useful features that were in earlier versions of OSX, dumbing it down to the same level as iOS. (Yes, I know, I'm complaining again.)

I guess it all depends on what people use their desktop computers for. If all they do is waste time on Facebook, then sure why not? On the other hand many of us still use our computers to do productive work.

Mind you Apple isn't the only company doing this. My sister just bought a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed. After trying to use it for a week, she made a similar comment. "Apparently people don't use computers for work anymore."
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#37775 - 12/12/15 08:51 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: Bob_00001]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Bob_00001
I thought Apple already released a desktop version of iOS. It's called Yosemite. It has all of those same annoyingly useless "features" that iOS has, and they've removed many of the truly useful features that were in earlier versions of OSX...

I'm still in Mountain Lion (and quite happy) but realize that sometime I will need to move forward. At least I now know where I need to stop - Yosemite.

I have an iMac and an iPad and get annoyed with all the things I can't do on the iPad. If I had known it would be this way I would not have got the iPad. If making the decision today, based on what I have learned, I would simply eat the $400 difference between the cost of a new iPad and a refurbished 13" MacBook Pro.

As it happens, I popped a new drive ($60 at OWC) into an older MacBook that my daughter discarded and, when I travel, I take it - even though it stops at Snow Leopard. I never use wi-fi for anything requiring confidentiality (even at home my desktop is an ethernet cable), so that's not an issue.

I note that the author of the article begins by saying one thing and then closes by saying another.

In the first paragraph....

"One of the interesting things about the trajectory of iOS development over the past couple of years is how Apple has continued to extend its capabilities, bringing it continually closer in functionality to OS X."

In the last paragraph....

"That said, an iOS-based desktop device would dispense with the complexities and often untapped capabilities of a full blown OS and desktop system, for something much more straightforward, but already familiar to tens of millions of customers who love and use iOS on the iPhone and iPad."


Edited by ryck (12/12/15 09:01 AM)
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#37782 - 12/12/15 09:16 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: ryck]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: ryck
I note that the author of the article begins by saying one thing and then closes by saying another.

In the first paragraph....

"One of the interesting things about the trajectory of iOS development over the past couple of years is how Apple has continued to extend its capabilities, bringing it continually closer in functionality to OS X."

In the last paragraph....

"That said, an iOS-based desktop device would dispense with the complexities and often untapped capabilities of a full blown OS and desktop system, for something much more straightforward, but already familiar to tens of millions of customers who love and use iOS on the iPhone and iPad."
[/i]


Doesn't Einstein's Theory of Relativity imply that motion is relative to the perspective of the viewer (cut me some slack here). The point being, we can't say if iOS is moving closer to OS X or if OS X is moving closer to iOS.
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#37787 - 12/12/15 10:54 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
I note that the author of the article begins by saying one thing and then closes by saying another.

In the first paragraph....

"One of the interesting things about the trajectory of iOS development over the past couple of years is how Apple has continued to extend its capabilities, bringing it continually closer in functionality to OS X."

Originally Posted By: IraL
Doesn't Einstein's Theory of Relativity imply that motion is relative to the perspective of the viewer (cut me some slack here). The point being, we can't say if iOS is moving closer to OS X or if OS X is moving closer to iOS.


I would see the author's premise as incomplete because the cross fertilization between OS X and iOS is definitely bi-directional. Lots of the new "features" or "technologies" in Yosemite and El Capitan were extensively field tested in iOS. Face it both open source Darwin Unix kernel. OS X and iOS are basically GUI frameworks riding on the same open source Darwin kernel which was derived from BSD Unix. At this point the biggest difference between the two is Finder or the lack thereof.

Twenty five or so years ago there was a relatively short lived buzz in computer science from a proposal to do away with hierarchical file structures altogether and access files not through application types but by content. Theoretically that had a lot of traction and at least one OS was constructed along those lines. It never gained popularity for several reasons instead it went underground while awaiting developments.
  1. There was too much investment in proprietary application technology for developers to be willing to risk the change to a new paradigm
  2. The proposal envisioned all files being based on a common open source markup language independent of either applications or file type (document, spreadsheet, database, etc.)
  3. The same file couild be opened and edited by a word processing, app, spreadsheet app, database app, etc. and the choice of app would be based on user preference and the task at hand and not tied to proprietary technologies
  4. File access via content and/or tags not necessarily file names or physical location in storage.
When the proposal was originally made there were too many essential technologies that either did not exist or were incompletely developed not to mention the processing horsepower was simply not available yet.

Segue to the latest versions of iOS and OS X.
  • There is still a huge amount of inertia in software development as a result of training, cost of change, lack of incentive to change. Developers who converted from procedural code (Basic, Fortran, Cobol, C) to object oriented design, development, and coding found that for the most part all of the investment in procedural coded applications was a wash and had to start over from scratch. As a result most of the code from the major software developers (Adobe, Microsoft, etc.) is still procedural and exceedingly difficult and expensive to modify or change. Small developers and Apple who made the transition to OO found their long term maintenance, development costs, and turnaround time dramatically reduced and in Apple's case that was roundly criticized by Wall Street which is notoriously short sighted. This is still a barrier to change.
  • Viable open source standards for universal markup languages exist today and are used in a surprisingly large number of places. The .odt, .ods, .odp formats used by OpenOffice and its siblings being an excellent example. Even Microsoft's .docx and .xlsx formats are semi-successful attempts to make those open source standards proprietary.
  • Spotlight in OS X, together with its various permutations such as smart folders provides the necessary global access by content or tag function. (Yes Spotlight has its critics but IMHO that is more a matter of what users — including me — are accustomed to and lack of integration into applications.)
So what was once a radical and to many an unthinkable proposal has now become a viable possibility in OS X and iOS and the vector of Apple's development is obviously headed in that direction.

To widen the field still further, and likely to upset the traditionalists even more, throw in iCloud. As I view iCloud , and I think this is also Apple's view and perhaps the view of the majority of the computing community, the computing environment is moving, or in many cases has already moved, away the individual device to the cloud. In Apple's case specifically iCloud. The desktop computer, the smart phone, the tablet are no longer viewed so much standalone devices, rather as portals to the cloud. Given that paradigm it is inevitable that OS X and iOS are cross fertilizing each other's development process and they are drawing closer together.
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#37798 - 12/12/15 12:25 PM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
To widen the field still further, and likely to upset the traditionalists even more, throw in iCloud.

Don't get me started. laugh
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#37819 - 12/13/15 02:06 PM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
To widen the field still further, and likely to upset the traditionalists even more, throw in iCloud.

Don't get me started. laugh

Apple's Darwin kernel is open source. If you like programming you might consider getting a copy and developing your own GUI for it? Alternatively you might try a GUI like XWindows running on Linux. That would give you maximum flexibility in implementing which features you like and which you don't like.
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#37824 - 12/13/15 05:02 PM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: joemikeb]
Bob_00001 Offline


Registered: 01/03/10
It might be useful to know what percentage of current Mac/OSX users are long term Mac/OSX users and what percentage have recently come to Mac/OSX because they started with an iPhone or iPad. That might explain who Apple is catering to, and where things are going.

Though I often vent my frustration with Yosemite, most of the problems were in the initial configuration. Once I found out how and where to change things, I was able to get things back to a configuration that I could tolerate. It would have been nice if, when I took my new Mac out of the box and turned it on, it would have given me a setup dialog with the choice of a traditional Mac configuration, or an iPhone-like configuration. That would have saved me a lot of grief, I suspect it would have made a lot of other people much happier too.
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#37828 - 12/14/15 05:13 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: Bob_00001]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Bob_00001
It would have been nice if, when I took my new Mac out of the box and turned it on, it would have given me a setup dialog with the choice of a traditional Mac configuration, or an iPhone-like configuration. That would have saved me a lot of grief, I suspect it would have made a lot of other people much happier too.

Well said, and how true! frown

By way of example, I accidentally discovered that sliding to the right in Contacts reveals a "delete" button for the card I've selected.

[rant] Now how on Earth is somebody who's never used iOS supposed to know stuff like that? It's not the least bit intuitive, and I suspect I'll overlook numerous similar things because I don't know where/when to look for them. [/rant]
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#37831 - 12/14/15 09:30 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: artie505]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: artie505
[rant] Now how on Earth is somebody who's never used iOS supposed to know stuff like that? It's not the least bit intuitive, and I suspect I'll overlook numerous similar things because I don't know where/when to look for them. [/rant]


While not the specific example you just gave, if you look at Mouse and/or Trackpad System Preferences, you will see examples of many gestures that are available.

Otherwise, information of this sort seems to come out on web sites that review Apple products and OS X software.
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#37832 - 12/14/15 09:31 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: Bob_00001]
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Bob_00001
It might be useful to know what percentage of current Mac/OSX users are long term Mac/OSX users and what percentage have recently come to Mac/OSX because they started with an iPhone or iPad. That might explain who Apple is catering to, and where things are going.

I have no idea what the actual numbers are, but anecdotally…
  • I was recently told by a genius at my nearest Apple Store, "Most of the computers I have sold recently have been because the customers got hooked on their iPhone".
  • A friend who went spent maybe half an hour at the Apple Store last week trading in her iPad Air on an iPad Pro reported she personally saw five people buy new iPad Pros while she was in the Apple Store.
  • When I went with my wife to the Genius Desk this past Saturday, getting to the tables with the iPhone, iPad, and Watch displays was almost impossible due to the crowds, but there was a plenty or space at the computer tables.
  • I have recently talked to a couple of people who have chosen not up upgrade their computers because they have found they can do everything on their iOS device and feel they no longer need a computer at all (I did not say or mean to imply these were power users).

Originally Posted By: Artie505
By way of example, I accidentally discovered that sliding to the right in Contacts reveals a "delete" button for the card I've selected.

[rant] Now how on Earth is somebody who's never used iOS supposed to know stuff like that? It's not the least bit intuitive, and I suspect I'll overlook numerous similar things because I don't know where/when to look for them. [/rant]

There are more and more gestures being added to the command repertoire in OS X and iOS, not to mention which are implemented and specifically what they do in each app (I have at least one app where the action of a left and/or right swipe is configurable. Some of the new pressure sensitive gestures are only available on the most recent devices. Discovering which gestures work on which devices with which OS and in which app is (to be charitable) an adventure. I envision Apple producing a multi-dimensional table of gestures by hardware device and version, attachments including version, OS version, and app version to figure out which gestures are in play and what they do at any given time. Hopefully that will eventually stabilize but the question is when and full implementation will inevitably depend on everyone using hardware capable of recognizing all the various permutations and that will not be retrofittable.
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#37835 - 12/14/15 01:12 PM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
When I went with my wife to the Genius Desk this past Saturday, getting to the tables with the iPhone, iPad, and Watch displays was almost impossible due to the crowds, but there was a plenty or space at the computer tables.

Oh good, I won't have to stand in line. grin
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#37836 - 12/14/15 01:54 PM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: joemikeb]
Bob_00001 Offline


Registered: 01/03/10
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
There are more and more gestures being added to the command repertoire in OS X and iOS, not to mention which are implemented and specifically what they do in each app


This is exactly what made Yosemite completely intolerable for me. It seemed that if I waggled my finger anywhere near the track pad the computer would perform some totally unpredictable action. Once I figured out how to shut them off except for the basic 1 (point), 2 (scroll), and 3 (page) finger gestures (as in Snowy), I was once again able to do useful work on my computer. Also had to reverse the default scroll direction.
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#37841 - 12/15/15 12:19 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: Bob_00001]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Bob_00001
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
There are more and more gestures being added to the command repertoire in OS X and iOS, not to mention which are implemented and specifically what they do in each app

This is exactly what made Yosemite completely intolerable for me. It seemed that if I waggled my finger anywhere near the track pad the computer would perform some totally unpredictable action. Once I figured out how to shut them off except for the basic 1 (point), 2 (scroll), and 3 (page) finger gestures (as in Snowy), I was once again able to do useful work on my computer. Also had to reverse the default scroll direction.

One of the first things I did after installing El Cap was navigate to System Prefs > Trackpad, turn off everything that wasn't two finger scrolling, and revert to what was "natural" scrolling for the many years between the "invention" of scrolling and Apple's discovery that it wasn't really natural.
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#37842 - 12/15/15 12:24 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Ira L
While not the specific example you just gave, if you look at Mouse and/or Trackpad System Preferences, you will see examples of many gestures that are available.

All turned off! grin
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#37848 - 12/15/15 09:20 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
"Natural" scrolling and the many "gestures" do take some getting used to, but I have become dependent on them and can't imagine doing without them. Any new technology or interface can take time to get used to. I remember how long it took to get used to programming on a printer terminal (a cross between a teletype machine and an IBM typewriter) after using punched Hollerith (a.k.a. IBM) cards for a couple of years. But then I have been working with computers in one form or another so long that rapid change has become the steady state.
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#37849 - 12/15/15 09:24 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
... I remember how long it took to get used to programming on a printer terminal (a cross between a teletype machine and an IBM typewriter) after using punched Hollerith (a.k.a. IBM) cards for a couple of years. ...

That and screwing up one "punch" on a card and having one's entire batch submission tossed out and having to start from scratch.
Remember the quasi-hermetically sealed computer rooms with ambient temperatures in the parka range?

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#37851 - 12/15/15 09:30 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: artie505]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: artie505
Originally Posted By: Ira L
While not the specific example you just gave, if you look at Mouse and/or Trackpad System Preferences, you will see examples of many gestures that are available.

All turned off! grin


To each her/his own, but if you work in multiple spaces (i.e., virtual Desktops that are available by default through the F3 key) gestures for swiping are invaluable.

It makes me laugh to remember what it was like working on the old Mac SE with it's 8 inch screen—never complained about being cramped and loved the gray-scale display because it was so sharp—and now on a 27" monitor I "need" multiple work areas. laugh

Now that I think about it even more, it may be the large screen that benefits from gestures. It is certainly a looong way to drag a mouse when you have so much screen real estate! crazy
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#37880 - 12/17/15 12:38 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
After using SideTrack's one finger scrolling for years it took me an awfully and frustratingly long time to get the hang of something as simple as two-finger scrolling.

Any other gestures are more of a PIA for me to use than a blessing.

Originally Posted By: Ira
Now that I think about it even more, it may be the large screen that benefits from gestures. It is certainly a looong way to drag a mouse when you have so much screen real estate!

You may be interested in Wraparound which was actually designed for use with multiple monitors but which also enables you to get your cursor from left to right or top to bottom by moving it in the opposite direction. (Was that clear?) (For some reason, my link isn't working but searching MacUpdate for Wraparound gets you to its page.)
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#37885 - 12/17/15 07:06 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: grelber
That and screwing up one "punch" on a card and having one's entire batch submission tossed out and having to start from scratch.
Remember the quasi-hermetically sealed computer rooms with ambient temperatures in the parka range?

I remember bringing in a deck of cards from my car on a damp day and not leaving them in the card reader room long enough. The computer center manager nearly had heart failure when she found me sitting in the middle of the floor surrounded by the card reader I had disassembled in order to clean out the mounds of paper fluff the cards had exploded into when they entered the reader.

She was even more upset because I got the reader back up and running before the IBM techs got there and she still had to pay them for a service call. After that she gave me a key to the computer center so I didn't have to jimmy the lock with my pocket knife to get in before regular operating hours, but cautioned me not to tell anyone else about it.



Edited by joemikeb (12/17/15 07:08 AM)
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#37887 - 12/17/15 08:59 AM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: artie505]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: artie505
(Was that clear?)


Yep. Thanks.
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#37890 - 12/17/15 02:29 PM Re: Desktop iOS? [Re: joemikeb]
Bob_00001 Offline


Registered: 01/03/10
I realize that many people like a lot of the new features, and I have no objection to them being part of the OS, as long as it's possible to disable them.

To date, the one feature I despise the most, is one that was added many years ago with no way of turning it off: Drag-and-drop text. I'll be working in a text document, and go to select some text, not noticing that some is already selected, and as soon as I click and drag to select, I find that I've accidentally shifted the previously selected text somewhere it doesn't belong, making a complete mess of the document. Fortunately, some text editors and word processors allow you to disable it locally, but there's no systemwide way to disable it. A feature that decreases your productivity is not a feature.


Edited by Bob_00001 (12/17/15 02:30 PM)
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