Newsletter Issue #575: So What About that Mac Convertible?

December 6th, 2010

Several recent rumors have the Apple watchers scrambling to figure out what’s going on. As usual, some of the stories arose over patent filings, even though the process of securing intellectual property rights doesn’t actually guarantee that you’ll ever see a real product featuring that technology.

One curiosity spoke of what you might want to consider a “Mac Convertible,” meaning that you’d be able to run it in the same fashion as any other Mac, using Mac OS X. But you’d also have the option to swivel the screen and engage an iOS mode. This would make it roughly akin to a huge iPad with all the touchscreen goodies.

Now even before you examine the usability of such a scheme, actually doing the development work on this hybrid operating system shouldn’t be such a big deal. After all, both the iOS and Mac OS X sit atop the same basic core system. Moreover, when developers build software for the App Store, they will generally test their work on Macs running Apple’s developer tools, which deliver the content on screen in a special iOS window.

You might compare it to the legendary Classic environment, which allowed older Mac apps to run in a custom or emulator environment within Mac OS X. But the iOS would be far more native since, as I said, it’s essentially Mac OS X with a different skin and some internal alterations.

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