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Apple Executive Says Merging iOS and OS X Into One OS “A Waste of Energy”

by Brandon Russell | January 23, 2014January 23, 2014 4:00 pm PST

Apple - iPad 5 Event - Mac Pro - Promo Video - 042

Apple has no immediate or even future plans to ditch the Mac, despite many seeing a convergence between mobile and desktop. In a rare interview with Macworld, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, and Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, sat down to talk about the last 30 years of the Mac, which will celebrate its anniversary on Friday, Jan. 24, and also the future of Apple’s oldest family. In short, Apple sees attempting to merge iOS and OS X into a single operating system as a “waste of energy.”

“We don’t waste time thinking, ‘But it should be one (interface!) How do you make these (operating systems) merge together?’ What a waste of energy that would be,” Schiller said. Federighi added that Apple doesn’t want to ever see the Mac become less good at being a Mac because they tried to turn it into iOS.

However, that doesn’t mean Apple isn’t willing to toss features between the two, with Schiller admitting that Apple merged some elements in its most recent iOS and OS X updates, including the Calendar and Contacts apps as to keep the experiences consistent. While the two operating systems lack a common vision, Federighi notes Apple has a common sense of aesthetics and a common sense of principles that drive the company.

“You’ll see them be the same where it makes sense, and you’ll see them be different in those things that are critical to their essence,” Federighi said. Overall, Apple sees Mac and iOS devices always being better for different scenarios, citing form factors of their respective devices as a big reason. Apple also sees the value in a landscape where you don’t have to choose between a laptop, tablet or smartphone. “What’s important is how you seamlessly move between them all,” Schiller said.”It’s not like this is a laptop person and that’s a tablet person,” he added. “It doesn’t have to be that way.”

At the end of the interview, both executives reiterate their commitment to the Mac, saying it plays an important role in the company’s lineup. “We don’t see an end to that role,” Schiller said. “There’s a role for the Mac as far as our eye can see.”

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...