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No Plans to Merge iOS and OS X, Apple Execs Say

GG2013 - iMac 27 - Hero

Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi, senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller and vice president of software technology Bud Tribble, recently sat down for an interview with Macworld. During the conversation, all three provided some insight into the future of OS X and iOS, and revealed that Apple doesn’t see a future combining the two operating systems into one experience.

“We don’t waste time thinking, ‘But it should be one [interface]!’ How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?’ Schiller told Macworld. That certainly puts to rest some speculation that Apple was working to combine the two operating systems, similar to what Microsoft has done with its Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 and Windows Phone user interfaces (and certainly seems like a snub at Microsoft).

“It’s absolutely nongoal,” Federighi said of the convergence. “You don’t want to say the Mac became less good at being a Mac because someone tried to turn it into iOS. At the same time, you don’t want to feel like iOS was designed by [one] company and Mac was designed by [a different] company… You’ll see them be the same where that makes sense, and you’ll see them be different in those things that are critical to their essence.”

“It’s not an either/or… It’s a world where you’re going to have a phone, a tablet, a computer, you don’t have to choose,” Schiller explained. “It’s not like this is a laptop person and that’s a tablet person.” Of course, in that scenario Apple sells more devices for a single ecosystem, instead of allowing consumers to gravitate toward a one-device world. Where, say, someone might be able to own an iPhone that runs iOS but that is also capable of syncing up with a keyboard, mouse and monitor and running OS X on a different partition.

Apple doesn’t see that as the future, at least not now. Schiller said that there’s a “super important role for the Mac” computer, which just celebrated its 30th birthday, and that “there always will be.” The next step? 9to5Mac thinks OS X 10.10, code named Syrah, will introduce a flatter design first implemented in iOS 7, though the site expects it won’t be a drastic change. That release is expected later this year.

MacWorld 9to5Mac

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...