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OS X 10.11.4 file suggests Apple will switch to ‘macOS’ branding

by Killian Bell | March 30, 2016March 30, 2016 5:12 am PST


Apple has watchOS, tvOS, and iOS now, but its desktop operating system maintains its age-old OS X moniker, breaking that trend. Recent reports have claimed that will soon change, and resources found in Apple’s latest OS X 10.11.4 update back them up.

Given the new naming convention for the rest of Apple’s operating systems, rebranding OS X to macOS seems to make sense — and it sounds pretty good, too. What’s more, the name change appears to be more than just a rumor now.

Developer Guilherme Rambo has found a resource in Apple’s FlightUtilities.framework that contains the macOS name. 9to5Mac was able to verify that the resource existed, as you can see in the screenshot above, and it was reportedly added with OS X 10.11.4.

We should point out that this isn’t definitive confirmation of the rebranding just yet. “Developers often use macOS identifiers in filenames and code for convenience, as it offers a simple naming scheme for apps that span multiple Apple platforms,” 9to5 explains.

“Moreover, although a change in naming could be in the works, to bring OS X in line with the branding of Apple’s other operating systems, marketing decisions are unlikely to be shared with engineering this early in the cycle.”

With that in mind, we suggest you don’t read too much into these findings just yet. However, it’s certainly interesting that a resource containing the macOS moniker pops up just as fans begin speculating on the possibility of an OS X name change.

If Apple is going to rebrand OS X, we should find out more about it at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which traditionally kicks off in early June.


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...