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Thread: Would you buy an iOS based MacBook?

  1. #1
    Admin Daniel Nenni's Avatar
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    Would you buy an iOS based MacBook?

    I certainly will. I have been predicting this for some time and I seriously hope it will happen! Cheng Ting-fang of Nikkei Asian Review also thinks so:

    Apple: A semiconductor superpower in the making


    Industry sources and analysts suggest that Apple is keen to expand its semiconductor capabilities further. They say the company is interested in building core processors for notebooks, modem chips for iPhones, and a chip that integrates touch, fingerprint and display driver functions.

    This is a nicely written article and points out that TSMC would again benefit, ARM as well.

    "We believe that more system houses will design their own chips. The purposes are to develop and protect their proprietary technology information, to make more efficient chips for their unique need, to lower [costs] and to do inventory control better and keep all logistic operation confidentially," Samuel Wang, a U.S.-based analyst at research company Gartner, said.

    Would you buy an iOS based MacBook?-chipdesignerstable_large_580-png


    I agree completely.....

    Daniel Nenni

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    Now available in print or Kindle: "Mobile Unleashed: The Origin and Evolution of ARM Processors In Our Devices"

  2. #2
    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    I own both a MacBook Pro and an iPad, however the last thing that I want is iOS on a MacBook Pro because I must use a cursor and all of my apps (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc.) without having to buy all new software. macOS Sierra uses a mouse/cursor and is perfect for anyone doing pixel-level design, while iOS uses your big, clumsy fingers, which are wholly inadequate for pixel-level design.

    iOS is limited to a single user, and a single application visible on the screen. These are horrible limitations to professionals that have over a dozen apps open in macOS simultaneously across 4 screens.

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    Expert hist78's Avatar
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    I think how well those popular applications run on the iOS Mackbook is more important than the OS itself. For example, for many business, government, and academic users, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are critical to their daily life. As long as MS Office's usability, features, and performance meet their requirements, I don't think they care too much if the Macbook is running with an iOS or Mac OS.

    Also, from the current Microsoft's attitude in supporting MS Office on Mac OS and iOS, I don't see any reason Microsoft won't seriously make MS Office a must-have application on the iOS Macbook.

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    Blogger Bernard Murphy's Avatar
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    Not sure what iOS would do for me on my MacBook. I agree with Daniel - I need a business interface to what I routinely do, not a dumbed-down consumer interface. But that's probably just me being a grouchy old Luddite.

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    The question is meaningless because no-one knows what an "iOS based MacBook" would look like.
    The most important single difference between Apple and its competitors (very obviously MS, somewhat obvious Google, also Intel in a different space) is that Apple does not believe in "the one true solution" that solves all problems.
    The iPhone was NOT an iPod with cellular added. Neither was it a shrunk-down MacBook.
    The aWatch is not a shrunk-down iPhone.
    Even the iPad is not a big iPhone (compare to Android tablets which ARE just big Android phones).

    Point is, Apple does not look at these problems as "how can we force some existing solution to work on a new form factor"; they look at the issue as "what is wrong with existing solutions".

    No-one is saying "the problem with my MacBook is that it's just too damn powerful. There's just too many peripherals i can plug in. I really hate the ability to use multiple screens or a keyboard, or multiple windows". Those are NOT problems that need to be "solved".

    What does need to be solved?
    Better security would be nice. More performance is always nice. Better reliability would be great. Things like that.
    What these suggest is a MacBook based on iPhone-like hardware (ie Apple-designed CPU, GPU, secure enclave, all that) plus the OS-proper of iOS but with a Mac-like UI on top.
    Many of the things that suck on a Mac seem to be some combination of the horrific complexity of x86+EFI+ACPI+the various hardware specs like PCI. The problems that we see (the sort of random crash when sleeping or waking --- unlike an iOS device which does these things a thousand times a day and a thousand times faster) seem unlikely to be a problem of the OS itself, given that essentially the same OS seems to run just fine on phones.

    So what Apple could do is something like iPhone HW, as I said, but remove the crap.
    Clearly the x86/EFI/ACPI part is easy. (Yeah yeah, can't run Windows. Boo hoo.)
    Dealing with other HW is harder. My guess is that we are now at the point where it is feasible to actually virtualize somehow these connections, so that if something freezes on USB, ALL that breaks is the virtual device, nothing else. None of the nonsense of today where one lousy hard drive can bring down your machine, and does so randomly and with no real evidence that it's the HD.

    But why on earth would they impose restrictions like "touch first UI" or "only one window open at a time"? That's the sort of idiotic thing that MS did in Metro, and everyone hated it. STUPID STUPID STUPID, solves no problem.

    It makes sense to update Mac HW a LOT.
    It makes sense to update the low-level MacOS a little. (Remove some of the UNIX compatibility that's been allowed for years but isn't really appropriate to 2017, especially where it compromises security, performance, or programmability -- eg many of the lousier UNIX interrupt, sync, and IPC mechanisms like signals.)
    It makes sense to update the high-level Mac APIs somewhat. (Unify with iOS except retaining support things like multiple screens and multiple windows.)

    As for the actual Mac UI --- the part that the public calls "the Mac OS" --- there is no need to update ANY of that. It's very good at what it does, it's nicely in sync with the UI on other Apple devices; there's a reason most people are very scared when foolish people tell them it's going to go away to be replaced by "iOS on the Mac".

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    As for timing, my guess is that the gating factor right now is GPU.
    Apple has (IMHO) a CPU that's good enough. They know how to make it fast enough to match Intel's best, and to scale it to enough cores again to match what the Mac Pro needs. Doing so is just a question of when they want to ship.

    But they don't yet have anything to match a high end nV or AMD GPU. This isn't necessarily a catastrophe, but it sends a sub-optimal message to ship an "all new" Mac that has a foreign GPU that Apple doesn't control and that's subject to all the problematic issues I described above. Remember, all the issues that made Apple unhappy with IMG are present and more with nV and ATI --- even more so than IMG they have their agenda for where they want to take their GPUs (nV into HPC, AMD for gamers) that isn't especially tailored to Apple's agenda.

    Given that no-one is forcing Apple's timetable, it makes much more sense for them to take two or three more iterations of GPU, perfecting it for the phone but ALSO in parallel on some test chips, testing how well it scales up so that by say 2020 or so they have their own GPU (maybe on SoC, maybe on a separate chip, maybe connected to the SoC by interposer) that allows them to provide the entire solution.

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    Isn't that what the iPad pro is? Just stick a keyboard onto a iPad and voila, iOS Macbook.
    Good luck working on iOS Photoshop though

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    The above is an example of the sort of silly thinking and snark that dominates this space --- and which pundits imagine somehow represents the thinking in Cupertino.

    Are there the EQUIVALENTS of Photoshop for iPad? Of course there are:
    Adobe Photoshop Alternatives for iPad - AlternativeTo.net
    The first two of these, Affinity Photo and Pixelmator are extremely impressive in both capabilities and performance. There is also Photoshop Express from Adobe, if you insist on sticking with that particular company.

    But of course none of these will give you large screen or multiscreen support or multiple windows, and the keyboard support is more limited (though the pen support may be better than on Mac or Windows).
    Hence my long comment above --- the issue is not putting an inappropriate UI on the desktop PC, it is providing the desktop PC with the best parts of iOS (better security, better robustness, better responsiveness) while preserving the UI and expansion elements that make a PC valuable.

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