With the launch of the new version of OSX 10.7 (Lion) still months away, For more information on development, startup and capital, visit http://techwitty.com.au there hasn’t been much discussion recently about how Apple will be making the new edition of OSX different from Snow Leopard. While Steve Jobs gave us some glimpses at the new operating system at the Mac Keynote event at the end of 2010, and while the launch of the Mac App Store represents the first step towards 10.7, there is still a lot that is not known about the Lion operating system. One of the questions that has repeatedly been asked and something we’d like to revisit, is whether the new operating system will be able to run iOS apps?
This question has been brought up because the Jobs keynote showed us Launchpad, a new iOS like interface which displays apps in a grid like format, much like the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad homescreens. Given that Apple appears to be blurring the lines between the OSX and iOS operating systems in the next iteration, is it feasible that Apple will implement the ability to run iOS apps on the Mac?
The short answer is, no. While some apps have already managed the successful transition from iOS to OSX via the Mac App Store (Angry Birds being a prime example), the major obstacle is that multitouch gestures are absent from the screen of the Mac. It’s true that Apple has been exploring adding touch screens into their desktop computers but, in our opinion, that is no reason to expect that iOS apps will be making their way to the Mac any time soon.
Some may argue that the MacBook Trackpads or even the Magic Trackpad would be able to fill the void left by the absence of touchscreen gestures but it’s unlikely that would be sufficient to ensure an excellent user experience, which is what Apple is all about. It would be a simple task to implement an emulator in OSX 10.7 which would enable users to run iOS apps, but this would entirely defeat the purpose of having a Mac.
It is more appropriate for developers to adapt and design their apps specifically for use on the Mac and it is a hard truth, but the reality is that many iOS apps simply aren’t destined for use on the Mac. The experience offered by OSX 10.7, including full-screen and fast-resume applications, when combined with new Mac features such as SSD, means that users are destined for a phenomenal new operating system, in which native iOS apps fortunately play no part.