How the iPad and Mac could merge and why the Macbook Air might get something bigger than a Retina display.
So I was looking at some Ultrabooks online and was staring at an Acer Ultrabook for maybe a good 5 minutes until i had a great idea that i just had to share, if only just so i can say "told you so" when this becomes reality.
The problem a lot of these convertible W8 laptops have is that they're pretty huge for a tablet, the IdeaPad Yoga is 13 inches diagonal, the iPad is just short of 10 inches.
Convertibles also have a huge bezel to make it easier to hold in tablet form but that takes away important screen estate when in laptop mode. I think i have a solution and i have some reason to believe Apple might implement this in the next 1-2 years.
You've probably figured it out by now but the solution is 'software bezel'. Software that blanks out the frame of a touchscreen. This is already (sort of) being used on the iPad mini.
Because the left and right bezel (in portrait view) is relatively thin for a tablet, they make it so it tries to not render unintended touches. So on a bigger screen they could do this but make it clear for the user that the frame has been made bigger by thick black bars all around the screen.
How would it be implemented?
Imagine you work on a laptop that remarkably looks like a Macbook Air but even thinner (I'll explain why it'll be thinner in a second). It looks, acts and functions like a 13" Macbook Air. Now you'll want to switch to tablet mode so you twist and shut the screen into the keyboard but with the screen facing outward. What you now have is not a huge 13 inch sized tablet but a 9-10 inch tablet that is thin, light and has a big bezel to hold on to.
Now here is the part that got me excited and my mind started to recollect things from the past few months.
Would this device switch from Mac OS X to iOS when you flip the screen? If that were the case, would you not want to use the touchscreen occasionally when it is in laptop mode also like a Surface or other W8 devices? Wouldn't that mean you had to use Mac OS X with a finger? Wouldn't it be a lot of work for Apple to completely revamp Mac OS X for touch use just for this device that would switch to full iOS anyway?
I think Apple will create a new operating system entirely and not just make a device that switches from iOS to Mac OS or vice-versa and Jony Ive might be someone to help design it.
It wouldn't make sense to have a light and energy efficient operating system to come with the heavy baggage of an operating system that requires a power sucking processor and air ventilation to run. That would also increase thickness, something you don't need in a tablet.
Apple is sourcing thinner components for the illuminated keyboard, that alone of course is not enough reason to make you believe that a iOS/Mac OS convergence is happening but it does make kinda sense.
The comments from Tim Cook about convertible flip laptops at the D10 conference also makes one think that this won't happen but remember that this doesn't have to mean Apple is not working on a convertible. Just look at 7 inch tablets and the comments Steve Jobs had about it.
If I hear Tim Cook speak about convertibles i don't hear "we'll never do a convertible", I just hear "they suck as they exist in current form".
When I see the Macbook Air I don't see it as a "cheaper option to get a Macbook" but as something that stands in between iOS devices and Macbook Pro's, iMacs and Mac Pros.
If you look at the internals of a Macbook Air and a current 13 inch retina Macbook Pro. They share remarkably close internals. It woudn't make sense to have these devices only difference be ports, display and weight. If a Macbook Air gets a retina display it would only be ports and weight.
Well, I think i rambled enough about this, apologies for countless spelling mistakes as i just had to get this off my mind. I would love to hear you tell me about how much of a nutter I am.