Bringing Apple Back : Ending the PC Era and transitioning OSX
Apple and Google/Samsung are going to eventually win away most of the consumer base from Microsoft, but Apple could make a move to secure the preliminary market. Bring OSX to the iPad. I know, I know...here me out.
Apple has a great touch OS and a fantastic desktop OS. Now let's imagine a world where your iPad was simply your iPad, but the second you connected a bluetooth mouse to it, you were switched to OSX, running on ARM. ARM is getting faster and faster. For sure, somewhere in Cupertino, there is a version of OSX running on ARM.
This isn't a hybrid OS in the traditional sense. The only time you see the desktop is when you're using a mouse. You can still touch the screen and OSX should continue to get more touch friendly, but unless a mouse is connected, it's standard iOS.
Now if Apple has already compiled OSX for ARM, the hard part is probably already done. Apple made the switch to Intel pretty easily, with the Mac App store, it will probably be even easier. Most Apps would simply need a re-compile in Xcode to become a new type of universal binary.
In order for this to work, some things need to change about iOS (See my previous post...Common File System, etc). It needs to become a lot more keyboard friendly. A directional arrow pad or even better, some type of gesture key (Imagine a key that has arrows going in all directions. Touch and swipe up to go up, touch and swipe right to go right...) needs to be implemented on the virtual keyboard. You should also be able to switch apps via a cmd-tab command from a real keyboard. You need to be able to control iOS from a keyboard as well as you can OSX from a keyboard if you have Full Keyboard Access : All Controls turned on in System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts. This allows OSX to be controlled completely via keyboard. I believe iOS needs to reach parity in this aspect.
Apple has the competitive advantage of owning two mature, fantastic operating systems. You might have to limit this to a quad core iPad Pro at first, but it's a good way to get margins back after watching the Mac market start to slip away.
One thing could change all of this, but not in a significant way. Should Intel be able to create a powerful, low power processor that can run without a fan, we could be looking at Intel iPhone's and iPad's. I just don't see it happening though.
All I want to carry around is my iPad and clearly that's where we're headed.
One last sorely needed change for all of Apple's app stores. While a universal binary works great for code (code is small), it does not work great for graphics. If I'm not on a Retina device, why do I need to download the retina graphics? Have Xcode compile two binaries. That seems relatively simple. You're Apple, fix this. It's getting out of hand.
Xcode should also be able to scale graphics for you. Some designers want to do their own scaling in Photoshop. I would rather give Xcode the highest resolution necessary and let it do the scaling. It should be an option. At that point you sorta negate resolution dependence. At least till you need an even higher resolution (We need a bigger iPhone, but I'll get to that in another post).