What’s next for OS x?

Mac Format - - FUTURE MACS -

Ap­ple’s move to Cal­i­for­nian place names oc­curred as it was run­ning out of cats to name OS X af­ter, and El Cap­i­tan has no short­age of pos­si­ble suc­ces­sors: OS X Mo­jave, per­haps, Big Sur, Se­quoia, or Ta­hoe. Siri will make its Mac de­but in one of them, along­side fur­ther re­fine­ments of Split View (we want triple-split al­ready), Hand­off and Con­ti­nu­ity. One tan­ta­lis­ing prospect is MacID-style au­to­matic un­lock­ing and lo­gin (http://macid.co) with your fin­ger­print on an iOS de­vice, or sim­ply the pres­ence of your Ap­ple Watch. Re­li­able Wi-Fi would be nice too.

Some pun­dits be­lieve that iOS and OS X will be­come a sin­gle OS, but Ap­ple has poured cold wa­ter on the idea: it wants to blur the lines be­tween the op­er­at­ing sys­tems to en­able seam­less tran­si­tions from one to the other, but as Win­dows 8 demon­strated, mak­ing a sin­gle OS for both mobile and tra­di­tional de­vices isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a great idea.

That doesn’t mean OS X won’t come to ARM pro­ces­sors, how­ever. When – and we think it’s a case of when, not if – fu­ture Mac­Books run on Ap­ple’s own sil­i­con rather than In­tel chips, OS X will need to run on those Macs. To quote a cer­tain Steve Jobs from 2005: “We’ve had teams do­ing the ‘just in case’ sce­nario. And our rules have been that our de­signs for OS X must be pro­ces­sor in­de­pen­dent… this has been go­ing on for the last five years.” If Ap­ple doesn’t al­ready have ARM-based Macs run­ning OS X, we’ll eat an iPad.

The rugged coast­line of Big Sur has been touted as a pos­si­ble suc­ces­sor to Mav­er­icks, Yosemite and El Cap­i­tan.

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