iPad inside iMac and MacBook: Apple iOS+MacOS patent predicts

By Richi Jennings. August 24, 2010.

An interesting Apple patent filed back in January has finally come to light. It discloses research into layering iOS functionality atop Mac OS X, showing how future iMacs or MacBooks might combine good old mouse+keyboard with iPad-style multi-touch. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get ridiculously excited.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention an over-neck'ed Photoshop disaster...


Jack Purcher is patently over-excited:

Apple's method of transitioning from OS X to iOS is clearly outlined ... and it's a grand slam home run. Imagine having an iMac on your desktop one minute and a gigantic iPad the next.


Wow! ... Unbelievable! ... Takes the mystery out of how OS X could ... co-exist with iOS on a Mac ... you've got to see this one to believe it.

Nick Bilton is more sober (as is befitting to a Britney Spears doll designer):

You can touch your iPod ... you can touch your iPhone ... you can touch your iPad. ... So it only makes sense that you should be able to touch your iMac. A European patent ... indicates that Apple could bring multitouch to the desktop.


Swiveling the screen down to a touchscreen experience could also ... show a different style of operating system designed for touch. ... could be a big draw ... as it vastly reduces the struggle many non-techies have when trying to find or save files on a traditional desktop.

Chris "karaoke wizard" Foresman sings along:

Apple has considered how ... computers could switch from a more traditional desktop UI ... to a UI geared for touch input. Such machines could use a sort of hybrid between Mac OS X and iOS, switching UI layers. ... When we spoke to a cadre of Mac OS X developers earlier this year, they universally agreed that iOS was having more influence on the direction of Mac OS X than the other way around.


One possibility is that applications could be bundled with both a "regular" UI and a "touch" UI, with shared underlying code. ... Apps built specifically for iOS devices could easily run in a compatibility layer, just as iPhone and iPad apps now run on Mac OS X machines in a simulator used during development.

Brian Barrett brings bacon:

As with all patents, who knows whether this is technology that will actually come to light or if Apple just filed it defensively to protect their IP.


For sure ... there's a very definite want for this ... unless Mac OS X eventually disappears, it's the best way to bring Apple's two operating systems together in harmony.

Federico Viticci calls iOS on the desktop "absurd":

A desktop computer running only iOS doesn’t make sense. But a desktop computer capable of transitioning from OS X to iOS depending on the device’s orientation? Now that’s interesting.


We’ll see. Maybe in 2012.

But Devin Coldewey's foresees myriad problems:

Apple is apparently patenting a form factor that’s been in use for years, around which Lenovo and others probably maintain a number of supporting patents.


I’m skeptical that a desk-bound tablet would actually be very useful. ... It will require more power, produce more heat, and require more support by the main hardware. ... Does anyone want to use a five-pound tablet running a Core i5? ... They’d have to give out oven mitts the way they’re giving out bumper cases


What about the big iMac screen? 2560 by 1440! That would hold the visual content of four iPads. Is iOS actually going to be useful at such a resolution?


Do people really want a MacBook Touch? ... Would you pay an extra $800 on top of a $1500 notebook?


And Finally...

My Giraffe Can Do That

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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