Here’s Why iOS Will Replace The Desktop OS

On September 9, 2010, in Features, by Donny Yankellow

I’ve read articles and heard podcasts where people talk about iOS becoming or replacing OSX on the desktop Macs. I’ve also read the rumors about a touchscreen iMac. I have always thought this concept was ridiculous, until earlier tonight.

Earlier tonight my wife pulled out her netbook (don’t get me started) and my 2 1/2 year old went over to watch. He saw something he wanted to do on the screen and went to tap it. He went to tap it because he is familiar with iOS. He has used my iPod Touch and iPad to play games for his age and coloring games. He knows how to use these devices at 2 1/2. His generation will be growing up on touchscreen devices (iOS or otherwise).

After watching him tap the screen of the netbook it hit me that these theories of an iOS type of desktop aren’t that far fetched. Who better than Apple to make the revolution from the traditional desktop to a completely iOS desktop OS? It will take a company not afraid to take a chance and change everything. They’ve already done it when Stebe said no more floppy disks. They killed the very successful iPod Mini for the Nano. Why not change the way we see a desktop computer?

When will this happen? I think sooner than later. Maybe within five years. How many more steps in the OSX numbering system until OS11? In those last few OSX numbers we could see the traditional desktop become an iOS desktop step-by-step and it will be my son and his generation that will have no problem making the change. It will be the adults that will be left behind complaining.

Thoughts? Leave a comment.

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9 Responses to Here’s Why iOS Will Replace The Desktop OS

  1. Rob says:

    Until they come up with an intuitive glass keyboard, no way. Resting my fingers on the keys is important between thoughts. I can just see the massage parlors and physical therapists jumping for joy at us suspending our arms to do tasks on a monitor. There will be one in every office cubicle, Dilbert will now have a touchy-feelly…

  2. Cyn says:

    Hi Donny,
    I completely agree with you. I just converted to mac in April and I’m wondering why it took me so long to make the move! I would never go back to a pc. Anyway, when I got the imac I also purchased the ipad which had just been released to give me some of the portability I wanted. I love, love, love the touch screen and sometimes find myself wishing I could just touch the screen of my imac and use it the same way I use the ipad. I also agree that our kids will be growing up with touch screens. My 13 year old loves the touch screen ability on my ipad. I still think I would find myself using the keyboard to type papers and such, but I would much rather just tap the screen to go to a different application instead of using the mouse. I also love how I can just use my fingers to zoom in and out of things I’m reading on different websites when the print is small on the ipad. I’m loving the imac and ipad and still have so much to learn! Glad I stumbled across this website and have now bookmarked it:)

  3. Donny,

    I do believe touch screens are the future but I think it will take a lot longer to go mainstream, even among Mac users. Just look at the TV. There are countless sources on the web to watch video content but there is nothing yet that replaces the experience that the TV provides. I think people will like to have a touch screen based device but I do not believe we will see touch screens replace conventional desktops/laptops in this lifetime. Even if every Mac users decided to make the leap, that is only 5% of the computer market. While our kids may grow up with touch screens, we grew up with monitors and that will ultimately drive future sales.

  4. Jimi lee says:

    I have just about 1 of everything apple,and I use my iPad more than anything. I recently picked up my MacBook and started touching the screen before I even thought about it,because I spend so much time with my touch iPad and iPhone. I think it is very do-able I think we may see a shift from desktops and laptops to the I devices,for common everyday tasks.

  5. Scott Willsey says:

    I can see this too, but I also have an interesting counterpoint. My daughter, who is now 3, used to have a lot of problems with the laptop trackpad. She quickly got used to the iphone though, from about 2 years of age through the present. After she’d been using the iphone for some time, she actually did a lot better using the laptop trackpad, and her little brain quickly grasped the similarities and differences, and now she can happily play games on nick jr without a lot of help using the laptop’s trackpad.

    Once she started getting better with the trackpad, she started getting better at the mouse too.

    Sure, some of this was because she was developing physically the whole time, but I really saw a clear progression — grasping how the iphone worked, then applying it to the trackpad to move a cursor around, then taking the cursor idea over and figuring out the mouse.

    So I guess in my daughter’s case, it went the opposite direction!

  6. Howard says:

    This really is so much nonsense and is part of the long pedigree of “this will kill that” or the”end of …” articles.

    The iOS is an OS designed NOT just for touch screen but for simple one-step tasks and an App environment. It has no file management system. It is not designed for sophisticated work and will never, logically, replace the MacOS.

    Stuff does not replace other stuff to anything like the extent the computer nerds think. Laptops didn’t replace desktops etc etc.

  7. artie alinikoff says:

    I see your point…how intuitive it is for kids now that they’ve had the “touch” experience on screen. This might be a good thing for lots of folks, and it might not be so great for others. I would hope that the computers in the future with this feature will allow the non-users to shut the feature off. Some of us just don’t want anyone touching the screen.

  8. Personally, I like my keyboard on my iMac. I could see a hybrid model coming first.

  9. Nick says:

    Jose Gutierrez, I like your argument, but looking around the internet for tv shows is not as easy as just plopping down on a couch and turning on the tv to find your show. It’s more than habit, it’s simplicity and convenient. Consumers embraced the remote control when it was invented because it made everything easier.. After using an iPhone for 3 years and an iPad for 6 months, I am left with no doubt the touch with iOS will undoubtedly make things easier.. Apple knows that we can’t replace typing with an onscreen keyboard, but having a large touch screen ios desktop computer with an Apple bluetooth keyboard solves that. infact it solves that problem with the ipad too…

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