updated 10:45 am EST, Fri February 26, 2010
Like Windows, Mac OS X saddled with older tech
Bringing the iPhone's multi-touch interface to Mac OS X would be a difficult prospect, say two ex-Apple workers, speaking anonymously because of non-disclosure agreements. A former senior engineer notes that it is comparatively easy to implement Apple's present Mac multi-touch efforts, which are limited to mouse and trackpad gestures in a few apps. He adds that it may be a "whole different story," however, to bring multi-touch to the desktop or all aspects of the operating system.
A second former programmer remarks that Mac OS X is a "kludged mess of code from past operating systems," referring to its roots in Unix as well as previous Apple platforms. If the company were to start over today, it would likely borrow the concept of Google's Android OS, the source comments. In terms of interface and aesthetics, Android is essentially identical whether on a cellphone or a computer.
A more realistic solution, the senior worker notes, would be to add the iPhone OS as an abstraction layer on top of Mac OS. It could operate similarly to Front Row, the neglected media-browsing interface introduced after the launch of Mac OS X Tiger.
Apple is rumored to be developing a 22-inch touchscreen iMac, which would be distinct from standard 21.5- and 27-inch models.