Back to the Mac

When Apple introduced OS X Lion, it was at the “Back to the Mac” event, and rightfully so. Lion was the first OS X release to really incorporate — for better and for worse — features from Apple’s mobile operating system.

These days, iOS and OS X’s development tracks are closer than ever, with features like Handoff and AirDrop tying the two systems together in new ways.

With a new version of Mac OS X — or MacOS — assumedly around the corner, I think there’s more Apple could take from iOS’ cookie jar.

Picture in Picture

While the official YouTube app still doesn’t support it, Picture in Picture has changed the way I use my iPad in a significant way.

For example, in the past, preparing for an Apple history article or writing a video script had to be done at my Mac, as I couldn’t have a video, a bunch of browser tabs and a text document set up in any useful way. Now, I can open a video and have it float above my document and browser as I take notes and collect links to relevant articles.

In the short time since iOS 9 has been out, I already feel like video is stifled and trapped on the Mac. Needing an entire browser window open to watch something on YouTube feels incredibly old-fashioned and inflexible. I’d like to see Picture in Picture show up on the Mac to solve this.


I’m not a developer, so I’m unable to fully explain this, but in talking with friends who make apps, it’s clear that there’s a frustration on the part of many when it comes to developing on the Mac.

This is especially true in terms of taking an iOS codebase and making a desktop version of an existing app. Mac OS X’s AppKit is far older then UIKit, and is full of differences. The tools and technologies available don’t go far enough in bridging the gap.

There’s no doubt that iOS is where all the action is these days for developers, but I believe the Mac is a longterm, stable platform where people are willing to spend money for software. If Apple could make porting iOS apps to OS X easier, it’d be better for everyone. Bringing UIKit to the Mac would allow developers to re-use much more of their work, lowering the bar required for cross-platform development. That could breathe new life into the Mac software ecosystem and lead to more sales for developers who are seeing prices continue to plummet on the iOS App Store.

All Flash Storage

That 2010 event closed with the introduction of the second-generation MacBook Air. The new design, with its great battery life, thin enclosure and instant sleep/wake ability was only possible through the magic of Flash storage.

Indeed, the MacBook Air is the notebook that brought SSD technology to the masses.

But here in 2016 — a full 6 years later — the Mac lineup still includes numerous models with spinning hard drives (or Fusion Drives) as the default configuration.

These computers can be upgraded to ship with an SSD from the factory, but many people won’t see or understand the need for it, and have a subpar experience.

While I can understand this on the MacBook Pro and Mac mini, the Retina iMac is perhaps the flagship Mac. It’s dissapointing that Apple cripples it by putting a slow 5400 RPM drive in the thing.

2016 should be the last year this is true. It’s time that Apple finish this transition and leave the spinning hard drive behind.