A Multi-Touch iPhone OS Layer On Top of Mac OS X?
In a NYTimes' blog post, Nick Bilton describes how PCs aren't as easy to use as the iPhone, and explores why the iPhone OS simply can't be used in a future iteration of Mac OS X.
Bilton quotes a former senior Apple engineer who explains that implementing global multi-touch support onto the existing Mac OS X would be a hard task. While Apple has added multi-touch features into a few apps, the whole OS simply wasn't designed for touch input. However, Bilton's source then raises the interesting possibility of adding iPhone OS as a layer on top of Mac OS X -- much like how Front Row presently works.
Front Row is Apple's media center software for the Mac which adopts an Apple TV-like interface. When invoked, the entire Mac OS X desktop fades out, leaving a TV-friendly navigation system that looks nothing like Mac OS X. What's been suggested is that Apple could adopt a iPhone OS layer that would greatly simplify tasks for some users. Now, it's not clear if this was actually something Apple had been actively exploring or if it was just presented as speculative option by Bilton's source, but we felt it was an interesting topic of discussion.
Apple's iPad has been felt to represent this shift to an easier computing paradigm. The iPad is essentially the iPhone OS on a larger form factor, but it's that larger size that introduces new possibilities that encroach on the functionality of current desktop/notebooks.