Rumors of Coming 'macOS' Rebrand for OS X Refuse to Die

The discovery of a change in file naming conventions in OS X 10.11.4 is behind a recent growth in speculation that Apple is set to rebrand its OS X desktop operating system.

Mac OS
Screenshot from Mac OS 8 released in 1997.

The rumor appears to have begun on Tuesday after Brazilian Apple blog MacMagazine reported that a name used for an Interface Builder document tucked away in the OS X System folder contained a previously unseen reference to 'macOS'.

Developer Guilherme Rambo discovered that a document in FlightUtilities.framework in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks takes the name FUFlightViewController_macOS.nib, which it did not have prior to last week's release of OS X 10.11.4.

macOS reference
Image: Guilherme Rambo

Speculation appears to be based on the fact that iOS, watchOS, and tvOS already take similar naming conventions, leading some to believe that OS X could be set to fall in line.

However, as 9to5Mac points out, there are good reasons to remain skeptical that the change indicates an imminent rebrand.

Apple developers often use macOS identifiers for convenience, because the naming scheme suffix shares symmetry with Apple's other platforms and allows coders to easily identify apps with cross-platform components. Additionally, a significant rebrand of Apple's flagship desktop OS is the type of marketing decision that engineering teams would be unlikely to hear about until later on in the version cycle.

Despite the skepticism, a rebrand for OS X is by no means out of the question. Indeed, the name change would see Apple revert to the operating system's traditional name Mac OS, which remained in place until Apple dropped 'Mac' from its OS X branding in 2012.

The next version of Apple's Mac operating system, 10.12, is rumored to include Siri as a desktop feature, and is expected to be revealed at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June ahead of a public launch in the fall.

Update: The file is actually not new in OS X 10.11.4, as it is present on machines running older versions of OS X El Capitan and lists a creation date of August 2015.



Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
31 months ago
Hands up who still pronounces it "OS EX" despite knowing full well that it's "OS TEN"?

*raises hand*
Rating: 37 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago
So people are actually named Rambo? Thats awesome!
Rating: 16 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago
macos tacos
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago
Apple will rebrand OSX and use macOS when they roll out the new iMacs using the A10 desktop processors as they fade out the use of x86 chipset.
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago
Bring back the Apple key on the keyboards! I have a Macbook Pro, and I'm still using an external keyboard that has the Apple key. When I use the laptop by itself, there is no Apple key. Small thing, but I wish it was still there.

Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago
Now bring back the Happy Mac! Am I too old that I remember this back when I had Mac System 6.0 on my Macintosh LC III?

Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago
So why did they bother ditching the 'Mac' branding from the OS if they were just going to change it back?
Here's a screenshot of 10.4.11 just to remind ourselves-

Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago

I've never understood people like pronounce X like the letter.

"OS 8 and 9 were good, but I'm really excited for OS Ex! I hope it can play my favorite video game, Final Fantasy Vee Eye Eye!!!"


Just like all those fools who call it the "Ex-box". Evrywun knos it’s "Ten-Box". :rolleyes:
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago
This would make sense given iOS, watchOS and tvOS.

I still wonder about the versioning though. Currently for example: OS X 10.11.4 (Twice the number 10 is used yet it's a number/version that hasn't changed in 15 years). I feel like they could drop the 10 from 10.11.4. Maybe next version will be macOS 12.0? Similar to the versions of iOS, tvOS and watchOS using a single decimal for versioning.

So why did they bother ditching the 'Mac' branding from the OS if they were just going to change it back?
Here's a screenshot of 10.4.11 just to remind ourselves-


Remember when they did this renaming and it sparked all the speculation about OS X and iOS converging at some point? Heck, there was probably enough speculation that it was part of what sent MS down it's path to put one windows everywhere.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
31 months ago

If they really go for ARM-based Macs they'll face more trouble than you think.

There have been rumours of ARM-based Macs for almost twenty years at this point; I'll believe it when I see it!

I have used Macs since it was "System 7._".

It became Mac OS with versions 8.x and 9.x.

7.5.1 was the first to display "Mac OS" on the boot screen, and 7.6 was advertised as "Mac OS" in promotional materials. But it was "System" in 7.5.0 and earlier :)
Rating: 3 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]