The Mac Gets Mobile

Apple did their annual thing last week where they announced a bunch of cool new stuff. It’s aimed at developers – which I am not – but gives hints for consumers down the road. Having been an Apple consumer, and being a tech-geek in general, I checked out some of the new stuff from WWDC 2020. And do you know what? I think Apple is about to sell a lot more Macs.

The Mac

The Mac is becoming more like the iPad in look and feel, getting iOS apps to run directly on it – this is big news!

The Mac was a pro computer back in the day, more niche than mainstream. But over time, it became popular with average consumers thanks to the iPhone’s halo effect.

Now this turn from OS X to OS 11 signals a more intentional push towards those same consumers. The Mac, as it was known, is fading away. Commence funeral for OS X.

The last Mac I owned was a 2009 MacBook running OS X Mountain Lion (bought used in 2012). I had longed for a Mac ever since I got my first iPod touch. But there was one thing in particular that struck me about Mountain Lion, which made me determined to get one: it gained iPad/iPhone apps!

At that time, I had a first-gen iPad. And the Mac was going to get Mac versions of iPad apps: Reminders, Notes, and iMessage! When I saw that, I knew I had to get a Mac.

Here we are 8 years later, and the Mac continues to gain iOS looks and features. But instead of Mac versions or emulated apps, OX 11 gets the actual iOS apps themselves, running natively. The more I think about this, the more game changing it seems. Initiate game-changing sequence.

Software Sells Hardware

All the apps you want to use are mobile apps on your phone. Now those same apps will be on the Mac. I believe that’s going to sell a lot more Macs!

The Apple brand is already aspirational, prestigious – a status symbol. Yet I think iPhone apps on the Mac will make it even more broadly appealing.

On top of that, I think developers are going to find new ways to leverage iPhone apps to run on both the iPhone and the Mac in such a way that the Mac instance will have extra features and an optimized interface. In other words, this is going to reinvigorate Mac development and thus the Mac itself. Queue Mac sales. 

Android Apps On Chrome OS

This has happened already on the Google side. A few years ago, Chromebooks, once thought to only run Chrome, gained the Google Play Store, full of Android apps. Suddenly, a Chromebook could run more than just web apps; it gained mobile apps.

Of course, how well the app amalgamation is executed is crucial. It took a couple years for the ChromeOS/Android mash-up to smooth out. It’s not perfect, but it works.

A Chromebook and Android phone are my everyday devices. The core ChromeOS experience is untarnished by the addition of the Google Play Store and Android apps. The way I see it, Android apps are simply a bonus to the system.

I opt for web apps in the browser first and foremost. If there’s something lacking, then I look for a solution in the Google Play Store. So 95% of what I use is web native, the other 5% is picked up by Android apps. The few Android apps on my Chromebook offer a better experience than their web counterparts. Having this option is nice! 

Mac With Mobile

Likewise, mobile apps will benefit the Mac. But I think iPhone apps will become more than just a bonus. Due to Apple’s tight integration of their hardware and software, the latest developer efforts make the Mac poised for more powerful and integral iPhone/Mac apps.

Looked at another way, a capable full-fledged Mac app will be a super-powered version of an iPhone app, and the iPhone version of that Mac app will be a simplified mobile instance with its core functionality.

The Big Picture

Apple’s stuff in general is very good. I was all-in before. Their ecosystem of integrated hardware and software sets the standard. I’ve used all of Apple’s native first-party apps on iPhone and iPad with iCloud as the backbone. I used their media services: Apple Music, Apple Books, Apple News, etc.

These days I’m all-in with Google. It’s a great ecosystem of web apps that run on ChromeOS and Android. As much as I like my Android phone apps being available on my Chromebook with a touch-screen, I see advantages to iPhone apps on a Mac.

WWDC 2020 has caused me to take another look outside my Google camp. When I survey the whole of Apple’s ecosystem, it is compelling. The way Apple software and hardware compliments each other across devices is impressive. But Apple is not without its flaws and costs.

Whether I ever switch back to Apple is anyone’s guess. And in any case, Apple’s future looks shiny with the advent of iOS apps on the Mac.

This new era of the Mac is one to keep an eye on.

What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

The Instagram Alternative Is Kickstarted

Last month, I learned about Bokeh. It’s a cool new photo/social media app that promises to be better than Instagram. Started by a passionate developer, Bokeh has been funded on Kickstarter, reaching its initial financial goal. That means we may soon begin to enjoy what Instagram was or should have been!

Not long ago, I published an article about how Instagram lost its goodness and how I missed what it started out as. It was sort of a photo enthusiast sharing site like Flickr. Of course, it ended up quite different. So I deleted my Instagram account.

Bokeh seeks to fix what’s broken about Instagram. And now that it has been funded, the developer, Tim Smith, is hard at work bringing to life what could become The Next Big Thing. It’s an exciting time, and I’m happy for Tim who pushed to bring Bokeh this far!

Here are a few tidbits:

  • In just 30 days, Bokeh raised over $11,000 on Kickstarter!
  • Out of 229 total backers, I’m number 111!1
  • Estimated time of delivery for Bokeh is October 2019.

The initial screenshots look very nice. It begins with a not-so-subtle-red theme, which is a stark yet welcome departure from the blues of Twitter and Facebook.

The name itself, Bokeh, leads me to think that the social site will focus more heavily on photography than on celebrity influencer status – cough, Instagram, cough.

Bokeh sounds great! Imagine, a photo app that’s more about capturing images than attention.

That said, Bokeh promises to be about community too. It will include strong connecting or communicating features to help friends and family stay close online. This is compelling, a social site and service that strikes a balance between both pictures and people. Sign. Me Up.

I’m thankful for the privilege to help fund Bokeh as I support Tim Smith’s endeavors to build a better alternative to Instagram. I can’t wait to see how progress is made on the app and service, and I wish Tim all the best as he continues to work towards making this dream come true.

Are you interested in trying Bokeh or anything better than Instagram? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

  1. I wish I had made it in under 100!