iMac Touch runs both Mac OS X and iOS

Aug 23, 2010 - 14 Comments

imac touch

Apple looks like they’ll be jumping full force into the touch screen market sometime in the future. An uncovered patent application shows an iMac Touch that runs both Mac OS X and iOS, which seamlessly switches between the two operating systems depending on how the screen is orientated.

imac touch with mac os x

In this image, the iMac screen is tilted upright to be used as a traditional Mac with a keyboard. In this orientation the iMac runs Mac OS X and would appear as any other iMac.

Here’s where things get interesting:

imac touch with ios

This image shows the same iMac slanted down, and when orientated horizontally the iMac looks to seamlessly switch to running the touch based iOS. Amazing! The patent application also describes touchable areas on the screen that would activate iOS, suggesting that iOS will run on a layer atop Mac OS X, almost like a super powerful touch version of Dashboard.

The patent also describes similar OS switching functionality on a laptop. This is fresh off the heals of the MacBook Touch patent discovery that clearly demonstrates an Apple laptop with a high resolution touch screen.

If you’ve been were wondering what Apple plans to do with the future of their hardware and dual operating systems, this should give you some great insight. Mac OS X and iOS look to be integrated on the same hardware when applicable, allowing a user to either use the simplified touch GUI or the more powerful and traditional computing environment of Mac OS X. Will we see these features in Mac OS X 10.7 and iOS 5? Time will tell!

Head over to Patently Apple for more pictures and a good walkthrough of the patent. How many years off are these features and hardware? Who knows. Will we ever see touchscreen Macs that switch between OS on the fly? It’s as good as a patent and rumor at this point, but hopefully! This is really exciting stuff.


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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac, News, Rumor


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  1. […] appear in Apple’s lineup down the road. Last year Apple was awarded a patent that showed an iMac touch that ran both Mac OS X and iOS, depending on how the screen was orientated, and several other […]

  2. […] the speculation has centered around potential merging of iOS and Mac OS, a la the iMac touch patent that appeared last year which showed a Mac that ran iOS in a layer atop Mac OS […]

  3. […] isn’t supported but another might be? Who knows, I found this fascinating in lieu of iMac Touch and similar iOS & Mac OS X hybrid patents, but don’t read too much into […]

  4. […] year, multiple patents showed up for things like a MacBook tablet, MacBook Touch, and even an iMac Touch that runs both iOS and Mac OS […]

  5. […] but beyond that it doesn’t get a lot of use. Apple already filed for patents to incorporate iOS into Mac OS X in an iMac Touch, and replacing Dashboard with an iOS layer makes a lot of sense. It’s likely inevitable, but will […]

  6. […] lets you draw directly on the display. I guess that tablet is about as close as you can get to a touchscreen Mac at the […]

  7. […] but beyond that it doesn’t get a lot of use. Apple already filed for patents to incorporate iOS into Mac OS X in an iMac Touch, and replacing Dashboard with an iOS layer makes a lot of sense. It’s likely inevitable, but […]

  8. […] X 10.7 will have touch-features that have been speculated to exist with future incarnations of an iMac touch, MacBook touch, both with Mac OS X + iOS […]

  9. […] main product now vs 10 years ago. Where will Apple be 10 years from now? Will some variation of an iMac Touch be their main desktop product? What will the iPhone […]

  10. […] the patent news of an iMac Touch and Macbook Touch? How about the Apple job posting that referred to a revolutionary feature in Mac […]

  11. As a long-time technical writer in the computer and aerospace industries, I recommend you learn the difference between heals and heels. Poor spelling and grammar do not improve the credibility of any writing, especially technical writing.

  12. eur says:

    this is the future of the Mac

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