OS X source code hints at switch to ‘macOS’

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Is OS X destined to become macOS?
Is OS X destined to become macOS?
Photo: Marcin Nowak/UnsplashCC

We’ve all noticed Apple’s latest operating system nomenclature, with each new release a device-centric OS, like iOS, tvOS, or watchOS.

Why not macOS, then?

A bit of source code in the current stable release of OS X (10.11.4) seems to point to that very thing.

Developer Guilherme Rambo told Portuguese-language site MacMagazine.com.br that he found an interface file (FUFlightViewController_macOS.nib, in the FlightUtilities framework) that uses the macOS terminology in the file name.

Surely Apple is looking to this as a possible renaming of OS X, which would fit it right in with it’s OS naming for its mobile devices, Apple TV and Apple Watch. It would make sense to launch MacOS 11 this year, too, with new OS versions across the line up (iOS 10, watchOS 3 and tvOS 10) to make it a banner year.

The UNIX-based OS X has been around for 15 years, so it’s probably time to start calling it something new. Originally named after big cats (Puma, Cheetah, Jaguar, Panther, Snow Leopard, and so on), recently the team at Apple has named the different releases after places in California, like El Capitan and Yosemite. There’s no reason Apple can’t continue this naming convention; it’s just that making the OS match the device name would make things a bit clearer to customers.

While we don’t really know what the plan is, we do hope to see the arrival of Siri on macOS (or whatever it’s called in the next release). It would make a lot of branding sense, for sure. Here’s hoping.