Apple reorganizes its software engineering department: No more dedicated MacOS team :(


Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004

This may all sound very dramatic, but yesterday’s report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, someone with impeccable connections within Apple’s ranks, agrees with my assessment:

In another sign that the company has prioritized the iPhone, Apple re-organized its software engineering department so there's no longer a dedicated Mac operating system team. There is now just one team, and most of the engineers are iOS first, giving the people working on the iPhone and iPad more power.
The internal rearrangement of priorities for Apple is very much evident in the changes the company has made in recent years. Final Cut Pro X was a simplification of Apple’s video-editing software that drove many pros away. The professionally inclined Aperture photo editor app has also been replaced by the more universal and simplified Photos. Siri made its way from iOS to macOS, and has been followed by Touch ID and a catalog of touch controls in the Touch Bar. The only other big user-facing alteration to macOS in recent times has been Apple’s Continuity, which is designed specifically to make Macs better at communicating and collaborating with iOS devices. Continuity is like the Mac’s W1 wireless chip for headphones: a spoke connecting the peripheral device to the iOS-based hub.

It might be arguable that Apple is melding its two operating systems into one, but the weight of evidence is heavily on the side of the company making iOS as good as it can be, and then dragging macOS along for the ride. Everything happening with macOS and the computers running it seems to be a retrofitting or adaptation of Apple’s leading-edge stuff on iPhones and iPads. We’ve long ago passed the point of "trickling down" desktop features to the mobile realm — Apple has been "mobile first" for much longer than competitors like Microsoft have been touting that slogan.

I enjoyed my time with MacOS, especially the Hackintosh years. Final Cut Pro X was kind of my breakaway point...I split into using a Chromebook as my primary computer and a Windows machine as my workstation (aside from Internet security issues, the 'big brother' features are about the only thing that bothers me these days in Windows). A big reason for this was Apple's handling of their video editing software...I didn't feel like they were taking it seriously anymore. Switched to Adobe Premiere & haven't looked back. I still believe MacOS is a far superior operating system to Windows, but I also don't have to do any hacks to get Windows working on basically any commodity hardware available, plus nearly everything is cross platform these days (outside of my legacy Shake software & Mac-only stuff like Autodesk's Smoke). That isn't to say that Mac computers aren't still moneymakers, however:

Macs are still a $22 billion business, but Apple is prioritizing the more lucrative iOS.

One of the things that can sometimes go neglected when discussing the Mac, which is after all the product line that first made Apple famous, is how small it has become on the company’s balance sheet. In 2016, Macs accounted for 10.5 percent of Apple’s net sales and were eclipsed by the company’s Services division, which includes things like the iTunes Store, Apple Pay, and Apple Music. The iPhone, by comparison, brought in six times as much in net sales.


Oct 9, 1999
They clearly need more people to create Emoji's and animated SMS screens. They can't be wasting time on OS improvements and fixing security issues.


Jun 15, 2001
I came close to buying a Mac, but it looks like I missed their window of relevance. At least Microsoft has a decent laptop in the Surface Book.


Diamond Member
Jul 11, 2006
Target audience for Macs and OS X has changed from pros to fools. The specs started lagging few years back, but at least they had all common ports back then
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Jan 8, 2001
Sad. No EVPs in charge of Mac or iPhone. Aside from pretty heavy R&D spending, Apple seems to have become a bureaucratic mess since Jobs passed :(


Apr 25, 2016
In all my time of following the tech industry, I've never seen such a prominent and powerful company mishandle a successful product portfolio as Apple has with the Mac. It's actually amazing.

When Steve Jobs left Apple, the Mac lineup was in a dominant position: iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and the Mac Pro were doing amazingly well. They were also well compliment by devices and product such as the Cinema/Thunderbolt Display and the AirPort Extreme base stations.

The Mac lineup today is a joke. Tim Cook needs to go, and Craig Ferderighi need to take his place as CEO.


Mar 11, 2000
I was planning on buying both a Mac laptop and a Windows laptop (as both of mine are from 2009) but I've recently noticed that macOS has become a second class citizen, and iOS is not even close yet to being a usable productivity tool. So, I'm really considering just getting a Kaby Lake Surface Pro this time around.

I bought my first Mac for OS X in the Jobs era in 2001. I bought my second Mac laptop with OS X in 2002. And my fifth or so Mac laptop in 2009. I'm wondering if that might be my last.


Golden Member
Feb 29, 2004
Ehhhh. I'm just not so sure that it's the end of the world here. The desktop metaphor for a PC has pretty much stuck around and been refined as much as I think it can. Reliability is already fixed; at least for me on Sierra on my 2011 MBP, I may have an app crash from time to time but the OS is stable as all get out. I've got my command line there. I've got my critical apps there. Reliability; apps; speed; multiple environments; what else do you want? I'm just not sure where else can be gone with a 2D, windowed/desktop metaphor environment.

I think that VR will be the next paradigm shift in computing environments, and that's still in a very experimental stage right now. I hope that Apple is planning some major investments in VR. I mean what does multi-tasking look like when you can literally shift your head and see 500 things running at once, and your "focus" is based simply on where you're looking? It's like having an infinite-resolution screen in front of you or, more accurately, wrapping around you. You could have 100 Word documents all sitting next to each other and you could move your head around (possibly with some hand gestures as well) to find the one you want, and then gesture to "lock" that one in front of you while you work on it, until you perform the "unlock" (task switching) gesture to look around and see the hundreds of other things that you've got going on simultaneously.

I do hope that Apple keeps up their laptop quality, but really a "laptop" probably won't exist in 10 years; it will be goggles on your head, the "PC" in your pocket, and the interface device(s) in your hands (which may involve a keyboard for some uses). The "desktop PC" will be the same thing but simply more powerful, i.e. a mains-powered PC that utilizes the same goggles and interface devices. Being limited to a single screen; a 2-D environment with a keyboard attached; will seem utterly archaic. You will still be able to use a 2-D windowed environment (or even a command-line environment) but it will be *inside* the VR environment, just like a command-line environment is inside a 2-D windowed environment today. We'll probably just wear goggles around all the time; for moving around in the world they will be mostly transparent and provide a HUD/augmented reality, and when you're stationary you tell it to go opaque and it will provide whatever virtual environment you want. And it will be able to switch contexts/providers from one machine to another on the fly, depending on whether you're mobile or at a more powerful "desktop PC" (hmmmm could the "handoff" feature from iPhone to Mac be a preview of the future there?).