For years, Apple’s mobile and desktop worlds have been distinct and separate islands of their own. Lately, however, the company has been working to bridge the two together, like running iOS apps on Macs with Catalyst. It turns out that Apple’s newly revealed ARM-based Silicon processor maybe smashing those two worlds together in more ways than one. A new leak has surfaced pointing to the almost dreamy possibility of an iPhone running on an Apple Silicon running macOS, possibly when connected to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
If that arrangement doesn’t sound crazy, you may have been paying attention to efforts from the likes of Samsung, Microsoft, and even Canonical to turn smartphones into desktops. Microsoft’s Continuum was intended to turn Windows 10 Mobile into a desktop-style layout when docked and connected to peripherals, while Samsung DeX did the same for Android. By now, almost all of those ideas and implementations have bitten the dust.
This new leak sounds almost similar except that, according to MauriQHD, the said iPhone won’t just be blowing iOS up into a desktop or even iPadOS form. Instead, the smartphone, running on this upcoming Apple Silicon chip for Macs, will be running macOS itself. macOS Big Sur will, of course, run on Apple’s upcoming ARM Macs anyway.
MauriQHD likens the prototypes to Razer’s stillborn Project Linda from 2018. That involved inserting a Razer Phone into a “lapdock”, not only using the smartphones as a touchpad and second display but also using it to power a more laptop-like experience. Coincidentally, Apple filed for a patent describing exactly that back in 2016.
Of course, Apple works on numerous experimental projects, most of which never see the light of day, but it’s interesting it has put this much thought and work on something that would probably end up being controversial for both iOS and Mac users. Not to mention that past implementations have turned out to be less successful as actual products compared to their ideas. If Apple manages to successfully pull this off, however, you can bet there will be more “smartphone desktops” popping up than ever before.