I use Apple products for work and play. I have the 2015 Retina MacBook model, which replaced an also-2015 MacBook Air 13″. I thought I’d love the Retina screen and would be able to live with the shorter battery life. I didn’t mind the keyboard–you really do get used to it fairly quickly.
But it still didn’t fit the bill of what I was looking for. I kept having a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then one day I realized, although I love the Retina MacBook form factor, screen, keyboard, and power (because seriously, if you’re not doing studio-level professional video editing, your apps don’t need a system with any greater processor mojo than a 2013-era MacBook Air), what I hated was constantly making the transition between OS X and iOS. And that I felt more comfortable in iOS, where it was much easier to manage my notifications, and where all of the apps that I use were just that–apps–not services that still needed me to connect with a browser. (I’m looking at you, Facebook Messenger.)
Two months ago I bought an iPad Pro 12.9″, Apple Pencil, and Apple Smart Keyboard to see if I could go all in with iOS 9. I figured I’d know quickly if I couldn’t. I would have just returned everything within my return window if that had happened to be the case, and gone back to my Retina MacBook.
Instead, in the past two months the longest use I’ve made of my Retina MacBook, was to spend 90 seconds re-ordering my Feedly categories. It just really blew me away how much stress fell away when I didn’t have to go back and forth between OS X and iOS anymore, and how much actual work I could get done on my Pro–which for me turned out to be all my professional communications-wonk work. To go back to my Retina MacBook, it would have to have a larger screen without adding significant weight, double its effective battery life (it’s tiresome to watch your battery gauge go down in real time), and be a detachable.
Which is exactly what I kind of accidentally ended up having with my iPad Pro. At this point, after being such a longtime Mac user (my first Mac was a Performa 6360CD in the mid-90s) who left the fold for a few years and then came right back, I literally feel a sense of guilt towards OS X and my MacBook for never, ever using them anymore.
With that in mind, I think Tim Cook was being shockingly open about Apple’s intentions when he asked that Guardian reporter why people continue to buy PCs. I don’t think Apple has any intention of ever merging iOS and OS X. I think the Retina MacBooks were simply Apple testing the waters to see how much more traction they can get out of OS X laptops before they deprecate OS X entirely, or consign it to a niche OS, and go all in, themselves, on iOS-based machines.