Your lying eyes: No, you can’t run macOS on an iPad

Weep not for the state of tech coverage on the Internet, dear
reader, for it is already dead.

It is time now to marvel at the care and concern for accuracy
that are the hallmarks of writing for Business Insider. Dave
Smith tells us how “This guy found a way to run Apple’s Mac
software on an iPad — and it works surprisingly well.”
(Tip
o’ the antlers to Peter and PorthosJon.)

Did he, now? Well… no! He did not, as we’ll see.

“Run” in the headline has since been changed to “use” but the article itself
is still as charmingly wrong as a Rankin-Bass Christmas movie
written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

(“Do you know what they call sugarplums in Paris, Hermey?”)

The YouTuber Jonathan Morrison has pulled off something iPad
and Mac fans have been dying to see: a full version of macOS,
Apple’s operating system for Mac computers, running on an
iPad.

No! All Morrison has done is hooked up a Luna Display to a
Mac mini in order to use the iPad Pro as a monitor. That’s no
knock against the Luna Display (or Morrison) which looks like a
neat little device, but macOS is not “running on an iPad” any
more than your TV is a Defender of the Universe when you watch
Voltron.

Smith does point out that the iPad is acting as a monitor, but
where he gets it wrong is not simply a matter of semantics. The
software runs where the processor is, not where the screen is
and people who write about technology should be careful about
how they explain how it works.

Also, “found a way” makes it sound like Morrison engaged in
some kind of MacGyver-like construction using the spring from a
ball point pen, a hard-boiled egg slicer and a wad of chewing
gum. Is it really “finding a way” if the company sends you a
review unit, like Astropad probably did for Morrison since he
has 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube? This also isn’t even
the first and only way you can use the iPad as a monitor for
your Mac.

In its inimitable style, Business Insider is certainly just
trying to be helpful by typing up almost everything Morrison
said in his video so no one would feel obliged to go watch it.
“Business Insider, we drink your clicks. We… drink… your…
clicks!”

The iPad is an excellent device for doing things like
watching movies or reading books, but a handful of limitations keep it from
being a real work computer

Smith links to a piece he wrote explaining why the iPad Pro
failed as a work computer for him after using it for less than
a day (partly because he doesn’t know there are more than just
one way to select text in iOS) which is fine… for him.
The Macalope will never tell anyone they must use a particular
device, but let’s just say that if Smith’s piece had to fight
a
contrary piece by Federico Viticci
about using the iPad Pro
for work in a cage match, they’d be removing Smith’s piece
using a mop and a bucket.

The Macalope will never understand why some people cannot
accept the fact that while they can’t or don’t want to
use the iPad to do work, that doesn’t mean that no one else can
either. One thing is clear, however, we will continue to have
this argument for the rest of eternity.

%d bloggers like this: