iOS Automation and Evolution

Sal Soghoian leaving Apple was bad news for those of us interested in automation. If that cloud has a silver lining, however, it’s that we get to hear more of Sal’s thoughts about automation on Apple platforms. Recently, Sal published this piece on MacStories which makes the case that extensions are simply not enough for true automation on iOS. I agree.

It seems that Apple truly believes the future of computing is all about iPad and iPhone, not the Mac. They are probably right. If you look at the way the hardware has advanced on iPad over the last few years, you can clearly see that this is enough computer for most people to get work done.

The hangup at this point is the software. The iOS operating system is not robust enough to get a lot of work done. Before you start emailing me, I understand there are a lot of people getting by with iPad alone. However that involves a lot of workarounds and accommodations that, frankly, we shouldn’t have to make.

If the iPad and iPhone are to take that next step, Apple’s going to have to ease up a bit on its emphasis of simplicity for iOS and add some more advanced features. A logical way for applications to communicate with each other is one way they could do this.

The question is whether or not Apple is committed to doing so. If the final decision out of Cupertino is that the iOS operating system should not get more complex and powerful, I don’t see how it evolves to further replace traditional computers.