Is iOS for the Mac on the horizon?

After using the iPad as a secondary computer for the last month I have to agree that the oversimplified interface of iOS quickly grew on me – and after watching many people use the iPad I have to say there is great potential for people of all computer skill levels. I have seen people who never used a computer before manage to be able to access email, look at photos, check website etc. What makes iOS so revolutionary is that it makes the learning curve of using a computing device much easier than ever before.
Its little wonder then that many people have started asking when iOS will arrive on the desktop. Not to replace existing full featured operating systems, but as a secondary, simplified, high speed interface. I am pretty sure it wont be that difficult to just stick a touch panel inside a iMac, but the angle of the screen might make it uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time. Well, it seems Apple has already thought of it. Patent application drawings have emerged that show how Apple will address this issue with large screened mahines.

I have to agree that this looks like a pretty great implementation. I can only imagine the iMac becoming a dual use machine within a household. If User A is power user, he still has the full power of Mac OSX to run his full featured applications, but User B can also use the machine in touch panel mode using iOS.

Now this is obviously just guesses right now – Apple might make Mac OSX touch aware, but I really hope that is not the case. One can also wonder how Apple is going to deal with the differing resolutions of iOS presently (the iPhone, iPhone 4 and the iPad), and how it will handle them going forward, without causing developer headaches. These patent drawings are still quite fresh, but dont expect to see them too soon. The iMac has been refreshed only a few months ago, and Apple tends to focus on evolutionary changes with its Mac hardware, with revolutionary changes only after a few upgrade cycles. Unless this is a new product category…
Actually I think Apple should rather be focussing on fixing those small problems in the iPad software. Chop Chop, Apple!
Source: PatentlyApple