Apple may have let ‘MacOS’ rebranding for OS X slip out

Jared Newman
18 April, 2016
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Evidence that Apple will rebrand OS X to MacOS is starting to pile up, with the new name appearing briefly on Apple’s own website.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple’s Environment page got an update on Thursday, and for a short time it included a reference to MacOS. “Years of use, which are based on first owners, are assumed to be four years for MacOS and tvOS devices and three years for iOS and watchOS devices,” the page said. (Apple has since reverted the name to OS X.)

This isn’t the first time the potential name change has slipped out. Last month, an Interface Builder document inside the OS X system folder included a file named “FUFlightViewController_macOS.nib” (emphasis ours). Still, 9to5Mac noted that the name could have been included for the sake of convenience, as developers sometimes prefer the symmetry of iOS and macOS suffixes together. The name’s appearance on an official webpage seems like strong evidence.

Also worth noting: last June, Apple marketing head Phil Schiller vaguely hinted at more name changes to come, after the company announced ‘watchOS’ for the Apple Watch. “I think, you’ll see. Give us time, we’ve been through many fun naming things,” Schiller told John Gruber during a live podcast at Apple’s WWDC conference. (At the time, however, Apple still hadn’t revealed ‘tvOS’ for the Apple TV.)

Why this matters: A name change would make sense given that all of Apple’s other operating systems now fall under the [prefix]OS naming scheme. And given that Apple has been updating the desktop version of OS X for more than 15 years now, the roman numeral for 10 has long outlived its functional purpose. MacOS – or, perhaps, macOS – could be a fun throwback to the operating system’s origins, while positioning it for the future alongside Apple’s broadening range of phones, tablets, watches and TV devices.

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