Rumour: OS X to become macOS

Apple has been naming it’s desktop operating system as OS X for the past 15 years now.

There have been:

  • OS X 10.0 (Cheetah) in Early 2001.
  • OS X 10.1 (Puma) in Late 2001.
  • OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) in Late 2002.
  • OS X 10.3 (Panther) in Late 2003.
  • OS X 10.4 (Tiger) in Early 2005.
  • OS X 10.5 (Leopard) in Late 2007.
  • OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) in Late 2009.
  • OS X 10.7 (Lion) in Mid 2010.
  • OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) in Mid 2012.
  • OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) in Late 2013.
  • OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) in Late 2014.
  • OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) in Late 2015.

Prior to all of this though, OS X was originally called “Mac OS” and the latest rumour suggests that OS X will be renamed to macOS.


From what I can tell, there are two main reasons as to why OS X will be renamed to macOS.

Note: This is all not be confused with Mac OS as t was formally called prior to OS X.

Familiar Naming Syntax:

Over recent years, we have had the “iPhone OS” transition to “iOS”.

We have the “Apple TV OS” on Apple TV 2nd and 3rd generations, but the 4th generation Apple TV in late 2015 introduced a new OS called called “tvOS”.

The Apple Watch also got a name change at WWDC 2015. They changed the name to “watchOS” from “Watch OS”.

The familiarity for the naming syntax across all of these names is to have the relevant platform in lowercase at the start and the text “OS” capitalised immediately after the previous word with no spaces.

That all being said it seems like we will go from “Mac OS” to “OS X” to the soon to be announced “macOS”.

iOS 10 vs OS X 10.12:

Prior to this rumour, the upcoming update to the Mac desktop OS was expected to be called “OS X 10.12” and the update to iOS coming this year is “iOS 10”.

As you can probably tell just from reading the previous paragraph, this can get really confusing.

So instead of “iOS 10” and “OS X 10.12” we may be getting “iOS 10” and “macOS 11” to make it easier to differentiate between the two operating systems.

It also supports the fact that many Senior Vice Presidents at Apple in the past have said that they do not have any intentions to merge both iOS and OS X together on the same platform or device.


This rumour is certainly interesting but leads me to the question of the day:

“Do you support OS X being called macOS?”

From my view I support this change if it is to happen because of the above reasons, but leave a comment below I’d like to hear your opinion.

You may also be interested in reading my OS X 10.12 Wishlist (which is the same for if it is called macOS 11 or whatever).

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