The short answer is ‘never.’ The long answer is, ‘We’re getting there,’ slowly, but with steady progress. Think about what the iPhone has become. Originally, back in 2007, the iPhone was presented as a phone, an iPod, and an internet connected browser. That was it. Oh, and it could be used to check weather, view contacts, use a calendar, check stocks, view YouTube videos, look at Maps, but no third party apps at all, and it couldn’t even do cut and paste.
Now, look at what iPhone has become. It’s close to a supercomputer in your pocket, purse, or bag. The CPU runs at about the same level as Apple’s new MacBook. Games and graphics run rings around competing devices. And the built-in camera– not available in the original iPhone– is compared favorably to DSLRs, plus, has become and remains the most popular camera in the world.
Microsoft Office runs on iPhone, as do all of Apple’s built-in iWork apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Graphic and media giant Adobe has a dozen or so iPhone applications. And, with 2-million apps available, it’s arguable that iPhone can do just about anything you can do on a Mac and more, including retail store payments.
Not quite. At least, not yet. The laws of physics come into play and one aspect of using a Mac or iPad fails the iPhone. Screen size. The iPhone screen, even the iPhone 7 Plus at 5.5-inches, pales when compare to an iPad, even more so against the Mac.
What doesn’t Apple put the iPhone’s screen onto the Mac’s screen?
Actually, you can, but it’s a convoluted process that works much difference than putting the iPhone’s screen on a television screen through AirPlay and Wi-Fi. To get the iPhone’s screen (works the same with the iPad) onto a Mac’s screen you need to attach a Lightning-to-USB cable and us QuickTime, but it works. TekRevue has a good step-by-step if you’d like to see how it works.
Even that method is too complicated and has too many steps. What I want to see is simple. With a click, whatever is on my iPhone’s screen shows up on my Mac’s screen, fully integrated with mouse or trackpad, capable of using the built-in screen recording that comes with QuickTime, but also useable with the Mac’s keyboard.
That should be doable over Wi-Fi with AirPlay, iPhone to Mac; and use the Mac’s keyboard, whether MacBook, iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro. Plus, even feature drag and drop file transfers between devices on the Mac’s screen, instead of the problematic AirDrop. Ditto for iPad.
Why? Screen size matters. There are times when I want to use a real hardware keyboard and not the iPhone’s keyboard, and I would prefer to type while viewing a large screen vs. a small screen.
When the iPhone and Mac can do what’s on my list, then I can say the iPhone can do almost anything.