Geeks everywhere are excited at the news that Apple has published much of their iOS and macOS software in an open source format. Of course, seeing iOS open source and macOS open source doesn’t mean much to the average user but to those who like to tinker and look around inside software; this is like Christmas from Apple.
By making the kernels of macOS and iOS open source, Apple has allowed anyone to be able to dig right down to the kernel level of the operating systems to inspect the most basic ways that the software is put together. Again, not exciting news if you aren’t the type of person that does that kind of thing. This is definitely a move that’s aimed at the development community.
So, what versions of the operating systems have been made open source? You can view them for yourself at opensource.apple.com if you want. To save you a click, basically you can download macOS from version 10.0 to 10.13 and iOS open source versions are available from the very beginning up until 10.3.3. There’s a lot to play around with if you’re interested!
While some of the older versions of macOS and iOS won’t be of much use to most people these days, they are great educational tools to see how the two operating systems have been built and developed over the years. Apple has also organized the releases very nicely and you can even view individual aspects of each operating system with just a few clicks. This kind of openness is always nice to see in the tech world and, who knows, it could help develop the next great engineers as they dig through the macOS and iOS open source kernels.
You likely won’t see this story on your local news. After all, releasing kernels isn’t as sexy as releasing a brand new smartphone like the iPhone X. However, the long term importance of making moves like this could affect the tech world in ways we can’t even imagine.
As of right now, the kernels can’t be downloaded but it’s expected that downloads will be available soon from the Apple open source website. Until then, hold tight and start viewing some of the information for yourself. That is, of course, if you even have any interest in the subject.
Kudos to Apple for moving towards more openness with their operating systems. Not many people will get excited about MacOS or iOS open source kernels but it’s the right move to make and sometimes the right move to make doesn’t always get you on the 5 o’clock news.