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Apple rumored to be testing macOS for M2 iPad Pro

The M2 iPad Pro could get macOS in a future update

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A leaker has claimed that Apple is working on a version of macOS exclusive for the M2 iPad Pro, with it expected at some point in 2023.

One of the leading complaints surrounding the iPad is its lack of desktop-class software support. There have been constant calls for Apple to port not just Final Cut Pro, but also a full version of macOS to the iPad.

Leaker Majin Bu's sources have shared that Apple is working on a "smaller" version of macOS exclusively for the M2 iPad Pro. It is said to be codenamed Mendocino and will be released as macOS 14 in 2023.

Testing is being done with a 25% larger macOS UI so it is suitable for touch. However, apps run on the product would still be iPad-optimized versions, not macOS ones.

It isn't clear why Apple would move the iPad to a macOS interface in a half-step like this. Those clamoring for macOS on iPad do so for the software more than the interface.

Rumors about software testing should always be taken with a grain of salt. Very little, if any, detail ever leaks out about Apple's software plans.

Rumors have been floating around about macOS on iPad for more than a decade, and rumors about the original iPad said that macOS was a possibility before that device's release. Also, Apple likely has versions of macOS running on iPads for internal testing and configuration. This leaker could have seen an iPad in a debug state rather than an actual operating system.

According with my source Apple would be testing a smaller version of macOS exclusively for the new iPad Pro M2!
"Mendocino" should be the codename for macOS 14. A simplified version should be planned for the M2.

— Majin Bu (@MajinBuOfficial) October 20, 2022

The other possible explanation is this wasn't macOS at all. Apple could be working to bring iPadOS even closer to macOS by adding a Menu Bar and other Mac-like interactions. It already introduced a Mac windowing feature in iPadOS 16 called Stage Manager, this could be the next iteration.

Majin Bu also suggests that the exclusivity to M2 iPad Pro could be a marketing push. If the feature is only available on that iPad, more people would buy it.