14 possible names for the next version of macOS

What will Apple call the next version of macOS? We suggest 14 Californian cities and landmarks that would make suitable names for macOS 10.13, the follow-up to macOS Sierra

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  • macOS Next?
  • Cupertino
  • Hollywood
  • Thousand Oaks
  • Apple Valley
  • San Francisco Bay
  • Eureka
  • Death Valley
  • Mojave
  • Shafter
  • Buttonwillow
  • Hillcrest
  • Long Beach
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Sequoia
  • More stories
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14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Next?

Versions of Apple's macOS operating system software used to be named after big cats, but that all changed with Mac OS X 10.9 'Mavericks', which took its name from a small and dangerous Californian surfing spot (or possibly a dog). Apple insisted that the cat phase was at an end, and that future iterations of its desktop/laptop operating system would similarly evoke places in the company's home state.

Executives jokingly claimed that Apple had simply run out of suitable cats. But the switch to American map references has plenty of other advantages. One is a timely reminder of Apple's proud Americanness - a handy riposte to criticisms that the company is over-reliant on overseas manufacture and locates profits abroad to minimise its domestic tax payments. Another is the opportunity to associate Apple's brand with hip, youthful activities and subcultures.

Sure enough, the next Mac OS followed the new policy and was named after the Yosemite National Park. (Read our Mac OS X Yosemite review here.) This was followed by OS X El Capitan, named after a vertical rock formation in that same park, and macOS Sierra, which took its name from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. (You'll see at the end of this article that we suggested Sierra Nevada as an alternative to Sequoia. Can we have half a point for that?) But where will Apple turn next for inspiration?

Here are a few Californian cities, neighbourhoods and geographical landmarks that we think would work well as names for macOS 10.13, along with the associations and significances we like about them.

Composite images created by our talented intern Jake Williams; original photographers are credited individually on each slide. Their (modified) work is reproduced here with our thanks, under the appropriate creative commons licence.

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Versions of Apple's macOS operating system software used to be named after big cats, but that all changed with Mac OS X 10.9 'Mavericks', which took its name from a small and dangerous Californian surfing spot (or possibly a dog). Apple insisted that the cat phase was at an end, and that future iterations of its desktop/laptop operating system would similarly evoke places in the company's home state.

Executives jokingly claimed that Apple had simply run out of suitable cats. But the switch to American map references has plenty of other advantages. One is a timely reminder of Apple's proud Americanness - a handy riposte to criticisms that the company is over-reliant on overseas manufacture and locates profits abroad to minimise its domestic tax payments. Another is the opportunity to associate Apple's brand with hip, youthful activities and subcultures.

Sure enough, the next Mac OS followed the new policy and was named after the Yosemite National Park. (Read our Mac OS X Yosemite review here.) This was followed by OS X El Capitan, named after a vertical rock formation in that same park, and macOS Sierra, which took its name from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. (You'll see at the end of this article that we suggested Sierra Nevada as an alternative to Sequoia. Can we have half a point for that?) But where will Apple turn next for inspiration?

Here are a few Californian cities, neighbourhoods and geographical landmarks that we think would work well as names for macOS 10.13, along with the associations and significances we like about them.

Composite images created by our talented intern Jake Williams; original photographers are credited individually on each slide. Their (modified) work is reproduced here with our thanks, under the appropriate creative commons licence.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Cupertino

An obvious one to start with. Cupertino is the small west-Californian city where Apple's global headquarters are located. (It's currently building even more futuristic dwellings in the same city.)

Apple and Cupertino are often thought of as essentially synonymous, with the company employing about 15,000 of the city's 58,000 inhabitants, but other Silicon Valley firms have facilities there too. Other than Apple folk, Cupertino's most famous son is probably the actor Aaron Eckhart, which leads us neatly to our next possibility…

Original photo by Pablo Roca Santiago. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Hollywood

As well as sharing with Mavericks the honour of appearing as a call sign in Top Gun, Hollywood would be a visible reminder of Apple's strong links to the creative industries. The Mac - and the Mac Pro in particular - has long been the tool of choice for creative professionals working in visual effects, film editing and post production.

As the majority shareholder of Pixar, Steve Jobs was a major player in the film business himself, of course.

Original photo by Prayitno. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Thousand Oaks

Our logic goes something like this: Apple has done the sea (Mavericks), and it's done the mountains (El Capitan and Sierra), so it's about time it did something to do with trees. Such as this tree-studded city in Ventura County.

Even if it can't compete with Yosemite's Half Dome, Thousand Oaks does contain some high places for the hikers; including one called Tarantula Hill, which we are never ever going to visit.

Original (public-domain) image sourced from Flickr.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Apple Valley

Can't believe we've not mentioned this one before.

Aside from the obvious, Apple Valley is perfect fodder for a macOS name thanks to its natural scenery.

Like some of the other locations we've mentioned, Apple Valley has strong connections with show business: a load of Hollywood films have been shot in the area (and an episode of Perry Mason!), and Cuba Gooding Jr went to school here.

Go to AppleValley.org for more information if you'd like to visit. That's also where we got the original photo used in our artwork.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS San Francisco Bay

Aside from the beautiful scenery of the bay itself, San Francisco's reputation as a home for the arts, polyglot culture and liberal free thinking makes it ideal for an Apple brand.

Original image posted to Flickr by user Doc Searls. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licenceMore details here.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Eureka

What a perfect choice this would be: the catchphrase of inventors and geniuses everywhere. OS X Eureka!

Eureka is home to California's oldest zoo - an odd claim to fame, that - and some quite astonishing Victorian architecture, including the Carson Mansion pictured in our artwork. (Original photo by Cory Maylett and released into the public domain.) And it is the only city I am aware of whose motto, Pokemon-like, is also its own name.

The city's official website has lots of information for visitors.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Death Valley

A little morbid, perhaps, but Death Valley is a bona fide American landmark and, let's face it, a super-cool name. Would also tie in with the same outdoorsy, extreme-sports feel of Mavericks, and allow Apple to decorate the interface with buffalo skulls.

Hopefully its being the hottest place in the world wouldn't make macOS users worry about their fans packing in.

Original photo by Pedro Szekely. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Mojave

If we expand our horizons a little, the entire Mojave Desert would make another great name for the follow-up to Yosemite. It's rough-hewn and outdoorsy, ultra-American yet exotic-sounding, and (needless to say, when we're discussing America's great physical landmarks) makes for stunning photography.

Of course, based on Tim Cook's high-five friendship with Bono, it might be better to call it macOS Joshua Tree - Joshua Tree National Park, within the Mojave Desert, being the location for this photo.

Original photo, which we have cropped and modified with the OS X logo, by Doug Dolde, and released by its creator into the public domain.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Shafter

The city of Shafter was named after the highly decorated Civil War officer William Rufus Shafter and celebrated its centenary in 2013. It was the setting for a landmark in human-powered aviation in the 1970s when the Gossamer Condor completed a figure-eight course at Minter Field.

But really, we just find the name funny. Sorry.

(Modified) original image credit: Bruce Fingerhood

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Buttonwillow

Almost as pleasingly musical to say as Tolkien's beloved "cellar door", Buttonwillow's claim to fame is as California's estimated geographic centre of population: as Wikipedia explains it, "the point on which a rigid, weightless map would balance perfectly, if the population members are represented as points of equal mass". Sounds unsafe to us.

Original photo by Victor Solanoy. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Hillcrest

Aside from having a lovely sound to it, macOS Hillcrest would also sit well with Apple's political affiliations. It's San Diego's gay neighbourhood: at the time of the 2000 census 43 percent of Hillcrest's households were headed by gay or lesbian couples.

(Since we originally put this feature together Apple's boss has publicly confirmed that he is gay, in the hopes that this will make life a little easier for "someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality".)

Original photo by Osbornb. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Long Beach

A sunny south-Californian city with a Mediterranean climate and the word 'beach' in the name - hard to think of a more breezily optimistic name for Apple's next Mac OS.

The second-largest city in the Greater Los Angeles area, Long Beach has plenty of sporting activities on offer, with motor racing and (unsurprisingly) aquatic sports among the local favourites. It's also seen more than its fair share of film and TV filming.

Original photo by Parker Knight. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Lake Tahoe

The enormous and majestic Lake Tahoe lies along the border between California and Nevada, but since two thirds of the coastline is in Californian territory we're going to claim ownership.

It ticks every box you can name: stunning natural scenery (tick); glamorous, dangerous sporting subcultures (skiing, parasailing, diving, tick, tick, tick); connection to the creative arts (much of The Godfather Part II was filmed here, tick); an American landmark known around the world (tick).

Also gets a grisly name check as the site of a mass drowning in Nick Cave's 'Curse of Millhaven'. Bonus!

Original photo by Brian Shamblen. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

 

14 possible names for the next version of macOS: macOS Sequoia

California's Sequoia National Park contains not just the largest tree in the world (General Sherman) but five of the 10 largest. And as well as colossal redwood trees, the park features mountains (the Sierra Nevada, which we pointed out would make a decent OS name long before Apple decided it agreed with us), waterfalls, meadows and hundreds of caves.

Original photo by John Fowler. Modified and reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

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