Last summer Apple released Mac OS X Lion to much fan fare and more than a little backlash. At the heart of all of Apple's changes was the term "Back to the Mac." It was a huge announcement for Apple, one that the late Steve Jobs took on personally. The announcement and the refocusing was seen as hope by many that the Mac and the OS that makes the Mac so powerful was not yet forgotten. Many got more than they hoped for, while others less than they wanted.
The announcement turned out to be a double entendre. Apple was indeed re-focusing on the Mac; however, "Back to the Mac" meant more than just a re-focusing on the much loved Mac. "Back to the Mac" meant that many of the features and concepts found in iOS, itself built on Mac OS, were coming to the Mac. It was obvious that Apple wanted to cash in on the increadible success of iOS and further grow Mac OS market share. Market share that was already on the rise due to the success of the iPhone and iPad, the so called "halo effect." They would do this by not just enjoying that halo effect, but by embracing it. The features most touted in iOS would be unleashed on Mac OS X.
The "Back to the Mac" event was in October of 2010. Lion was released in summer of 2011. In the meantime the iPad 2, iOS 5 and the iPhons 4S have all been released, each to rave reviews and record breaking sales. Showing Apple apparently knew what they were doing with iOS. Even Mac sales have been and continue to be stronger than ever. Where Lion was designed to start bridging Mac OS and iOS, Mountain Lion seems staged to bring that process further towards the ultimate unification of the two. "Mac" has even been dropped from the name of the OS. Apple now just calls their two operating systems, Mac OS and iOS.
Will the two operating systems eventually be merged? Will your Mac and your iPad one day run the same OS? One never knows what Apple will do, but it does seem very likely; but not for several years. For now Apple seems content to bring as much of the look and feel of iOS to the Mac as possible and make sharing between your Mac and your iOS device far easier. If you are unsure, just watch Apple's "Sneak Peak" video of OS X Mountain Lion (also below), along with some the new features coming your Mac this summer.
List of Announced New Features:
- iMessage (available in beta now)
- Notification Center
- Game Center
- Twitter Integration
- iCloud (deeper integration)