iOS and Mac OS Finally Play Ball

With today's release of Mountain Lion, Apple brought iOS and Mac OS closer together than ever before. As many great features there are in this release, I believe that this release of the OS was not so much about features. I think that the main focus of Mountain Lion was to further unify the OSX and iOS experience, and bring them as close together as possible while still keeping their own identities.

Even subtle things like changing the name of iCal to Calendar or Address Book to Contacts all serve to unify the experience between Mac and iOS. The goal here I believe is to have any iOS user be able to open the lid of a MacBook and instantly know how to use it, and where all of the things are that they need. This wasn't as possible before, because things were in different places, or had different methods of accessing them. With ML, a lot of these interactions and features became the same.

I think overall Apple has been succeeding at unifying (to a point) the desktop and mobile. Microsoft on the other hand has not. Putting the tablet OS onto the desktop or shoving a desktop machine into a tablet is not the way to bring platforms together. Yes, both the desktop and tablet can run the same software, but should they? No. They should have separate apps built for separate environments. OSX and iOS have this. It works.

That's not to say of course that Apple's platform doesn't have problems. It definitely has its fair share of things that don't work where they should, or things that don't do what they promised they'd do. But at least they function the same way on both platforms.

Mountain Lion is great. Hopefully the incremental upgrades and another major release next July continue to bring us bigger and better things from OSX.

Arthur Rosa is an engineering manager based in Sunnyvale, California.