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iOS in My Mac OS

July 25, 2012 - Dave Hecei
The highly anticipated Mac OS X Mountain Lion became available the morning of July 25, 2012. It’s not that this day will go down in history, but it does mark an important transition. One that brings even more of what makes iOS on Apple’s mobile devices so great – iOS Apps.

With the popularity of their mobile platform, it should come to no surprise that Apple has decided they should fold key features and Apps from iOS into the Macintosh line. On a whole this is a good thing and a bad thing.

The good thing is that it could bring the Mac to even more people. I use the word people and not users because I am not talking about hardcore computer enthusiasts. I am talking about the soccer moms and normal Joes that are not computer savvy, but those who have embraced the iPhone, iPad, or Touch. If Apple can make the Mac just as easy to use, and useful, as their mobile devices, the Mac could have a whole new audience.

The new Mountain Lion brings some nice features, some new some familiar. From iOS they brought over iMessage, Notes, Game Center, and Reminders. Throughout Mountain Lion is more integration to social networking, which now includes Facebook. New features include iCloud integration, Gatekeeper – adjustable security levels restricting App installation, built-in Dictation, Power Nap – background syncing for late model MacBook Airs and new Retina Pros, and Airplay display mirroring – connect your Mac’s screen to newer Apple TV.

The bad thing is that ‘iOSifying’ the Mac OS could possibly alienate their existing ‘pro’ user base. I am talking about the audio producer, video editor, photographer, 3D animator, architect, etc. These users want a powerful OS with no restrictions.

Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty to like in Lion and the new Mountain Lion. The Mac App Store is one. The shear convenience of one stop shopping for Mac Apps is great. I have purchased over a dozen Apps and downloaded even more free ones from the Mac App Store. When the hard drive in my MacBook Pro started acting flakey I decided it was time to replace it now before it died completely. I installed a new, and of course bigger, drive and reloaded the OS. I then went to the Mac App Store, logged in and had all the Apps I had purchased loaded back on the drive in record time.

While the Mac App Store is great, Apple has decided to err on the side of caution and make all new Apps that want to be in the Store ‘sandboxed’. What this means is that if you want to sell or distribute your App it must be written so that it is completely self contained. While running, a sandboxed App doesn’t have full access to system resources. While this is all good and could help stop the threat of Malware type software ruining your day, it does limit what can now be found in the Mac App Store.

Apple’s new Mountain Lion is the future whether we like it or not and I think the majority will like it. If you are fairly new to the Mac or you love how easy your iPad is to use then you will love Mountain Lion. For the power user, they know what the limitations might be. The fact is that the power user knows how to deal with a new OS and it’s called dual boot.


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