Read the entire post from David Pogue HERE.
Apple’s iPhones and iPads get most of the attention, but Apple is now directing the spotlight on the Mac.
There had been rumors swirling that Apple was back-burnering the Mac, but that’s hard to believe after Thursday’s announcement: from now on, Apple will update Mac OS X once a year.
It will start this summer with Mac OS X 10.8, code-named Mountain Lion, only a year after the Lion version was released.
(You also have to wonder how Apple will keep numbering Mac OS X, since it’s already at version 10.8. (Actually, Apple’s people told me: They have no problem with double-digit decimal points, like Mac OS X 10.10, Mac OS X 10.11, and Mac OS X 10.12.)
(The bigger question is how long it can keep coming up with big cat names. Mac OS X Bobcat? Mac OS X Cougar? Mac OS X Really Fat Tabby?)
Now you’ll have to decide once a year whether or not to succumb to paying annually the $30 (or whatever Apple winds up charging) for the privilege of remaining current.
The real shocker, though, is that for the first time, Apple decided to give tech reviewers an early, early version of Mountain Lion — not just months before its release to the public, but even before its release to its developer (programmer) community.
When Lion came along last summer, the big changes were all about making the Mac more like an iPad. Trackpad gestures simulated the multitouch gestures on an iPad screen. Lion features like Full Screen mode, Auto Save and Launchpad are total iPad rip-offs, too; if Apple hadn’t stolen these features from itself, it would surely be suing for copyright infringement.
Well, don’t look now, but Mountain Lion brings even more of the iPhone/iPad features to the Mac. The juiciest payoff here is the suite of Mac apps that now mimic what’s on the iPhone/iPad, like Reminders, Notes, Messages and Game Center. Through your free iCloud account, all of these apps are synced instantly and smoothly across all your Apple gadgets. On the Mac, you type a reminder to yourself; it appears simultaneously on your iPhone.
Notes is cool: you can add photos to your notes, or change the font styles and sizes. (The font and size changes sync over to your iPhone/iPad, but not photos.) You can also pin a note to your desktop to make sure it grabs your attention.
Messages is particularly awesome. Now you can type little messages — or shoot photos or videos — to anyone else with an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mountain Lion Mac, right from your computer. These may feel like text messages, but they’re free and don’t involve the cellphone company. And because everything is synced up, you see the same conversation thread on all your gadgets. If you started a chat with your boss on the phone, you can get home from work, sit down at your Mac and see the whole transcript so far.