Yesterday, Apple surprised us all by announcing (via its website) OS X 10.8, “Mountain Lion.” This new iteration of OS X, Apple’s desktop operating system, is set to launch this summer and brings a whole load of iOS features to the Mac. Following the announcement, The Wall Street Journal talked with Apple CEO Tim Cook, discussing OS X Mountain Lion, its many new features and the operating system’s rather odd announcement.
The interview took place at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA. In discussing the iOS-ificatio of OS X, the report notes:
“We see that people are in love with a lot of the apps and functionality here,” said Mr. Cook, 51 years old, pointing at his iPhone. “So, anywhere where it makes sense, we are going to move that over to Mac.”
Already, our OS X Lion-powered computers rock a number of features borrowed from the iOS and, perhaps more specifically, the iPad. These include full-screen mode, touchpad gestures and a swanky iPad-like Mail app. However, with OS X Mountain Lion (can you hear the roar?) the iOS-ification of OS X is taken one step further.
The report continues:
The updates will include Apple’s messaging service, notifications app, gaming center, sharing features and integration with the company’s online service iCloud—all pioneered for the iPad and iPhone, which use software known as iOS.
Mr. Cook said he already thinks of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems “as one with incremental functionality.” He said both laptops and tablets will continue to coexist, but he didn’t rule out that the technologies could converge further.
When asked if Apple’s iPhones, iPads and Macs might run the same microprocessor chips, he said: “We think about everything. We don’t close things off.”
Though some Mac applications have already seen iOS makeovers, name-changes have yet to be made. The report explains that Apple is aiming to create something of a continuum between iOS and OS X, and that part of this involves changing Mac app names to the names of their iOS counterparts (iCal, for example, will become Calendar).
“We went through and just took a logical pass at what the user is going to experience using these products to make it all make more sense together,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of world-wide marketing, in a separate interview. “This is more than people expect.”
But does this mean Apple’s Mac – the computer we know and love – will now forever be under the shadow of Apple’s iOS?
Mr. Cook said the Mac remains an “incredibly important” part of the company and that it is already benefiting from the success of the iPhone, particularly in China, where Mac sales doubled last year. “They love the iPhone and so they then search out and look for the Mac.”
And if OS X Lion is anything to go by, iOS-ification of OS X certainly isn’t a bad thing. For more information on the many new features of OS X Mountain Lion, head over to the appropriate section of Apple’s website. You can also read the full interview with Tim Cook at The Wall Street Journal’s website.