Mountain Lion is not more like iOS

I said on Twitter this morning:

I’m amazed with all of the writers who claim Apple is making Mountain Lion more like iOS.Clearly, you don’t get it.

Really, I was shocked to see how many tech writers that don’t get what Mountain Lion is all about. I’ll tell you what it’s not — it’s not about making the Mac OS more like iOS.

Mountain Lion added the Notes and Reminders apps — that doesn’t make Mac OS more like iOS, it means that Apple added a couple of apps to the desktop. That means that millions of iOS users can open their Mountain Lion computers and have a higher level of familiarity with the apps on their Mac.

Not only that, Apple syncs the changes from the apps using iCloud. That’s about greater integration between the devices we use, not about iOS.

If Apple were trying to make Mountain Lion more like iOS we would be touching the screen of our computers to interact with out apps instead of using the keyboard and mouse.

Mountain Lion is about familiarity and integration. The new features and apps in Mountain Lion make sense for a desktop operating system.

These claims of Mountain Lion being more like iOS are just shit.

  • I agree – sadly that will not stop people from claiming that OSX is being dumbed down or whatnot.  It’s silly really.

  • Golfclap.

    Now let’s sit back and enjoy the flood of “Nuh huh, Apple want’s to put iOS on everything so it can take away our precious fweedoms.”

    • Oh I have been reading a lot of that in the past day – drives me to drink while sobbing about the stupidity out there.

  • Those claims allow easy comparisons with Metro and Windows 8, without having to examine the huge philosophical differences between “make improvements specific to the platform” and “dump everything together in a continuing attempt to appease conservative IT people.”

  • i just want dashboard on my ipad

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s thought that. Most people I know don’t seem to even want Dashboard on OS X, though. 🙂

    • Guest

      You aren’t alone. A quick four finger gesture from the top of the screen to bring down a dashboard would be great. Apple seems to like only one app on the screen at a time though.

  • Steven Fisher

    The improvements Apple has been making to Mac OS X are intended to make the Mac a better Mac. They’re not without a few glitches along the way, but they’re mostly working.

  • What are you talking about? Adding Notes, Reminders, iMessage and Notification Center, greater iCloud support, ALL advertised iOS features, is ABSOLUTELY making OS X more like iOS. 

    You contradict your own argument! Yes, users will have a greater familiarity moving from iOS to OS X now because they’re being made MORE SIMILAR.

    Seems like Apple fans are in denial about OS X’s future. These products will combine. Look no further than Apple killing the “Mac” moniker with 10.8 Mountain Lion.

    Oh and you will be using a touchscreen to interact with Apple computers within the decade. Apple’s just biding their time on that one.

    • Sarwin

      Exactly right. It’s evident that this is what Apple is doing.

    • Guest

      Oh please – you are exactly like the tech writers he is talking about. You can’t separate familiarity from usability.

      When Apple put Pages on the iPhone, did you think “Oh look, Apple is making the iPhone more like the desktop.” Of course you didn’t, because that’s not what they did – they brought the ability to do some tasks on the desktop to the iPhone.

      This is the same thing, but the other way around. Bringing the ability to have your notes, calendars, reminders, etc. sync’ed from your mobile device to your desktop in no way makes a desktop OS behave more like a mobile OS. The apps are named the same because they work with the same data.

    • I don’t think it’s a matter of denial — it’s a matter of annoyance, because the argument that OS X is moving to be more like iOS is nearly always given the framing of, as the Angry Drunk put it above, “taking away our pwecious fweedoms.”

      I don’t know if I see the two converging to be truly marketed as one OS any time soon, but I do see a future  where features move from OS X to iOS, not just the other way ’round. Gatekeeper is a terrific model for offering application sideloading on iOS. And despite all the “look, I can replace my laptop with an iPad and it more or less works” articles we see, there are a lot of use cases where that’s, well, suboptimal. iOS has a long road ahead of it, and that road is going to bring it closer–in functionality, not necessarily in form–to OS X.

      And frankly, I remain unconvinced about the touchscreen computers. Swiping your fingers all around a tablet or phone that you’re holding is a fine interaction model, but leaning across your keyboard on anything much bigger than a 11″ Air isn’t. (I don’t find even doing that with an iPad and an external keyboard to be that comfortable.)

      • Don’t forget that iOS owes it’s very existence to “Mac” OS X. It’s easy to fall into the same trap as most of the tech bloggers and forget that the UI isn’t the totality of the OS.

      • I wouldn’t mind adding touchscreen capabilities to my iMac. I can see situations in which that’d be useful, but I would never want it to be the main form of input. It’d be nice, occasionally, to touch the display when it’s intuitive.

    • Bzzzzt, wrong answer. Thanks for playing.

      Apple removed Mac from OS X Lion. Check their web page.

  • I think that by people saying it is looking more like iOS, it is not necessarily a bad thing. They are taking great pieces that are in iOS and moving them to Mac. In that aspect, it is more like iOS than Lion was. Mountain Lion is more similar to iOS than Lion is, plain and simple. It has apps that match, and added similar features. But to me, thats a great thing. Apple is making things easier on their desktops, allowing more people who have iOS devices to have them right out of the box. 

    Apple definitely knows how to keep their UI looking the same, while interacting with it differently. And just because it is looking more like iOS doesn’t mean it is bad or that people are meaning it in a bad sense. 

    But saying that the claims are “just shit” isn’t true either. If you showed two people Lion and Mountain Lion, and asked which one is more like iOS, every single person would pick 10.8. (Not to mention File System changes, app names, Twitter, Action Sheets, GateKeeper and more) I completely believe that Mountain Lion is great and the best version of OS X yet, but I also agree that it will be more similar to iOS than any other version of OS X. 

    • lucascott

      Apple is about making money. And the biggest market to do that is PC switchers that entered the Apple world via the iPhone and iPad. Adding UI elements that they will recognize from their iOS stuff and know how to get around will be a great thing for them. It will encourage them to buy a Mac computer because they will feel like they aren’t having to completely relearn the wheel. And Gatekeeper will help to address the issue of security which is huge for PC users due to the massive amount of viruses etc they buy tons of software a year to try to deal with. 

  • Even if OS X is now more like iOS .. so what?  The Macintosh was made to be “The Computer for the Rest of Us”, it was meant to be easy and fun to use for everyone.

    If you have ever seen an infant — or a senior — use an iOS device, then it is apparent how the are in fact the “Computer for the Rest of Us”.

    More, if you think about the iPad, we should stop thinking in terms of hardware. Computers (including little ones like iPhones) are tools, that should make our lives easier, more productive or just more fun.

    Whereever adding things Apple learned in the iOS environment to OS X helps to reach this goal, I am all for it!

    Great job! 

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself, avbelow. Just look at how GarageBand is scoffed by professional musicians who would rather produce in a tool like Logic, or iMovie to Final Cut. Apple’s modus operandi has always been to make computers more accessible to the masses so they are less intimidating and encourage creativity.

  • supertino

    They are just putting the best shit they can come up with in both the operating systems they own. 

    And who says iOS is dumbed down? It’s more advanced than any other mobile OS! Hello?

    • There will always be the people who feel the need to have a terminal, file manager, task manager, etc. on their smartphones.

      Conversely, I don’t see Apple adding these things to iOS anytime soon, nor removing them from OS X.

      • “There will always be the people who feel the need to have a terminal, file manager, task manager, etc. on their smartphones.”

        Yes, but those people are a vanishingly small minority. And the number of people who want those things on their “real” computers is a small percentage of the general population. But they happen to be the ones writing, reading, and commenting on the tech blogs, so they have a disproportionately loud voice. But when I look at “normal” people (e.g. my sister, mother, sister-in-law, and even some of my co-workers) I see people who couldn’t care less about those things. After trying to explain to my sister-in-law why the folders in Mail were different from the folders in iPhoto were different from the folders in Finder I realized that the best thing that can happen for normal people is to have the file system completely abstracted away. As much as we in the tech world may recoil at the concept, I think this needs to be the future.

        • His Shadow

          Unfortunately, they aren’t a small enough minority too prevent Microsoft from catering to them. Having made great strides with their own Metro UI, Microsoft is still intent on saddling it with Windows legacy bullshit for the screaming twats in blog posts that think navigating a file manager is a necessary component of a “powerful” OS. The entire point of the evolution of the PC is to have your shit just work and be literally at your fingertips, regardless of the new command line commandos mentality. Why would I hunt for a file to invoke an app? Invoke the app and looky, there are the relevant files.

        • It does need to be the future. Those elements have to go. Logically, it’s stupid that we have to think about anything other than the work we’re trying to accomplish at our workstations. The system should manage processes and files automagically without our interaction, and that would allow us to remain more creative and productive when working. 

      • supertino

        Why stop at terminal then? Why not a kernel editor, a memory register editor, a bootloader editor and lower and lower level access? Just because a small subset of users care about nerdy tools doesn’t mean the OS is dumb. Check out the mobile OS comparison chart on wikipedia and see how much more feature-ful iOS is compared to Android and other mobile OSes. The features that matter to real users who are trying to get the most out of their phones.

  • Relentlessfocus

    IMO Mtn Lion isn’t about iOS, its about iCloud. Adding apps that exist on iOS to OSX are about apps that gain power because of SYNCHING through iCloud. The reason that Apple are going onto a yearly upgrade cycle is not because they want to show love for the mac, its because the rate of change that iCloud will have demands yearly OS updates. As Tim Cook said, iCloud is a 10 year project. Obviously Apple have several of those 10 years pretty well mapped out and we can expect some significant developments in that regard necessitating OS X updates.

    • lucascott

      I can agree with that. Many of the things they are doing with Mountain Lion are things some folks said should have been added the moment that iCloud was launched. Especially the whole document syncing. 

      I think that they could release all this stuff at once if they wanted but they aren’t because they don’t want a repeat of the disaster that was the Mobile Me launch. Plus too many new features at once means too much for folks to learn and too many elements to try to debug. A few things every year gives them 12 months to work out any bugs and folks to get used to the changes before new things are added into the works

  • Darwin

    They obviously are trying to make it more like IOS. Same apps, more touch lthough via Trackpad.

  • those things you described are more iOS like.

    apps that separate and simplify tasks is more iOS like apps store your data in the app and not the file system is more iOS like iOS IS about familiarity. Have you seen the ripped paper in the calendar app.

    Mountain Lion is more iOS like because its bringing all these great things in iOS to the Mac

    Is the AppleTV iOS like? Well it run iOS, making it more fluid and integrated than the previous model

  • jjones

    Messages, Notification Center, Game Center, Notes, Reminders, iCloud, Launchpad (iOS desktop), full screen apps, heavy use of touch gestures on the trackpad as well as the mouse (pinch to zoom, swiping, rotating, etc)…both OS’s are beginning to look and feel just like one another.

    One uses a touch screen, the other requires you touch a trackpad, mouse, and keyboard. The only difference is you don’t touch your Mac’s display, and many of the legacy UI elements that are now being modernized.

    Apple’s own copy claims these are “all-new features inspired by the iPad”.

    That said, who gives a f___. No need for anyone to argue. In a sense, everyone is right. Fact is: They both keep getting better. The tighter integration is a win for all users. 

  • platta

    Actually, Mountain Lion is more like iOS. The point you want to make is that Apple’s intent is to create a unified experience for its users, not foist iOS on its desktop users. In this case, carrying out that intent means making some of the features in Mountain Lion a bit more like iOS.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that many bloggers writing about this topic aren’t making a claim any bolder than that.

  • lucascott

    They are most definitely making OS X more like iOS. 

    what they aren’t doing is making it just like iOS. They are adding, not removing, expanding not locking down. Which is what all the tech tweeters are wailing about. That it is just iOS slapped onto a computer. That Apple is going to restrict apps they don’t like etc etc, the sky is falling. 

    One of my friends freaked out that it’s going to be Contacts and Calendar not Address book and iCal. Seriously, who cares what it’s called. 

  • guest

    “I’ll tell you what it’s not — it’s not about making the Mac OS more like iOS.”

    “That means that millions of iOS users can open their Mountain Lion computers and have a higher level of familiarity with the apps on their Mac.”


    “If Apple were trying to make Mountain Lion more like iOS we would be touching the screen of our computers to interact with out apps instead of using the keyboard and mouse.”

    You’re an idiot and really need to have your stuff edited before you post.

  • David C.

    Which is why they added the touchpad for desktops and MacBooks. They look to integrate touch, which is rather hard to do for a desktop – let alone the laptop. Thus, the iPad was born. In an attempt to make the desktop and laptop operating environment obsolete and integrate more touch sensitive technology into the full scale desktop. Bold, very bold, I must say. And they almost did it too if not for…the thousands (I’m sure millions) of pc users.

    But dont get me wrong, in ways I think this is a step forward – cross platform integration is great thing. And I think apple should have done this in the beginning. But in a way, it’s retarded. They made iOS small, and the desktop Mac BIG. Now they are trying to make it all… Connect – hence iCloud.

    • David C.

      Yes, they are. But in a good way. Which would be not restructuring the entire operating system – just adding a few cross platform apps.

      No biggey (^w^)