Apple is making a fascinating change to its' Mac OS X, turning it to be more like iOS: simple, friendly, convenient, practical. I recently joined the Mac ecosystem and got very disappointed. Looking at the changes made by Apple I believe Mac OS X is definitely getting an important facelift in small dozes.
Revolution? While it may not look like one – I think it is.
I was never a Mac kind of guy.
For years, while developing software, whenever someone would tell me: "this is how it's done in Mac" it somehow managed to annoy me. After all, who cares about Mac? Things need to be done the "Windows" way, right? That's what people know. That's what they are looking to see.
It took me 4 years of admiration for the iPhone (and iPad) to get a MacBook. It was a combination of the need to learn more about this environment, along with my frustration with Microsoft and Windows, but it was mostly my extreme satisfaction with iOS.
So I got myself a Mac.
To be honest? I'm not impressed.
In fact, I can definitely understand how Apple managed to sell more iOS devices in 1 year than Mac devices in 28 years(!!!). (Hint: it's not just because iOS is a good product…)
So what's the deal with this Mac? Nothing, actually… and that's the problem.
No special "charm" like in the new iOS products. Nothing unique you can claim in favor of Apple. In fact, it even feels a bit old (the fonts, the menus, the buttons size). I admit I might need more time to get used to it (which I intend to do) but as of now, it seems like when it comes to PC – I'm still a "Windows"…
This is why the recent developments Apple is doing with Mac OS X are so interesting.
You see, Apple has a goldmine in hands. It's not OS X. It's iOS. People admire this OS. It's successful, all the competitors are copying the designs and concepts it brings (did you see Android's latest folders feature BTW? It's exactly the same like in iOS…) – iOS is the way to go for Apple. I runs on phones, music players, tablets, and now Apple wants to bring it to PC too.
To make Mac and OS X more dominant in the PC market, Apple slowly turns it into iOS. It's a real revolution, but it is done in small dozes.
If you look at the email app, you see it's nothing like a desktop application. It's almost identical to the one that is running on the iPad (plus some additional capabilities).
Finger gestures are also included. Another step in the direction of iOS. Those things already exist. But Apple is doing much more:
Couple of days ago, Apple revealed some new features that will come in the next release of Mac OS X (called: "Mountain Lion"):
- Notification Center
- Twitter Integration
- Game Center
All of the items in the list are taken from iOS. Most of them look the same on the Mac! Here's one example: the notes app – identical to what you have in the iPad.
More images and details about the next version of OS X in here.
So this is not a small change. It's a revolution. Apple is turning OS X into an improved, multi-tasked version of iOS. If people will like this approach like they love iPhones and iPads, we are going to see some blood very soon. Microsoft is already bleeding hard in the mobile world, and no one can guarantee Windows is protected…
Apple's move makes sense when analyzing at the company biggest risk:
Reading Ed Bott's article at ZDNet shows that while Microsoft is pretty balanced in its' revenue sources, Google and Apple are definitely not.
Google revenues all come from one source: advertising. If something goes wrong there, the company is doomed.
Apple is now too dependent on one product, with over 50% of the revenues coming from iPhone. that's a risk. Especially with the tough competition it has with Android smartphones.
With that in mind, Apple is looking for ways to reduce the risk: it can be done by making Mac more successful. Making it more successful is doable by making it more… iOS-like…
So there you have it. A summary of my thoughts of the Mac, and where Apple is taking it.
Apple may call it a Lion, but as of now it seems like the true Lion is iOS.
OS X was not the kind of product I hoped for. Not as innovative as the first/second iPhones. Far from being "young" and "refreshing" like I thought it would be, but who knows, it's just the beginning, I might regret I said that, eventually.
Looking ahead, it seems like Apple is pushing hard to revolutionize Mac OS X and make it more "iPhonish". Some will call it the evolution of PC. Others will call it "squeezing" the hell out of iOS, or just doing the obvious; making a safe bet. I think it's all of the above, but after getting all disappointed with OS X and the MacBook, I believe this is a good direction Apple is taking.