Christmas comes but once a year, although for Apple, they like to keep pulling out surprises to keep everyone on their toes.
Apple has officially given a sneak peak of what the future of desktop computing brings with Mountain Lion, and what it looks like is an overprice iPad with a keyboard.
Just like Snow Leopard was to Leopard, Apple has used the additional of a sub species to indicate that this is not an all new operating system but just an newer, shinier version of Lion, with bugs fixed, a few new features and another purchase to be had via the App Store.
Will I be buying it? You can bet your ass I will, although only because of one or two features, most look like the dumbing down of the desktop, let me explain.
This is a feature that I have long hoped for since purchasing an Apple TV and is my main selling point for Mountain Lion. Apple TV has long been the underrated product of Apple which they think is just a hobby (most likely trying to calm speculation ahead of a fully featured Apple Television) – for another about the AppleTV, check out my article about it and my Jailbreaking experience.
What AirPlay allows is for the desktop to be mirrored on your TV, so if you watch films or play a game you can also see it on your big TV via the Apple TV. What I am interested in knowing is whether streaming will be capped at AppleTV’s native 720p resolution or whether Apple has some trickery to come (or possibly a new version of the AppleTV utilising the iPad3 or iPhone 4S processor).
So what is why I want Mountain Lion (short list of reasons right?) so now here is what I am afraid of…
Look the other way, an old Apple is coming.
If you bought your Apple laptop between 2006-2008 you are most likely out of luck if it came with integrated graphics. White Polycarbonite MacBooks I am looking squarely at you! Regretably Apple believes they are not shiny (read powerful) enough to power Mountain Lion and so are dropping them. See MacRumors for more info. My white Macbook falls squarely in the computers affected:
- Any Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook from late 2007 – late 2008 (Model Numbers: MB061*/B, MB062*/B, MB063*/B, MB402*/A MB403*/A MB404*/A, MB402*/B)
- The Mid-2007 Mac mini (Model Numbers: MB138*/A, MB139*/A)
- Late 2006 polycarbonate iMac (Model Number: MA710xx/A)
- The original early 2008 MacBook Air (Model Number: MB003LL/A)
Goodbye Mac, hello unified iOS
Have a look at the ‘About this Mac’ dialog… I’m noticing something different.
Seems to me Apple are giving up on the Mac legacy, I am guessing they want just the two brands: OS X and iOS, but I like my Mac, and I don’t want it to get any closer; even just in spelling, to iOS.
All your software shall be bought from us!
Since the introduction of the App Store, Apple has tried to increase it’s market share and such in turn, it’s own profits; seeing as Apple take 30% of the revenue. Originally Apple wanted Lion to be a App Store exclusive but in the end you can also download it (if you are a developer) or buy it on a USB key. Apple finally will only offer Mountain Lion as an App Store purchase which isn’t too much of a change but saves them cash and makes it harder for people on older machines to upgrade.
When installing software from the Web, OS X has long since popped up a prompt warning of the horrors which may lie within but they have taken things a bit too far with Mountain Lion. By default apps downloaded or purchased outside the App Store, without having Apples glaring eyes all over it will not run and will be blocked by the system. This thankfully can be turned off, but for the average user may mean the end of going to the local computer store or download site for software. Software is dead, long live the App Store.
Why buy a Mac when you can buy an iPad?
I believe this will be the key problem with Mountain Lion, by introducing more and more iPad and iOS functionality, such as Reminders, Notes, Messages etc. the Mac is becoming just a big iPad with a keyboard, and with the intro of the iPad 3 possibly coming as soon as March 7th with a 2X resolution screen, one has to wonder why should I buy a £2000 Mac when I can buy £499 iPad 3?