With Apple selling more iPads last year alone than it has Macs since the company was formed, and iPhone sales dwarfing iPad sales, these iOS devices have become the heart of Apple’s business.
Two-thirds of the major updates in the OS X Mountain Lion upgrade (expected by the end of July) either allow your Mac to share information with an iOS device or make it behave more like one. Here are the main updates.
By more tightly integrating iCloud with OS X, Mountain Lion makes it easier not only to share information between devices, but to seamlessly move between them. iCloud will sync mail, calendars, contacts, reminders, notes and documents between all of your Apple devices. You can start a journal entry or blog post, for example, on your phone, expand on it with your iPad and finish it on your Mac.
2. Reminders & Notes
Two apps familiar to iOS users — Reminders and Notes — will be available on the Mac, with iCloud keeping them synchronized. Use Reminders on your Mac to create a list of to-do items, for example, and check them off with your iPhone when doing errands. Type up an idea using Notes on your iPad and it will be waiting in Notes on your Mac.
If you're already using Messages on your iPhone or iPad to communicate with other iOS users, you'll be able to do the same with Macs. You can even start a conversation on one device and finish it on another.
4. Notification Center
This feature, which consolidates alerts from your email, calendar and apps like Facebook or Skype on iOS devices, now works on Macs as well. Just like with iOS devices, a swipe will open the Notification Center to show a list of alerts.
5. Power Nap
Your phone and tablet rarely get turned off. They just go to sleep, processing data in the background so they’re always up to date. Power Nap allows Macs to do the same, expanding the Sleep feature to provide periodic data updates from iCloud.
Voice input can be easier than typing on mobile devices without a full-size keyboard. Once you're used to talking to your phone and tablet, you may want to talk to your computer as well. Though not the equivalent of Siri, Dictation allows your Mac to convert your speech to text.
Using Apple TV, you can currently beam your iOS device's screen and audio to your television. Macs will have the same ability, so people don’t have to crowd around a MacBook laptop to watch Internet video.
8. Game Center
Another iOS app coming over is Game Center. Not only can you enjoy the same games you already play on your mobile devices, you can also compete against players on Macs, iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches through a network connection. [ Next-Gen Macs a Big Step for Games ]
iOS devices can download apps only from the protected confines of the App Store, keeping you safer from malicious software. Gatekeeper in Mountain Lion likewise confines downloads to the App Store, though you can disable it to install other programs.
Safari in Mountain Lion will take advantage of iCloud as well. The iCloud Tabs feature syncs any Web pages you have open in Safari on your Mac with Safari on your iOS devices, allowing you to switch devices in the middle of reading a Web page.
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