Apple's OSX Mountain Lion Update is BIG
1. More iPad features...in your Mac
Apple is doing a great job of including features across it's product assortment and iCloud is really the gatekeeper for allowing this to happen. In OSX Lion, Apple added a feature called "Launch Pad" which effectively organized and displayed your applications on your Mac just like the home screen in the iPad. On top of that, the iCloud integration between the Mac and iPad allowed for seamless integration between common applications like iCal, Address Book and Mail. With the announcement of OSX Mountain Lion, Apple is continuing that trend and adding more iPad features to the Mac:
- Reminders - has been added to the Mac to help users maintain their To Do lists, and will sync across devices using iCloud to keep everything up to date.
- Notification Center - has been customized for the Mac and will provide users direct access to their notifications (emails, reminders etc) in every application via an unobtrusive panel on the right pane of the desktop.
- iMessage - has also been added to the Mac and allows users to begin an iMessage conversation on an iOS device and continue that conversation on the Mac. At this point it really is an enhanced version of email, or iChat across multiple platforms.
- Notes - will be enhanced for the Mac, Apple has added the ability to add HD video, images and rich text and the ability to pin notes to the desktop.
- Sharing - applications within the Mac will now have the "Share" button allowing for more direct access to post to Twitter, Facebook, email, iMessage etc.
- Game Center - now Apple's network of iOS gamers can meet on the Mac as well, I expect this will fuel the fire for more games being developed and posted on the Mac App Store.
For any business or marketing students out there, Apple is a company that executes the "Halo Effect" very well. The Halo Effect is where a company leverages the benefits of one product to benefit other products. This strategy has been critical to allowing Apple to convert PC users to Apple users by allowing them to "experiment" with Apple with lower cost devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad), build that trust and then upgrade them to the next device by using that product association.
Think how many iPhone users bought an iPad because of the seamless integration between the two, and now how many users will prefer a Mac over a PC because it works so well with their peripheral devices...it is a truly brilliant strategy and has added a real benefit to their products.
2. Apple TV Mirroring...from your Mac
Apple TV mirroring is currently available for the iPad and allows Apple TV owners to send whatever is on their iPad to their TV using WiFi. This feature is great because any Photos on the iPad can easily be shared with everyone on the room simply by projecting the iPad on the TV and swiping through photos. This also works well for people playing games on their iOS devices and projecting those games on the TV, at which point the device becomes more like a traditional video game controler...think Nintendo Wii.
3. What does this tell us about where Apple is headed?
The ability to mirror the Mac screen on Apple TV shows that Apple TV has moved from "side project" status to a priority and one innovation that that will help Apple devices become further connected.
We are rapidly seeing the iPod line become out dated. It may have sounded absurd a year ago but I think the entire iPod line having WiFi would make a lot of sense, they would be able to update via WiFi like iOS devices and be able to update to iCloud. A lot of people are wearing the 6G iPod Nano as a watch, imagine being able to update a watch calendar automatically via WiFi or allowing people to send music on their watch to the Apple TV and play tunes using AirPlay....it presents some really interesting product enhancements.