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Apple's Lion: A marriage of iOS and OS X

Is bringing iPad features into Macs a good thing?

Apple recently announced at its Back to Mac event that it's releasing a new version of Mac OS X, known as Lion, (which leaves very few big cats left for future releases).

There has been speculation for months that Apple might begin bundling iOS features into the Mac; some even suggested that Apple would replace Mac OS X with iOS. While the latter certainly didn't happen, we learned that Lion will incorporate some key iOS functionality, for better or worse.

Let's take a look at the major themes and announcements first, then dig into what Lion may mean for Mac users going forward. Finally, we'll close with some thoughts on iLife '11, which also unveiled by Apple.

The Mac is still important to Apple

With all the recent focus on the iPad, iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch and Apple TV, the Mac has started to seem like Apple's stepchild. However, Apple COO Tim Cook made it very clear that the Mac is still a key part of Apple's business, having accounted for a third of Apple's revenue in the company's recently closed fiscal year. There are nearly 50 million Mac users worldwide, he said, and Mac sales are three times as large as they were just five years ago - largely owing to Apple's retail stores.

Cook also highlighted that there are currently 600,000 registered Mac developers and that the company is adding an average of 30,000 developers each month. I can't help but think that this incredible upswing in registered developers is related to Apple's decision to reduce the individual membership in its Mac developer programme.

Clearly, despite the success of iOS and Apple's business as a music, movie/TV, and e-book reseller, the company still sees the Mac as a core part of its business.

NEXT PAGE: FaceTime

  1. Macs get iPad features
  2. FaceTime
  3. Enter the Lion
  4. The Mac App Store
  5. Auto-save and auto-resume
  6. Launchpad and app home screens
  7. Mission Control
  8. iLife '11: Evolutionary, not revolutionary
  9. Conclusions


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