Preview of upcoming version of Mac OS is clue to future of IOS

In a remarkable switch from the past, Apple has lifted a veil of secrecy and has given technology journalists a preview of the next operating system for the Macintosh even before making it available to developers. The tech news today is buzzing about this new version. And for good reason: it continues to make the Mac more like an iPhone or iPad, and increasingly integrates iCloud. What this tells me is that Apple is committed to simplicity, to making computers easier to use. Even as Microsoft is preparing a version of the Windows operating system that will also work on tablets, making them more like a PC, Apple is going in the opposite direction, making their desktop computers work more like iOS devices. As usual, Apple is thinking different.

You can read more about the forthcoming Mac operating system, expected in the summer and named Mountain Lion, in David Pogue's column on the New York Times website and on CNET. And in an interview in the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the increasing convergence of the Mac operating system and iOS. He even said that Apple thinks about them as one operating system, but with "incremental functionality." That means that increasingly they look at work the same but that the desktop version has more functionality. And he indicated that the two could converge even further.

All of this by way of saying that this suggests that you can expect Apple to continue to make your iPhone and iPad easier to use, and that iOS will likely always distinguish itself from Windows and Android devices. Expect greater simplicity and increasing but unobtrusive integration with iCloud.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Recently I asked myself whether I might get a MacBook Air instead of the new iPad 3 expected in March. But I immediately chucked the idea. When I'm away from my computer, I want iPad simplicity.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.