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Apple Mountain Lion Video Shows Off Mac and iOS Convergence

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At WWDC Apple gave us a better look at some of the new features in Mountain Lion. A new video demonstrates most of the new features discussed in the keynote, and explains how Mountain Lion will make the Mac work nicer with iOS.

Mountain Lion continues the trend that Lion started of bringing iOS features to the desktop, but this time Apple has more than fullscreen apps and Launchpad to show off. The next version of OS X includes a few apps from iOS like Notes and Reminders that will sync between the desktop and mobile platforms.

Launching Mountain Lion for the first time prompts the user to sign into iCloud. By attaching an iCloud account to the Mac users can sync Notes and Reminders from their iPhone or iPad to the Mac. Documents will also sync between copies of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote across the two platforms.

iCloud also lets user sync tabs across multiple devices in Safari. Unlike Chrome, which simply opens the same tabs across devices, Safari uses a menu to view what tabs are open on each device. Users simply click or tap the icon next to the URL bar and select the tab they want to open.

Users with iCloud accounts can also take advantage of the new Messages app. With it users can send and receive iMessages from multiple devices. Users will no longer have to check their phone for messages, assuming their friends all have iPhones. We just hope it works better than the Messages beta that’s broken at best.

The new Game Center for Mountain Lion brings cross-platform gaming to the Mac. It lets Mac users play head-to-head with iOS gamers or other Mac gamers. It means users will need to buy the same games on both iOS and the Mac, but users might not have a problem with that for their favorite games.

Other features like Notification Center, Dictation, and AirPlay Mirroring also come from iOS, but they don’t help the two platforms talk to each other. They are still welcome additions.

We like this idea of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad being different ways of interacting with the same or similar content. There are apps like Evernote and Dropbox which also sync information and data, but nothing on a system level like this. Those services still have use as they are more powerful than Apple’s services. The simple data syncing between platforms with Mountain Lion and iOS is a huge improvement, however.

We hope Microsoft has similar plans for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Google already has some semblance of this plan, but it relies on the web browser instead of a desktop OS.

Shawn is a tech junkie who spends most of his time reading and writing about it. You can follow him on Twitter, @shawn_i.

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