Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Apple Moves to Link Mac to Mobile Devices ; New System Speeds Up Merger of Computers with iPad and iPhone

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Apple Moves to Link Mac to Mobile Devices ; New System Speeds Up Merger of Computers with iPad and iPhone

Article excerpt

Apple's new Mac operating system introduces several features that move the software closer to the software used on its mobile devices.

With the next version of Apple's OS X operating system for its Mac computers, the company has one clear message: If you are going to buy one Apple product, you might as well keep buying more.

Apple released a preview of the software, called Mountain Lion, this past week. It introduces several features that move it closer to iOS, the software on iPhones and iPads. While Apple is the biggest smartphone maker in the world, its share of the personal computer market is still small, so tying the two together could help it sell more computers.

Mountain Lion includes some apps and features that had been exclusive to Apple's mobile devices: Messages, Notes, Reminders and Notification Center.

And it has a strong focus on iCloud, Apple's online service for storing and synchronizing data between mobile devices and Macs.

When users first start up Mountain Lion, they are asked to enter their iCloud credentials. This way, content like notes, messages and event reminders can be shared easily between multiple Apple devices. For example, if a user jots something down in the Notes app on an iPhone or iPad, that same note will appear in the Notes app in Mountain Lion on a Mac.

ICloud is one of several so-called cloud services available. Amazon, Dropbox and Microsoft have similar offerings.

Though the cloud services vary, they generally focus on storing music, video, photo or other files on servers as opposed to on a hard drive inside the computer, so multiple devices can access the data over the Internet.

Apple is thinking about "a world where the personal cloud is rapidly displacing the personal computer as the center of the consumer's digital life," said Michael Gartenberg, an industry analyst with Gartner.

With Mountain Lion, Apple is calling the overall operating system OS X, instead of Mac OS X. …

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