Gruber’s hands on with Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion

“‘We’re starting to do some things differently,’ Phil Schiller said to me,” John Gruber reports for Daring Fireball. “We were sitting in a comfortable hotel suite in Manhattan just over a week ago. I’d been summoned a few days earlier by Apple PR with the offer of a private ‘product briefing.’ I had no idea heading into the meeting what it was about. I had no idea how it would be conducted. This was new territory for me, and I think, for Apple.”

“I knew it wasn’t about the iPad 3 — that would get a full-force press event in California. Perhaps new retina display MacBooks, I thought. But that was just a wild guess, and it was wrong,” Gruber reports. “It was about Mac OS X — or, as Apple now calls it almost everywhere, OS X. The meeting was structured and conducted very much like an Apple product announcement event. But instead of an auditorium with a stage and theater seating, it was simply with a couch, a chair, an iMac, and an Apple TV hooked up to a Sony HDTV. And instead of a room full of writers, journalists, and analysts, it was just me, Schiller, and two others from Apple — Brian Croll from product marketing and Bill Evans from PR.”

Gruber reports, “Mac OS X — sorry, OS X — is going on an iOS-esque one-major-update-per-year development schedule. This year’s update is scheduled for release in the summer, and is ready now for a developer preview release. Its name is Mountain Lion… What do I think so far, Schiller asks. It all seems rather obvious now that I’ve seen it — and I mean obvious in a good way. I remain convinced that iCloud is exactly what Steve Jobs said it was: the cornerstone of everything Apple does for the next decade.”

Tons more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JayinDC” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
My experience with Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview – February 16, 2012
Apple’s Phil Schiller talks rapid speed of OS X Mountain Lion release; mere 7 months after Lion – February 16, 2012
Hands on with Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion – February 16, 2012
Apple releases OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview; public release coming in late summer 2012 – February 16, 2012


    1. I disagree. The most useful features of MobileMe were always sync and push mail. Backup, iDisk, and Photos were all available for free through other services. While they may not have been integrated, they often had features that MobileMe did not. The only MobileMe feature that I haven’t found a suitable replacement for was web hosting. But, for $100 a year, you might as well just get a web host. Dreamhost is $120 a year and has one-click installs of all sorts of things: WordPress, online photo libraries, email through Google Apps, WebDAV, etc.

      MobileMe could never have been free and kept the same features. iCloud, however, is perfect as a blunt hammer breaking down the barrier between desktops and the cloud.

      1. You may disagree with me, but thousands of MobileMe users disagree with you. MobileMe’s photo hosting was far better than anything else out there, and filesharing via iDisk was more convenient for sharing large files than anything I’ve found (short of yet another paid subscription to go with a new paid subscription for photo hosting). If you’re happy without MobileMe, you’re a lucky person. iCloud is a “blunt hammer” alright, but I wouldn’t call that a compliment! 😀

        1. I am 100% sure that iDisk will come back. iDisk feature is very bandwidth intensive and they are probably holding off on this one untill they roll out iCloud and build more infastructure.

          1. I’m on the fence.

            While I really liked iDisk and the Gallery, I think that the new iCloud features of documents in the cloud may be able to take its place – see the way it lets you create folders.

            I will miss the Gallery for photo sharing the most – Photo Stream isn’t it, and it includes photos by default I’d rather not be there is I share that stream – like receipts I may photograph to upload to Evernote. I don’t need those receipts displayed in two places.

            Besides, like omalansky said, the Gallery was the nicest place to share photos – it looked a hundred times better than any other sharing site on the web!

            I’d give Apple five bucks a month to keep just that!

            1. iCloud currently only stores a handful of filetypes in the cloud. More will be added as developers make their Mac apps iCloud-compatible; but iCloud also currently offers users absolutely no control over the data they choose to store in the cloud. PhotoStream is a perfect example: No deleting, no editing, no displaying in galleries. No nothing, just every shot on every device for 30 days, then “Poof!”

              Your point about not wanting to upload photos of sales receipts (or other paper documents) to iCloud is very well taken. Not only do most people not want to sync these kinds of images to all their devices, but they don’t want them stored in the cloud at all. There is no question that information stored on the internet is more vulnerable to unauthorized access than information that lives only on your own home computer.

          2. I wouldn’t mind seeing iDisk return in name only. But with a new implementation that is more akin to Dropbox than traditional iDisk. Uploading a file to iDisk often caused the Finder to behave erratically and resulted in failure to upload often. iDisk syncing was a much better way of doing things, except when it found itself “out of sync” and couldn’t properly repair itself without removing and re-downloading (or re-uploading, as the case may have been) every file in the iDisk. Dropbox has found the perfect implementation of syncing for the current desktop/cloud paradigm and iDisk will never be able to compete in its former implementation.

            1. iDisk worked much better when accessed via the MobileMe website than from the user’s desktop. I used to routinely upload 2GB files to iDisk without a hitch. The uploads did take awhile, but the same is true for uploading any big file to any website.

            2. That would make sense. Web browser uploading has consistently improved over the years, while OS uploading has not.

              However, I still feel that the preferred method is background uploading a la Dropbox, due to the fact that it can be interrupted and resumed without issue and doesn’t require any large footprint app to be open to complete.

              I’ll be interested to see where Apple goes with iCloud from here.

        2. I didn’t realize there were thousands of MobileMe subscribers left. :-p

          I know that my feelings on the matter are different from others, since my workflow will never be the same as yours or his or hers, etc. But, as a former “retail” employee that used MobileMe every day, I found that the cost of MobileMe was no longer affordable a two years before its death. I managed to keep an email only account for some time so that I could continue to get reliable push mail to my iPhone, but that was it.

          Dropbox is a much better file sharing solution than iDisk for a number of reasons, the most important of which is its free 2GB plan.

          I do agree that MobileMe’s photo hosting was far superior to every other option, and would love to see it return as a paid feature, somewhat akin to iTunes Match, but with both Public and Private galleries.

          So, I’ll give you that one. But I could never in my life recommend iDisk to anyone. It was slow, unreliable, and a poorly implemented solution for file sharing from the beginning. WebDAV is a useful technology in theory, but in practice its negatives far outweigh its positives.

          As always, YMMV. 😀

      2. MobileMe rocked!

        MobileMe was a very effective tool for me and I’m still using MobileMe until it ends and like many others, hope iCloud will restore some of these key MobileMe features.

      3. … be (mostly) true, but my sentiments are with omalansky. I lost a lot of “one-stop” functionality when MobileMe got “updated”. Yes … it is true. I could find other methods. Some even “free”.
        I was willing to pay for the services. Why cannot Apple provide a “free” service – like now – and a value-added service – like then? A lot of us are simply Not Happy with the way the “savings” were instituted.

  1. I agree with Gruber…I think it is VERY interesting that Siri is not a part of Mountain Lion. I suspect that they are holding that card back to be played later. Siri is too big not to integrate into future versions of OS X.

    1. I bet it’s cause it’ll be a hardware specific addition, just like it was for the iPhone 4S. Apparently they use 3rd party silicon to filter/process the audio. When the new MacBooks and such a released alongside Mountain Lion this summer, they’ll introduce it then.

  2. iDisk was the most important feature of MobileMe for me. Why is Apple replacing it with the functionally retarded iCloud? iDisk behaved like a normal HFS hard drive, in that one could store any file type on it, and have it sync between computers. iCloud is a proprietary closed system with very limited app support. This is a serious downgrade.

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