The day after Apple (inexplicably) disappointed some financial analysts, it will hearten its consumers with a robust and cheap upgrade to the operating system -- moving us from Lion to Mountain Lion.
For a mere $20 users will pick up a more elegant bridge between mobile, laptop and desktop experiences, with a firm eye on the future of mobile production and computing.
The decline in price point is significant for John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Adoption of the new slickness that each upgrade has is significantly faster than, say, Windows 7. Snagging Mountain Lion out of the App Store, rather than standing in a store, helps upgrade rates, too.
U.S. & World
The most-used iOS features are featured in Mountain Lion, according to an in-depth review from The Next Web. There are more than 350 million iOS devices in the world, with millions more sold each quarter. Apple's focus will remain on those devices, and software to support them.
Features like Reminders, Notes, Messages and Notification Center are in Mountain Lion -- squaring the circle for users who favor mobile or tethered devices.
The syncing with iCloud services -- critical to mobile computing -- is more deeply integrated than ever, TNW reports.
This is why OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is a sort of hybrid release. Many core features like Mail and the Finder got major updates last year, and they only get polishing this year. But many features introduced in iOS 5, like the iCloud-syncing Notes app and the location-aware Reminders app, make new appearances on OS X.
It seems that, given Apple's ecosystem philosophy, OS X and iOS will move closer and closer together until there's no daylight between them. Or as little as possible.