At the core, I’m an Apple user. I have an iPhone, an iPad, an iPod Touch and more than one Mac kicking around the house. Even with all these Apple devices, I can’t resist the allure of Android. With its widgets and turn-by-turn navigation, I often grab my Galaxy Nexus over my iPhone 4S when I leave the house. This propensity to pick up an Android device is going to change, now that I have Mountain Lion on my Mac.
On Wednesday, Apple released Mountain Lion and as an iOS user, I have to say it’s an impressive upgrade from a mobile standpoint. One of the first things I noticed after installing the OS and logging in with my Apple ID was the seamless syncing of content between my iPhone and my desktop. The OS X Notes app was filled with the notes that I created on my iPhone, and my reminders had been pulled over without any interaction on my part.
Not only was the syncing done automatically, it was also amazingly fast. I added a few reminders on my iPhone and when I turned to open the Reminders app on my MacBook Pro, the new entries were already there. Until you experience it, I don’t think many people realize how helpful it is to have their tasks, notes and other important information sync between their phone and desktop with minimal effort. Lion gave us a hint of this seamless syncing with its early implementation of iCloud, but Mountain Lion really builds upon this start and improves on it by adding Messages, Reminders and more.
Admittedly, Google has an excellent cloud system with its online Google apps and Android mobile operating system, but it can’t compete with Apple’s current OS X and its integration with iOS. Unlike Apple, Google doesn’t have a strong desktop platform. Its Chrome OS hasn’t caught on, and most Google users access their content via a web interface. The web app is convenient, but it’s not as powerful as a built-in app, which is easy to use and can interact with other core OS functions in a way that a web app (or third-party app) can’t.
I’m not saying iCloud is the perfect solution. I encountered intermittent glitches when documents didn’t sync on different devices, but at this point, iCloud is better than the solutions being offered by Google’s Android or even Microsoft’s Windows Phone. With Mountain Lion, iOS and iCloud, Apple’s platform is good enough that it makes me look at my Nexus 7 and wish it were a mini iPad instead.
That being said, this technology is still early in its evolution and companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft know that ubiquitous access to your information is the future. It’s only going to get better from here and I can’t wait to see what each of these companies do next in the next few years with both their mobile and, if applicable, desktop solutions.