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Mountain lion - 5 Things Windows 8 Can Learn

Kamis, 26 Juli 20120 komentar

Apple's OS X Mountain Lion will launch Wednesday, so it's a good time for Windows users to peer across the border at what features in Mountain Lion might prove useful.

Note that Windows 8 is a complete overhaul, while Mountain Lion is more of a refinement. Yet the Apple update adds lots of new features that would fit in nicely on Microsoft's OS. In hopes of keeping alive the tradition of stolen OS features, here are five aspects of OS X Mountain Lion that we'd like to see in future versions of Windows.
Notification Center

[Click to enlarge] Notification Center in OS X Moutain LionNotification Center in OS X Moutain LionWindows 8 will have pop-up notifications that slide onto the top-right corner of the screen, which are useful for noticing new messages, calendar appointments, or other important updates.

But Windows 8's notification system is still missing a list view for all the updates you might have missed, similar to Notification Center in Mountain Lion. This would be especially helpful if you didn't want pop-ups to interrupt your work, but still want to glance at a list view of notifications periodically.
AirPlay Mirroring

Microsoft knows that PC-to-TV connectivity is going to be huge, which is why the company will release a SmartGlass app that lets tablets send content to Microsoft's Xbox 360. Still, we know very little about how this app will work.

Meanwhile, OS X Mountain Lion will allow full AirPlay mirroring to Apple TV boxes. It'd be nice to have similar mirroring capabilities between Windows 8 PCs and the Xbox.
Text Messaging

Although Mountain Lion users won't be able to send and receive all their text messages on the Mac, they will have access to all iMessages, which come from other iOS and Mac users.

Microsoft could offer even deeper message syncing between Windows Phones and PCs, so users wouldn't have to answer messages on a tiny screen when they're at a full-sized computer.
Synced Notes and Reminders

The Windows Store will likely offer several third-party notes and reminders apps that can sync data across devices.

With Mountain Lion, these features are built in, so your notes and reminders are automatically available on any Apple device. Sure, Microsoft has a more advanced note-taking product in OneNote, but a more simple--and free--solution as part of Windows 8 would be helpful.
Easier Voice Dictation

In Windows 8, voice dictation is available as an accessibility feature, and as such, it's buried behind several menus and not intended for general use.

voice dictationMountain Lion makes voice dictation easy to use from any application--you just press the Function key twice, and start talking.

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With OS X Mountain Lion Loose, Will iCloud Roar?

Apple released its Mountain Lion OS into the general public on Wednesday, and as posted here at Cloudline when it was first outlined, one big deal is how it integrates Apple’s cloud service, iCloud. But there’s a problem: Developers seem to be cold on Apple’s cloud.

Google too has gone big on the cloud, and its cloud PCs — Chromebooks and Chromeboxes — are more appealing than ever, as well as going big on Google Play to get a foothold in the living room. But despite Gartner’s view that the personal cloud will replace the PC by 2014, Apple, and Microsoft moreso, are desktop giants today with leverage to spare, so going big on the cloud in their desktop operating systems moves the needle.

Apple got out front of Microsoft in releasing OS X Mountain Lion (now with iCloud) this week. But Microsoft will not let that go unchecked for long, with the king of the desktop expected to roll out a cloud-savvy version of its OS with Windows 8 on Oct. 26.

However, the cloud is everywhere these days, and that is why Cloudline noted a post at Macworld on Tuesday highlighting how developers were not all happy with iCloud in the age of Dropbox and Google Docs.

Michael deAgonia writes at Computerworld that Mountain Lion’s iOS-ization helps “unify your digital world.” But what if developers turn on iCloud? After all, developers made iPhone what it is today.

Macworld’s Lex Friedman writes:

    With services like Dropbox, Google Docs, and even IMAP email, users today expect their data to remain up-to-date and available on every device. iOS users want conflict-free access to their data — whether it’s documents, in-game progress, or other details — on their iPads, iPhones, and Macs. Apple aims to satisfy that user need with iCloud. But there’s a problem: Developers seem cold to Apple’s cloud.

    With iCloud, Apple promises developers that they can keep their users’ data in sync. But while a steadily increasing number of developers are implementing iCloud support within their apps, its adoption rate still seems surprisingly low overall.

    Are developers hesitant to embrace iCloud? And if so, why?

Here’s some of their beefs, per the Macworld article:

    Objections to iCloud

    API issues: The API challenges are the most commonly shared concern. Comi says, one problem is that “the iCloud API is too low level,” meaning that “it takes a lot of code to accomplish basic tasks.” For example, the iCloud API doesn’t offer a single function for putting a file into iCloud, or removing one. The iCloud documentation Apple provides developers includes sample functions that encapsulate all the necessary code for handling such common actions, and Comi says that many developers just copy and paste them, but he adds: “These functions should exist as part of the API … [T]he iCloud API needs to be more abstracted.” …

    Reliability: Even once developers wrangle the iCloud APIs well enough to do their apps’ bidding, significant problems remain. Developers consistently report that iCloud works anything but, well, consistently.

    Here’s Comi again: “I regularly receive support emails about iCloud not syncing between devices.” He advises customers whose iCloud syncing gets “stuck” to delete the app’s Documents & Data from the Settings -> General -> Usage screen. “Having to do this dance doesn’t inspire confidence,” Comi told Macworld, adding, “I don’t know why it happens or why this fix works.” …

    Limited scope: Assuming developers get the iCloud APIs working, and assuming that the APIs perform as expected — and let’s be clear, neither of those is a safe assumption today — developers still can remain wary about the service because of what it doesn’t do.

    Pierce, from Agile Tortoise, said that “some of the inherent limitations of the iCloud platform make it a questionable choice for certain applications,” highlighting specifics like apps that want data you “store from other apps, or on other platforms.” iCloud apps can access only their own data; sharing that data across different apps from other developers isn’t supported.

    And Siegel from Bare Bones said that his company concluded that “for BBEdit and TextWrangler, we don’t really think that iCloud’s document ubiquity model is a good fit with the highly technical nature of the products at this point.” Siegel said that his company’s customers “typically prefer a revision control system,” which keeps track of separate versions of files — something iCloud doesn’t offer.

    And integrating iCloud in Mac apps comes with another serious limitation, too, Siegel points out: “Products that use iCloud may only be distributed in the Mac App Store.” Some developers, like Panic, offer iCloud sync in the Mac App Store versions of their apps, and not in the standalone versions. But that, of course, means developers must maintain separate versions of their apps with unique feature sets — and without full cross-compatibility.

If developers do not get behind iCloud, will that give whoever treats developers better — and gives them the broadest platform — the leg up? Who is best positioned to take advantage of these perceived weaknesses?

Original Content

Mountain Lion Released; Galaxy S III Drops Local Search; iPad Still Dominates

Topping tech headlines Wednesday, the latest version of Apple's Mac OS X, Mountain Lion, went on sale for $19.99. It's compatible with machines running OS X 10.6.6 or higher and comes with some new features that closely integrate the Mac with iOS devices. For more, see PCMag's full review of Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Meanwhile, in an effort to avoid widening its patent battle with Apple, Samsung released a software update for the Galaxy S III that removes local search functionality. Prior to the update, the pre-loaded Google Search app would locate files saved on the phone – like contacts and apps – during a Web search. Samsung called the update "a precautionary measure," and pushed it out as "stability update." The same feature was removed from the Galaxy Nexus recently when a California judge ruled that the feature infringed on an Apple patent for unified search.

In other news, the iPad remains king among tablet devices, winning 68 percent of the market in the second quarter of 2012. Android tablet share remained unchanged from last year, accounting for 29 percent of the market. The platform has made some impact, though, knocking Apple down from its 80 percent perch in September. According to Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston, Androids may be lagging behind due to "unspectacular" hardware designs, limited uptake of 3G/4G models, and a "modest" number of tablet-optimized services. It also doesn't help that Swedish retailer Webhallen.com was listing Microsoft's upcoming Surface tablet at a starting price of more than $1,000, a bit higher than Apple's $600 iPad.

Also making headlines Wednesday:

    First Shipment of Pebble Smartwatches Delayed: The smartphone-connected watch will now begin shipping "as soon as possible."
    How Much Do Data Brokers Know About You?: According to the U.S. House of Representatives, data brokers are keeping hidden files on almost every American consumer.
    London Olympic Organizers Ban 3G Hotspots: Among the long list of unacceptable items at the Olympic Games, spectators must leave their 3G wireless hotspots at home.
    Twitter Prepping Tool to Let Users Troll Through Old Tweets: Twitter announced a plan to eventually bring your six-year-old tweets back to life.
    HBO Refutes Possible Netflix Partnership: Despite Netflix's willingness to integrate HBO programs into its streaming options, the cable network adamantly quashed plans for partnership.
    Report: Amazon Limits Kindle 3G Web Use: Kindle 3G users are reporting an alert that Amazon is now capping its Web usage to 50MB.
    World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Coming Sept. 25: The fourth expansion set for one of the most popular MMOs will hit online and brick-and-mortar shelves Sept. 25.
    Google Adds Scientific Calculator to Search Results: Google added a full 34-button scientific calculator to its search engine, forever eliminating the need for a physical calculator.
    Beyond Check-Ins: Foursquare Tests Paid Ads: Foursquare unveiled its Promoted Updates pilot program, which allows merchants to push specials, updates, and photos to Foursquare users.

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