Early this morning, much to our surprise, Apple announced the latest update to OS X, Mountain Lion, along with an additional bag of goodies like a developer preview and the Messages beta for all to enjoy. OS X version 10.8 features, among other things, a handful of additions that we were introduced to just last year with iOS 5. Yes, iOS 5.

For some time now, we've started noticing the convergence of desktop and mobile platforms. More specifically, OS X with iOS and Windows with Windows Phone. The next Windows version, Windows 8, will feature a fully functional Metro UI tucked neatly (and somewhat schizophrenically) beneath the Start button. And the next update for Windows Phone, codenamed Apollo, is presumed to be Windows Phone 8. And with today's unveiling of Mountain Lion, we can't help but take notice of Apple's blatant step towards "iOS X", as I have seen it called many times now.

Game Center, Reminders, Twitter integration, Notification Center, Notes, Messages, iCloud and built-in sharing options are all pieces of the iOS puzzle that are slowly being brought over to Apple's full, Mac operating system.

None of this should come as a surprise, though. It is natural progression. Eventually, full-fledged operating systems will not be needed – at least not by the average end user. An iPad with a keyboard will do for most students. And for those who need a little more horse power, there will soon be Windows 8 tablets to dabble with. Of course, however, there will always be extreme cases where you may need professional grade software, or special software that is only available on a specific operating system. People who need this are the individuals who will cling on to their desktops and laptops for as long as humanly possible.

However, the important question is: do you want a similar, unified experience between your PC (or Mac) and mobile devices?

When I first saw the Mountain Lion video, there really wasn't much that jumped out at me. Notes, Reminders, iCloud and Notification Center – some of this bigger highlights of the update – are things that I rarely (if ever) use on my iPhone. Not to mention, there is just something about Apple's "skeuomorphic" design that turns me away.

That said, the direction they're headed is good. Bringing Messages to OS X was bound to happen sooner or later. And being able to continue conversations when switching from tablet, phone and PC is amazing. As is iCloud synchronization of notes. (However, it's nothing particularly groundbreaking, as I do this with Gtalk and Evernote between my Nexus, Galaxy Tab and MacBook. And it isn't limited to a single operating system.)

For people who feel disorganized and an OS disconnect when switching between devices, a seamless, unified experience is great. However, I feel Apple is pushing the changes in the wrong direction. They're developing of iOS then bringing the changes to OS X, which is fine. But iOS is largely underpowered in comparison to, say, Android. (Even Woz agrees.) It'd be nice to see some more powerful and full-fledged features be pushed down the pipes to iOS instead of the other way around.

As for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, I feel it may be much of the same – a powerful desktop OS being synchronized with an underpowered and still infantile operating system. Windows 8 tablets will clearly have a little more horsepower as they're running a full version of Windows 8. But when it comes to handsets, Windows Phone could use a little more oomph. Internet Explorer 9 is arguably the highlight of Windows Phone, yet the applications and operating system itself are still lacking some very important features.

You may recall an article I wrote last month titled A 'mental context switch' between phones and tablets isn't a bad thing. It was a rebuttal to an article written by Jason Perlow of ZDNet on Why Ice Cream Sandwich won't be able to save Android tablets. Among things like inconsistencies, sporadic scrolling and the 16:9 aspect ratio, Perlow states that there is still a mental context change between Android tablets and smartphones – notifications are handled differently, the app drawer is accessed differently, etc.

I extend the same theory from my view on Android tablets and smartphones to mobile devices and their respective full operating systems. A mental context switch isn't a bad thing. I want my devices to perform differently because I use them in totally different ways.

A perfect example of this is why I was never a huge fan of iOS on the iPad. I don't mind it on the iPhone, but it just doesn't feel efficient or optimized for the larger display. Most of the applications come out fine, but the home screen is full of wasted space and this trickles down throughout the operating system.

This is just me, though. I know many people who would love nothing more than to have the exact same experience on their laptop, desktop, phone and tablet. In fact, I was talking to someone about it just yesterday – about how they hate having to totally switch their mindset when they switch devices. I, on the other hand, use all platforms and actually like the mental switch.

Tell me, readers. Do you want the same experience across all of your devices, mobile and desktop? Do you like the changes that were introduced in OS X 10.8? What do you think will happen to Android as its counterparts converge with full desktop operating systems?

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77 Reactions to this post

"What would you do if you had the same experience across all of your phones?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Tim Springer
Tim Springer I think all the phones should work the same for consistency. This is not to say all phones should be iPhones but once u learn how to use one phone you shouldn't have to learn every other phone you come in contact with. Maybe being able to tweak your phone & having the same half a million or more apps to choose from for all phones is a good idea. Just take the best of all operating systems and make them uniform across the board. Remember your landline phones may have had different features from your neighbors but you didn't need a tutorial to use it.
Anonymous Haha, I like how the iDumbs are saying that we have to root in order to get the latest software and stuff, and when we talk customisation, they say a jailbroken iPhone does more (Yeah right...) 1) If you don't own a low end Android, Most mid range and almost all High ends gets updated (eg.SGS went thru almost 3 major updates),it may take a while, but a least it's worth waiting for. 2) If you think Android Market stuff suck, I'm sorry but it's a good thing you're switching to iOS, the Android community don't need idiots like you who don't bother to search and just say it sucks because it doesn't tell you what to download. 3) My SGS2 has never experienced system crashes, only app crashes, and those are from illegal apps which I won't name here. Force close only happens when an app isn't built properly or if your phone runs out of memory or should I say RAM for the tech idiots who don't understand, and if you phone can run out of memory, you're either holding a mid range or low end phone. And last I remember, faulty iOS apps crash too, but I think iDumbs would know it better as "Homescreen mode" or "iMustHaveAccidentalyHitTheHomeButton". 4) For people who have no clue what rooting is, they probably won't care whether the latest OS is running on their phone either. For people who do care, we learn to root. For those who are too chicken to, feel free to go to iOS
Miguel Sahagun
Miguel Sahagun Its insanely popular to jailbreak the iphone. My friend does it for a living.
Chances N Michael Thompson
Chances N Michael Thompson Not a fan
Josh Lazenby
Josh Lazenby No Brandon, didn't mean you. You stated actual opinions with actual reasons as to why you felt that way, and did it in an objective manner which I can respect. Didn't mean you... was geared more towards a couple other people.
Eduardo Ordaz
Eduardo Ordaz U people the only excuse is that Android lags or its too buggy. I know lots of people who have Android phones and aren't laggy or buggy. My uncles Inspire runs waaaay faster than that doggy chew toy iPhone. IOS has been the same since 2007 and apple keeps putting in the same hardware. U guys keep asking things from apple and apple doesn't even care nor they even care about u. U guys beg and beg and apple wont listen to u. Apple doesn't give a hoot about u they only care about ur money. And u guys can't accept the fact that the iPhone has been beaten by the competition. And ur only excuse is oh Android is laggy or buggy. Yeah right. Even my dads Droid X whoops that stupid iPhone. good luck with ur boring OS and by the way ur IOS apps crash way more than Android apps.
Eduardo Ordaz
Eduardo Ordaz @Zach well I guess its cool to have the Same piece of software and the same piece of hardware all the time. Go back to ur boring OS no matter what Competition I'd better than the iPhone. Because u guys use it has a status symbol. Ha Android lags and 4.0 lags heard the one before. I tried it and guess what no lag or bugs on it. U probably had lots of programs running in the background and have heavy live wallpaper that's why it lagged a bit. And by the way there is always a great to buy An Android tablet because there r better alternatives than the Iboring pad.
Brandon Le
Brandon Le Josh, if you are referring to me; I am not a troll nor trying to be one. I was just voicing an opinion that really didn't have any complete negative affects on either OS. It was more of a neutral agreement that I had between the two.
Brandon Le
Brandon Le Wow.
ShaiVaughn Crawley
ShaiVaughn Crawley No. if your anything like me and get bored easily that wouldn't work in my favor
Josh Lazenby
Josh Lazenby And the trolls have come rolling in...
Brandon Le
Brandon Le Wow, Yasir. I was using an example. I don't want to spend an entire hour listing all the customizable things. Geez. Look at the comment overall and not just one single sentence.
Yasir Sohail
Yasir Sohail Lol, if your just moving your widgets around for customizing on Android, than you dont know much more there is to customize with Android.
Brandon Le
Brandon Le Y'all might say "oh! With androids customization, it will never be boring!" Well that is completely false. After constantly customizing the phone don't you ever run out of ideas? Don't you ever get tired of the same experience over and over with changing the widgets around everyday? Same market, same exterior design? You could just buy a new phone with a different design and set of hardware features, but isn't that what iPhone users do? To me, Android is about the same as iOS when it comes to length of interest and time actually spent on the phone. In the end though, that's what it is, simply just a phone. No matter what you do, I can guarantee that the phone you have now will feel outdated and boring sooner or later. Admit it. No phone nor their OS will ever be perfect and future proof. We change, time changes, and so must our devices.
Brandon Le
Brandon Le It doesn't matter. I've owned all types of phones; both Android and iOS and I have found both to be boring after awhile. That's why I cycle every two years between OS's.
Scot Milo
Scot Milo @nathan I have had many android phones maybe something like 40 devices from the G1 to the Galaxy's. From experience (not hate) android has a lot of issues. I'm not saying it's total crap but man android really has a lot of problems. I have only had 1 iPhone (iPhone 4) and it has NEVER given me any problems. works like a charm (the OS & the Software)
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Paul ice cream sandwich lags also. I had the galaxy nexus for a while and it lagged here and there. And that is stock ICS. I can only imagine what Motoblur and htc sense will do to it. Have fun lol.
Kenny Sterrett
Kenny Sterrett LoL nothing can come close to iphone
Grétar Orri Kristinsson
Grétar Orri Kristinsson Interesting!!
Nathan Allen
Nathan Allen I would not like that. Everybody just jumps to the iPhone without looking into android first. It makes me mad.
Paul Alexandru
Paul Alexandru Android market is a piece of shit in performance it lags like fucking hell even on the Galaxy Note.Manufacturers are dumbasses because some of them don't even know how to integrate the CPU with the Software respective OS like Gingerbread....Galaxy Note isn't an exception....unfortunately is a victim, it tends to struggle pretty heavily when you want to switch a tab on the browser...and this isn't the only problem ...;-/ most of the OS doesn't simply match the CPU and can't RUN IT,i just have to hope that ICS will save the Galaxy Note....Because ICS is a whole bew experience even trough you'll still have TW 4.0.I keep my optimism.
Luis Robles Figueroa
Luis Robles Figueroa Not really... I need variety! That drive innovation.
Zach Cline
Zach Cline I have to agree 100 % with scott. I had android for a good while and my devices always had those issues And yes the android market sucks.
Scot Milo
Scot Milo @cubamus what phone do you have?
Orion Pax
Orion Pax Apple is the Fidel Castro of tech..
Orion Pax
Orion Pax And I can do alot more than a JB iPhone with my Android phone.
Tyler Kirchman
Tyler Kirchman There would be no need to upgrade as often because your phone would do the samethings. So I would love it
Orion Pax
Orion Pax And iOS is piece of crap restricted phone.. Apple tells you how to use it.. APPLE is pure Evil.. I'll take fragmentation over restrictions.
Riley Shepherd
Riley Shepherd I hate iphones
Paul Davis
Paul Davis you can have the same experience, just shove em all up your ass and let somebody call you... vibe-tastic!
Ethan Shrago
Ethan Shrago That's why I love android and all the OEM skins!
Josh Richardson
Josh Richardson Just buy an iPod touch & a Samsung galaxy s2.
Anthony Maffei
Anthony Maffei No, just make it so my phone can work with other devices like my car sending me a text message when the check engine light comes on with what the issue is and a link to repair shops in the area with estimates
Scot Milo
Scot Milo android is fragmented. Fact is most Android devices will never see 4.0 lol. Forcing the user to go through the process of ROOTING and voiding their warranty. For me I want a phone "just works" right out of the box no hacks, mods, tweaks, roots, ect. The android market place is an awful app market full of malware, a ton of low-quality applications, viruses, porn (that your children have unlimited access to), mediocre games, & much much more. not to mention android has several other market places which makes it very confusing for the average user. Users are forced to search among many app markets to find a decent app (android market, Samsung hubs, Amazon market, kindle market for android, Metro PCS Market, T-mobile Market for apps and games, and Verizon wireless market & much more).Android devices have random shut downs, lags, freezes, force closes, spyware, bloatware, OEM user interface that slows down the original OS, manufacture defects, carrier issues, tons of phones made out of plastic & cheap material (Samsung), HORRIBLE BATTERY LIFE, OEM's that never update their devices. Also did i forget to mention your Android device will become obsolete within weeks due to the mass production of Android devices daily. Enjoy an older version of the Android OS due to Google coming out with a new version every 3 months. Remember its not about quantity, its about quality. By the time most Android device get "ice cream sandwich", " 4.5 strawberry shortcake" will be out. I wish you the best luck on trying to get your OEM's to push out updates to at least 50% of android phones :) but I can't blame you for going with android. it is very cost effective ($50 pre-paid Android phones available) You guys are so stupid and fall for Google's "marketing" strategies. closing statement.....enjoy your 1.7 GHz dual core 7.8" super + amoled 2.2 froyo device that wont be getting gingerbread until next year.
Romeo Cyril
Romeo Cyril Silly question, of COURSE:)
Johnattan Haddock Medina
Johnattan Haddock Medina maybe getting bored...
Johnny A. Rojas
Johnny A. Rojas Apple is very in tune with the need of the user meaning they will interact with a similar experience but yet is different enough to want to own the different simplified :-)
Jeremy Gross
Jeremy Gross thats why theres android, u dont have to be a conformist
Francis San Pedro
Francis San Pedro Regardless of OS people prefer on their phones, almost all the people I've encountered have done ZERO customization.
Sahil Arora
Sahil Arora Not at all. It gets boring. Which is why after using an iPhone for 3.5 years I'm getting the galaxy note on Sunday.
Ediben Yoonan
Ediben Yoonan that would be so stupid and i wont buy phone
Brandon Le
Brandon Le I don't care. Just let people use their damn phones in peace. Geez...
Chris Corliss
Chris Corliss It's a very smart business move, especially if you producing your own hardware. I prefer the variety available in Android devices though as it gives each individual hardware manufacturer the ability to optimize the mOS for each device (though this is obviously not always done correctly). If Google was the sole producer of Android devices, it would make complete sense for them to uniformly distribute the OS across all devices, but that's the purpose of Android. The very fact that Google made the OS open source shows they never had any intention of making the OS uniform across all devices.
Anthony Tat
Anthony Tat not sure if 80% of these commenters even read the article.. lol it's not about making every phone the same, it's about making difference devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, phones) the same. this just seems like an easy way to keep compatibility between devices. all devices should provide unique experiences while maintaining compatibility with each other so users can connect and continue tasks from one to another. making them all the same thing with different sized screens just seems lazy. I want to use my laptop in a different way from my phone, and i want them to do different things.
Shivdev Singh Bhatia
Shivdev Singh Bhatia Lol.... I'm laughing at the people who are blaming google for androids problems. Google release stock Android. The manufacturers screw it up. They should use the malleability of Android to suit their hardware. Its stupid to say that Google should get their shit together.
Jan Michael Cruz
Jan Michael Cruz Hell no!
Nicolas Crespin
Nicolas Crespin I agree with Eddie. I would like to see android devices be able to specificly talk to android and same with iOS. However I think that iOS needs to have more then one phone type. I think that's where android does well. IPhone is fantastic but putting iOS in a blackberry style phone would be game changing. I know it will never happen but something that would be fantastic!
Marwan Harb
Marwan Harb That what stopped me from buying apple products.
Alex Gomez Fillalan
Alex Gomez Fillalan i'm an adult. i like to have options and have the ability to choose. not be told. ;)
Robert Wellington Clubine III
Robert Wellington Clubine III This would be cool but when I turn on my mac will it know exactly where I was on my other device? What about something I installed?
Mozzy Elizabeth Quiroz
Mozzy Elizabeth Quiroz My andorid works just fine for me
Igor Rebenko
Igor Rebenko i think id shoot myself
Reinis Jansons
Reinis Jansons No
Josh Lazenby
Josh Lazenby And to answer the question... No, I wouldn't want every device to have the same experience. I would like them to be more integrated and work in sync better... but I think they should have different experiences.
Eddie Cobb
Eddie Cobb No but I would like my devices to work with each other
Tariq Ahmed
Tariq Ahmed What i need is a phone to use not to spend countless hours to adjust the setting of everything of it... Bought sensation xe, GS2 and G nexus but return back to the iPhone.. This bad boy is the best...
Påsqüål Sålåz
Påsqüål Sålåz Boring! So there is going to be an ipod touch and an iphone (ipod touch that could make phone calls) an iPad(just a big iPhone) and a Macbook, which is going to be a iPad with a keyboard connected to it.
Josh Lazenby
Josh Lazenby Michael... the differences between devices is something some of us like. Android can power a low end phone and create a smartphone experience where there wouldn't be one otherwise. At the same time, it can offer a great high end experience on high end devices. Making Android more uniform would take away one of its biggest benefits as an OS. There are tons of options with Android in the high end and low end areas, which many people love. I personally love the new high end stuff. Some people like the custom/specialty phones. For example... my father. He used to hate cell phones, was the type that would complain about how everyone had them everywhere and used them all the time, very anti tech kinda person. Loves guitars though. So... I bought him a Fender edition MyTouch. He loves it. Now he takes it with him everywhere and constantly uses it to check the weather and such. If every Android device was bland and uniform... things like that couldn't happen. Choice and option is a GOOD thing... but so many Apple fanatics seem to have the "having no choices is a feature!" mindset. As someone who likes technology, I like choice, I like the options and customization that comes along with Android. Its a plus, not a negative.
Christopher Spratley
Christopher Spratley Never
Justin DjJustus Jones
Justin DjJustus Jones That's like saying are you stupid or smart
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Ok then, It's insanely stupid to buy an android tablet .
Sreekrishna Gurram
Sreekrishna Gurram Obviously no!!...Apple is trying to push its customers to buy one more product when a customer already bought 1 from them...Thats insanely stupid!
Charles Kofi Ba-bone
Charles Kofi Ba-bone very unacceptable....then what would be the difference between getting a samsung, an htc, a nokia, a sony, a motorola etc.....
Brantley Culbertson
Brantley Culbertson hate it
Ysidro Fernandez
Ysidro Fernandez No, we need options...
Michael Ducylowycz
Michael Ducylowycz Same experience with different OS's...The iPhone is uniform, one phone, one OS. Now if Android had the same offering (in an Android way) I'd consider going to them however, there is a plethora of specs from downright dismal to blazing fast. There needs to be some more consistency and uniformity with Android.
Harry Hawes
Harry Hawes Life would be simpler lol
Glenn Rubio Urrea
Glenn Rubio Urrea No thanks.
Zach Cline
Zach Cline It's called consistency . Google can't even get there shit together with all of the fragmentation and manufacturers churning out a buggy android device every week.
Danu Carrión Perales
Danu Carrión Perales NO... then no phone will stand out. They will be like the iphone. You basically get the same device that does the exact same things with a better lens with better/worse battery and processor which isn't noticeable.
Robby Olko
Robby Olko Lol thats why I hate iphone its the same shit everytime with a couple minor tweaks.
Allan Morrill
Allan Morrill No way
Kajari Spoon Osborne
Kajari Spoon Osborne no
Jeremy Roman
Jeremy Roman Nope, then all phones are the same.... Ie iphone.
Arvydas Gr
Arvydas Gr YES. It is much better, easier and etc
Santos H. Jaco Erazo
Santos H. Jaco Erazo no not really
Lewis Hachmeister
Lewis Hachmeister Not a fan.

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