Features don’t debut on the desktop anymore. With iOS around and selling far more units, everything happens there first. Think about it: iMessage, sandboxing, FaceTime, the Mac AppStore, instant on, retina displays, and on and on, seemingly ad infinitum? Mobile devices get features first, then they come back to the Mac. iCloud is another feature that came first on iOS. Now it’s a marquee feature in OS X Mountain Lion.
On a recent episode of John Gruber’s The Talk Show, the topic of discussion was Mountain Lion. John and MG Siegler speculated that Facebook integration on the desktop might be held up because it was still in beta. I think that since FaceTime is a key feature for iOS 6, as it was demonstrated for us at WWDC, Apple is waiting to debut the feature on iOS first. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it appeared in ads for the new iPhone.
In the old world, if the desktop had been ready first, we would see Facebook on Mountain Lion already. Now, iOS is the lead platform.
“Remember that Facebook feature you love on iOS? Now you have it on the Mac.”
With Mountain Lion, the problem is that the desktop update came right before the announcement for the new iOS device. In the future, I would expect to see iOS devices gaining features maybe in the spring with the iPad or even in the fall with the iPhone, but the desktop will feel like it follows the iOS lead instead of paving the way.
The iPod, iPhone, and iPad put Apple on the map for the mass market. For diehard Mac users, this may be a difficult transition period where the old platform must wait for the new.