Last week Apple released a preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion to developers, announcing that a public release would follow in late summer.
Mountain Lion comes with all kids of goodies -- Messages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center, Game Center -- but you've already seen them, in iOS 5.
The one iOS app that's sorely missing from Mountain Lion, however, is iBooks.
Developer Preview 1 didn't include an OS X version Apple's venerable eBook reader and I'm increasingly afraid that it might never release iBooks for the desktop.
Anything's possible, and granted, it's only the first developer preview of OS X 10.8, but there's cause for concern for anyone waiting for a version of iBooks for OS X.
As I noted here on September 19, 2011 ("Kindle over iBooks? It comes down to the desktop") if I’m paying for a book (or a piece of reference), I want to be able to access it from any machine that I’m using. And, call me old fashioned, but I'm in front of my MacBook Air much more than I'm in front of my iPad.
But it's not just my preference of the MacBook Air, it's the principle of it. If I'm purchasing an ebook I want it available on all of my platforms -- and I don't want to pay for an ebook that's artificially restricted from my Mac. Make no mistake, there's no technical reason that iBooks can't run on OS X.
That's right, Apple is artificially limiting iBooks to iOS in order to squeeze every last cent out of consumers. iBooks sells a lot of iPads, and if it were available on OS X it might cannibalize sales of the iPad -- a risk that Apple's not willing to take.
I know that there are a whole generation of keyboard cutters out there, but I’m not one of them. My iPad will never fully replace my MacBook Air with it’s glorious keyboard, USB ports and external mouse. At least not in the foreseeable future.
It’s simple economics. Apple makes its money from selling hardware (iPhones, iPads and Macs) and it sells software (apps, music, movies) as a way to move hardware. Apple’s answer MacBook Air users who want iBooks, of course, is to buy an iPad!