OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 finally unifies iMessage messaging

iMessage fragmentation across devices has been a common complaint ever since iMessage was first released, and although Apple has taken steps to mitigate the issue, it hasn’t yet been truly solved. The problem was exacerbated with the release of Mountain Lion which brought iMessage to the desktop (or to the laptop, depending on what you use), where users of OS X would be allowed to join in the iMessaging fun – but with a very important caveat: the iChat (now rechristened “Messages”)  messaging software would only register with the iMessage email account, so iMessages sent to your phone number would not be received.

This meant that users would have to explicitly take care to send and receive messages from their iMessage-enabled email addresses; but while you can always select where and how you initiate conversations, you can’t very well choose how and where perfectly random strangers will choose to contact you. This limitation also applied to the iPad, however iOS 6 beta seeds included a fix for that, adding the option to initiate and receive messages from the phone number associated with your iMessage account.

It pleases us to inform you that with Mountain Lion 10.8.2 (as of the latest developer seed, 12C50) this feature has been extended to Messages on OS X, and in the future, your iMessages will be synchronized across all platforms. Here is a screenshot of how your iMessage account looks in iMessage on 10.8.2:

Continue reading

The ARM, the PPC, the x86, and the iPad…

Hot on the heels of the iPad release comes news that Apple has just (very likely) purchased another processor design firm (via EDN).  Intrinsity, the chip design company in question, is a designer of RISC-based CPUs and is rumored to have had something to do with the design of Apple’s new A4 processor. The A4 is Apple’s key ingredient for a smooth user experience in the much-hyped iPad.

Those keeping track of Apple’s purchases will remember that, almost exactly 2 years ago to the day, Apple bought California-based CPU designer PA Semiconductors. However, PA Semi specializes in PowerPC-based designs – a platform that Apple abandoned almost 5 years ago now. But Apple’s most recent acquisition is directly applicable to its current needs in the hardware market, and in particular, its forays into the ARM market. In the official iPad video, Apple engineers and executives discuss their need for a custom CPU in order to let them dictate where the ooomph and power will go, and to what purposes the transistors will be biased.

With all these buyouts and different chipsets in question, it’s easy to get confused. So what is the difference between the ARM, the PPC, and the x86, and where does it matter?

Continue reading