The release of Mountain Lion earlier this year further bridged the gap between OS X and iOS, so much so that Apple decided to drop the preceding “Mac” from the OS X nomenclature. Mountain Lion introduced several features to OS X that originated on the iPhone, including Notification Center, Notes, Game Center, Reminders and Facebook and Twitter integration. According to Mark Gurman for 9to5Mac, citing his usual reliable sources, Apple is set to continue that trend with the forthcoming OS X 10.9 operating system, which in early builds features both Siri and Apple Maps integration. Like on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, however, Siri might be restricted to certain models.
It is currently uncertain if Siri will be available, if it goes past the early testing stages, in OS X 10.9 for all users. Siri on iOS devices is tied specifically to certain, newer iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, so it is possible that Apple will make a similar decision for Siri on the Mac. However, Dictation, which uses a similar infrastructure and hardware resources as Siri, is available on all Macs capable of running Mountain Lion, the current Mac operating system that introduced Dictation.
As far as Maps goes, the mapping service is said to be integrated into OS X as a framework for developers to use in apps. In other words, developers will be able to use Apple’s highly criticized — as of now, at least — mapping solution within their apps on the Mac App Store. Hopefully by the release of OS X 10.9, which would presumably not be until next year, Apple will have had adequate time to fix the existing bugs and issues that plague its new Maps on iOS devices before bringing the service to the Mac. Gurman adds that Apple may also opt to release their own standalone Maps app for Mac as well.
With this MapKit framework, as developers refer to it for iOS, in OS X 10.9, it is also possible that Apple will extend its own work on mapping on the Mac besides integration for developers. It is possible that Apple will want its own full-fledged Maps app on the Mac, but we have not been able to confirm that as of yet.
The report also sheds some details about the development of OS X 10.9 as a whole. In particular, Gurman claims that Apple began working on OS X 10.9 alongside Mountain Lion, choosing which iOS features it would distribute for each operating system. This sounds a lot like Apple, holding back features for certain products and software version releases. Apple dropped its OS X Mountain Lion this past February, with the public release following in July. At that pace, we’ll be hearing a lot more about OS X 10.9 in just a couple more months.