[LIFE AND TECH] The United States of Apple

The new iOS operating system makes working across different Apple products easier

We live in a connected world. We use smartphones, tablets, and laptops in our daily lives the same way we used to use a pencil, paper, and books. And while this probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, what is still surprising is how difficult it can be to get all of those devices to work together effectively. Apple is working to solve that problem with some recent updates to their operating system that helps their devices play nice together.

A quick primer: your iPhone and iPad run on the iOS operating system, MacBooks and iMacs run on OS X.  In this case, the new version is OS X 10. Before now, there were a lot of things you could do on your smartphone that didn't translate well (or at all) to your laptop and vice versa. This doesn't really help you when it's your phone that you carry around all day taking pictures and video, only to not have the ability to manipulate them easily when you get home. Apple took care of that, plus a couple of other cool ways to keep you connected.

Let's just keep it real - most of the pictures I take on my iPhone stay on my iPhone, never to be shared, categorized, or printed. And I know I'm not the only one. But since it seems like most peoples’ primary camera is their smartphone these days, it would make sense if there was an easy way to organize them. The iPhoto app syncs photos across all of your devices and allows you to share, "Like", and comment on other people's pics. You can categorize pictures by location using the GPS data on your phone, or by the sick facial recognition technology that can group photos by faces. Finish up with a customizable album, or turn your videos into a Hollywood-style movie trailer complete with music from your iTunes library.

There have been many nights when I've sat in bed with my iPhone, iPad, and laptop all within reach, switching between them to do different things. Some might call it obsessive-compulsive, but it's not by choice. Apple has finally eliminated the need for at least one of those devices with the updated iMessage app. With this app, you can send and receive text messages with your iPad or MacBook. All of your messages are connected across all devices and you can use phone numbers or email addresses to communicate. And let's be honest, who really makes phone calls anymore anyway? Especially when you can FaceTime on any device as well. Being able to cut out even one distraction is totally worth it for me, so I'll be keeping my iPhone in my purse from now on, in silent mode.

Other new Apple "states" include Reminders integration, the ability to share open tabs in the Safari web browser across devices (along with Facebook and Twitter sharing built in), and Pages access from iCloud. Watch it all go down on an absolutely stunning Retina display or on your big screen using Apple TV. With these new updates making anyone's digital life easier, state of the Apple union seems pretty solid for now.

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