OS X Lion To Bring Direct iOS-Finder Integration?

After the release of the first Lion developer preview last week, we have seen Apple is bringing several aspects of iOS to the desktop: the Launchpad mimics iOS’ Springboard and folders, gestures allow you to move between apps like in the iOS 4.3 beta, Resume lets Mac OS save the state of apps (window, position, content) even after a logout or restart. We did a little bit of digging in the Lion preview, and we found some files in the Finder’s resources that suggest a direct connection between iOS devices and Lion’s Finder could be coming in the future.

The files, located in the System folder, clearly show iPhone, iPad and iPod touch icons at three different sizes, likely to be used in the Finder’s sidebar. Other icons currently not used by Lion like “Mobile Documents” (first spotted by 9to5mac) are in there as well. While the presence of mobile documents suggests a Dropbox-like functionality for the Finder is coming with MobileMe / iWork.com, we speculate these iOS device icons might be for a future direct connection between iPhones, iPads, iPod touches and the Finder itself.

Basing on pure speculation, we wouldn’t mind seeing Apple implementing the AirDrop functionality (which lets you share files between Macs running Lion with a single drag&drop) for iOS devices as well. Users with a Mac and a nearby iPhone or iPad could drop files into the Finder and instantly share them. A direct iOS-Finder connection opens to many possibilities, though: what about PDFs, photos, mobile downloads, documents coming from apps? Currently, these things are all handled by iTunes. While many users appreciate the comfort of a single application to manage all kinds of media ending up on their iOS devices, there’s no doubt having an iPad accessible in the Finder would be much more convenient for certain tasks like document sorting or sharing. Perhaps with a little bit of cloud integration.

Again, we’re just speculating here – but the icons are there and ready to be implemented in some way through the Lion Finder. There’s an Apple event tomorrow, iOS 5 is rumored to be previewed alongside the iPad 2 – maybe we’ll see what this connection between iOS and the Mac could be about.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.