Apple took the cover off their latest Mac OS software. The software has been given the name, Mountain Lion. Mac OS X Mountain Lion will succeed the current Mac OS X Lion. The newest software will incorporate a lot that went right for, out of all things, the iPhone and iOS in general. This mashup in softwares actually works out well into, by our previews, what we expect to be one of the most exciting OS X releases to date. So what exactly will Mac OS X Mountain Lion actually include? Let’s take a look at the new software today.
What we know is that Apple will release Mac OS X Mountain Lion this summer. However, the disputed fact is the exactly month. Our assessment is that Apple is looking at July as the key month. This was the month that the Mac OS X Lion was released, and it seems fitting to follow through with this for 2012. When it comes to price, we are a little torn. We can hope that Apple will keep the price at the reasonable $29 like with the Mac OS X Lion. However, the added features with the Mac OS X Mountain Lion could add a little to the price. To be safe, expect to pay between $29 and $35 for this operation system. Lastly, where to buy? As we know, Apple did away with boxed software. We are certain that Mac OS X Mountain Lion will be available on Mac App Store.
iCloud has been a hit ever since its launch. iCloud for iPhone allowed users to keep their devices in sync with their Mac and other iCloud devices. Now, iCloud is able to be used on the Mac itself. iCloud for Mac allows you to seamlessly have your documents and other iWork projects available on your iPhone and other iCloud device. In addition, you still have the same iCloud features found on the iOS devices, including the ability to add, view and edit your notes, calendars, mail, and more.
Messages, Twitter, and Share Sheets
Mountain Lion has a lot in store for the messaging aspect of the software. First, there is Messages for Mac. Essentially this is iMessage for your Mac. It will replace the current iChat software, that for many users has become obsolete over the past years. This move is similar to Facetime’s integration for Mac. First, it was found on just iPhone, then moved to iPad, finally making it’s way to Mac. The features are the same, messaging between iOS devices and other Macs with the software. One thing that stands different is support for document transfers. You can still chat through Yahoo, GTalk, and Jabber, and there’s even a FaceTime button at the top right corner of your conversation.
You can now Tweet cool links and photos right from Safari, Photobooth, and iPhoto. Twitter for Mac, unlike Messages for Mac, is already a name taken by the Twitter application. For this reason, the integration is known as Tweet Sheet. With your Tweet Sheet, you type your message and opt to share your location with the Tweet, then click to send the message. The pop-up looks very similar to the integration found on iOS.
The Share Sheet button is the main sharing center for your Mac. It can be found on Safari. Simply click the button and you are able to email, Message for Mac, and Tweet the link for the page. This is also the button that allows you to save a link for later reading or as a bookmark.
Get acquainted with Messages for Mac right now with Apple’s beta version here.
It’s true, Mountain Lion is looking a lot like iOS. This is best shown by the implementation of Reminders for Mac and Notification Center. These are two features I’m looking forward to the most because I have found so much use for them both on my iPhone. First, let’s look at Reminders for Mac. The features are the same. You get to make reminders based on various themed list (for example, school or work) and add alarm notifications to reminder you to complete them. One part of this addition that I like the most is the iCloud integration. If I’m in the office, I can add a reminder on my Mac that will be notified on my iPhone in the other room.
The second thing we see in Mountain Lion is Notification Center. This will be the main area that you will find out calendar reminders, app notifications, when you need to update an app, missed (FaceTime) calls, and much more. Just as we swipe down to view Notification Center on iOS, just slide on your trackpad to the left to activate Notification Center for Mac. Notifications are pinged as a small rectangle at the top right.
Now that I think about it, there was never a notes section for Mac. Many times, I had to Dashboard to make a short sticky note to myself. However, this has changed with Notes for Mac. It’s pretty simple. You still have the same features you find for Notes on iOS. You can share notes with the Share Sheets button found on Notes. Notes can be “pinned” on your desktop just like how sticky notes can on Dashboard. Notes for Mac also has iCloud. One addition to Notes for Mac is the ability to add photos to your notes. This not only is a good feature for Mac, but one I would love to see on Notes for iOS. Apple, are you listening?
Many iOS games have already made their way to Mac. However, one gaming aspect that didn’t until now was Game Center. Now, you can keep you can add to your impressive iOS game scores on your Mac. Just sign in with your current Apple ID. With Game Center for Mac, you now have a bigger screen to battle some of your friends in multiplayer games, in a friendly way of course.
What ever is on your Mac is now on your TV. As long as your have a Mac with Mountain Lion and an Apple TV, this can be a reality. Airplay Mirroring now allows you to have your Mac on the big screen as long as they are both wirelessly in the same network. This feature isn’t tied just to entertainment videos and shows, you can also show what’s on your screen for surfing the web or showing a PowerPoint or document. If you don’t have an Apple TV, this may be the feature that pushes you to get one now.
Gate Keeper is for applications as a bodyguard is to crazy fans. Gate Keeper provides you with a safer Mac by preventing applications you don’t approve of being downloaded. This is done through various stages you can have your Mac in, they are like different levels of security. You can have the “least” secure setting which allows you to download programs and apps from everywhere, the middle setting allows you to download apps but only if the creator of the app has verified credentials form Apple. The safest setting only allows you to download apps from the Mac App Store. This means applications like Firefox, that aren’t available on the store, can be out of reach.
Out of all of the features found on Mac OS X Mountain Lion, which is your favorite? Mine is by far Notification Center, do you agree? Let us know in the comments.