Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion is expected to be the next major operating system update that will arrive on Apple’s series of Mac computers. We’ve seen a couple of features outed in the past thanks to the developer version of the software, but today at WWDC Apple has revealed more of the upcoming OS’ features.
Deeper iCloud integration
Starting with iCloud, Apple will be integrating iCloud deeper into the OS and will configure apps within the OS and sync them to ensure that they are all up to date. Apple also revealed Documents in the Cloud which basically allows users of apps such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Preview and TextEdit to create documents, share them in the cloud and push them to multiple devices (assuming they share the same iTunes account, of course). They also announced that they have a developer SDK for additional support in the future. iOS apps such as Messages, Reminder and Notes will also be making an appearance, so what’s saved on your iOS device should appear on your Mac and vice versa. Messages is probably the more interesting feature as it allows users to reply iMessages they get on their iOS device via their computer.
Built-in notification center
Next up Apple revealed the notification center for OS X Mountain Lion. Similar to the version in iOS, the OS X Mountain Lion notification center appears at the top right corner of the OS and will display notifications from messages, emails, etc. The notification will work for many things, even Twitter notifications and will even come with a “Tweet Sheet” built into the notification center itself that allows for quick tweets or replies. The Cupertino company also revealed additional features such as dictation and is expected to work across the board, “even in Microsoft Word”, along with a share feature which iOS users should be familiar with. This will be a button present in apps (we expect that availability of the share feature depends on the app and its developer) and will allow users to share things such as videos, photos, links, etc. This share feature will work on a variety of different services, such as via email, or social networking websites like Twitter.
Safari updated with Tabview; Power Nap feature unveiled
Apple also took the wraps off the new Safari. Much like Google Chrome, the new Safari will sport a unified smart search field. It will also be borrowing some features from the Mobile Safari such as Tabview. For those unfamiliar, Tabview basically allows users to “zoom” further out from their browser which will display all the live tabs that they have going on at the moment. In a way it could be thought of as Mission Control, except for Safari. There’s also a nifty feature called Power Nap that Apple revealed. To sum it up, Power Nap will update your Mac even while it sleeps. It will automatically refresh data which we presume will have your Mac ready to go the minute you wake it up from its sleep. Sounds pretty handy, although we’ve yet to see if this will turn out to be useful or novel.
Game Center arrives for OS X; added support for the Chinese market
Game Center is another iOS feature that has made its way onto OS X Mountain Lion. It looks the same and its features are pretty much what you might be able to expect from the iOS version. It will support turn-based and head-to-head games across platforms, such as playing on your iPad against another gamer who might be playing from their Mac computer. Last but not least, OS X Mountain Lion has also introduced some China-specific features. This includes language support along with services specific to China, such as Youku and Weibo, China’s version of YouTube and Twitter respectively.
The update from OS X Lion to Mountain Lion will cost $19.99 and is expected to start shipping in July.
[Image credit - Apple]
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- 2012-07-25: Demo Mac units at Apple's retail stores might not be running OS X Mountain Lion due to some hiccups
- 2012-07-23: OS X Mountain Lion seeded to Apple Care reps ahead of launch, 25th of July release looking more certain
- 2012-07-16: Apple to release OS X Mountain Lion on the 25th of July?