Apple just released the next OS X upgrade. There’s a new cat on the block: It’s called Mountain Lion. What new things does it bring? Basically a lot of the things we love about iOS5, with a few extras. Check it out now.
1. DEEPER INTO THE CLOUD
Apple’s iCloud technology syncs media between iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches—but not much on Mac. With OS X Mountain Lion, iCloud syncs calendars, contacts and email between all
your iDevices. Also, iCloud syncing will host more new Mountain Lion apps, including Messages, Notes and Reminders. As time marches on, the iCloud gets denser–which can only be
a good thing for those of us trying to keep track of our digital life.
2. MOVE OVER iCHAT Not so Stellar
Just like iOS5 has iMessage, that lets iDevices send messages as text or data, Mountain Lion will feature Messages, replacing iChat, and be compatible with iMessage. You can
send photos and videos via messages, and open FaceTime, too. Messages will certainly make it easier to keep in touch whether you’re tethered to your desktop or out and about.
3. REMINDERS, NOTES AND NOTIFICATIONS
Reminders: This iOS 5 app now has a Mac version, also syncing with iCloud. It lets you create lists within tasks, and set alerts, just like on iOS. Not on the Mac app, though:
location-based alerts, that remind you of tasks when you arrive at a specific local. You’ll still need iOS 5 for that.
Notes: Now also with a Mac version, this app uses rich text, so you can add photos, movies and lists to your notes. Also, stick each note to your screen on top of your apps.
Notes is also in the iCloud, syncing across all your iDevices.
Notification Center: Also from iOS 5, this Mac version pops up to keep you abreast of what’s happening with your Mac.
4. SHARE MORE AND TWEET
Sharing: Apple has added a button called Share Sheets to all apps. Now, in Safari you can quickly send a link, or photos from iPhoto or PhotoBooth. Even add your location.
Twitter sharing is available on all devices whereas Facebook sharing is only available on QuickTime so far.
Tweeting: Twitter integration is now at the OS level with Mountain Lion, and logging in once from you System Preferences enables sharing across all apps. Share options for
Twitter are built into almost all Apple apps, and any @replies and mentions you get will pop up as notifications.
5. GAME ON
iOS Game Center is now on Mac, with new features like leaderboards and multiplayer gameplay, so you’ll be able to play games on your Mac with your friends in iOS devices, in
real time. Also, Apple is releasing the Game Kit tool to make it easier for developers to create more compatible titles for Mac.
6. AIRPLAY FOR MAC
Apple AirPlay lets you wirelessly stream music and videos to any AirPlay-compatible device, including Apple TV. This means that using your iPad or iPhone you can stream video to
a TV screen via Apple TV. Now your Mac can perfrom this magic too. On Mac, AirPlay sends whatever’s on your screen to a TV connected to an Apple TV at 720p.
7. SAFARI CHANGES
With Mountain Lion, the biggest change to Safari: Like Chrome, the address bar is now combined with the search bar into one field. The Reader button is also bolder, and no more
“http://” — just the URL. Also–now sync Safari tabs across devices via iCloud.
8. FINE, CHINA
With plenty of business now coming from China, Apple wants Macs to be as China-friendly as possible. Mail, Contacts and Calendar all work with some of the top Chinese online
services, including Baidu. Share Sheets for Chinese users will include China-based video-sharing websites and blogging services, and there are some improvements to basic text
input as well.
9. SIMPLIFIED UPDATES
Now when you click on a software update, you go right to the Mac App Store, and the Notification Center will alert you if there’s indeed new software available. It’s just
another move toward the App Store becoming the first place Mac users go to get new software.
Silver Lining:? You’ll look younger in photos.? P.S. don’t share those photos.
10. NAME CHANGE
Interesting that Apple has now ditched the “Mac” part of “Mac OS X”. With just “OS X Mountain Lion, some seem to believe the Mac OS and iOS may become one soon—we’ll see.