Yes – earlier today, Apple surprised us all and announced the next version of its desktop operating system, OS X. The new iteration, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, brings a number of brand-new features (albeit, borrowed from the iOS) to Mac computers, including Notification Center, Reminders and a Messages app.
In this article, we give an overview of everything Apple has added to OS X in Mountain Lion, including screenshots and more. Hit the “Continue Reading” link below, and find out how your Mac computer will look from this summer onwards.
Earlier today, Apple dropped something of a bombshell, and announced OS X 10.8, “Mountain Lion.” In the past, Apple has unveiled the new iterations of its OS X desktop operating system at special events, and most notably concentrated on the Mac computer in the company’s “Back to Mac” special event last year, at which the late Steve Jobs noted that Apple’s priority was in pushing many of its iOS features towards the desktop operating system.
Since, we’ve seen OS X Lion launch – features such as full-screen mode, trackpad gestures and an all-new Mail app have launched (being borrowed from the iOS), and we’ve seen the desktop computer become all the more iOS-centric, as a result.
Now, Apple plans to take its iOS-ification of OS X one step further, and has announced OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. This new version of OS X, which was handed out to a select number of technology websites (including Engadget, Macworld, Daring Fireball and The Loop) includes a number of aspects of Apple’s iOS. Here, we outline what MacGazette’s readers need to know.
What’s in a name?
Shakespeare begged the question, and we do too: the name Apple has gifted to OS X 10.8 is rather telling, when put under interrogation. Chronologically, previous OS X names include:
- 10.5, Leopard;
- 10.6, Snow Leopard;
- 10.7, Lion.
Alright, so we’ve talked about OS X 10.8′s name – now let’s find out exactly what’s new. In borrowing from the iOS, and specifically from iOS 5, Apple has ported over a number of exciting, new features to the Mac in Mountain Lion.
Mountain Lion is the first major release of a new desktop OS since the launch of iCloud, and as a result, OS X 10.8 features further improved iCloud integration. Like Lion, Mountain Lion offers users a pane in the Settings app deduced to iCloud and its many features. Users can select exactly what syncs with iCloud using checkboxes, and the total available storage is shown in a bar below.
In Mountain Lion, Apple has also added a new messaging application which replaces iChat, and allows users to send instant messages (and even iMessages) to other mobile and computer devices. The Messages app, as you can see, looks a lot like the Messages for iPad application, allowing users to handle numerous conversations from within the app, and switch between them via a side pane on the left hand side of the app. Apple has released a beta version of Messages for Mac users, so download it now.
Apple has ported the Reminders iOS app over to the Mac in Mountain Lion, allowing users to organize their personal tasks from a Mac computer. Reminders sync across iOS devices via iCloud, allowing users to keep on top of their tasks across a number of mobile devices and computers. The user interface of the app looks like the iPad Reminders application, and it comes built-in to Mountain Lion, which is great. I find Reminders useful, and I’m glad to see that it’ll it launch with OS X 10.8.
Just like Reminders, Apple has ported its Notes iOS app over to the Mac in Mountain Lion. The application looks just like its iOS counterpart, allowing users to create, edit and share notes using the familiar interface. iCloud support means the app shares documents between devices, which is handy.
Yes – that’s right, Apple has added Notification Center to the Mac in OS X 10.8. The feature, which will surly put an end to the Growl notification system, allows users to access notifications from a dedicated section, and also shows pop-up notifications at the top-right of the screen when a user receives a new email, for example. Just like in the iOS, clicking a notification – either in Notification Center or a pop-up notification – opens the required app (such as the Mail app for email notifications).
Besides the above, Mountain Lion also adds a share icon to Safari, Twitter integration, Game Center and AirPlay Mirroring. For more information on the upcoming update (which is set to launch this summer), head over to the appropriate section of Apple’s website. Let us know your thoughts on OS X Mountain Lion in the comments.