The new Mac OS X Mountain Lion was demoed yesterday at the WWDC keynote event. I have went over the new OS in the past and I’d like to go over it again more in depth, or as in depth as I can.
Release and Price
Apple’s new Mac OS will be released in July (like Lion last year) and it will be a third cheaper at only $19.99 and free for new Mac buyers such as myself. It will again only be available on the Mac App Store. If you don’t have access to it, I am sure your friends at the Apple Genius Bar will be able to help you out!
Many of you have heard of the Dragon Dictation program for both Mac and PC or the voice dictation on Apples new iPad. That is exactly what this is about. It is system wide voice recognizer that takes your voice and puts it into text. This feature is especially useful for students, whenever they have to type up papers. It will be useful for people who are not huge fans of typing such as myself. I will be able to write my articles without as much as a stroke of a keyboard. If it is anything like the one on the iPad it will be pretty successful, if it’s more successful it will be the keyboard killer. I personally am very excited about this feature.
I really like AirPlay for iPad since I can give a presentation off of my iPad onto a big screen TV. This feature will really only be very important to those who own Mac Portables and Apple TVs (Apple TV is a requirement but Mac Portables are not but it helps to have something portable as composed to desktop, especially in business). It will broadcast, due to Apple TVs March update, in 1080p. I personally plan on using an external monitor, an Apple TV and external keyboard and mouse to be able to use my laptop as a desktop whenever need be. It again can be used to give excellent presentations anywhere. Fortunately for all of us the Apple TV is pretty portable.
Reminders and Notes
Both apps will be coming to Mountain Lion as part of MLs “iOS package”. Both apps will be able to sync with their iOS counterparts along with other Mac computers. In case you do not have an iOS device, allow me to quickly explain the two apps. The Reminders app will remind you, in advance, of any thing that you put in yourself. You can view the list anytime, think of it as a to-do list. The notes app is exactly what it sounds like, you can take notes on it. What will be cool on the notes app on Mountain Lion is that you can make a note and put it on a virtual sticky note and it can be placed anywhere on the desktop even on top of, say safari.
For those of you who think that there isn’t games for Mac, think again. In fact, there so many different games for Mac that Apple felt they had to make a Game Center just for it. The Mac App Store has thousands of games, many of which are also in the iOS app store. This allows you to play on your Mac against iOS devices and other Macs or vice versa. Many popular titles like Words with Friends, Angry Birds and Cut the Rope are found there and provide excellent multiplayer fun.
Mac users can share anything they want from the browser, iPhoto or any other app onto their FaceBook account. The official program is called Share Sheet. It again is located on many apps and allows you to post to FaceBook, Twitter and Flickr. FaceBook integration will not be available immediately though. It will be available in the fall.
Long awaited Chinese updates have arrived. It has integration with China’s twitter Sina Weibo, search engine Baidu and video sharing site Tudou. This will be useful since YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter are all banned from China for political reasons. They will also have the sharing features however it will have to be local.
Macs will be getting iOS-inspired Notification Center. It has banners and alerts, which alert you to the things you need to know such as reminders you set for yourself or calendar events. You can toggle it on and off. If I were you though, I’d keep it on since it appears it will be very useful.
New iCloud support will be coming to Macs. It allows you to sync your documents, mail, contacts, calendar, Messages, Notes and Reminders synced. Documents include Pages, Keynote, Text Edit and Preview.
The paid-text killer will now be available for the Mac. You can send free text messages between iOS devices and now on Macs. As mentioned earlier, Messages between your devices will be logged and kept on all devices.
Good bye search bar. Taken from Chrome, the URL bar and the search bar are now conjoined. There is also iCloud support. You will also be able to use gestures to navigate between tabs. It will also feature offline reading list which will allow the computer to download a website as a document for future reading even while offline.
Mac App Store Updates
Apps purchased on one Mac will be pushed to your other Macs on the same account automatically. OS X updates will now be moved to Mac App Store, making the Software Update button obsolete. Safari’s two finger back and forth gestures will soon come to OS X.
New features include (but aren’t limited to): A sidebar in Calendar to view and manage your calendars; VIP contacts in Mail; iOS-style location-based reminders; search in Launchpad and Dashboard; Mail preferences syncing via iCloud; Do Not Track and password autofill in Safari; a new iCloud-syncing Notes app with note folders; a Photo Stream screen saver; the ability to run a full-screen app on any connected monitor; encrypted backups; backups onto multiple drives; and drag-and-drop file transfers in Screen Sharing.
I am very excited for the new features in Mountain Lion. I did not even cover them all so if there are some features you like that I didn’t include, please feel free to discuss them in the comments. July will be a very exciting month for Apple, myself and many others.
Thanks for reading,