Apple recently announced the newest Mac OS that will be hitting a Mac near you by this summer. The new OS is called Mountain Lion, an OS coming after the current OS X Lion model. Mountain Lion is an OS that incorporates a lot that went right with the recent iOS software, including many parts of the iPhone we all use everyday. This, in the end, is a move toward merging your iOS device and Mac, keeping them in sync. Let’s take a look at some of the best features Apple released with Mountain Lion.
Your Stuff, Everywhere
iCloud now comes fully to Mountain Lion. If you aren’t familiar with iCloud, it allows all of your documents, photos, iCal, Address Book, etc to be available over the air without having to be saved on a flash or hard drive. The cloud initiative is also found with many music sharing companies that allow songs to be available over the air for download once purchased. To use on your Mac, just sign in with your Apple ID. What ever you do on one device hooked up with iCloud, it will reflect on the other connected devices. It will be something you’ll find yourself using a lot with Mountain Lion!
iMessaging on a Mac
Facetime become available on the iPhone, before appearing on the iPad, then Mac. Now, iMessage followed suit. First becoming an iOS feature, before appearing on the iPad, and now it replaces iChat with the latest Mountain Lion update. Now known as Messages for Mac, the new messaging hub allows you to chat on the same services available through iChat, however you can also iMessage between Macs and iOS devices. Messages for Mac also has the ability to send photos and files, and if the device you want to conversate with has FaceTime, you can even hold a FaceTime conversation by clicking the special respective button that launches the FaceTime application.
Throughout Mountain Lion, you will see a special button called Sharing Sheets. This allows you to share photos, documents, and more through Messages, adding a bookmark, reading for later, and more. This is the best way to share everything from links you have found online to photos you have taken on Photobooth, to even photos you have collected in iPhoto. In iPhoto and Photobooth, if you have created a video or taken a photo, you can even share them on Vimeo and Flickr, respectively. Have a PDF document you need to run by the boss? Share it through Mail with Share Sheets. Did we mention there’s also Twitter support?
Tweeting on Your Mac
With Share Sheets, you have the ability to share photos and links you have found onto Twitter. The tweeting feature and interface looks identical to that found on iOS. You have, what looks like a note card, where you can write your message, have the link or image clipped, and the ability to add your location. With a character counter on the bottom, you never have to worry about staying within the 140 characters. If you receive a mention or DM, you’ll know with Twitter integration.
Your Mac, Safer
OS X Mountain Lion is there to make sure your Mac is safer than ever. This is done with the addition of Gate Keeper. This makes sure that the applications downloaded are of your consent. You have three options for protecting yourself. You can have no setting at all, allowing you to download just about anything anywhere, but you’ll at least be protected in some minor way. You can set to only download from Apple accredited developers, simply those who have a Developer ID, or you can only download from the Mac App Store.
Notifications in One Place
Just like with iOS, Mountain Lion is bringing your Notification Center. If you aren’t familiar with Notification Center, it is the hub for all of the notifications and alerts you get on your iPhone, and now on Mac. Notification Center will show you when you have a new tweet, when you’ve received a new Message, when you’ve missed a Facetime “call”, and more. To activate, simply slide to the right with three fingers on your trackpad. To clear a notification, click the “X” or click to execute it. Just as is the case with iOS, you also receive discrete notifications without having to activate Notification Center, never having to miss a thing.
Gamer Friendly Mac
Game Center for iOS allowed you to keep of your stats and standings with the games you played alone and with friends. Now, Game Center has come to Mac. You can now check out your standings with the myriad of games available on the Mac App Store. Just sign in with your Apple ID to enjoy the fun. If you are already using Game Center on your iPhone or iOS device, all of your stats and information, including profile information, will match up. Have fun, but not too much fun!
Reminders first appeared on iOS and it’s an application I use about everyday to remember tasks I have to get done for the day. Now, Reminders is made available on Mac through Mountain Lion. Now you can remember everything that has to get done, from projects to groceries. Reminders for Mac also uses iCloud to apply additions and changes made on your Mac with the iOS devices connected with the Apple ID. Reminders are categorized, like on iOS, making for easier retrieval.
Your Mac, On TV
Want to show of an iMovie creation or footage from your latest vacation? Or maybe you want to show off spreadsheets or a PowerPoint presentation to a class or coworkers. Now, with Airplay Mirroring, you have the ability to play your Mac screen on the big screen, or at least how ever big your TV is. All you need to do is make sure your Apple TV box and Mac are under the same WIFI network, and then you’re ready to begin.
Notes for Your Thoughts
Lastly, Mountain Lion finally has a stable, formal notes section. This allows you to add small pointers, instructions, or just reminders for yourself without having to waste a sheet of paper. If needed, Notes now allows you to add photos and attachments to your notes. Once your notes are completed, you can send them, through Share Sheets to Messages or Mail. Have a note you need to remember once you get back to your Mac? Notes allows you to pin them onto your desktop for later review. All of this works with iCloud, meaning the notes made, edited, and deleted on your Mac will reflect on your iOS device, vice versa.
Which one is your favorite Mountain Lion features?