Apple’s next version of the OS X operating system is heavily inspired by the iPad and it will have more than 100 new features when it arrives this summer. TechKnowAge highlights the prominent features.
The new Messages application replaces the existing iChat application with the added feature that you can send and receive messages (including photo and video attachments) to and from iOS devices and Mountain Lion systems. It will also sync with the iMessage app on your iOS device – you can start a conversation on the Mac and continue it on your iOS device. Messages will continue to work as a multi-IM client with built-in support for GTalk, Yahoo Messenger, Jabber and AIM.
Reminders and notes
Reminders now come to OS X desktop and support multiple list creation. You can set deadlines and get alert notifications as well. Notes, on the other hand, lets you jot down your thoughts along with photos, videos and other attachments. You can share notes via mail or messages and even pin them to the desktop for viewing later. Both the Notes and Reminders application use iCloud and will sync content with your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad – you can edit them on the go and they will be updated across devices.
Taking a cue from iOS devices, Mountain Lion will come with its own Notification Centre. A simple swipe will bring down the Notification Centre on the right side of the display, with notifications about mail, messages, reminders and so on. If you have other apps running, notifications will appear as banners and disappear quickly so as to not interrupt what you are doing. Clicking a notification will launch the relevant app.
Share sheets and Twitter integration
Focusing on social networking, Apple has upgraded this new desktop OS with fully fledged Twitter integration. Simply sign in with your Twitter ID and the new Tweet Sheet feature allows you to tweet directly from within supported apps like Safari, iPhoto or Photo Booth. Share Sheets adds a new feature to the ‘share’ button in supported OS X apps. The share button now enables you to share pictures, videos, notes and links with friends via social networks, mail or messages.
Gatekeeper is OS X’s new security feature that prevents installation of malicious software on your Mac. You can choose to only install apps available from the Mac App Store, apps that have a developer ID associated with them or keep it the same way as OS X Lion (the lowest security setting for advanced users, which enables you to install any apps from anywhere on the web). This way, OS X steps up the security amidst reports that malicious software was on the rise.
Game Centre on OS X allows you to keep a track of your friends as well as leaderboard scores. It will also identify which games are Game Centre enabled, making it easier to compete with others who have the same game on their Mac or iOS device. New friends can be added by sending requests directly from your Mac, even to people using iOS devices. It also has a provision to add multiple email addresses so people can find you easily.
OS X Mountain Lion has a deeper integration of iCloud and now automatically sets it up as you sign in with your Apple ID. This way, your contacts, calendar entries, mail and documents remain synced across all your devices. An additional new feature is document sync that allows you not only to view but also edit documents stored on the cloud. You can edit documents using your OS X or iOS device and the changes will be updated across all your synced devices instantly.
Although there is no official word on this, we expect Mountain Lion will have roughly the same requirements as OS Lion – 2GB RAM and 7GB minimum storage. You’ll also need a 64-Bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better and an advanced GPU.
Price and availability
The price has not been officially announced yet, but we expect it to be priced around $30 to $35 (R230 to R270) – about the same as the OS X Lion update. “Late 2012” is the only official statement so far. Expect that it should be available for compatible Macs around July 2012.
Mountain Lion will be available as a download through the Mac App Store. However, this time Apple will not be releasing USB installation drives. This update will be an online exclusive, so a high-speed internet connection is a must.
Will not install on
Even though Apple has not officially announced this, it is safe to assume that the new OS is not compatible with the original MacBook Air, MacBooks released before 2008, Mac Mini & iMacs released before 2007.
This article first appeared on The Times of India