When OSX 10.7 Lion came out it featured some iOS features like Launchpad, new multi-touch gestures for the magic mouse, auto-correct and auto save. But the latest Apple operating system, named OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion, brings even more iPad-like features to their laptops and desktops. Full integration of all iOS features now not only seems possible, but likely in future OSX upgrades. Now all Apple needs to do is make touch-screen MacBooks and iMacs and we’ll really have the best of both worlds.
Apple has given us a preview of their latest upgrade to their operating system for Macs, so let’s take a look at 5 great features of OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Communicating with other Apple users just got easier. When iMessage was brought to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad it allowed users to send unlimited messages, pictures or videos to anyone running iOS 5. Messages sent did not count toward your text message limit since they were sent within the iMessage ecosystem. Now we can add Mac users to the list. With iMessage you can see when your message has been received or when someone is typing a response. You can also begin a conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPad.
iCloud, the cloud-based storage system for the iPhone and iPad will now be integrated with your Mac. Now your contacts, mail, calendar, notes, reminders documents and pictures will automatically be synced across your Apple devices. So when you edit a document on your Mac the update will appear on your iPad and when you delete a picture on your iPhone it’s removed from your Mac as well.
3. Notification Center
There’s always something going on in your life and sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of it all. Apple seeks to make things easier with a unified Notification Center where you can be kept up to date on the latest application updates, messages, mail and upcoming calendar events. In iOS 5, the Notification Center is at the top of your iPhone/iPad, but in Mountain Lion it will appear on the right side of the screen. When something new comes up, a notification banner appears and quickly disappears in the upper right hand corner of your monitor.
4. AirPlay Mirroring
For the iPad, AirPlay allowed you to transmit what’s on your iPad your HDTV via the Apple TV. Now with Mountain Lion 10.8, Macs get AirPlay mirroring too, and it’s all wireless. You can view your pictures and videos on the big screen, browse websites like never before and share your presentations created with KeyNote in the conference room.
5. Twitter Integration
I was surprised to see Twitter integration built right into the iPad, but I was even more surprised to know that Apple is adding it to Macs as well. Now, you can tweet to your hearts’ content right from inside many of your favorite apps. If you’re using Safari and want to share a picture or a link, just click the new Share button right on the browser and create a tweet without ever leaving the page. You can also tweet directly from iPhoto or Photo Booth and other third-party apps. And when you get a message on Twitter you’ll see the notification in the new Notification Center mentioned earlier.