Apple has today announced the successor to its popular Mac OS Lion operating system, unveiling Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of its desktop platform which will bring more of its iOS features to the desktop.
Gone are traditional messaging apps like iChat, in comes Messages, Notes, Reminders and even Game Center for Mac, mimicking the iOS features on your iPhone and iPad, also delivering Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration and AirPlay.
If you wanted iOS on the desktop, you’re about to get it.
Below is an overview of Mountain Lion. We have referenced the great article by Jim Dalrymple & Peter Cohen over at The Loop to do so. Again, a big thanks to Jim once again for his assistance.
Given the fact that iCloud now has 100 million users, Mountain Lion is built to maximise the service and has support built into its core.
By registering iCloud in Mountain Lion, the service will then set up a number of apps and services on your system, integrating tightly with Mail, Contacts, Messages, FaceTime and a whole number of other services. So, if you have a lot of information already set up, the service will make it all available for you.
Apple will push Documents in the Cloud with Mountain Lion, perhaps serving as a Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 rival.
Given it’s just a beta build at the moment, new features are set to be introduced until its release in ‘late Summer’.
Apple wants to protect its customers, so it has released GateKeeper to block malware and malicious downloads.
Apple will allow data and information to be sent from anywhere on the computer with its new Share Sheets feature.
Share Sheets are available wherever you look in Mountain Lion and provides the ability to share files and media with Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, AirDrop, Messages and Mail services. The button is built into apps – Safari, for example, allows you to share via Twitter, Messages and Mail.
Apple has decided that its instant messaging application iChat needed an overhaul, this has resulted in iMessage for Mac. With Messages, a user simply needs to dial in their Apple ID or phone number and they can start messaging iOS devices and Mountain Lion users from their desktop.
The app still supports AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, and Jabber, so it’s iChat but with a little bit of iMessage built in.
Apple brings Reminders and Notes to the desktop too, syncing your to-do list between your mobile devices and computers for easy on-the-go access.
Notes supports photos, attachments, bullets and links and all you have to do is drag a link into a note whenever you want to save something on your desktop.
If you were a big Notification Center user on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you will be pleased to see it has been ported to Mountain Lion, allowing you to see messages and other notifications at-a-glance.
You might have loved Growl but Apple is set to do away with the neat little app with Notification Center. It will sit in the top right of your computer screen, by the Spotlight search icon on your menu bar.
Using a two-finger slide-down gesture on the right hand side of the screen will access the Notification Center, showing everything that has occurred since it was last accessed.
By bringing Game Center to the Mac, Apple is going to push ahead with desktop app gaming and help connect users between devices.
The app allows users to find friends, discover new games that their friends play, recommend games, access a leaderboard and see the achievements they have earned.
Perhaps borrowing a page from Microsoft’s playbook, Apple has introduced a feature that allows users to play Game Center on any device, so Mac users will be able to play iPhone, iPad or iPod users.