Last July Apple released Mac OS X Lion that provided Mac users an experience more similar to what they may be used to with an iPad. Today the company has announced a new operating system that will bring iOS and Mac OS X even closer, and have called it Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
The next major release for the Mac operating system is set to be released during the summer on the Mac App Store, while according to AppleInsider a preview of the software is available now for Mac developers. Apple is promising that the new software will bring with it more than 100 new features, with many coming from the iOS and iPad mobile operating system.
These new features with Mountain Lion include a replacement for iChat called Messages. Also there are Notes, Reminders, and Game Center for Mac. The new operating system will also have AirPlay Mirroring, Notification Center, Share Sheets, and Twitter integration.
It will also be the first OS X release that will feature iCloud for simple setup and integration with apps. The preview version also has the Gatekeeper feature that keeps users safe from malicious software as it gives control over the apps that are installed on a Mac.
Jim Dalrymple of The Loop has spent a week with a copy of Mountain Lion and said that all the new features will be enjoyed by both Mac and iOS users. He called the theme of Mountain Lion is “familiarity”. The new Messages feature can be got hold of now in its beta form, and allows users to chat to friends based on their Apple ID. It will also connect with other chat services such as Google Talk and Yahoo among others.
There is better integration with iCloud that now connects it with Bookmarks, Calendars, Contacts, Documents & Data, FaceTime, Game Center, Mail, Notes, Reminders, and the Mac App Store. Once an iCloud user ID and password is entered many features will automatically be set up on a new Mac.
The Notification Center from iOS will be accessed by clicking a circle button on the top right of the screen, and with a simple gesture of sliding two fingers from the right edge it can be moved to the right side of the screen.
Reminders and Notes allow users to create and keep track of to-do lists across all of their devices, while game center will allow for the Mac gaming experience to be personalized. Users will be able to find new games and challenge friends whether they on an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or a Mac.
AirPlay Mirroring will let users stream a secure 720p video wirelessly to an HDTV from their Mac via Apple TV. The new Twitter integration will let users sign in once and then tweet straight from Photo Booth, Preview, Safari, third-party apps, and Quick Look.
Chinese users will also benefit from increased support from Mountain Lion, which will now have the option of Baidu search via Safari. There have been big improvements made to the Chinese input method as well as connectivity for Calendar, Contacts, and Mail via top email providers such as 126, 163, and QQ and Share Sheets connectivity with Toudou and Youku.
Developers now have a huge number of new APIs, which will provide access to enhanced features and core technologies found in OS X. Cross platform multiplayer games for iOS and Mac can now be developed thanks to the new Game Kit API. Pricing has yet to be revealed but it will only be available for purchase on the Mac App Store. Check the demo video below of Mountain Lion.