With OS X Mountain Lion nearing its release date, it’s a good time to dive right into the new features and see what’s new in version 10.8. Before I get started, OS X Mountain Lion will be available this July for the low price of $19.99 from the Mac App Store. If you’ve recently purchased a MacBook or another Apple computer with 10.7, don’t be disappointed. You too will get in on the Mountain Lion action, as a free upgrade will be made available for free for anyone that purchased an Apple computer in June.
Finally Apple and Facebook are playing nice. The world’s biggest tech company and biggest social networking site are now fully integrated. Of all the new features, Facebook integration is one of the most talked about. It will not be available immediately with the release of Mountain Lion, but will be released shortly after as a software update. When available, users will be able to post links, comments, and photos via locations from your apps. Once signed in to Facebook, your friends will show up in Contacts along with their profile photos.
There always seems to be something going on in your life. But how we manage the insane amount of information has now been addressed with the new notification center in Mountain Lion. Now in one concise section you’ll be notified of new emails, an iMessage, a calendar update or a software update. Just swipe from the right to the left and you’ll be able to stay up to date with all that’s going on in your digital life.
If you have an iPhone or an iPad you are already familiar with iMessage. The same concept now comes to your Mac. The new Messages app will be replacing iChat so that one can send messages to any kind of Apple device. It will also allow the user to include attachments such as high-res photos and HD video. The new Messages app will also support many commonly-used instant messaging services such as Jabber, AIM, Yahoo!, and Google Talk. With iMessage, you can start a conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPhone while you’re on the go.
Mountain Lion was built with social networking in mind. Thanks to the system-wide Sharing feature you will be able to share photos, videos, links and more from within Safari, Notes, Photo Booth iPhoto and other apps. You can quickly share content to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or Vimeo without having to leave the app.
You may have heard recently about some malware spreading among Macs. It proved that the Mac isn’t immune to viruses like it was once believed. So Apple is taking the bulls by the horns by updating Gatekeeper. What Gatekeeper can do is help protect you from installing malicious apps that can be harmful to your computer. We all know the safest place to download applications is in the Mac App Store. But what Gatekeeper does is verify other apps found on the web to ensure they are also safe.
While this article only covers a few of the new features included with OS X Mountain Lion, there are many more. Here’s just a short list of the new features I didn’t even get to mention: iCloud integration, Reminders, Notes, Power Nap, Dictation, AirPlay, GameCenter and a Safari refresh. While this update is a big one, I wouldn’t quite call it a mega update. It’s more of a step toward a possible eventual unification of OSX and iOS. But at just $19.99 it’s definitely well worth it to update your operating system, especially if you’re still on Snow Leopard.