Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mac OS X 10.8 - Mountain Lion - Inspired by iPad. Re-imagined for Mac

Apple's next Big Thing; Mac OS X Mountain Lion is available now!

Mountain Lion continues the fusion of OS X and iOS which started with Lion. In the last installment of OS X the attempt of including useful features from the iPhone and iPad where halfhearted and basically reduced to Launchpad which got overall bad reception.

Mountain Lion seems to fix this, features like the Notification Center, Game Center and iMessage are actually useful and improve the cross plattform experience a lot. The sheer amount of new features Apple packed into this release is amazing.


The combination of iChat and iMessage, you can start a conversation on your iPhone and continue it on your Mac. Since every iPhone comes shipped with iMessage changes are you can spare some bucks and use this instead of SMS. Group chats, picture and video transfer and the ability to talk on any jabber server (like GTalk) makes it a really awesome instant messenger.

Notification Center

"Something new is always popping up somewhere on your Mac — an email, an instant message, a friend request, a calendar alert, and more. Notification Center makes it easy to stay up to speed, because there’s one place to see everything. Notification banners appear on your desktop and disappear quickly so they don’t interrupt what you’re doing. Swipe to the left, and you’ll see all your notifications in a simple, ordered list."
This is quite convient and makes add ons like GROWL pretty obsolete. The API is open for developers so any application can push news information, it wont take long till the majority of the apps will use it to keep you informed about background tasks and news.

You can use the notification center to post to Twitter and Facebook directly.

It is also possible to set the "Do not disturb" mode which will disable all notifications animations and sound ("silent mode").

Game Center

Since the launch of the Mac App Store we saw a huge increase of games for the Mac. Game Center gives you all the loved (or hated) features from other popular plattforms like Achievements, Social Networking and easy match setup.

Air Play Mirroring

This one is really great, it allows you to stream what’s on your Mac to your TV via Apple TV. I got 2 Apple TV's recently and use them a lot (wait for my upcoming post about jailbroken Apple TV and PLEX). Applications can use the Apple TV as a mirror of the regular desktop/application window or as a second output device. Keynote for example can play your presentation on the big screen while you control it on your MacBook.

Extended Privacy

In Mountain Lion you can choose what apps can access your contacts, location services or the built in Facebook and Twitter integration.

In this example Google Chrome wants to access my contacts to auto fill an address field.

Power Nap

When your Mac goes to sleep, it still gets things done with Power Nap. It periodically updates Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Photo Stream, Find My Mac, and Documents in the Cloud. When your Mac is connected to a power source, it downloads software updates and makes backups with Time Machine. While all that updating is going on, the system sounds are silent and no lights or fans come on, so nothing disturbs you. And when your Mac wakes up, it’s good to go.

Note: this only works on Macs with flash storage; the Retina Macbook Pro and the Macbook Air.


Now you can talk anywhere you can type. Dictation converts your words into text. It uses the built-in microphone on your Mac, so there’s no need to set anything up — just start speaking instead of typing. When you say “comma” or “exclamation point,” Dictation punctuates for you. The more you use Dictation, the smarter it gets. It learns voice characteristics. And it recognizes people from your contacts so it enters names accurately. Dictation supports English (U.S., UK, and Australia), French, German, and Japanese.


Gatekeeper helps protect you from downloading and installing malicious software on your Mac, no matter where your apps come from. And it gives you even more control over which apps you install. You can download and install apps from anywhere on the web, just as you always could. You can choose to download and install apps from the Mac App Store — the safest place to find apps for your Mac. Or use the Gatekeeper default option, which allows you to install apps from the Mac App Store and apps from identified developers. It’s a new way OS X keeps your Mac safe


iCloud is how a Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch work together. It keeps your mail, calendars, contacts, reminders, documents, notes, and more up to date wherever you use them. So when you add, delete, or change something on your Mac, it also happens on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. And vice versa. You don’t have to do anything at all — iCloud is automatic and effortless. Just sign in once with your Apple ID and iCloud is set up in all the apps that use it. Suddenly, life’s easier to juggle.
The integration of iCloud is now much deeper as it was with Lion. Apps like Preview, Textedit and many more store by default all Documents in the cloud. You can, of course, always save files locally or completely disable iCloud.


You’ll find the Share button throughout OS X Mountain Lion. It’s the new, easy way to share right from the app you’re using. Share photos, videos, and other files with Mail, Messages, and AirDrop. Send links from Safari. And with a few clicks, post straight to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or Vimeo when the moment strikes.


New features in Safari make browsing the web smarter and faster. Now there’s one simple search field for both search terms and web addresses. As you search, Safari always stays one step ahead. It suggests a Top Hit, popular search terms, and pages from your bookmarks and history to help you find a web page fast. Tab View shows your open tabs. Just pinch to see them all and swipe to switch between them. When you open web pages on your iPhone or iPad, iCloud Tabs makes them available on your Mac, too.6 So you can pick up browsing wherever you left off. And now that Safari saves entire web pages in your Reading List — not just the links — you can catch up on your reading even without an Internet connection. Safari delivers the fastest JavaScript of any browser. So you get the best of the web.


Great update to OS X with many small and some big improvements and for just $19.99 its a no-brainer, so go get it now! 

Mountain Lion is available for $19.99 on the Mac App Store.


Fang said...

When I read about this all I could utter was "you've got to be shitting me". They're just blatantly porting iOS features over to proper computers. No new exciting software technologies or anything. ):

Sasho said...

Looks interesting, must try this! The Notification center and messages is what impressed me at most.

Sasho said...

Looks very interesting and easy to handle. Messages and Notification Center is what impressed me the most, they're so easy to handle now!

G said...

I can see them running out of ideas now Steve has gone

Red13 said...


Vague Raconteur said...

Wow, Apple made some pretty good changes!

Ruben said...

impressive enough, nothing more