Apple surprised us with the speed they worked on a new operating system for Mac, only seven months after the release of the Lion OS X.
Mountain Lion is a step forward for OS X integration with iOS, the iPhone and iPad operating system. Here are the first impressions about the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system from Apple.
The new OS X is the next step in integrating the mobile operating system with the Mac and MacBook OS and it will be released at the end of the summer, before Windows 8 will be released, an OS based on the same concept.
1. Messages – new interface, similar to iOS
iChat for Mac received a new interface, the same as the native iOS Messages application. Now all conversations are kept in the same window and can be easily synced through Apple ID and continued on any Apple device connected to the internet.
FaceTime was also integrated in the new application.
2. AirPlay – a Step Forward For Wireless Content
In Mountain Lion OS X, Airplay allows you to send your video or audio content directly through a TV or projector through a wireless connection. The AirPlay Mirroring feature works just like on the iPad 2 or iPhone 4S, transforming your TV into a Mac monitor.
3. Contacts / Notes / Calendar / Reminders – the end of Address book
Apple gave up on Address Book and iCal for Mountain Lion, offering the same simple apps as the ones for iOS 5: Contacts, Notes, Calendar and Reminders.
Even if the new apps seem to have the same features, the main advantage is the iCloud integration.
Notes offer major improvements, from bullet lists to URL with link and customizable fonts.
The powerful iCloud integration in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion can be spotted even after the start-up when users can log in with the Apple ID. Those who are using an iPhone or iPad with the iCloud service will notice that the Mac is automatically synced with the mail, contacts, reminders, even Safari bookmarks.
5. Notification Center
Growl has disappeared, and it was replaced by Notifications Center which integrates all notifications and alerts in the right side of the screen. Alerts offer many optimization options but the absolute news is a new gesture fro the trackpad, with two fingers, from left to right.
Right now in the developer preview version, only native apps are compatible with the Notifications Center but Apple developed an API for all apps that offer notifications.
6. Game Center
Apple made another step forward for gamers by integrating the Game Center application in the new operating system.
Besides all iOS options, in Mountain Lion you can play, in multiplayer mode, along with friends taht are using the application on a iPhone or iPad.
7. Other improvements
Besides an improved safari and better security measures through GameKeeper, Apple now offers all system updates through the App Store, which will be announced in the Notifications Center.
One of the newly introduced apps, ShareStret, offers advanced sharing features to send information from one application to another in an organized way, which provides a club as to where the iOS 6 is heading.