It looks like Apple can never run out of surprises for us. When the whole world is busy speculating on rumors around iPad 3, Apple announced that the next version of their OS X, Mountain Lion is coming this Summer. If Lion was 1st base between iOS & OS X, Mountain Lion is pretty close to the 3rd base with things like iMessages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center, Airplay Mirroring, Sharing Sheets & Game Center baked right into it.
Lets have a glimpse of the touted features:
While iCloud is a downloadable feature in Lion, it will be baked into Mountain Lion. It will work exactly in the same was as Lion with the feature setting up your email, calendar, contacts & documents as soon as you sign in with your ID and keeps them in sync.
Messages is a new app in Mountain Lion which replaces iChat. In addition to AIM, Jabber, Google Talk, and Yahoo! Messenger, Messages will also support Apple’s iMessage service. So users of Mac can now message with users of iOS 5 and above all over the world. The app is also available as beta for current versions of OS X and can be downloaded from here.
The reminders app syncs your iCloud reminders with OS X. Also lets you create lists of reminders.
Take notes like you do on iOS. This one lets you add images & attachments to your notes. Syncs with your notes in iCloud.
See all your notification in one neat place by swiping to the left. Notifications also pop up subtly like growl notifications.
The popular share button is iOS has now made it to OS X. In Mountain Lion, the share button (called share sheet) can be found in many apps and can be used to share stuff to twitter, messages & via email.
Twitter is baked into Mountain Lion and is going to be integrated into many of its native apps. Sign in once and you can tweet from any of the apps which integrate twitter.
This one is big. Game Center will now support OS X games. Note that developers will still probably have to make their games Mac enabled. But the fact that Mac users will be able to play multiplayer games with iOS users is huge. iOS is the largest portable gaming network in the world. And Apple is milking it by adding Game Center to the Mac.
Despite having many 3rd party apps for airplay from Mac, people have been waiting for Apple to come up with their implementation. Mountain Lion will sport Airplay Mirroring over WiFi to Apple TV. However, not all Macs will be supported.
Gatekeeper is the firewall for Mac which keeps your computer safe from malicious software and internet threats. It is possible that it a strategic move by Apple so that they can target enterprise customers which demand a secure OS.
Mountain Lion will also come preloaded with multiple china specific features like integration with QQ, 163, and 126. Baidu, the leading Chinese search provider.
Apart from all the above features, we can expect Apple to come up with a few more surprises. A much anticipated feature will be Siri, which, if integrated into OS X, will revolutionize how we interact with personal computers. Imagine asking Siri on you Mac to send an email with some photos attached all at the command of your voice! It can very much be a reality with Siri’s accuracy in voice recognition.
We will keep an eye on Mountain Lion news and keep you updated. Stay tuned.
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