Apple has made the somewhat surprising decision to launch a new version of OS X just a year after its last distribution, Mac OS X Lion, was made available. This time around, Apple is calling the software “Mountain Lion” and believes that it could be the best version of the software yet.
Of course, such excitement has been heard out of Apples camp before. With each new launch, it contends that the latest update is the very best it has offered. Next year, when something new comes along, the company will unveil something that it says is even better. When it will stop is anyones guess.
Still, this time, Apple might just be right. OS X “Mountain Lion,” at least on paper, looks to be awfully impressive, boasting more than 200 new features and some additions that should make both consumers and enterprise users quite happy.
Read on to find out why:
1. Its the name of the OS X game
In the Apple world, there really is no choice but to upgrade to the latest software. Not only does it come with improvements, but as time goes on, Apple stops supporting legacy versions of the software. If thats not enough to get some enterprise users to switch, what is?
2. Improved security
Apple has acknowledged that OS X is no longer the airtight operating system it once was. Quite the contrary, the operating system has been subject to some security threats that have given the company a black eye. In “Mountain Lion,” it hopes to address that with Gatekeeper. The feature, according to Apple, will dramatically improve OS security by protecting users from downloading and installing malicious applications.
3. Full iCloud integration
Apples iCloud has proven extremely popular among iOS users that want the platforms synchronizing content across all their products. In OS X “Mountain Lion,” Apple has promised the same iCloud integration, allowing users to do everything from synchronizing content across devices to ensuring that a documents latest version is up-to-date across all products.
Apples iMessage has been a boon for iOS users that are sick and tired of paying exorbitant fees for text messaging. Now, its coming to OS X “Mountain Lion.” With that platform, users will be able to send instant messages to those running iOS, as well as to folks using Macs.
Mac OS X Is Getting More Like iOS
5. The bridge to iOS
Apple has said that it wants to make OS X and iOS a bit more similar than it has in the past. With “Mountain Lion,” the company appears to have done that. From its improved multi-touch support to the addition of a host of previously iOS-only apps (like iMessage), OS X is slowly but surely becoming more iOS-like.
6. Notifications, anyone?
Furthermore, Apple has also brought Notification Center to OS X “Mountain Lion.” With the help of that useful feature, users will be alerted to a new email, software update or an instant message. A swiping feature on a touch pad will help users access Notification Center.
7. Power Nap is huge
With the help of a new feature called Power Nap, OS X “Mountain Lion” users wont need to worry about keeping their Mac up-to-date. According to Apple, the app will continue to update Mail, Calendar, Contacts and other programs even while the Mac is asleep. If the Mac is asleep and connected to a power source, the OS will automatically download software updates and back up data to Time Machine.
8. A Siri-like dictation
Unfortunately, Apple has stopped short of bringing Siri to OS X “Mountain Lion.” However, the company has delivered dictation, which, it says, will allow users to speak whatever they want to type out. Whether itll work well remains to be seen, but overall, Siri is solid, so it should come in handy.
9. Social integration
For consumers, especially, the addition of both Facebook and Twitter integration across the operating system is a huge new feature. With Facebook support, users will be able to share photos or links without even browsing to the social networks Website. “Mountain Lion” also will automatically add Facebook friends to Contacts to improve sharing information. Such sharing will also be available with Twitter.
10. AirPlay mirroring
Enterprise users should be happy to hear that AirPlay Mirroring is coming to OS X “Mountain Lion.” As iPad owners know, AirPlay Mirroring allows users to share their screens on a big-screen television. Its a great way to show off presentations and now should make it much easier for folks to do the same with Macs. However, be aware that the feature requires an Apple TV to work, so it will set users back $99 to make it work.