WWDC 2012: Apple Unveils OSX Mountain Lion

Not only were Apple on hand to show off their latest MacBook and iOS 6, the Cupertino company detailed what you can expect from their next version of OS X, called Mountain Lion. Here is a rundown of some of the top new features that you’ll find in the 9th release of the Mac operating system, which is expected to be release in July via digital download.

Brand-new Notifications Centre

Much like its mobile bedmate Mountain Lion will come with an all-new Notification Centre. It will alert users when there is an incoming email, messages, software update, calendar alert or tweet.

It works very similar to the way the notification centre work on the iPhone and iPad; all you have to do is simply swipe to the left using your trackpad or magic mouse and it’s all there in the top right corner.

Reminders and Notes Get A Revamp

Reminders and Notes are getting a major revamp, they will be viewable on your mac and any other device synched to your iCloud.

Talk To Your Mac

Mountain Lion will allow you to talk to your Mac via your onboard microphone and will transcribe spoken words into typed words – better still Apple has said that this new system will be a lot better at recognising troublesome accents – so it should be more accurate more of the time.

To achieve this Apple has brought some of its knowledge from Siri over to Mountain Lion to make it work – we’re told the system will even work in apps such a Microsoft Word and Excel. As with all computer dictation software the proof is in the translation – but if it works well, it could be a game changer.

Further iCloud Integration

Documents in the Cloud is a new feature that does exactly what it says on the tin – your documents will be uploaded to iCloud for safe storage and synchronisation with other devices. Apps such as Pages, Keynote, Preview and TextEdit will automatically show the documents that you have in the cloud when you open them, and also show documents stored on other devices that use your iCloud login.

Instant Chat With Messages

Apple will be adding their popular iOS messenger, iMessage, to OS Mountain Lion-  you can send messages as well files across the service and you’ll even be able to use FaceTime across your idevices.

The service has been completely re-designed from the ground-up for Mountain Lion and makes it easier to follow conversations. Your current conversations are listed on the right and ongoing conversations on the left, with the most recent on top.

AirPlay For The Mac

Up until now iPhone and iPad owners have been only ones able to stream content to compatible devices connected to an Apple TV – well AirPlay Mirroring is coming to Mountain Lion. You’ll be able to send what’s on your Mac screen to an HDTV wirelessly with Apple TV in full 1080p high definition. The system will also  automatically regonise a Mac on the same network as Apple TV and reveal it in the menu bar for simple ease of use.

Further Twitter and Facebook Integration

Facebook and Twitter are going to be baked into Mountain Lion from the ground up –  you will only need to log-in to Twitter and Facebook once and they become an integral part of everything you do with the new OS, share things as tweets and updates from any app and see pop-up notifications whenever someone contacts you.

When you choose Twitter from the Share menu, you can tweet links and photos directly from Safari, Preview, Finder, Photo Booth, and Quick Look without switching to another app and signing in.

Choosing Twitter from the Share menu brings up the Tweet sheet, a handy card that contains the content you’re tweeting. The Tweet sheet makes it easy to add a comment — you can even see how many characters you have left.

iOS Game Center Heading To Mac

Game Center, Apple’s attempt at social gaming, will be part of Mountain Lion, so you’ll be able to play games and view information from your friends in real-time.

The new Game Center app in Mountain Lion lets you set up and personalise your Mac gaming experience. Check out leaderboards in Game Center to find out how your scores rank among your friends’. You can also see how you rank among the scores for the day, the week, or all time. And you’ll see the top players of each game.

Game Center lets you play multiplayer games with friends on a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Safari Gets A Search Bar

Safari now has one field for typing both search terms and web addresses. When you type in the field, Safari detects a likely web page match based on your previous browsing and presents it as a Top Hit. Top Hit suggestions improve as you select the results.

Safari saves the web pages in your Reading List so you can catch up on your reading even when you don’t have an Internet connection. If an article in your Reading List contains multiple pages, Safari fetches the pages and stores them, so you can read the entire article offline.

Thanks to hardware acceleration, web pages scroll smoothly in the browser window even when your Mac is loading new web page content.

Your Mac Can Now Take A Power Nap

With Power Nap, your Mac sleeps but your applications stay up to date. So you have the latest information — such as mail, notes, reminders, and messages — when your Mac wakes up.

Mountain Lion will be shipping around July and will cost around £19.99.

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