The next iteration of OS X – “Mountain Lion”:http://www.apple.com/osx/ will be released into the wild this July at US$19.99 from the Mac App Store. For buyers of new Mac systems on or after 12 June 2012, you will qualify for the “OS X Mountain Lion Up-to-Date Program”:http://www.apple.com/sg/osx/uptodate/ upgrade at no additional cost. Previously announced in February this year, Apple took the opportunity at WWDC 2012 to showcase a few of the “200+”:http://www.apple.com/osx/whats-new/features.html new features shown in the video below.
Some thoughts on a few of these new features:
h3. Documents in the Cloud
Like the name, Documents in the Cloud is a new feature that provides seamless storage and organisation of files in the “iCloud”:http://www.apple.com/icloud/. When you put the files in the iCloud, you don’t have to worry about which folder it should go to. Like in iOS, you need not think about where it is, just open the App associated to it and you will find your file there. Some will moan about not having the control of organizing the files, but for most of the consumer, this eliminates that “OMG! Your Desktop is full of files” problem. But should you decide to use this – the 5GB space given to you free will be insufficient.
h3. Sharing, Facebook
Apple embracing social media wholeheartedly by implementing Facebook integration soon after doing it with Twitter. Together with a system-wide Sharing function, you can now share almost everything and anything from your Mac with just a few quick clicks – right from the same app you’re working on.
h3. Game Center
This is probably what Microsoft had hope they could do with XBox, Windows – playing the same game across different devices. With the new Game Center on the Mac and with compatible games, you can have multiplayer games with your pals on an iPad or iPhone. That said, this will highly depend on Game Studios to update or create new games that will support this – but this is definitely a game changer.
Not mentioned at the keynote but this is a highly anticipated feature as it gives you the added protection of installing apps that are trusted – either straight from the Mac App Store or those that were digitally signed by approved developer. Anything else will be blocked from installing unless you override and manually install it.
Took them a while but they finally implemented unified search/URL field like Chrome. Also the iCloud Tab will definitely comes in useful if you do your surfing while on the road and just want an easy way to continue surfing the web at your desktop.
Not Siri but you can start talking to your Mac and get it to write for you. If my experience with Siri is similar to Dictation, it will take some time for you to adjust your pronunciation to get the OS to spell it correctly. One thing which Apple never mentioned is whether Dictation will work if you are not connected to the Web. Siri requires network connection as your verbal commands are sent to their DataCenter to digest and “understand” what you had said.
h3. Built-in Sharing
Everyone loves to share and Apple is not missing a beat with the new built-in Sharing features. For now, you can share using Mail, Messaes, AirDrop, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and Flickr. What I’d hope to see is Apple allowing us to set additional services – like Pocket, Pinterest etc.
China becoming one of the biggest market outside USA has definitely made Apple took notice and making some new features in Mountain Lion specifically for the market. There are newer fonts to use, improved input methods and support for major Chinese search engine Baidu, social media sites like Sina Weibo, Youku and Tudou.
h3. How to upgrade
Mountain Lion will be available in a few weeks time via the Mac App Store and you can upgrade if you have these Macs:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
and your machine must be running either Lion (10.7.x) or the latest version of OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.x). Lastly, if you are buying a Mac now or bought one after 11 June 2012, you can upgrade for free via the “Upgrade program”:http://www.apple.com/sg/osx/uptodate/.