Apple has released the developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, just seven months after the acclaimed launch of Lion.
5. Twitter integration
The popularity of Twitter has already led to Apple integrating the social networking site into its mobile OS. This will now be extended to Macs and make it quicker and easier to share posts. Users will be able to tweet from native apps such as Safari, Quick Look and Photo Booth and a host of third-party apps are also expected to include this functionality. Anything that removes extra steps is always a good thing.
4. iCloud syncing
Apple has noted that Mountain Lion has been developed with the iCloud in mind and users will find it easier to set up and sync content between devices using their Mac. No details have been given about how this will be made easier, but we expect Apple to remain true to its word.
With the increased use of apps on Apple desktop OS, the firm is keen to plug any potential security holes. Apple will launch the Gatekeeper app, a security feature that allows users to monitor apps that have been downloaded and installed on a Mac.
Users will be able to install apps from any source if they wish, or lock down their system so that only vetted apps from the Mac App Store will be usable.
2. Messages and Notifications Center
The Messages app will replace the iChat client and enable Mac users to send unlimited messages, photos and videos to any other Mac or iOS device over the net. Messages will also retain support for other popular IM clients including AIM, Jabber, Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk. Lion users can download a beta version of Messages from www.apple.com, and give it a test-drive.
Mountain Lion also introduces the Notifications Center to the Mac interface. This dropdown menu will include alerts such as emails and friend requests. It will be interesting to see exactly how this dropdown bar is triggered on Mac devices, though. On the iPhone and iPad it is activated by a swipe of the touch screen. The inclusion of the Notification Center could be an indication that Apple may be planning to add touch screens to its OS X-based devices.
1. Airplay streaming
OS X Mountain Lion will bring AirPlay Mirroring to the Mac platform. Users will be able to securely stream 720p video streams over wireless from a Mac to an HDTV using Apple TV. This will be particularly convenient for users who are using MacBooks and want to view multimedia content on larger screens, and is likely to boost sales of Apple TV.
We'd like to point out that Siri, the voice activated personal assistant that debuted on the iPhone 4S, is not going to be included. It is still officially in the beta phase, so we're not too surprised it hasn't been included. But stranger things have happened and it could still be added to the final release of Mountain Lion.
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