Apple’s Mountain Lion update to Mac OS X is an affirmation of just how important the cloud and iOS integration has become to anyone who uses a desktop Mac. More than 100 new features have been added to the operating system, and many emphasize Apple’s desire to create a single platform that integrates mobile, social and cloud features across multiple devices.
The message is clear: Whether you’re on a MacBook, iPad or iPhone, you’re working on an Apple product that’s directly linked to other hardware in the same ecosystem. The personal computer is no longer the primary device in your digital life — it’s a node in a larger ecosystem that encompasses the whole Apple family. And device-to-device synergy is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve teased out five of the most important, most innovative aspects of Cupertino’s latest release.
Deep iCloud Integration
Mountain Lion is also about iCloud. You first sign into the OS using your Apple ID, allowing services like iCloud, iTunes, the Mac App Store and FaceTime to set up automatically. Accordingly, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Messages and Find My Mac all easily sync once you set up iCloud.
Notification Center was one of the major new upgrades made to iOS 5, and with Mountain Lion, the useful notification aggregation center is now on the Mac, too.
Privacy and security is a growing concern of app users (just look at the whole Path debacle). But while iOS privacy policies are a work in progress for Apple, the security of your desktop system is a front-and-center concern in Mountain Lion.
Unification With iOS 5
Mountain Lion delivers strong unification between iOS and Mac. For starters, Apple unified and simplified the naming conventions of many of its features (iCal is now Calendar, iChat is now Messages), paring down some of the “cruft,” as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber put it, that’s accumulated over the years.
New Gaming Possibilities
Another iOS import, Game Center, is also coming to the Mac, giving you the ability to check out game titles your friends are playing, discover new friends, and view your leaderboard status, among other things. But the introduction of Apple’s new Game Kit API’s should also open up a whole new world of gaming.
- Apple Announces OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Drops ‘Mac’ From OS Name (socialbarrel.com)
- OS X Mountain Lion (thetechscoop.net)
- iOS and OS X Come Ever Closer As Apple Announces “Mountain Lion” (mac.appstorm.net)