Apple OS X Mountain Lion Preview
Apple made a surprise announcement in February 2012 that it will be releasing a new, updated version of its current Mac operating system. The new release, known as Mountain Lion, will be available for consumers later this summer. It will be offered as a paid update for OS X that will be available to download from the Mac App Store. Pricing has not yet been released for the operating system upgrade, but several new features have already been announced. Before Mountain Lion actually becomes available, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with its basic concepts, improvements and upgrades, all of which will allow you to make an educated decision about whether the new OS X upgrade is a worthwhile investment for you.
In terms of its basic strategy, Apple has made it clear that its goal in the future is to move in the direction of combining its Mac OS X and its mobile iOS for the iPhone and iPad. An example of this strategy is its integration of more track pad movements into the Mac operating system, similar to what you find on the touch pads of many mobile devices. On top of this, Apple intends to make Mountain Lion compatible with many new applications like those found on most modern mobile devices.
For example, iMessenger is one new application that will be included on Mountain Lion. This is the same chat software found on the iPhone and iPad which allows users to directly communicate with other iPhone and iPad users without using text messages. iMessenger will replace Apple’s old iChat messaging software; it will allow you to directly talk and video chat with not only other individuals who own Mac computers, but also with nearly anyone who uses a mobile Apple product. Clearly Apple intends to use iMessenger to attempt to take over the majority of Skype’s market share in the video chat service world — at least for Apple users.
When notifications are available on your mobile Apple devices with iOS, the information now appears directly on the startup screen, instead of as small, red numbers on the dock icons. This is similar to what will be included in the OS X Mountain Lion update. With a quick flick of your finger on the trackpad, all your current notifications will appear on the right side of your computer screen. These notifications could include new messages, changes to your calendar, recommended updates or available downloads for your computer system and any other new useful piece of information for your Mac computer. This is intended to make organizing your information far more convenient than it is under the current system.
The Reminders app is another new application that will be included in Mac OS X Mountain Lion. It allows you to make easily accessible notes of information you might need later — a grocery list, for examples, or items you need to pack for a trip. Once the task for which you made the list is finished, you can simply move the reminder you created to the “Completed” list. This saves all your previous reminders and lists, allowing you to use them again if necessary.
One of the most useful features of the mobile iOS devices is the Notes feature, in which you open up a yellow document and simply type in whatever you feel like. This feature will now be included in Mountain Lion as well. It will also allow you to click and drag images, movies and similar content into the open document window, saving the data to your computer automatically.
Although a significant amount of information has yet to be released about the Mountain Lion update, information so far has been intriguing for long-standing Apple aficionados and new users alike. Mountain Lion appears poised to turn OS X into the most user-friendly, convenient and useful version of the operating system yet.