Having released OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) to developers earlier this year, Apple had already let much of the new features of its Mac operating system out of the bag. At WWDC, Apple has revealed the ninth version of OS X will be available for download from next month.
Coming a year to the month after the release of Lion (OS X 10.7), Apple says Mountain Lion will introduce more than 200 new features – many, such as Notification Center, Messages, Reminders, Notes, Game Center and AirPlay Mirroring, borrowed from iOS. Enabling many of these new features is iCloud, which Apple says has been “built into the foundation of OS X”.
Having already highlighted the aforementioned features in the Mountain Lion preview in February, WWDC saw the spotlight shone on a number of other features to be introduced in Mountain Lion.
These include a new system-wide Sharing feature that sees a Share button – which third-party developers will also be able to add to their apps – popping up just about everywhere, making it easy to share links, photos, videos and other files.
Third-party developers will also be able to take advantage of the Dictation feature built into Mountain Lion, which lets users dictate text anywhere it can be typed.
While not appearing at launch, the much-rumored Facebook integration will be introduced in an upcoming software update, with Facebook friends automatically appearing in Contacts, and the ability to receive Facebook notifications and update your Facebook status from within Notification Center. Users will also be able to access a variety of third-party services, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo with a single sign in.
Owners of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display and second or third gen MacBook Airs can make use of Power Nap, which allows software and iCloud synchronization updates to be downloaded and Time Machine backups to be made while the computer is sleeping.
The new version of Safari will be faster and include a unified Smart Search Field and iCloud Tabs that will be synchronized to mobile devices, with open tabs able to be swiped through via a new Tab View.
Mountain Lion will be available for download via the Mac App Store in July for US$19.99. Anyone who purchased a qualifying new Mac system after June 11, 2012, will be able to update to Mountain Lion at no cost.