The computer giant bridges the gap between OS and iOS by bringing more iPhone and iPad features to Apple desktops.
Apple announced new OS X Mountain Lion updates during its 23rd Worldwide Developers Conference this week.
The company’s annual conference usually generates big news, and this year was no different. As well as unveiling a smaller, lighter Macbook with retina display, executive Craig Federrichi gave attendees an idea of what to expect from Apple’s OS in the near future: a Mountain Lion that integrates more iOS features than ever before.
Apple released Mountain Lion in February. The operating system transfered many popular features from the iPhone and iPad to the desktop, and this new update continues that trend. When released, Mountain Lion users can expect to enjoy increased integration with iCloud, more features from iOS and increased sharing and communication options.
Highlights include a dictation feature similar to the iPhone’s Siri, the ability to zoom in and out of tabs within the Safari browser, and a Power Nap feature which will update you streams even when your computer is in sleep mode.
“We are bringing dictation to the Mac,” Federrichi told the conference audience. “It’s built to the system. You can talk into your Facebook webpage or third-party applications, such as Microsoft Word. That is dictation. It’s that simple.”
During his presentation, he also highlighted Apple’s astronomical growth over the last few years: “We have 66 million Mac users — triple what we had five years ago,” he said.
Safari users will be delighted to hear that Apple has finally taken a leaf out of Google Chrome’s book and combined the search box and address bar. Safari and iPhoto will also see the addition of Share Sheets, a sharing feature that enables users to share content with others quickly and easily. You can now email web pages and photos to others, or share them via Twitter with just a few clicks. Facebook integration is still conspicuously absent with the new upgrade.
Other features iOS lovers will enjoy include the introduction of more apps from iPhone and iPad onto the desktop. Notes, Reminders, Twitter integration, AirPlay, and Notification Center will all be available, in addition to the new dictation feature. Apps that currently sync using iCloud, such as Notes, will now be able to sync across iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.
Mountain Lion will also get a turbo-charged version of Notes and a diet version of Reminders, two of the most useful built-in apps on the iPhone and iPad. Notes users will be able to add videos, images and rich text to the desktop version, while Reminders allows users to do everything except create location-based alerts.
The new AirPlay addition will enable users to stream mirrored content from their Mac computer onto a TV. With this feature, and the addition of Game Center, Mac computers are set to become even more entertainment-friendly than before.
With the new update, desktop users will also be able to make the most of iMessage, the iPhone and iPad feature that allows you to contact other iDevices for free. iMessage users will now be able to send messages and enjoy HD FaceTime calls with other users across iPhone, iPad or Mac.
The update will be available during July and will retail for $19.99.