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OS X Mountain Lion: New Features Overview

by Brandon Russell | June 12, 2012June 12, 2012 2:30 pm PDT

Mountain-LionBack in February, Apple surprised everyone and unveiled its next iteration of OS X, dubbed Mountain Lion. The company was pretty forthcoming with all of the new features: Notifications, Message, Twitter integration, etc, so we thought we were prepared for its WWDC reemergence. Not so. What Apple failed to share four months ago were features such as Facebook integration, Dictation, Power Nap and the upcoming OS’s availability and price. Here are some cool new additions that you’ll see when it’s released for $19.99 next month.

Power Nap ApplePower Nap? Yep, Power Nap.

In short, Power Nap keeps your Mac — new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (second gen or later) — up to date while it (and you) sleeps. That means it’ll still get things done by periodically updating apps like Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, and Documents in the Cloud, ensuring you’re always good to go. And don’t worry about your battery draining (too much), as Apple claims Power Nap will keep your machine silent, with no lights or fans coming on while the feature is in use.

 

Dictation Mountain lionDictation

Type, I mean speak, your next email or essay using the built-in microphone on your Mac, no setup required — it even works with Microsoft Word. Amazingly, Dictation gets smarter the more you use it. “It learns voice characteristics,” Apple said. “And it recognizes people from your contacts so it enters names accurately.” If you’ve used the feature on your iPad, Dictation in OS X Mountain Lion works exactly the same way. Say “comma” or “exclamation point,” and it punctuates for you. For now, Dictation supports English, (U.S., UK, and Australia) French, German and Japanese, according to Apple.

Mountain Lion sharingSharing, Sharing Everywhere

Mountain Lion now lets you update your Facebook status faster than ever. Unfortunately, built-in support won’t be available until the fall. When it does go live, you can do stuff like post photos, links, add comments and locations, and you’ll be able to share whatever strikes your fancy from the app you’re in. The integration also adds your Facebook friends’s profile photos to Contacts, which updates automatically on your Mac when a friend updates their info over the social network. In addition, you can update your Facebook status through Mountain Lion’s notification center, just as you can with Twitter.

Get a Load of That Price, and More

Just $19.99 gets you an OS that better combines your mobile and desktop experience. The best part, though, is that you can purchase Mountain Lion just once and update all the Macs you own. One download to rule them all.

In addition, Safari is bringing over a unified address bar for search and a pretty cool “Tab view” feature that looks like something out of Ice Cream Sandwich. With the new Safari, a new feature called iCloud Tabs takes all the tabs that you have open on your iPhone or iPad, and pings them to your browser. OS X Mountain Lion is also introducing AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center and GateKeeper, Notification Center, Reminders and Notes, among plenty of other features.

Apple said Mountain Lion will be available in July at a yet to be announced date.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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