Today was a big day at Apple’s WWDC keynote address, highlighting major changes to both hardware and software for their entire line of laptops as well as desktop and mobile operating systems.
Previously announced, OS X Mountain Lion is the next major release of Apple “revolutionary” desktop operating system. At WWDC, Apple execs took some time to reveal some of the new features that they’ve been working on.
Building on the success of iCloud, Apple has continued to bridge the gap between their mobile devices and their operating system. Notes and Reminders both gained applications on the desktop, and improvements to Documents in the Cloud make it even easier to make changes to documents on any device and have these changes instantly appear everywhere else.
Earlier this year, Apple released a beta version of Messages for Mac - a replacement for iChat that can send/receive iMessages and integrates with legacy chat clients such as AIM, GChat and Facebook Chat. When you start a conversation on Messages for Mac, it will update on all your devices. If your phone buzzes with a new message, you can now quickly respond right from your desktop.
Taking cues from iOS, Notification Center has come to the Mac. Sporting a Growl-like interface, Notification Center sits to the right of your desktop and is accessed with a single swipe. When apps want to notify you, a small box will appear and then fade into the background. With social integration included, you can now also Tweet and post to Facebook right from the sidebar.
Wouldn’t it be great if your Mac could work for you while you sleep? Power Nap is a new feature that keeps your Mac updated while it (or you) are sleeping. With minimal impact to battery usage, your Mac will keep notifications, appointments, reminders, tweets, emails and more updated so there’s no need to refresh when you decide to get back to work.
The relationship between Apple and Nuance is continuing to be integrated into Apple’s many products and services. Voice Dictation, which was first seen with Siri and on the iPad is now available on the Mac. Simply talk and see your words appear in any application you’re working in. The application gets to know you so Apple says that the more you use it, the more accurate it will become.
It’s now even easier to share from almost anywhere within Mountain Lion. Tap the Share icon to email, Tweet, Facebook, iMessage or save any document, webpage, photo or video you’re looking at. Integration is found in most of the OS including apps like Photo Booth and iPhoto.
It’s been a longstanding rumor that Facebook would follow Twitter in becoming integrated at the OS-level. Facebook is now built right in to OS X including sharing settings, contacts, calendars and notifications.
Safari 6 will see a host of updates including a unified search/address bar, something known as “Tab View” to visually flip through open tabs and offline Reading List. iCloud support is built right in and with tab sharing, you can now see and navigate to tabs that may be open on your iPhone or iPad right from your Mac.
With over 200+ improvements, it’s hard to highlight all of them. Apple also announced AirPlay Mirroring for Mac, to project your Mac onto a TV or other screen. Further improvements to Twitter integration, Game Center, Gatekeeper and international settings have kept OS X as the “world’s most advanced operating system”.