Apple only launched Mac OS X Lion (10.7) in June last year, but today it has launched the developer preview of the next iteration of the desktop operating system, codenamed Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8).
The new software, which won’t be available to customers until late summer via the Mac App Store seems to be influenced heavily by the company’s mobile operating system, iOS having borrowed apps and features from the iPad and iPhone.
Mac OS X Mountain Lion introduces Messages, Notes, Reminders and Game Center to the Mac, as well as Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration, AirPlay Mirroring and of course iCloud.
We take a look at some of the biggest details to come with Mac OS X Mountain Lion:
Like BBM, iMessage is iOS’s free messaging app between iOS devices which was introduced with iOS 5. Now Apple is extending this to Macs. The Messages app replaces iChat and will allow you to send unlimited messages, photos and videos directly from your Mac to another Mac or iOS device.
Messages will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk and starting today Lion users can download a beta of Messages from the Apple website, and the final version will be available with Mountain Lion.
Like the introduction of iMessage in iOS 5, the update also brought Notification Center to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and Apple is extending it to the Mac line-up now too. It will bring together alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps. Will this mean the end of bouncing icons in the dock? Probably.
Apple announced recently that iCloud has 100 million users since launching last year on mobile devices. Now Apple’s desktop and laptop users will also have access to this online storage service with Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
Users will be able to log on to iCloud with their Apple ID to automatically set-up Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Messages, FaceTime and Find My Mac. The new iCloud Documents pushes any changes to all your devices so documents are always up to date, and a new API helps developers make document-based apps work with iCloud.
Airplay Mirroring, Twitter Integration and more
You will now be able to seamlessly mirror your desktop on an HDTV thanks to AirPlay Mirroring, and Twitter integration will let you tweet just about anything from just about anywhere in the OS - if that’s what you want to do. System-wide Share Sheets promise to make it easier to share links, photos and videos directly from Apple and third party apps.
Let us know in the comments what you think of the new OS from Apple and if you think that the move to integrate more iOS features in the desktop environment is a good move.