Good news for Mac owners, the latest version of OSX code named Mountain Lion, has a sneak peak up over at apple.com. A slew of new features are being shown off and developers can download a preview build right now. Some of the new features like Messages can already be downloaded. Details and links after the break:
The first new feature Apple is showing off in Mountain Lion is what’s being called Messages. Messages is a lot like “IMessage” introduced in IOS5 crossed over with the current version of IChat. Like with IChat, you can still add in your IM client of choice and use a dedicated application for all of your IMs, but messages adds the ability to chat with IOS devices. This means you can send messages too and from every Apple product be it a Mac, IPod, IPad or IPhone all in an interface vastly better than the one used in the current version of IChat. Unlike the other new features, this one can be downloaded right now here, whether you are a developer or not.
One of the biggest improvements IOS5 brought to mobile devices was the notification center, a dedicated easily hideable area where all of your notifications can be found. The current notification system on OSX normally works with a small popup in the top right corner, followed by an icon with a number indicating how many new messages you have. Notification center for Mac will instead give you the same notification area found on IOS devices with a drop down menu in the top right of the screen. This is a lot more convient, and at least for me is sure to lead to me noticing notifications faster.
Reminders is exactly what it sounds like and a whole lot more. Not only does it allow you to set reminders for important events and times but also allows you to make check lists. Then, thanks to ICloud, those lists and reminders will be synced across all of your Apple devices. This lets you write up a grocery list on your Mac, and automatically have it on your IPhone or IPad when you get to the store. Other notes like Evernote have done this before, but it’s great to see this functionality baked right in.
Notes for Mac is a lot like the popular Microsoft app One Note, but with a major difference being the advantage given by ICloud. Thanks to ICloud, like Reminders, notes will let you sync information across all of your devices automatically. You can now type your notes in the lecture hall and edit them on your IPad over lunch. Again, this was already possible with third party apps, but its great to see the functionality baked in.
Game Center is coming to Mac. Now you can look at your achievements and high scores and even set some new ones right on your Mac. Add in the ability to play games cross platform and it makes for one of the most exciting parts of this update. You can now go head to head with your buddies on any IOS device right from your Mac. Now, not all games are going to work, old ones will likely require an update, new ones will likely have to opt in, but chances are adoption will happen sooner than you might think. More Info available here