To followup OS X Lion, which brought some iOS features to the Mac, Apple has announced OS X Mountain Lion which promises to bring even more iOS to your Mac.
OS X Mountain Lion (the “Mac” has officially been dropped from the name) still has the fullscreen apps and Mac App Store as Lion, but brings in new features like more iCloud support, Messages, Reminders, and Notification Center. Mountain Lion continues Apple’s idea that the computer is just another terminal for your information. As soon as you boot up a new Mac with Lion you’re prompted to enter your iCloud account, or to create one. That way you’ll be able to save your documents to iCloud and have them sync across all of your Apple devices. Your iCloud account will also be useful in Messages, which replaces iChat. Messages still has the iChat functionality, but it will now let your send iMessages as well. Finally you’ll be able to talk to your friend on a Mac, then bring that same conversation over to the iPad or iPhone.
Along with iCloud and Messages Apple is bringing some iOS 5 features to Mountain Lion. There’s Notification Center, which can be accessed from any screen with a swipe or a hotkey. It could possibly replace Growl for many users, though only apps from the Mac App Store can use it. Game Center is also making an appearance in Mountain Lion, so you’ll be able to track achievements and challenge friends to games on your Mac as well as iOS devices.
As it did in iOS 5 Apple is also bringing Twitter integration to Mountain Lion. You’ll be able to tweet from almost anywhere within the OS. Safari, Photo Booth, and iPhoto will also have the ability to tweet out links and photos without having to use a separate app.
The last big feature is the inclusion of AirPlay. Finally you’ll be able to mirror your display on your TV just by using and Apple TV. It’ll work just as it does on the iPad and iPhone, allowing any screen to be shown on your TV with apps like Keynote and iMovie being the two obvious uses that Apple is touting so far.
OS X Mountain Lion seems like a natural progression from Lion, and hopefully it fix some of the bugs that still exist in Lion. With this release Apple is starting to release new versions of OS X once a year, which sounds like a great idea. Mountain Lion will be available this Summer, though a beta version is available to developers right now.