Apple has just released their latest OS X, Mountain Lion, which they say is their “best OS yet.” Touting more than 200 new and improved features, Mountain Lion is supposed to make your computing life as easy as possible while easily allowing you to shift tasks, features and functions between your iOS-based device like iPhone and iPad so that they all run like one well-oiled machine.  It also brings a lot of great things from iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to the Mac. And with iCloud, now your Mac works even better with your iOS devices. The upgrade is available now in the Mac App Store for only $19.99, which is actually $10 cheaper than last year’s OS X update.

15. Notes

The Notes app just got a whole lot better! Since they’re designed for whatever’s on your mind, you can now make your thoughts even more noteworthy with  photos, images, and attachments. You can add, delete, and flip through your notes or do a quick search. Use the Share button to send your notes with Mail or Messages. Pin important notes to your desktop so they’re easy to get to. And take them with you everywhere since it works with iCloud.

14. Reminders

Every now and then we need to be reminded of things and the new Reminder app organizes your life on your Mac even better than ever! Set due dates and you’ll get alerts as deadlines approach. Set a location from your Mac, and your iPhone or iPad will remind you when you get there. Then check off items as you go and keep track of what you’ve completed, and you can easily push them to all your iOS devices!

13.  Improved iCloud

iCloud is how a Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch work together and it’s been revamped to work even better. So it keeps your entire Mac life (mail, calendars, contacts, reminders, documents, notes, and more) up to date wherever you use them. So when you add, delete, or change something on your Mac, it also happens on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. And vice versa. You don’t have to do anything at all — iCloud is automatic and effortless.

12. Improved Safari

Like iCloud, the new operating system also improves on Safari, allowing you to type both searches and web addresses in the new Smart Search Field, as well as the ability to pinch to see tabs with Tab View and swipe to switch between them. New iCloud tabs makes it the last websites you looked at accessible on all your iOS devices, too!

11. iMessage

Messages with iMessage takes your conversations even further. Allowing you to send messages from your Mac to friends with any iOS devcies. With iMessage, you can start a conversation on your Mac and then pick it up on your iPhone or iPad. Send photos, videos, documents, and contacts — even send messages to a group.  Turn on read receipts, and they’ll see when you’ve read a message and with end-to-end encryption, your messages stay safe and private.

10. Finder Share Button

Sharing just got a whole lot easier as the Share Button is all over OS X Mountain Lion. It’s the new, easy way to share right from the app you’re using, so you can share photos, videos, and other files with Mail, Messages, and AirDrop.

9. Facebook Integration

The new OS X is more Facebook friendly and has built-in Facebook support, so you can share what’s up with you right from the app you’re in. It even adds your Facebook friends and their profile photos to Contacts so you can find them fast. When friends update their information on Facebook, it’s automatically updated on your Mac.

8. Notification Center

The new Notification Center has any notices appear in the top right corner of your screen and you can open it from anywhere in OS X to see recent ones. Plus, you can easily configure your notifications to receive just the ones you want. Notifications always appear in the same spot on your desktop and disappear quickly so they don’t clutter up your screen.

7. Power Nap

Even when your Mac is asleep it’s still working and periodically updating Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Photo Stream, Find My Mac, and Documents in the Cloud. When your Mac is connected to a power source, it downloads software updates and makes backups with Time Machine. While all that updating is going on, the system sounds are silent and no lights or fans come on.

6. Dictation

Now you can talk to your Mac and it will convert your words into text since it uses the built-in microphone on your Mac, so there’s no need to set anything up; just speak instead of type! When you say “comma” or “exclamation point,” Dictation punctuates for you. Plus, the more you use it, the smarter it gets since it learns oice characteristics and recognizes people from your contacts so it enters names accurately.

5. Game Center

Not that your Mac has Game Center, you can play anyone on a Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch using your Game Center account from iOS or create one with your Apple ID. You’ll be able to check out leaderboards and see how your high score ranks against scores around the world. Game Center recommends Mac games and opponents, so you can start a multiplayer game with your friends and even challenge people you don’t know.

4. AirPlay Mirroring

AirPlay Mirroring shows your Mac Show web pages and videos to friends on the couch, share lessons with a classroom, or present to a conference room. AirPlay audio streams the music, podcasts, and other audio on your Mac to AirPlay-enabled speakers. screen on your HDTV with Apple TV.

3. Improved Preview

Now you can access PDF documents and images from anywhere since Preview in Mountain Lion supports Documents in the Cloud. You can also now quickly fill out forms since Preview now uses image analysis and detects areas that are intended for text entry, such as underlining and boxes.

2.  Improved Calendar

The Calendar app now has a cool sidebar function that keeps a list of all your calendars accessible in a sidebar and will offer you suggestions when searching for an event in the app, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Also, the new date picker in the inspector displays a mini calendar so you can easily change the date of an event.

1. Improved Mail

You can now indicate the people who are most important to you by making them VIPs by clicking the star next to their name, while a new VIP smart mailbox holds all messages sent from new mail comes, you receive notifications by default. You can also choose to be notified when VIPs send you messages, when messages arrive in a certain mailbox, or when you get a message from a particular person in Contacts.



Kristie Bertucci

 
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.