When Apple released Mac OS X Lion in July 2011, it represented a major step toward making the iMac, MacBook or MacBook Air user experience closer to the experience had by iPhone and iPad users. About one year later, Apple has announced plans for another significant OS X update, called OS X Mountain Lion. This update adds over 100 new features that Mac users will appreciate, especially if they also utilize an Apple iOS mobile device.
Thanks to iCloud, schedule-related data between the iCal (Mac) and Calendar (iPhone/iPad) apps built into the OS X and iOS operating systems now easily and automatically exchange and synchronize data, as does someone's Address Book (Mac) and Contacts (iPhone/iPad) data.
With the introduction of OS X Mountain Lion in Summer 2012, Mac users will now also have access to the Reminders, Notes, Messages, Notification Center and Game Center apps which are already fully integrated into the iOS 5.0 operating system utilized by the iPhone and iPad. Thus, data between these apps will also synchronize automatically between any Mac and iOS mobile device.
This summer, when OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is released, it will be available exclusively online via the Mac App Store, and will run on Mac OS-based desktop and laptop computers that are less than three or four years old, and that meet the operating system's yet-to-be-announced hardware requirements.
While OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will offer an abundance of useful features for Mac computer users, those who also have an iOS mobile device will see seamless and wireless integration between their computer and iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. The new Mac operating system will also accept more finger gestures on computers that have an Apple Magic Track Pad (which is an optional accessory for iMacs, and is built into MacBooks and MacBook Air notebook computers).
Start Sending/Receiving Text Messages Right Away With Messages
The upgrade price for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion has not yet been announced. For a flat-fee, it will most likely be available to Mac users running one of the two most recent versions of the Mac OS X operating system. Macs running a much older version of the operating system may incur additional upgrade fees, or discover their older Mac does not meet OS X 10.8's minimum hardware requirements.
The new Messages app (which replaces the iChat app currently built into Mac OS X Lion), has already been released in beta form, and is currently available as a free download from Apple.
Messages offers free access to Apple's iMessage service, which was previously available only to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. Using the Messages app, an unlimited number of text messages can be sent and received via the web, between other Mac users, as well as iOS mobile device users.
The iMessage service was launched by Apple in conjunction with the iOS 5.0 operating system upgrade for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It offers a free alternative to using a cell phone's fee-based text messaging service. As of mid-February, Messages and the iMessage service, is now available to Mac users as well.