At WWDC today, Apple revealed several more features in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and announced that the operating system would ship “next month” for $19.99. As with 10.7 Lion, Mountain Lion will be available solely in the Mac App Store, and can be installed on all your personal Macs, all the way back to 10.6 Snow Leopard (assuming hardware compatibility, of course).
Along with previously announced features (see “OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Stalks iOS,” 16 February 2012), Apple showed off Power Nap, a feature that enables sleeping laptops (recent MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models only) to continue to process certain tasks, such as updating Twitter, backing up to a Time Capsule, and more. Also, Twitter and Facebook will be integrated into Notification Center, and in general, Facebook will be integrated more deeply into the operating system, though it’s not entirely clear what that means (or what the privacy implications might be). Lastly, Mountain Lion will gain dictation capabilities along the lines of the third-generation iPad — anywhere you can
type, you’ll be able to dictate, presumably with a similar level of success as on the iPad (whatever that may be for you).
Apple also announced several new features for Safari in Mountain Lion, and if history is any indication, at least some will make their way to previous operating systems as well. Most important from my perspective is the unified search bar, which may give Safari the same sort of address bar capabilities as Google Chrome and Firefox (see “Surf Faster in Google Chrome and Safari 5 with Browse By Name,” 6 April 2011). Also, iCloud Tabs will let you see a list of open tabs on other devices logged into the same iCloud account, and another new feature called Tab View lets you navigate among tabs with gestures.