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OS X 10.8.2 Eases Notification Center, Messages Frustrations

Apple released OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion’s second update with a surprisingly lengthy list of changes (a nice turnabout from the typical single-sentence release notes that Apple tends to publish). The top-line changes for 10.8.2 Mountain Lion are largely focused on sprinkling Facebook integration throughout the operating system (which Michael Cohen covers in “Facebook Integration Comes to Mountain Lion,” 19 September 2012) as well as adding new Game Center features. But the update also hopefully puts to rest to a wide assortment of frustrations that have surfaced within Mountain Lion — ranging from Twitter URLs to iMessages — while also bringing a few internationally oriented

One such frustration was Notification Center’s inability to shorten URLs when sending tweets (noted by Kirk McElhearn in “Going In Depth on Mountain Lion’s Notifications,” 11 September 2012). Happily, you no longer need to first run your links through a URL shortening service before composing a tweet in Notification Center as 10.8.2 will automatically shorten the URLs (using Twitter’s own shortener). Other tweaks to Notification Center include receipt of Twitter notifications for mentions and replies from anyone (even if you don’t follow them) and a disabling of notifications when using AirPlay Mirroring.

The 10.8.2 update also ensures that iMessages sent to your phone number will now appear in the Messages app on your Mac (in addition to any other iOS devices where you have the iMessage service set up), a problem that vexed Glenn Fleishman recently (see “Use Your iPhone’s Number with Messages in OS X 10.8.2,” 19 September 2012). Additionally, FaceTime will now receive calls sent to your phone number.

The new iOS 6 Passbook digital coupon and boarding pass feature gains Mac support, enabling you to add passes to an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 6 from Safari or Mail on your Mac. Speaking of Safari, the browser now has the option of opening previously open tabs when launching, and it has been given SSL support for Google searches from the Smart Search Field.

Other changes include the addition of Power Nap support for MacBook Air models released in late 2010 (a firmware update is also required), an option to discard an original document’s changes when choosing Save As (see “With 10.8.2, Mountain Lion Saves Even Better,” 20 September 2012), automatic opening of unsent drafts when launching Mail, and new shared Reminders lists.

On the international front, the update now enables users of the Sina Weibo microblogging service to add profile photos to Contacts. Additionally, Dictation now supports Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Canadian English, Canadian French, and Italian, plus the Dictionary app has added a French definition dictionary.

While Apple doesn’t mention any improvements to battery life management in the release notes, Mac Observer reports that testing of the developer build of 10.8.2 yielded much improved battery life. However, the previous update to Mountain Lion also made this promise (see “OS X 10.8.1 Targets Bugs, Improved Battery Life,” 23 August 2012), so we’ll have to wait and see how well the final public build of 10.8.2 handles power management in the real world.

The free OS X 10.8.2 update is available via the Mac App Store (365.42 MB) or via direct download in two versions — one for those currently running 10.8.1 (665.48 MB) and one for those running 10.8.0 (665.39 MB). Once again, there is currently no corresponding update for OS X Server, which is now a separate purchase from the Mac App Store.

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