The talked-about update to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac hardware line on Monday was accompanied by a detailed preview of Mountain Lion, its new Mac operating system, by company senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi. The new Mac software will be available in July for $19.99 for users of older Mac computers. Those who order any of the new computers announced on Monday will receive an update to Mountain Lion free of cost when it release on the App Store next month.
As predicted, Mountain Lion will add features from Apple’s mobile devices and iOS, with its own Notes, Reminders, and Game Center, and Notification Centers. Integration with iCloud will make sure that all these applications use the same data on all of a user’s devices, whether mobile, desktop, or notebook. Mountain Lion also gets iMessaging to replace iChat, giving users the ability to send SMS-style messages to mobile devices from the computer.
Apple is also adding dictation service to the Mac, which can be integrated with third-party applications like Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Word or even Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The company also announced a Gatekeeper security system, which allows users to limit installation of applications to those signed with an Apple-provided developer certificate or those downloaded from the App Store. Users will be able to override settings application by application. The new Power Nap feature will also keep the computer up to date while in the sleep mode.
Updates to its web browser, Safari, include increased multitouch gestures, a Chrome-like unified search field, and the ability to view open tabs on other devices set up with iCloud.
Mountain Lion will also let the user share the Mac’s screen with any screen or device connected to Apple TV, the company’s set-top box. The remote screen will be able to show presentations or movies playing on the computer.
Apple also added several new features specific to users in China, with an improved Chinese input method, new Chinese dictionary, eight new Chinese fonts, and a Safari integration with Chinese search provider Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU).