In the animal kingdom, all cats share the same family, Felidae. Since these animals share similar characteristics, they are recognizable as felines. It may be for this reason that Apple has taken to applying code names from the Felidae family to different versions of their popular operating system, OS X. Whatever the reason, the latest version is here, and it comes packaged with some interesting new features.
OS X 10.8 – commonly known as Mountain Lion – was released into the wild on July 25, 2012, and is now standard on all new Macs. It can also be purchased and downloaded from the Apple store for US$19.99. Mountain Lion includes six features that we think you and your employees will definitely find useful.
- AirPlay Mirroring. Want to project your Mac’s screen onto a TV or larger screen? If you have an Apple TV you can mirror your display and audio to a TV or projector screen in HD. If your office uses Apple computers this makes for simple presentations. Simply set up an HD projector to an Apple TV. Employees can then give presentations from their Macs at the press of a button, no wires required.
- Power Nap. This is a great feature that allows newer Macs (models released after mid 2011) to receive emails and download and install updates while the computer is ‘asleep’. This should help IT workers to install updates during non-business hours. It will also allow employees to start their day right away, with no waiting for the computer and programs to start up.
- Gatekeeper. Gatekeeper gives the administrators of the new OS the chance to set which apps can be downloaded and installed. This should make management of systems easier, as IT departments can control what’s installed, and it should minimize instances of malware and viruses.
- Notification Center. Taking a page from iOS – Apple’s mobile OS – Mountain Lion now includes notifications. Available updates, upcoming calendar events, messages, and more will now show up as a notice in the top right of the desktop and slide away in five seconds. They can be viewed again by hitting the Notification button on the top right of the screen.
- iCloud. iCloud was introduced a few months before the release of Mountain Lion. It is Apple’s answer to integrating multiple Apple devices. With the update, documents stored on iCloud can be accessed and modified by all devices, with changes showing up in the docs stored on your Mac.
- Reminders. If your employees are involved in one or more projects, or need a way to manage their tasks, Reminders can help. Essentially a to-do list that is integrated across all Apple devices, Reminders pop up when a scheduled task comes due, or can provide a reminder about meetings, or any other events that users need help remembering.
There are a number of other features that you may find useful, and we encourage you to explore the new OS. What’s your favorite new feature of Mountain Lion? Let us know below.