Now that you’ve been using Mac OS X Mountain Lion for about a month now, you might feel like your computing life is suddenly much easier.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Apple’s latest operating system for its Mac lineup has subtly added features that are designed to make your life easier. On the outside, it looks like the Mac operating system we’ve come to love, but Mountain Lion is Apple’s best yet.
Mountain Lion Updates Are Easy
One of the most annoying features currently in iOS 5 and in past version of Mac OS X is updating apps in the Mac App Store. You would only know when an app needed updating when you opened the App Store and refreshed. And then when you actually had to click update, you were required to type in your Apple ID password.
Why should Apple require a password for an update on an app that you already own?
Mac OS X Mountain Lion fixes this. Now when an app needs to be updated, it’ll pop up as a badge on the App Store or in the new Notification Center (we’ll get to this later) and prompt you to update. When you click on that notification or open the App Store, all you have to do is click “Update” — no password required.
Notification Center Reminds us why we Love iOS
It’s baffling that the Notification Center made popular on iOS didn’t make its way to the Mac sooner.
OS X Mountain Lion brings us an easy-to-use Notification Center, which is even easier to use with a Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse. With the swipe from the right to the left with two fingers, your Notification Center can pop up.
The best part about the Notification Center is its integration with Apple’s dedicated Mail app. For those who have used Microsoft Outlook, you probably love the little notification that pops up in the corner with a quick preview of the email you just received. Notification Center does the same thing. When it pops up, you have about three seconds to click it, which will then open your Mail app and display the message.
For avid Twitter users, you’ll also enjoy the direct message, re-tweets and mentions that you’re made aware of through the Notification Center.
iMessage Integration Improves Communication
The Messages app that comes with Mac OS X Mountain Lion should come with a disclaimer. If you’re a person who works at a Mac all day, you will love this new feature.
If you’re a person who uses a Mac at the end of a day to play around on the Internet, check emails and update your social networks, it may not be as helpful.
That’s because (assuming both users also have an iPhone) you won’t want to confuse your contacts by sending them a text message from your Mac and having it look like it came from your email address.
For that first person, however, there’s not a better way to communicate. Sending photos and video is lightning fast, you can easily go into a FaceTime conversation and when you receive a message, it pops up in the Notification Center. The new iMessage is a huge improvement over iChat.
Notes App Comes to the Mac and Supports Rich-Text Formatting
Everyone has their own way of staying productive. I use Evernote and Apple’s Notes app.
There are plenty of people who love Notes on the iPhone and are happy to see it finally make its way over to the Mac.
You may have not even realized it, but Notes were sort of on the Mac before Mountain Lion. If you saved a note to the cloud, you could pull it up in the Mail App. This feature was quite clunky, however, and never went mainstream among loyal Notes users.
The best part? Notes on the Mac now supports rich-text, which means you can pick your fonts from your library of fonts and make your notes look exactly how you want them to look.
You can pin Notes to Your Desktop
If you want your Note to serve as a true Post-It Note, simply double-click on the title of the note in the big list and it will open in a separate window that you can keep on your desktop.
Easily Search for Apps in Launchpad
One of the hidden new features of Mountain Lion makes finding apps much easier.
If you utilize a large amount of apps (and you prefer keeping your dock neat and tidy), they can become quite cluttered on your Launchpad. The next time you open Launchpad, just start typing the name of the app you’re looking for and it will pop up immediately.
This will save you a few minutes of swiping and searching.
VIP Never Misses a Message in Apple Mail App
If you receive hundreds of emails a day — or even upward to 40 emails — having a feature that lets you make sure you never miss an important email is definitely welcomed.
VIP lets you star specific contacts. In return, those emails will be pushed to the VIP folder, letting you know that something important has popped up.
Adding a person to the VIP list is as easy as clicking the contacts name in the email box and selecting “Add to VIPs”.
iOS Scroll to the Top has been Added to Mountain Lion
When working on your iPhone or iPad, one of the most convenient features is the scroll to the top. Simply click the top of the screen and you’ll make your way to the top.
You can now do the same in Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
Simply click the top of the scroll bar on any webpage or the “Sort by” bar in the Mail app to go to the top. If you’re sifting through a lot of email, this feature definitely comes in handy.
Safari Improvements Include Large Tabs and Password Options
Whether you like it or not, the new Safari, as part of Mac OS X Mountain Lion, asks if you want to remember the password anytime you log into a social network, content management system, flash sale website… you get the idea. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to stop Safari from asking if you want to save the password every time.
If you go into Safari’s preferences, you can see this list of passwords that you have saved and edit accordingly.
Mountain Lion Brings a Smarter Font List
If you’re a font-fanatic, you can now make some great collections using Mountain Lion.
You can now go into the Font Book, clicking New Smart Collection under File and create a collection of fonts based on a specific criteria that you set.
While this won’t be used by everyone, those that love fonts will certainly appreciate it.
Share Quicktime Videos on Your Social Networks
Because Mountain Lion brings Twitter integration (with Facebook coming in the fall), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that social sharing options are more prevalent across the board.
Click the iOS share button while playing a video in a Quicktime video and a list of social networks like YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and Facebook pop up to easily share.
It’s a quick way to let your friends now how great a certain video is.
How has Mac OS X Mountain Lion made your life easier?
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