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WWDC 2012: Messages, Reminders and Notes Apps Announced for OS X Mountain Lion

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Apple has already announced its next major update for the Mac – OS X 10.8 aka Mountain Lion – but today at WWDC it revealed new features and apps.

The software has been available for developers to test and create apps for quite some time now, but it’s not available for everyone just yet. Apple revealed today that three new iOS apps will be coming to OS X – Messages, Reminders and Notes.

These apps will sync up nicely with your iOS product, be it iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It also means you’ll be able to log in with your Apple ID and send iMessages to other Mac and iOS users as well as receiving them.

Apple also revealed that iCloud will be baked into OS X 10.8, which means that your data will always be backed up. This means your notes, contacts, calendars and mail will sync wirelessly between your Mac and iOS devices, which will be very useful to many.

Documents in the Cloud is a new feature that does exactly what it says on the tin – your documents will be uploaded to iCloud for safe storage and synchronisation with other devices. Apps such as Pages, Keynote, Preview and TextEdit will automatically show the documents that you have in the cloud when you open them, and also show documents stored on other devices that use your iCloud login.

Notification Centre also makes its way from iOS to the Mac, allowing Mac users to see pop-up notifications in the top right hand corner for emails, iMessages, Twitter and more. This looks great, but it’s already been done and done very well with Growl, a third party app for Mac.

Apple has also taken a part of Siri and brought it to OS X with dictation. If you don’t want to use the keyboard, you can click the dictate button – which Apple says will be everywhere – and dictate what you want written in. This will work even in Microsoft Word.

A sharing button will be added across the board, which looks the same as the iOS version. It offers the option to email, tweet, or upload a file to various services.

The Safari web browser also gets a major overhaul in Mountain Lion, with a JavaScript performance that out-does IE9, Chrome and Firefox. A new feature called iCloud Tabs syncs your browsing tabs and content between several devices, while something called Tabview allows you to zoom out and view each of your tabs as live windows.

Apple has added a very useful ability in the form of Power Nap – a service that ensures your Mac is up to date software-wise and also backup your data even while its in standby mode. This will only work on the 2nd gen MacBook Air models and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Finally, Game Center will come to OS X to bring score sharing and social gaming on the Mac. AirPlay Mirroring finishes off the features that Apple showed off, which means that you’ll be able to mirror your Mac’s screen on a HDTV using Apple TV.

OS X 10.8 aka Mountain Lion will be available next month. The cost, as with the current version ‘Lion’, is just £19.99 as a digital download from the Mac App Store. Both Lion and Snow Leopard users will be able to update to this version.

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