New Features in Mountain Lion, From Dictation to Facebook

During today’s WWDC keynote in San Francisco, Apple announced some more new features that will be arriving with Mountain Lion. Even though the four developer previews that have been tested for a while have most of the major additions, there will be several more key features that are going to mean a lot to many users out there.

Keep reading for a deep look at all the major new things that will be coming in OS X Mountain Lion.

Dictation

Apple has added a Dictation function in OS X 10.8 that will allow you to input whole paragraphs of text into your Mac without the need to type anything. This might come in handy if you want to take a break from the keyboard or are just sitting back one day. You can talk anywhere you would usually type — just find that text field.

To bring up Dictation, all you have to do is tap the “fn” key twice. Once you hear the sound, just start speaking. You can also use any of the commands you usually would on an iPhone with Siri. It supports four languages and three different accents for the English language. Lastly, it accesses your address book so it will be able to translate a certain names correctly.

Facebook

Apple’s latest desktop OS will include support for Facebook sharing using the share sheets that are all over the place in this release. In Safari, for instance, you can click the little share button in the top left corner and then click “Facebook” to share a link. Also included in this integration is a one-time sign-in that allows you to have Facebook in Notification Center. This way, you can keep up on everything that’s going on in your digital social life right from your desktop.

Sadly, Facebook integration won’t be coming to your Mac until this fall, according to Apple’s “What’s New” page for Mountain Lion.

Power Nap

You know those times when you want to leave your computer for a few minutes to get some other stuff done, but you’re scared things won’t stay backed up or anything? Apple has a solution for that and it’s called Power Nap. Instead of you having to worry that your Mac won’t keep up to date or backed up to Time Machine while sleeping, Power Nap makes sure that it’s automatically backed up and updated during sleep, consuming little power in the process. It’s silent with no lights or even slight signs of operation.

Even though it’d be great if this was on every Mac, it’s only available on those that have built-in flash storage, so make sure to remember that when thinking of the great feature.

Tab View in Safari

With the presence of iCloud tab sync in Safari 6, Apple has introduced a very nice way to view those tabs that are currently synced with iCloud. As you can see in the screenshot above, this new “Tab View” is truly beautiful, letting you swipe between open tabs. It can be accessed by pinching a webpage — or, zooming out as you might like to call it.

July Release and Pricing

 

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will be available next month for $19.99, which is $10 lower than last year’s Lion release. There’s no set date on exactly when Apple will be selling the new OS on the Mac App Store, but it’d be best to expect it near the middle of the month since Lion released on July 20th of last year.

And More

There are over 200 features in Apple’s 9th revision of OS X and I’ve not even begun to discuss them all here. However, you likely know about them all from our previous in-depth coverage of the OS when the developer preview was first released back in February. If you want to know everything about the new OS, you can take a look at all the new features in OS X Mountain Lion on Apple’s page that’s dedicated to the subject. Have fun learning about what your Mac will likely be running next!


  • ithings

    Maybe it is only $20 but Lion already was about “magic of iPad back on the Mac” and devices integration in the cloud. Some of those features should’ve been included last year like Messages & AirPlay but it looks like we’ll have to pay more $$$ for the ‘finished OS X’ (counting previous $30). Voice dictation will be a nice addition but this looks like it’s aimed only at people with iPhones etc.

  • appleeater

    STOP ! Snow Leopard users can buy 10.8 without previously paying for 10.7 !! You get TWO OS X updates for $20 !
    That will teach everyone to wait instead of upgrading, when I bought Lion for $30 I was certain I’m buying a new OS for the next two years but it looks like the rules have really changed here, now you get more for less if you wait a bit.
    In other news if you check closely you’ll see that even though your Mac may support Mountain Lion it doesn’t mean it will have AirPlay Mirroring, Power Nap etc. AWESOME

    • ithings

      If that’s true I can only say “Thanks but f#@% you Apple, I want my money back for OS X Lion”. I’ll wait for 10.9 and then upgrade for even less, buying 10.8 & 10.9 as a combo (for probably $9.99) sounds reasonable. Seriously speaking it looks like Lion was really a dud (as many have said last year but I didn’t believe them) and Apple is desperately trying to convince people to get into iCloud.

    • Ed

      … “You get more for less if you wait a bit”

      …. That applies to everything!! … the catch is, you don’t get it when you want it!

      What a moronic comment really.

      • appleeater

        True, but that’s $30 in the drain and my fresh OS X version isn’t supported anymore (Lion), no more updates, improvements etc. If Apple have informed me last year that would happen and nevertheless I decided to spend my money it would be ok, my choice, my loss. It’s not like new OS X comes out often …..oh, it now does, thanks for the warning.
        10.7 didn’t offer that much compared to 10.6 (as 10.8 doesn’t compared to 10.7) but it looked like Apple would be adding more iOS features (as they did with AppStore in 10.6). They force developers to update their Apps and offer free updates in the future but what does Apple do ? Shows everybody that you can release the same stuff twice by simply renaming it. But whatever, now I know what’s what and it’s not like Mountain Lion is a different product so maybe even Lion will be still offered in the AppStore for less (that would be understandable).

    • Ed

      I’m pretty sure apple continues to provide support for older OS’s as many as 2 generations back.

      For example, with the latest batch of flash malware, they even issued a fix to leopard.

      10.6 was also very much supported through out the security updates.

      At first I didn’t like Lion, but I have gotten used to it. 10.8 looks like it brings some better features, such as dictation.

      It is the choice of the consumer to upgrade or not, apple had not announced their new model for OS X when they made lion, so no one knew any better.

      When they first made public in feb the release of 10.8, they said they will continue to make small incremental upgrades every year much like iOS and will stop doing big updates every couple of years.

      Its pretty cool! They just need to make the updates to OSX free and add those costs in to their cut of app sales, or the hardware!
      …. or just make it free! haha!

  • Dennis

    I would hardly complain about $20 a year for a new release of OS X. You’re not buying a copy of Windows here people.

    • icrazy

      Don’t forget you aren’t buying a new OS X with Mountain Lion, just an update with few additional features. The question is how much are those apps worth for you ? Reminders, Notes, Notifications, Dictation, AirPlay for $20 isn’t the best bundle of software.

  • David Smith

    Infest my OS with Facebook and call it a feature?

    I sense a lack of seriousness out on the left coast…I understand that one can install real BSD or Linux on MacBook hardware…

    • Jeremy

      I hate Facebook, too, but come on. It’s not like it forces you to use Facebook, or login and use the feature. Just ignore it. Easy enough. Same as TextEdit for people that have no use for it, or any other feature/app.

    • http://papermail.me Jacob Penderworth

      Well, you can always go use Sina Weibo.

  • SirNovi

    Facebook integration makes me wanna throw up. Dictation might come in handy for a few people, once it really works in a usable way, which might take a while, especially for non english speakers.

    I don’t care much about Safari either as Chrome is just plain awesome.

    I’m a bit confused about the 20$ – I mean, it’s no problem but wasn’t it supposed to be free? Last year they said that they had to do some accounting stuff, so from now on, OS Upgrades could be free. I have a bad memory but I didn’t dream this one.

    And I’m still waiting for pressing Updates to the OS, i.e. a Finder overhaul. I really can’t understand why they aren’t touching that ..

    • Mr. Hilarious

      10.8 free? No Way! Perhaps the sell a Freemium-OS X version, with ads and banners all over the place :)

      Facepoop, really? It’s getting worse (and worse)
      :(

      • SirNovi

        I am certain that they said upgrades would become completely free of charge.

        They said they had to allot a certain amount from the hardware price for that, so that it would meet some legal requirements.

        There was something along those lines.. I’m not making this up. Or I must have gotten sth completely wrong. I just wonder what that could have been.

    • http://papermail.me Jacob Penderworth

      People like you need to get over the whole Facebook hating thing. So, you don’t like the network — don’t join it! They’re not forcing anything on you. It’s just there for users who like Facebook.

      No, the OS was not supposed to be free. $19.99 is a great value compared to huge Windows upgrades that you’d pay to Microsoft every few years.

      A Finder overhaul? Why? Does it really need to be fixed? It works well, doesn’t it?

      • SirNovi

        There are good Apps for Reminders, Notes etc. and that is what apple is adding to the OS at the moment instead of concentrating on what is a pivotal part of the OS: Finder.

        If Finder would be so good then there wouldn’t be all those apps out there like Totalfinder and Pathfinder and not so many posts about replacing Finder with Forklift or other apps.

        There’s tons of space for improvement. Instead they tightly include Facebook ..

    • Ansatz

      Your complete sickened outrage at a feature that you won’t use and will likely not impact you in any conceivable way is totally reasonable. Please keep whining about insignificant issues to a crowd of strangers who almost certainly hold your opinions in very high regards.

      Thanks

      • SirNovi

        Maybe you should do some research on facebook and data privacy protection and the like .. that’s really not a company that should be supported and helped like this.

  • Davethedog

    I’m not sure why people are complaining about the price here. Windbloz is 200 dollars. I’ve upgraded my Mac over the years and still have paid less than one version of windows. 19.99 is not bad.

    • urbanlegend

      So you want to pay yearly for a few additional features ? Ok, but would you buy OS X 10.7 next week for $30 ? No ? Why not, it’s still new and doesn’t have gatekeeper etc……
      My point is that I won’t pay more for something that I can get cheaper tomorrow (like 10.8) and that’s how Lion users are probably feeling right now. Everyone that bought their OS last year (Apple said 40% of users) was informed that now he can get it for less and gain a few new things with it. I could understand if prices would be different if you already paid $30 but if that’s the case I’ll wait for 10.9 and meanwhile maybe Apple will drop the price of Mountain Lion or give it for free like they did with Snow Leopard this year.

      • guest

        You simply regret you were PUNKD last year by Apple by purchasing their new OS X. I know I wouldn’t have bought Lion if I knew that after a year I could get Mountain Lion cheaper. Now I’ll take only the free newest Safari update (because I don’t believe Apple will start to sell their web browser yearly for $20).

      • Davethedog

        I see your point and it’s a good one. however, I upgraded to Lion on day one. So, 30.00 for a year of some decent upgrades is cool with me. My mac is my tool for work as well as a hobby. At that price, I get a year of a few features that improved my productivity, made work a little easier and entertained me on my off time.

        People spend money on crap all the time. A lot of people pay interest on credit cards or whatever. THAT is a waste of money.

  • matt

    You know those times when you want to leave your computer for a few minutes to get some other stuff done, but you’re scared things won’t stay backed up or anything?

    No… never had that time?!?!

  • bastard

    And they’re disabling Messagess beta if you have installed it in 10.7. Apple giveth, Apple taketh away because if you don’t have much more to show in your new OS X (10.8)….. So it’s not like FaceTime beta which was even later made available in AppStore for $0.99. By the way I would prefer that they put every new tweak as an app in the AppStore. If you want everything you can buy the whole package for $20 but if you want for example Reminders, iMessagess, Notifications, AirPlay or Dictation (!) just buy the app for $0.99, $1.99, $2.99.

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