New in Mountain Lion (Part 2)

Mountain Lion IconLast week Last week I talked about some of the new features in Mountain Lion.  I would like to continue that this week.  Both articles are based on notes I made when preparing for my presentation for the Tulsa Users of Macintosh Society (TUMS), which I gave this past Tuesday night.  

Last week we covered the following new features: Dictation, AirPlay Audio/Video, Built-in Sharing and Notification Center.  We also listed the Macs that are supported with Mountain Lion.

Software Update – While there is still a Software Update item listed under the Apple Menu, it no longer is a separate update application.  Instead, it opens the App Store which does the update analysis and the actual updates.  The App Store can also be used to auto update your purchases.

Calendar – (No longer called iCal.)  Mini Calendars are back so that you can more easily select date from future or past months.  There is also a new Date Picker and an improved search to find appointments.  Of course Alerts now are handled by the Notification Center as well.

Contacts – (No longer called Address Book.)  Clicking an email address or a phone number will give the option to send an (i)Message. It now provides the ability to use emoticons.  Pick a photo for a contact from iPhoto, Aperture or iSight.  Drag and Drop can be used to enter the photo into the contact.  There is now a Groups Column.  I have been told that this Group feature can be used to send text as well as email.

Documents in the Cloud – Applies to the iWork Apps as well as TextEdit and Preview.  There are some third party apps as well that share via iCloud.  The neat thing here is that you can use the document title bar in the application to move the document, rename it, duplicate it, lock it or to revert to the last open document or even to look at previous versions.  Just use the Option key when clicking on the title.  Be aware though that any changes you have made before clicking on the bar will be saved in the original document.  (SaveAs works the same way with the old document.)

Messages – (previously iChat) Current conversations are on the right side of the window while ongoing ones are on the left with most recent on top.  You can send up to 100 MB of data via Messages.  Messages can be forwarded to others.  Notifications of Messages will be made even if Messages is closed.  As it did with iChat, iChat, AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, Jabber and Buddy Lists are still supported.  It will send text messages to other Apple devices.  It can also be used to send and receive contacts, photos and video.

There are still more features, but that is enough for this article.  Please let me know if you have any questions or corrections.

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