Every Open and Save dialogue now also has a ‘Share’ button, an unlabelled rectangle with an arrow swooping out, which should also be familiar to iOS users. Since files feel confined to their apps, the Share button lets you send them as email attachments or to other Macs via AirDrop wireless filesharing. Depending on the type of file and the services you’ve signed in to, you’ll also see options to Tweet, upload to Flickr or Vimeo, attach to an iMessage, or post to Facebook. Selecting the email option brings up a new Compose window in Mail, but all the other options result in a small “Share Sheet” popup over whatever you’re doing. Just type in a message or caption and hit ‘Send’. You’ll see ‘Share’ functionality elsewhere as well: the button in Safari lets you add a page to your offline reading list and the ‘Add Bookmark’ command has moved here as well. Select any text in TextEdit and an option in the context menu will let you share via email, tweet or iMessage. All built-in programs (including Quick Look) have some level of sharing functionality, and third-party software can add it as well.
A typical Share Sheet. You can click a Share button or right-click most file types in a Finder window to share something.
Twitter and Facebook everywhere
Twitter is an option in pretty much every Share menu, and as detailed earlier, you can receive notifications in the OS itself. If your OS X/iCloud contacts match your Twitter subscribers, their profile photos and usernames will be added to their contact cards.
Apple hints that Facebook integration will be deeper than this, but it won’t materialize till an OS update is released much later this year. You’ll be able to choose privacy settings for anything posted using a Share Sheet, and you’ll be able to choose which album a photo should be added to. Information in your contacts will be updated as your friends change their profiles, and birthdays (and presumably, events you are attending) will show up in your Calendar.
There isn’t a way to upload a photo or post a status message to multiple services at once. It also doesn’t appear that users will be able to attach multiple images or files to a single Share Sheet, somewhat restricting the feature’s utility.
You can compose a blank Tweet from the Notification Center, which feels out of place.
Gatekeeper and Software Update
Gatekeeper caused us to raise our eyebrows for the simple reason that it tries to restrict all third-party software downloads to the App Store. In an ideal world, Apple would turn the entire history of computing on its head and lock its computers down the same way it has been able to lock iOS devices. Since that kind of strategy would be extremely unlikely to succeed, the company has settled for a middle ground. Gatekeeper is the name given to a system preference that gives you three choices: restrict programs to those from the App Store; allow outside downloads which have been pre-approved by Apple; or allow anything from anywhere. The default choice is the middle ground—Apple now provides signed certificates to members of its developer community, and can thus pin “signed” software to its source. With this setting, you won’t be able to install executables downloaded from unknown sources (note that this applies only to downloads, not files on USB media or preexisting on your Mac). This actually isn’t as restrictive as it might sound, since you can simply right-click on a file and click ‘Open’ to execute it anyway. Apple believes this will protect casual users while mitigating the annoyance power users might feel, and in truth, we never noticed that anything had been restricted.
Gatekeeper and Software Update are subtle features that emphasise the importance of the Mac App Store.
The first thing we noticed as soon as Mountain Lion booted up was that software updates now happen through the App Store. The standalone Software Update app is gone, and the new interface has a bit less detail than its predecessor. If you don’t want to update your OS, drivers or Apple software for any reason, you’ll have to manually select all the other updates rather than the more simple method of unchecking the ones you don’t want. Checks for security updates now happen every day.
Incidentally, only those programs downloaded through the App Store can hook into Notification Center, Game Center, iCloud document storage, and various other features. Software vendors are going to have to choose between giving users the consistent experience they’ll grow to expect, and maintaining their independence (and profit margins).
All this greatly increases the prominence of the App Store, but sadly points to a future in which people will stop looking beyond the small set of pre-approved choices put before them, and the very idea of installing any software you like will become outdated.
The last major OS-level feature is global speech-to-text. It’s not full-fledged Siri, so you don’t get voice commands, but you can type into pretty much any program or input field you would ordinarily type into. The default shortcut is to tap the [Fn] key twice, but you can change this if you like. The first time you try to use Dictation, you’ll be warned that your recordings will be transmitted to Apple’s servers for rapid processing. You’ll also need to allow Apple to take your Contact list, so that names can be processed to improve recognition accuracy. English (India) isn’t currently supported and isn’t likely to be a top priority for Apple either, but English (US) worked for us with about 90 percent accuracy even in an office with background noise.
You can use US English and still get fairly accurate results with Dictation
Dictation doesn’t happen on the fly, and you’ll have to pause at the end of every sentence or two and tap a key again to prompt the computer to start uploading and processing what you’ve said. This feels like it will be more of an occasional convenience than a daily tool, but it will be especially important to users with mobility impairments or even temporary injuries.
Updated 20 May, 2013, 4:38 pm IST
Mac , Mac OS , OS X , Mac OS X , Mountain Lion , Mountain Lion review , Apple , iOS , iPad , iMac , Macbook , MacBook Pro , Retina , Launchpad , Notification Center , iCloud , Mountain Lion India , Mountain Lion price in India , Mountain Lion rupees. Game Center , Twitter , Facebook
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