Apple have unleashed their latest feline-themed operating system – OS X Mountain Lion – and it’s packed full of useful new stuff for designers. More like iOS than ever before, OS X 10.8 has improved its multitouch gesture control and iCloud integration, and also nicked most of the iPhone and iPad’s top organisational features like Reminders and iMessage.
As soon as Mountain Lion came out, we upgraded our senior designer Paul Shillabeer’s Mac Pro with the new OS. After pottering about with it for a while, we asked him for the top five apps and features he’s found have actually improved his day-to-day work…
1. Improved synchronisation with iCloud
“With iCloud, if I jot notes on my iPhone, I instantly get them synced to my Mac – which is great for collecting ideas and thoughts while on the move. Of course it works the other way too, so you can use the fantastic Voice Dictation to take down notes on your Mac, then have them available on your iPhone. With iOS 6 coming out in the near future, you should also be able to drop photos and attachments into your notes.”
2. Better sharing in Safari
“There’s now a Share button in Safari – just like in iOS – which lets you instantly send anything interesting out via a range of platforms, meaning (excuse the plug…) we can tweet any interesting design stories when we come across them from the @Jigsaw24Design account. I’m looking forward to the next update which will see Safari syncing with iCloud. This will mean I can access the webpages I’ve left open on my iPhone when I get back to my Mac, which will be a great time saver, as I won’t have to send myself an email with a link to remind me to visit a page again.”
3. Top organisation with Reminders
“The Reminders app on my iPhone is absolutely invaluable to me keeping track of not just things I need to do when I’m in the office, but at home too. Porting that functionality to my Mac means I’m more organised with tasks than ever, and there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking those important tasks off the list! Or is that just me?”
4. Constant contact with iMessage
“iMessage being brought to Mountain Lion is great because it means you can keep up conversations without having to switch from your iPhone to your Mac. And group messaging is especially useful for getting feedback on visuals from key stakeholders in projects. Even if I leave my iPhone at home or the battery dies on me, I can still be in contact when I’m on my Mac (obviously, if I left my iPhone at home, a nervous breakdown and complete inability to hold a conversation would probably follow very quickly).”
5. Mirroring your Mac with AirPlay
“One feature that’s really interesting is the addition of AirPlay Mirroring, which lets you push your Mac screen to another HD screen using an Apple TV – something the department’s already been doing on the iPad. This will be useful for taking my MacBook into our meeting rooms and mirroring it on our Apple Cinema Displays so I can work on any minor design amends on the fly, rather than having people all crammed around my desk.”
To get your paws on OS X Mountain Lion, your Mac will need to be running OS X v10.6.8 or later, have 2GB of memory and 8GB of available space and will (generally) need to be a late-2008 or newer MacBook model, or a late-2007 or newer iMac. If you buy one of the newly released Macs running OS X Lion, you’ll also be eligible for a free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.
For fully OS X Mountain Lion-qualified machines, take a look at our new batch of MacBook Pro with Retina Displays, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. Get in touch to find out more on 03332 409 306 or sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.