Podcast Episode 10 – The Mountain Lion
I’m Bily Foster and I’m that iPad guy
Called that because I’ve almost always got iPad with me, and in some cases two!
This week it’s about ‘the mountain lion’
On Wednesday morning Apple released its latest iteration of its computing OS dubbed Mountain Lion and of course it comes chalk full of new features. 200 new features and of course we are going to dive into each and every one of them to understand the when, where and why it was added or changed.
Number 1…. Just kidding its a 6 to 7 minute podcast and of course we don’t have that kind of time so we’ll just hit the most important ones. Which I’ve narrowed down to 3 sections, new apps, new features and what’s coming.
iCloud(ish) more of iCloud features get rolled out with Mountain Lion, you can now save some of the things you create to the cloud. I haven’t found an iDrive type replacement for your documents to be dragged to. Instead it’s integrated into apps like Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and if you haven’t purchased those you at least get it in TextEdit. I assume that down the road applications will have access to save to iCloud for now it’s still really limited. And while you maybe offline you can still save to ‘the cloud’, it just pus the file in a temporary area allocated to the app.
This is the first in the next of several steps Apple is going to take in making the computer more of an ‘Appliance’ and less like a computer in the general sense. It will still ‘be’ a computer, but they want to remove the concept of a file systems from the users point of view. They want to make sure they can offer the most secure environment by starting to lock it down like they have iOS.
Look here at Gatekeeper in the Security & Privacy settings. You’ll see an option to only install apps that either come from the Mac App Store, MAS and identified developers (aka those who paid to register with Apple) or Wild Wild West no holds bar, watch what you load freedom filled style (the way computers have been since they were created).
Good or bad I leave that up to you, I think in a general sense it’s good, I appreciate that type of security for iOS but its the start of theses changes in the general sense. There will always be people like me and hackers that will dig a little deeper into a system. I am not a hacker by any means however I have been known to open up terminal and tweak a setting to two. 😉
But I digress that is a topic for another podcast. Right now back to the tour.
Continuing with the ‘back to the Mac’ campaign that Apple started with Lion, we now have reminders, notes and messages from iOS integrated into the operating system. It’s great to have these synced up with my phone and my iPad.
Now Notes were there before but inside of mail and you had to have mail open in order to have your notes open, but now that notes is its own little app you can have access to them without having to have the mail system running.
Messages is probably one of my most used app. Since I can use it to communicate to my friends, family, coworkers and Associates through iMessage which goes to their iPads, iPhones and now their computers. This is an advantage of being tied into the operating system you don’t actually have to have messages open in order for you to get a message, once you’ve set it up the system you don’t have to have it open. Yet if you get a message, you’ll see the notification pop-up, click on the notification and then it will open up messages. So now there is a tightly integrated messaging network through computers and mobile devices all tied together through Apple’s iMessage/iCloud service.
Speaking of notification, the addition of Notification Center has been great so far although not perfect. If you use something like Skype it’s messages don’t seem to get caught into Notification Center and loaded over. Now I assume that will change with the newer version of Skype soon. In the meantime there’s an app called HISS that I’m checking out once I know more I’ll report back (right now I don’t appear to have it working properly). In the meantime you’ll see reminders, iMessages and email messages show up in notification Center. One of the really nice things about it is you can access it by swiping two fingers from the right of the trackpad to the left and it will slide the screen over so you can see the messages there in the Notification center.
Game Center has also been added, but it’s more of an ech. I don’t access it on my iPad or iPhone either so I’m no expert. Instead I’m going to move onto the new features!
I know I mentioned Gatekeeper up in the app section but it’s not really an app it is a feature just added to the security panel so I wanted to clarify that here. Also things like power nap is another feature but it’s kind of listed as an app on apples’ webpage and given a icon as if it was an app but there is no app for Gatekeeper and Power Nap, these are more of a settings.
And now two of my two favorite features of Mountain lion. The first and most used one is going to be dictation. And if you have a good microphone, it works really, really, well. My only issue is that the dictation is not local, so what you say it sent up to Apple’s servers it’s converted and then sent back down. I do wish that it was done locally so that I know I could do it off-line, a.k.a. while I am on the road. I guess if I’m off-line I’m just going to have to try and rely on my Nexus seven, but more on that in another podcasts too.;)
The dictation feature gets fired off by hitting the function key twice (or you can go change the setting to a custom key if you’d like) and then the familiar little double boo-boo happens the microphone icon pops up you start talking you can see a little level indicator in the microphone showing that it’s picking up your voice and then when you finish speaking you click the function key and it gets converted.
When I was trying to use the onboard microphone of my iMac it didn’t work so well, but once I switched my really good USB Snowball microphone from blue microphone it works spectacularly. I can see using this when I need to write long emails, or articles. I will be using this feature a lot on my iMac and my MacBook air.
The other features that I really keen on, but may not use all whole lot is the airplay feature. But when I do use it, it’s going to be really convenience. There are several times I’ll be surfing on my computer and come across something I want to share with Matt, and I used to then surf to it on my iPad and then I mirror it to the AppleTV so that I can share it. No more, now I can just hit the airplay button on my MacBook air and it will send the screen to the AppleTV. The audio and everything comes out of there and it just works beautifully.
If I can see other real world practical applications for this too, for example I can have a client come over and instead of me needing to remote into their box. They can now push their screen to my computer so that I can watch what they’re doing and help them through the trouble they’re having. The only drawback is it of course only works when they’re here on site. I can see conference rooms with AppleTV hooked up to projectors that people can now come in and simply push their screens to the projector without even needing any cables. in fact you think about it I think I may need to get a converter so I can have my Apple TV up to my projector so I can do the same. 🙂
Like I said there are around 200 new features that I’ll be exploring not all the major worth noting, some of them just background things and refinements. These are the big ones that I feel matter, you’ve any other questions please feel free to tweet me @thatipadguy and I’ll try to get it answered in a future podcast.
Something that Apple is doing lately that’s a little annoying is telling you features that are coming soon but aren’t there at release date. For example Twitter and Facebook integration is listed as coming this fall why it’s not already in the system I’m not sure. But I’m looking forward to it once it’s actually implement it. Is this a case of what happens now that Steve is gone? I guess only time will tell but I’m certainly going to be keeping my eyes on what’s happening.
In the meantime my doorbell just rang and I think that’s my replacement Nexus seven, if you want to know more about that check out my new blog at Bradsblog.org.
So that Wraps up another this episode of that iPad thanks for watching! Be sure to like me on Facebook, follow me on twitter and visit “That iPad Guy . Com ” to subscribe!
See ya next time!