MacMost Now 739: Mountain Lion New Features

Check out the new features of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. There are new apps like Reminders, Messages and Notes. Apps can now save documents to iCloud. OS X now includes a notifications center and game center.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at the new features in Mountain Lion.

So let's start by looking at iCloud. So iCloud is now integrated into Mac OS10 with Documents. Just like it has been with IOS5.

So let me run TextEdit. In TextEdit here I actually have two modes in the open dialogue box. Let me zoom in on this so you can see. You can see the first mode is iCloud. The second mode is On My Mac. When you have On My Mac selected it is just like before. But iCloud gives you access to your documents saved to iCloud including ones that would be available on your IOS devices.

So here is one I have saved to iCloud. Instead of doing this let me create a new document here. Let me type something and then save it and you can see the Save dialogue box also has for under "where" you can do iCloud or you can go and select a regular Finder folder.

So I switched to documents and I can expand the window and have all the normal stuff. If I go back to iCloud it really only allows me to create a name so let me just save this as a second document here. I will close it and run TextEdit again and you can see now I have two documents saved here.

Now you can open one of these or you can switch to On My Mac to open a file that is on your local drive. Another neat thing is that you can create folders by simply dragging and dropping on top and it will create a folder. It looks just like an IOS folder.

So there are two new Apps that we have. One is the Reminders app. This creates a similar functionality to what you had before inside of iCal. You will be able to set events but this is Reminder just like you had on IOS now. Of course it uses iCloud as well and will sync up with your iPhone. For instance I can create a New List so I can have two different lists here. Once I have a list I can create a reminder and I can then click on the information in reminder and create things like when to remind me, priority, and things like that. So reminder kind of removes and puts that into a single app.

Likewise you have a Notes app now which mimics the IOS Notes app and syncs with it as well. So you can create different notes in here very easily, search through your notes and then share the notes even as well.

Now the Messages app is part of Mountain Lion. Of course the beta was part of Lion so a lot of you may already have experience with it. But you can use your iCloud account, your Apple ID really to send iMessages and you can send them to IOS devices and other Macs. It doesn't work with the SMS system out there so you cannot just send them to a random cell phone out there but you can send it to someone who has an iPhone and is signed up for iMessage. It is a lot easier to type on your Mac keyboard sometimes than it is to type on a phone.

A big new feature is the Notification Center. You can see it here behind me. I just click on the little icon there and move me over so you can see it clearer. So it basically is this little sliding area here next to the spotlight button and you will get notifications for different things like say when you get an email message for instance or something else happens on your system. So if you have used growl before it is similar to that at least in concept. You also get notifications here when you get messages. All sorts of different things happen. Third party software can hook into this to actually send you notifications for different things that happen.

So we can see here if we get a new email message. So there we go we got a notification there and I can actually select it and it will jump to mail to show me that email message there. Here is what it looks like when you actually get the email message and you don't have the Notification Center open on the right. You will still get a little message you will see quickly appear here on the screen in a second.

Another new feature is Dictation. Kind of like Siri on IOS but just the dictation portion. You go into System Preferences and under there you can turn on Dictation and in this case I am going to use a shortcut that's a default which is to press the function key twice. You can do it in many different ways. So let me try it here. "This is a test." There you go. It just did that off of the microphone on the MacBook Air that I am using for this demo.

So in Safari there are two big things I want to show you. First there is the Share button. You can click this and you can email a page, send it to Twitter, send it via message. Also notice there is no search box over here anymore. It is just one box. So if I want to search for something I just type in words here and it recognizes that this is different than typing a URL.

Also, of course in Mountain Lion you now have Game Center which is similar to Game Center in IOS. But of course different games for the Mac. You just have to wait as your favorite game adds Game Center functionality to it as well.

Another cool function is this Air Play function here. So now you can do Air Play from your Mac just like you could from say your iPad. You can see here I can select one of my Apple TV's and actually mirror the screen of my Mac on Apple TV. Air Play was possible before with a video but this time you can actually mirror your screen.

So there is a look at some of the exciting new features in Mountain Lion. Now a lot of these I am going to be focusing in on in specific tutorials to come and I will be bringing up some more new things in Mountain Lion in the episodes in the coming weeks.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 49 Responses to “MacMost Now 739: Mountain Lion New Features”

    7/25/12 @ 11:13 am

    I downloaded Mountain lion and got all the new features except mirroring? Went to setting and box was checked for mirroring when available but I still get no mirror button. Any ideas?

      mike lambert
      7/25/12 @ 11:22 am

      Depending on the age of your iMAC, you may not get the “mirroring” functionality. offers a solution called airparrot.

        7/25/12 @ 11:33 am

        Or, it could simply be that you have no device live on your network that can accept the mirroring (Apple TV 2 or newer with very latest updates).

    7/25/12 @ 1:49 pm

    mac is a year old, have up to date software on apple TV 2 can use airplay from iTunes on mac just can’t get mirror button?

      7/25/12 @ 2:13 pm

      Have you enabled it on your Apple TV 2? Check in the settings there. I assume you have also turned it on in the System Preferences, Display prefs on your Mac.

        7/25/12 @ 2:56 pm

        airplay in enabled system preferences(display) has checkmark in box that says Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available?

          7/25/12 @ 3:08 pm

          OK, so you have that side of it. How about your Apple TV? Is it enabled there? Are they both on the same network?

            7/25/12 @ 3:21 pm

            how do you check to see if you are on the same network apple tv is enabled i can play music from mac to tv

              7/25/12 @ 3:34 pm

              Check to see which network your Mac is using, and which your Apple TV is using. See if they are the same. If the Apple TV can play music from your Mac, then they probably are. Not sure why you aren’t getting mirroring, then.

                7/27/12 @ 10:19 am

                I’ve got the same problem, mirroring not recognizing my Apple TV while iTunes can play to it. I assumed mirroring was more than previous airplay. Am i wrong or do i have a glitch?

                  7/27/12 @ 10:37 am

                  Make sure you have it turned on in Display Prefs. Make sure AirPlay in on in your Apple TV. Make sure your Apple TV is running the latest software. Make sure they are both on the same network. If that all doesn’t work, it might be that your Mac is too old to support this feature.

    Tom Abbott
    7/25/12 @ 2:59 pm

    You seemed to be able to open Text Editor and be right at the a screen where you could see your text documents and select one. The only way I can get to this screen is to first open a text document and then click on Save As. How are you getting to this Text Editor screen without first having to open a text document?

    Tom Abbott
    7/25/12 @ 3:01 pm

    I believe I just answered my own question. I had a text document that was never closed, so when I launched Text Editor it would open that document and another new one. Once I closed that text document (File–>Close), and then clicked on Text Editor I got the screen you got.

    7/25/12 @ 8:30 pm

    Hi Gary,, should we be deleting the Messages Beta before putting on Mountain Lion
    or will installation of M.L take care of replacing the Beta?

      7/25/12 @ 9:42 pm

      I wouldn’t delete it. The MLion update should update it.

    7/26/12 @ 11:10 am

    Hi Gary
    Getting some odd mouse pointer behaviour with Mountain Lion. Twice now the pointer has dissapeared behind a window. It is then possible to move it out from behind and it then stays visible. The last time this happened was when i opened a Firefox window.

    7/26/12 @ 4:50 pm

    My custom mailboxes disappeared. There is no “on my Mac” or “iCloud” designation. No bueno amigo!

    7/26/12 @ 8:54 pm

    Hi Gary,

    I’m currently running 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) on my MacBook Air. Would now be a good time to update to Mountain Lion? I mean, if I leave it too long before updating, will it then become impossible?



      7/26/12 @ 11:32 pm

      Impossible? Not sure what you mean. Waiting won’t make a difference in that respect, unless you wait so long that Mountain Lion has been replaced by OS X 10.9 and your machine can’t run 10.9.
      As far as a “good time to update” — why wait? Say you use that MacBook for 24 more months. Would you rather spend $20 now and use MLion for 24 months? Or spend the same $20 6 months from now and use Lion for 6 months and MLion for 18 months?

        7/27/12 @ 7:53 pm

        Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. How do I know what OS my machine will be capable of running in the future?

        Although Mountain Lion looks great, I love using 10.6.8 … it’s very comfortable for me, so I don’t really want to change.

        So how do I know if my machine will or will not be able to run 10.9 when it comes out? And if I’ve upgraded to 10.8 in between, will that change things? I mean, could I upgrade from 10.6.8 to 10.9, or MUST I upgrade to 10.8 in between for 10.9 to work?

        Thanks Gary.

          7/27/12 @ 7:55 pm

          We just don’t know. There’s no way to predict what the upgrade requirements will be for the next version of OS X — even Apple doesn’t know yet.

          8/10/12 @ 10:43 am

          Corinna I know how you feel. I am tired of the constant need for Apple to come out with new operating systems. I am running Snow Leopard myself, which puts me two updates behind. What makes it more frustrating is that I have to buy Lion before I can upgrade to Mountain Lion (I clarified this fact at my local Apple store).

            8/10/12 @ 11:04 am

            That’s not true. You can upgrade from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion. You just need to have SL up-to-date (10.6.8) so you have have Mac Ap Store. As a matter of fact, this is the ONLY way to update from SL to ML.

    7/26/12 @ 9:00 pm

    Gary…I can get the dictation icon up; and when I talk it acts like it hears me but it doesn’t type my words…do I need to add an external microphone?

      7/26/12 @ 11:23 pm

      The internal works fine. If you see the levels change when you talk, you know it hears you. Perhaps your connection is having trouble — it has to send the audio to the server and then get back the text. You have to hit “done” for it to do this, and then wait.

        7/29/12 @ 12:24 pm

        Okay…it worked when I hit done! Must have missed that in your video! What would I do without you?

    7/26/12 @ 9:23 pm

    Another question…iCloud tabs aren’t working for me on my Mac…I have web pages open on both my iPad and iPhone and they aren’t there when I click the cloud in Safari on my Mac…it just says “iCloud automatically shows all the open pages on my other devices”; and yes all devices have IOS 6.

      7/26/12 @ 11:23 pm

      Is Safari checked in your iCloud settings? On iOS too? I haven’t tested this, maybe it isn’t working yet for iOS.

        7/29/12 @ 12:22 pm

        Figured it out…apparently this feature won’t be available until IOS 6 becomes available.; which explains the new Mountain Lion Features, under the Safari section it displays “When you open web pages on your iPhone or iPad, iCloud Tabs makes them available on your Mac, too.6” Footnote “6” displays “iCloud Tabs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch requires iOS 6.”

    Luciano Marchiori
    7/26/12 @ 9:56 pm

    Gary, hello how are you doing? I installed Mountain Lion this morning and after that I tried to do a backup with my spare hard drive but my machine doesn’t recognize the HD. When I open Time Machine the hard drive appears but nothing works. Any clue???
    Thank you very much.

      7/26/12 @ 11:21 pm

      Sorry, it is impossible for me to know what is going on without seeing it.

    Christopher Codrington
    7/27/12 @ 12:16 am

    Hi Gary, When is the best time to download so that my printer and scanner will be able to function with this new app.?

      7/27/12 @ 9:08 am

      Not sure what you mean. App? So you mean OS? Are you concerned that your printer and scanner will not work with Mountain Lion? First, if they both work with Lion, then I’d imagine they would work with Mountain Lion. But you should be able to check with the manufacturer of each to see. The big difference would be what you mean by “work.” For scanners some people define work as if they work with regular software (Photoshop, Preview, Image Capture, etc). Other people define “work” as whether the custom software provided by the manufacturer works — which is often not the case since manufacturers don’t do a good job of updating those.

    Stuart Cohen
    7/27/12 @ 2:54 am

    Hi Gary, am I going crazy or has Mac removed RSS search engine gone from my Mac Os X on its recent update? Thanks

      7/27/12 @ 9:05 am

      Yes. RSS is gone from Safari and Mail. The App store has many good RSS apps.

    Nilesh Parmar
    7/27/12 @ 3:24 am

    Another great no waffle video, thank you.

    Don N
    7/27/12 @ 7:22 am

    Gary…..I was unaware that RSS would no longer be available in Mountain Lion.
    Is there any way you know how I can recover the RSS feeds I was using in Mail and subsequently lost when I upgraded? I would like to use those feeds in another reader.
    Thanks !

      7/27/12 @ 9:02 am

      That’s a good question. I don’t know how easy it would be, but I suppose those might be on your Time Machine backup. Perhaps in your Library, Preferences folder? Maybe as one of the Mail prefs? Fish around in your TM backups to see and report back.

        Don N
        7/30/12 @ 5:40 pm

        Gary….thanks for your advice. Unfortunately, it did not do the trick for me, but I did learn this one and it worked for me. I found all the old feeds I had on Lion and was able to find the feeds I wanted to use in Mountain Lion:
        1. Go to Finder, type Command+Shift+G, and then paste ~/Library/Mail/V2/RSS/ into the search field.
        2. To renew feed subscriptions (requires an RSS app): From the newly opened RSS folder, open the info.plist file. Look for the string following RSSFeedURLString, copy it, and then paste the string in to the new RSS reader.


          7/30/12 @ 5:54 pm

          Yes, that’s basically what I meant. But I thought that if the plist file was gone, then you could find that same file in an old TM backup. Glad to hear it was actually still there in the folder.

    7/28/12 @ 4:26 am

    Hi Gary, unlike Growl which you mentioned, the new Notification Center does not allow addition of third party software, only Apple software. Specifically, I was hoping to get it to alert me to new emails, but given I use Thunderbird instead of Mail, I cannot add Thunderbird. I could do this with Growl, though Growl has issues of its own, where it does not alert me to new emails in Thunderbird, even though it’s configured to. I was most disappointed when I found this out as it was one of the main reasons I upgraded, as I do not use Cloud, nor do I have an iPhone or iPad.
    Anyway, just thought I’d let you and everyone of this if you didn’t already know.

      7/28/12 @ 8:36 am

      Not true. Third-party developers CAN use the MLion notification center. But the developer has to add that functionality. In your case the developers of Thunderbird have added that capability for Growl, but not yet for OS X notifications. OS X notifications are less than a week old, whereas Growl has been around for years, so give them a chance — or maybe contact them and let them know you want that feature.

    7/28/12 @ 9:06 am

    Thanks for that clarification re Thunderbird Gary, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what developers add this functionality to their apps.

    Rachiel Duenas
    7/30/12 @ 4:02 am

    Hi Gary, i have a problem with the iCloud tab on safari…when I try to open it, it doesn’t show the tabs open on both my iPad and iPhone..Do i have to set something so my icloud will open in my safari?

      7/30/12 @ 7:28 am

      You have to wait for iOS 6 to come out for this to work across Mac and iOS.

    Rachiel Duenas
    7/30/12 @ 7:44 am

    thanks a lot!

    G Tyler
    7/31/12 @ 11:33 am

    I noticed you are able to re-order reminders in the new Mac OS App. This was a big miss in the iOS app for me. I assume they have the feature in iOS 6. Have they announced which devices will be able to run iOS 6?

      7/31/12 @ 12:14 pm

      Yes. On the ios 6 page at the Apple site they have a list at the bottom: iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer.

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