What's new in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Here's what to expect when you rip the virtual packaging off Apple's latest OS update, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Apple's latest OS X release is up on the App Store now – though Apple's servers are packed to bursting at time of writing. Take a break from hitting refresh and catch up on all you need to know about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion's fancy new features.

OS X Mountain Lion follows in the footsteps of its iOS 5 brother with a new dropdown notification list. Simply slide two fingers from the right edge of the trackpad to fire it up and enjoy instant status updates and access to Twitter and Facebook.

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – Notification Centre

Mountain Lion will let you challenge your iOS-toting mates in real-time with cross platform gaming support – as long as there's a Mac version of the title available. In other words, you can lose to your 5 your old niece more often as she laps you round the track yet again.

Craving Siri-like dictation on your Mac? Mountain Lion has you covered, letting you convert your speech to text in a whole host of apps and take advantage of the dual mics present in the next-generation MacBook Pro. Ideal for lazy gadgeteers with fatigued fingers.

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – Game Center

OS X Mountain Lion supports AirPlay mirroring, pumping out your Mac's screen in 1080p to any telly that's connected to an Apple TV box. Expect to see this feature built into Apple's rumoured iTV television set too.

iCloud gets smarter and allows you to sync calendars, emails and contacts across your collection of iOS devices, as well as your notes, messages and reminders.

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – Dictation

iChat bows out of OS X Mountain Lion to make way for a new unified messaging experience which will allow you to natter away on multiple accounts including Google Chat and AIM. Image and HD video sharing is also on the cards, as is FaceTime support. Messages also lets you to send and receive iMessages sent to your iPhone or iPad using your Mac.

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – AirPlay mirroring

The forgetful among you will be glad to hear that reminders are now supported in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion which will now be synced across all of your iOS devices.

A Share button is now featured in apps like Safari which lets you send links and photos via Messages, email and Twitter, with support for Facebook, Flickr and Vimeo.

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – deeper iCloud integration

Power Nap lets your shiny new next-gen Macbook Pro and second generation MacBook Air update while it sleeps – a damn sight more productive than our power naps, which achieve nothing but drooling and occasional snoring. Power Nap will also support software updates, mail refreshes and backups to iCloud.

Gatekeeper, on the other hand, will let you restrict third party app downloads on the App Store and will install daily security updates for the paranoid among you.

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Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – Messages

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – Reminders

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – Sharing

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – Power Nap and Gatekeeper