Apple's Mountain Lion roars to life with 200 new features

The next version of OS X will offer as many as 200 new features, with iCloud at the top of the list.

James Martin/CNET

Mountain Lion, aka OS X version 10.8, will better tie together the worlds of OS X and iOS with a host of new features.

Revealed today at Apple's WWDC in San Francisco, first on the list will be iCloud, new to OS X. The cloud-based service already boasts 125 million registered users, according to Apple. Applications like mail, contacts, calendar, Messages, Reminders, and Notes will all sync up, along with a new feature dubbed "Documents in the Cloud," which can sync documents from Pages, Keynote, Preview, and TextEdit.

Users can simply drag and drop documents to their cloud-based storage, as if it were just another folder on the desktop.

Developers can also add iCloud to their own applications, courtesy of an API (applications programming interface) from Apple.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior VP of Software Engineering, demoed other Mountain Lion features today. The dock sports a few new icons, mostly iCloud-friendly apps like Notes and Reminders. The Notification bar at the top of the screen offers a disable feature so you can turn off annoying and persistent notifications and banners.

Sharing is now included across the board in Mountain Lion, giving you the ability to share Web pages and other content with your social network friends and followers.

Safari is also on the update list with new iCloud tabs that show you the tabs you have open across all of your iCloud-enabled devices. And users with touch-screen monitors or all-in-one PCs can use gestures to zoom out and bounce from one tab to another.

The new Power Nap keeps your Mac updated with e-mail, new software, iCloud syncs, and even Time Machine backups while the machine rests in sleep mode. And AirPlay mirroring can beam the screen contents of your Mac onto any AirPlay-video enabled device.

Finally, Apple's socially networked, multiplayer Game Center can tap into AirPlay mirroring to let users view and play a game between two Macs or between a Mac and an iOS device.

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