Hands on with Apple's new OS X: Mountain Lion

By Jason Snell, Macworld |  Software, Apple, Mac OS X

Gone from next to the address bar is the search box. Instead, at long last, Apple has unified the address bar and the search box. Now if you type "fourth doctor" into that box, you'll get a bunch of links about Tom Baker instead of an error message telling you that Safari can't find the website "http://fourth%20doctor/." The address bar also now omits the http:// prefix on URLs, and while the main part of the site is displayed in black text, the rest of the URL displays in gray.

And although I couldn't find this feature in the version I tested, Apple says tat Mountain Lion will bring the ability to sync Safari tabs to iCloud, so your open browser tabs can sync between Macs.

China-specific features

Apple's had huge success in China lately, most particularly with the iPhone. With Mountain Lion, the company is trying to improve support for those who write in Chinese as well as recognizing that most of the popular sites that Apple integrates with OS X aren't actually available within China.

On the text-input side, Mountain Lion will offer better suggestions and corrections via a dynamically updated dictionary, something an Apple representative told me was because Chinese word usages are evolving rapidly. Apparently English words are often inserted in Chinese text, so Mountain Lion allows the mixing of Pinyin and English without switching between keyboard layouts. Apple says Mountain Lion also doubles the number of characters recognized by trackpad-based handwriting recognition.

On the Internet services side, Mountain Lion offers support for Chinese alternatives to several worldwide services. Search-engine Baidu is now an option in Safari. Chinese microblogging service Sina weibo is supported in Share Sheets, just as Twitter is. In addition to Vimeo and Flickr, Mountain Lion will support sharing to Chinese video-sharing sites Youku and Tudou. And Mail, Contacts, and Calendar syncing will be supported to Chinese service providers QQ, 126, and 163.

Just the beginning

Of course, this is only the first disclosure by Apple about what's in Mountain Lion. There are undoubtedly dozens, if not hundreds, of minor tweaks and small new features being added. And there might even be big ones as yet undisclosed—after all, we're four to seven months away from Mountain Lion's arrival.


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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