Another new OS X for Macs? Didn't OS X 10.7 Lion just launch about seven months ago? You betcha. Apple just announced that the next OS X is 10.8 Mountain Lion and it features even more cues from iOS than Lion, blurring the lines between mobile and desktop, more than ever.
Already available for developers to preview, OS X Mountain Lion includes "all-new features inspired by iPad." Here's some of the highlights in the 100+ new features Apple's building into OS X Mountain Lion.
The big push for OS X Mountain Lion will be iCloud integration. With iCloud, you'll finally be able to store all of your email, contacts, instant messages, FaceTime and documents remotely and access them with any device. It's just like on iPad.
Another feature ripped from iOS that'll be in OS X Mountain Lion is Notification Center. Finally, a place to see, all your pushed emails, reminders, alerts, etc. — at a glance. This is going to be handy.
It looks like iChat is going to be nixed and rebranded as Messages (iChat messages will still work, though). On iOS devices, iMessages let you send unlimited text messages to any other iOS device for free. Now you can send messages (text, photos, videos) to your Mac, too. Skype and AIM better start working on a backup plan! Users who can't wait for the next OS X can download a beta version of Messages here for OS X 10.7.3.
By far, the most useful feature (at least to me) seems to be one being overlooked by the tech press: AirPlay Mirroring. If you have an HDTV and an Apple TV, you can stream your Mac over to your HDTV. It's not the rumored Siri-powered iTV, but yes, no more video adapter dongles and HDMI cables (even though it is cheaper).
Game Center makes the jump to OS X Mountain Lion, too. In Apple's own words on its Website: "It's Mac versus iPad versus iPhone versus iPod touch." This is going to be very exciting for gamers.
One overlooked feature is direct Twitter integration into apps. Safari, iPhoto and iPhoto Booth will have the 140-character service built-right in for instant tweeting.
Other notable features include more advanced input for the Chinese language and connectivity to loads of Chinese services including QQ, 164, 126, Baidu, Youku and Toudou. If you don't know what any of those are, just know that they're basically Google, YouTube, and AIM clones.
Apple expects to release OS X Mountain Lion in "late summer 2012." It'll be available on the Mac App Store as a download only.
Is it too soon for an new OS X? How do you feel about iOS features making the jump to the Mac platform? Don't hold back your thoughts in the comments section below.