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Tip: Sign In to save these choices and avoid repeating this across devices. Notification Center is all about bringing standard notifications to any app, while Growl wants to provide more control to users who want more from their notifications. That alone gives Growl a reason to live on and prosper. As the Growl developers themselves wrote back in June :. This is going to make it easy for anyone who wants to see notifications in Growl, and also in Notification Center. There may be some caveates to doing this that we can talk about once And because Growl itself is available on the Mac App Store, it has a chance of becoming an Apple-sanctioned solution to act as a bridge between Notification Center and apps sold outside of the Mac App Store, which Apple will support on Mountain Lion thanks to Gatekeeper.

As for Notification Center as it stands now, I have found it to be just as worthwhile an addition to my daily workflow as it was on iOS. Built into Mountain Lion is a new sharing system that allows users to share different file types and information across a variety of services. The new Share menu can be found throughout the OS and works with any Apple application that handles pictures, videos, or web links.

Tweet sheet.

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For instance, any file or web link can be shared via the new Messages app. Once selected in the Finder or Safari, the file or URL will be passed along to the Messages card using a simple, beautiful animation and bring up a pop-up window that will let you enter a recipient, text, and optional smileys.

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  6. Messages sharing. Similarly, sharing via AirDrop no longer requires opening the standalone AirDrop window. You can now select any file in the Finder [9] and instantly beam it to nearby AirDrop users. AirDrop sharing.

    Notifications and Live Tiles

    More system features have also found their place in the new Share menu. Mail too has been listed as a compatible sharing service for files and links, although sharing through it will launch the entire application rather than a sharing card. Vimeo share sheet.

    Flickr share sheet. Flickr lets you upload images and choose a title, description, and tags while setting access to private or public, while Vimeo lets you do the same for videos. Interestingly, both Vimeo and Flickr use a standard Finder dialog to handle their upload and confirmation process.

    Flickr processing. The tweet sheet includes location support, a multi-account switcher, character count, and username auto-completion.

    Mountain Lion Review - Table of Contents

    If, like me, you often find yourself tweeting webpages, adding a keyboard shortcut for this can be a great timesaver. But the real fun will begin when third-party developers will start finding ways to leverage the sharing API to provide their own custom services to users. Imagine being able to send links and images through Tweetbot without needing to keep it open, or sharing a document on Dropbox without navigating through Finder and contextual menus. Before Lion, scrolling content meant scrolling its scrollbar.

    Move the scrollbar up and the content would go up, move it down and the content would follow suit. But in Lion, rather than manipulating scrollbars, Apple wanted Mac users to directly manipulate the content , and thus changed the scrolling defaults so that scrolling the content up would now move the scrollbar down. While this did prove to be a stronger and, arguably, more natural metaphor, it nonetheless took a while for long-time computer users to adjust. The truth is, natural scrolling is just another refinement to make the Mac behave more like the iOS devices so many people are now familiar with.

    Some people got used to this change quickly.

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    Others including me needed time to adjust. But eventually, everyone got over it and started to appreciate the benefits of more direct control and UI consistency across their devices. As Shawn Blanc elegantly put it :. I gave it a second chance. Turns out: scrolling is kind of a big deal. Furthermore, it has to be invisible so that more content can be shown, but it also needs to provide location context so that users always know where they are. Scrolling, in fact, fills two roles: helping users manipulate content, and understanding their position within it.

    Now when moving the cursor over the scrollbar, the bar expands to become easier to grab. Scrolling in Lion. Scrolling in Mountain Lion. Lion scrollbar. Scrolling Mountain Lion. Lion scrolling. Mountain Lion scrolling. As for context, Mountain Lion now lets you see the scrollbar even when not scrolling. Once there, the scrollbars will stay on the screen as long as you keep two fingers on the trackpad.

    Being able to place two fingers to show the scrollbar is, in my opinion, one of those features that makes more sense the more you think about it. Third-party developers will need to adopt new APIs for this feature to appear in their apps. Apple has also improved the way you can scroll a document quickly without needing to use the scrollbar.

    OS X Mountain Lion for iPad Window Minimization

    On Mountain Lion, if you perform a quick scrolling gesture three times in a row the scrolling speed will ramp up to let you reach the end of a document quickly. With new AppKit APIs for developers, Apple is also making it easier to adopt new, modern gestures aimed at providing better zooming behavior, dictionary look-ups, Quick Look previews, and page switching animations. Using the new NSPageController, developers can take advantage of new transition styles to include visually-animated history navigation in their apps.

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    Each of them except full-screen mode relies on two-finger swipes to display page navigation, albeit with slightly different styles. Like on iOS, double-clicking on text or an image inside a webpage will automatically center, zoom, and try to present it in the best way possible. For developers, NSScrollView now comes with built-in support for the smart zoom gesture, and if developers provide a semantic layout of their applications the system will try to zoom the content intelligently. In apps like TextEdit you can pinch to zoom into a document, and a double-tap on the trackpad will go back to the original zoom level.

    Pinch to zoom. While I have already discussed these changes as aiming for familiarity and consistency rather than the result of evil plans or blind copying , there is no doubt that Apple has taken some iOS elements and brought them to the Mac. But multi-touch is by far the biggest and most important one.

    Apple understands that, at the end of the day, users prefer software that works to apps that merely look the same, and thus have put real effort into ensuring that touch navigation works consistently across platforms while still feeling uniquely suited to each device. Other gestures are performed the same way but are associated with different functionalities, albeit ones that share the same concept.

    On OS X pinching with your thumb and three fingers brings up Launchpad; on the iPad the same gesture takes you back to the Home screen. One last point: some gestures work differently because Apple accounted for the differences that make each platform unique. On the Mac, the hovering cursor allows for three-finger-tap dictionary definitions and Quick Look previews; on iOS the Define action is accessible from the copy and paste popover.

    With Gatekeeper, Apple has found a solution to combine the advantages of control with the freedom of downloading apps from the open Internet: certificates. These certificates can be revoked at any time, and an application whose certificate has been revoked can no longer be launched. Simple: anyone who has taken the time to register with Apple.

    Upon first launching an app Gatekeeper will check to see whether or not it has been signed with a certificate, and if the certificate is valid. Why is Apple doing this? The Developer ID is, in fact, a remote killswitch that allows Apple to keep letting third-party developers do what they do while having an invisible security measure in place to prevent malware from spreading.

    Criminals use sophisticated techniques that often fool knowledgeable users and even security pros, not just less-experienced users. By preventing downloaded software from launching unless it comes from the Mac App Store or a known developer, Gatekeeper closes the door to this approach to infection. Software already installed, but never launched, will be subject to Gatekeeper; software copied from external disks, pen drives, or fetched via Terminal using curl or wget will not.

    By default, Mountain Lion permits apps downloaded from the Mac App Store and from identified developers. Gatekeeper accepts any of these settings, but the message displayed will change accordingly.