The Facebook tweak that killed a billion-dollar industry - Fortune Tech

The Facebook tweak that killed a billion-dollar industry - Fortune Tech


The only way for a brand to make the leap from its own Page to the intimacy of users' news feeds is by posting interesting and timely content.  (Exactly how this jump happens is a tightly guarded Facebook mystery, but it's linked to how often users have liked and commented on a brand's posts before).  In other words -- no matter how nice a  Facebook Page looks -- if a business doesn't have anything engaging to say, it's never going to get the views that matter.  With the demise of Facebook tabs, that's true now more than ever.

Accordingly, in marketing departments focus is shifting from apps that handle the mechanics of Page building and maintenance to apps that get the right content to the right people at the right time.  Products centered on tab building (Vitrue, Buddy Media, Context Optional, Involver) are taking a backseat to social media management systems that streamline content publishing and improve how companies respond to user comments (CoTweet, HootSuite, TweetDeck). While none of these tools will write your posts or tweets for you, the best of the bunch can actually schedule optimal times for posting and geo-target messages at specific users.  Some include sophisticated listening tools to monitor mentions on Facebook and other networks for fast response.  Others let whole teams collaborate on creative social messaging campaigns.
Fancy page-builders -- a short-lived, billion-dollar industry -- are ceding to social media management systems that nurture a rich, relevant and continuously updated Timeline. This dialogue is the heart of social media.  Facebook knows it.  So let's pay our respects: Tabs are dead.  Long live the Timeline.

Ryan Holmes is the CEO of HootSuite, a social media management system with four million users, including 79 of the Fortune 100 companies.  In the trenches everyday with Facebook, Twitter and the world's largest social networks, Holmes has a unique view on the intersection of social media and big business.


My Android experience after five years of iPhones - CNET Asia Blogs: HK Tech Phooey

My Android experience after five years of iPhones - CNET Asia Blogs: HK Tech Phooey

My Android experience after five years of iPhones

When the iPhone first launched back in June 2007, I was one of those who embarked on the iOS dream for a super smartphone. Five years on and I'm using my sixth iPhone--iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS (lost one and replaced with another), iPhone 4 and now the iPhone 4S. However, the dream I pursued is no longer the same anymore since Android phones hit 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich or ICS). That was when I started carrying around an extra Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note. (I actually bought my first Galaxy Note back in December 2011, but hated Gingerbread (Android 2.3) and eventually sold it off. Tried it out again after ICS became available on the Galaxy Note and I've loved it ever since.

I still use the iPhone for my daily calls, audio podcasts, WhatsApp and other messaging and music listening but I tend to do more work like email, watching video podcasts, reading books off Kindle and using Flipboard on the Note.

2012 is truly the year for Android phones to shine. Manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC have rolled out a new generation of Android phones not only with (much) larger displays, but with incredible horsepower, true multitasking, very friendly user-oriented interface and tons of other tweaking options.

The edge Apple used to have with the iPhone is slowly evaporating into thin air. One would always say that Apple has more apps made for its iOS devices. This is true in a way, but with the growing trend of Android devices, that gap is quickly closing. So what edge does Apple still have over the Android devices? Let's take a minute to think about it.

First, the camera. iPhone 4S still has the best camera among smartphones, but with the latest Galaxy S3 and HTC One X and more to come, I don't know how much longer the iPhone can hold on.

Next, Retina display. True it looks gorgeous, but watching a full-length HD movie on the small screen gets tiring. That's where Android hits hard. The much larger displays on Android devices give users much more screen estate and that comes in handy when reading an e-book, playing games, reading and composing email/messages. What I love most is the Flipboard experience on my Galaxy Note--the app just blows the competition away with a screen that size.

Okay, so what's next? Form factor. True, the iPhone is much smaller compared with most Android phones these days but would I be willing to trade that in for all the extras an Android phone can offer? YES.

And that is pretty much all I can come up with. Leave a comment if you think otherwise.

For me, I definitely think Android phones will soon level up with the iPhones. Especially with its great notification system--unless Apple can step it up in iOS 6. For me or any other user, it makes more sense these days to just glance at the top menu bar and figure out what messages, email, missed call or other alerts one has received. The badge (red number counter) on app icons just doesn't cut it.

Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 - Cameras - CNET Asia

Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 - Cameras - CNET Asia

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

The Lumix DMC- GF5 follows in the GF3's design footsteps with a similar-looking chassis and button layout. The Lumix comes with a newly-developed 12-megapixel image sensor coupled with an improved Venus Engine image processor. There's also a higher-resolution LCD touch display (920,000 dots), a faster autofocus system (found in the GX1) and an expandable ISO range that goes up to 12,800. Capable of 4 frames-per-second burst-mode shooting, the camera also captures 1080p full-HD videos in 30fps and 25fps while recording sound in stereo.

What's New?

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5. (Credit: Shawn Low/ CNET Asia)

At first glance, both the GF5 and GF3 look identical as they share the same design and chassis. However, the new camera does come with some useful upgrades--both internal and cosmetic.

New 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor: Although the GF5's megapixel count remains unchanged, Panasonic claims the new image sensor is more light-sensitive, so you get better shadow detail in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. The camera's ISO range is also expandable to 12,800 compared with the GF3 (6,400).

New Venus Engine image processor: The GF5 also sports with a new image processor which is said to provide better noise-reduction performance and clarity to images taken in low-light conditions.

Advanced autofocus system: The shooter utilizes both contrast AF and an intuitive touch-AF control function--which allows users to quickly tap the screen to focus and even trigger the shutter--making for faster and more precise accuracy during image capture.

920k-dot resolution touchscreen: A higher-resolution 3-inch, 920k-dot-resolution touchscreen fitted on the camera's rear provides clearer image playback compared with the 460k-dot version found on the earlier model.

New video-recording format: Aside from an upgrade from a monaural to a stereo microphone, the snapper can now record full-HD videos in the MP4 format.


The new camera sports a thick, contoured handgrip. (Credit: Shawn Low/ CNET Asia)

Holding the GF5 in our hands, it seems that Panasonic has addressed the issue some GF3 users had in the past--the lack of a deeper handgrip. Shutterbugs would appreciate the new chunkier, rubberized handgrip (similar to the GX1) which will allow for a more secure hold on to the snapper, especially during extended periods of image capture.

In terms of autofocus performance, we found that the GF5 performed considerably faster than the GF3. In fact, its autofocus felt swifter and it acquired a focus lock on subjects more rapidly--being almost similar to the Olympus Pen E-P3 which we reviewed earlier.

The camera has a more refined touchscreen interface and sturdier metallic buttons. (Credit: Shawn Low/ CNET Asia)

We really liked the higher-resolution screen which makes images look sharper and remains visible under bright light. The shooter's user interface has been refined to look cleaner, too and shortcut menus fade in and out, which is a nice touch.

Also, beginners who are used to in-camera presets would be pleased to know that instead of the six camera presets, the GF5 would come with up to 14 special effects filters to beautify one's images.

Overall, we think the subtle improvements in the GF5 do make for a more enjoyable user experience and it certainly does have potential. The proof of the pudding would be to see if the GF5 trumps the GF3 in terms of image quality and high-ISO noise performance--something we'll find out once we conduct a full evaluation of the camera.


(Credit: Panasonic)

The GF5 will also be paired with Panasonic's latest Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS pancake zoom lens which makes the already svelte Lumix, a whole lot slimmer. Compared with the normal 14-42mm kit lens, the newer pancake zoom is 35.8mm thinner and 70g lighter. It is also able to focus to as close as 20cm as compared with the 30cm minimum focusing distance of the standard kit lens.

Pricing And Availability

Although pricing in Asia hasn't been released yet, Panasonic has informed us that the Lumix DMC-GF5 will be available between end May and early June.


UWA IFrame method [doc] - Netvibes

UWA IFrame method [doc]

Netvibes Developers Network » Universal Widget API » UWA HOWTOs » UWA IFrame method

UWA IFrame method

You can easily display UWA widgets within your own environment, thanks to our IFrame method. This document will show you how to build the correct URL to display a given widget within an IFrame on your platform. Relying on an IFrame has the advantage of both being simple and secure. There can be any number of IFrames on one page, as long as each IFrame has a unique ID (related to the widget's chosen ID).
What this method doesn't provide:
  • drag&dropping for your system

Building the IFrame's target URL

  • The base IFrame URL is:
Original widget URL:
URL-encoded widget URL:
Resulting URL:
  • You must indicate a widget identifier, so that the communication script can work properly. It MUST be unique to the page, and generated by your system (or manually). In this example, the chosen id is “123456':
  • In order for the widget's height to be correctly resized when its content gets displayed (and other widget communication matters), you must add a reference to a local proxy file. This file must be hosted on the same domain as the page where the IFrame is set.
See further below to get more detail about that proxy file, and get a sample code that you should build upon.
The attribute is called ifproxyUrl (which stands for “IFrame proxy URL”).
For instance, if your widget is displayed here:
…then, the proxy file could reside here:
Once that URL is URL-encoded, the string for this example would be like so:
…which would result in this IFrame URL:
  • Finally, just add the URL to an IFrame on your page. The IFrame should have the identifier as its id attribute, in the form of “frame_{ID}”, with {ID} being your widget's unique identifier:
<iframe id="frame_123456" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"
  height="200" width="400"
…and you are done with the IFrame itself!

Retrieving the widget's default title, favicon, meta-values and preferences

We have built a special script to return a simple JSON file containing the widget's informations:
Simply specify the needed widget URL with the uwaUrl parameter:
This should sends back a nice JSON feed, that is yours to parse on your end.

Handling the widget's preferences (the Edit section)

Many UWA widget are not customizable, and just display some data or a Flash application, for instance. But the most useful widget are the ones that can be edit to fit the user's needs. This is done using preferences, which can be set through an 'Edit' section.
By default, the target URL that is built at the start of this tutorial only displays the widget's body - no Edit section is to be found, and thus preferences cannot be changed.
This is done so that you can build your own Edit section, one that would match the look-and-feel of the containing platform.

Displaying the default Edit section within the IFrame

For some reason, you might not want or need to go through the trouble of implement the proprer code to generate a form for the widget's preferences, along with handling the various needed events.
In this case, there is one very quick and painless to let UWA do all the work for you: simply add the &header=1 attribute to the IFrame's target URL. This will request the UWA server to send a fully-formed widget, with botht the body and a working Edit section.
While this might not match your platform's UI, it's a quick and painless way to get widgets fully working in your environment.

Building your own Edit section

For those times when the default Edit section will just not do, you can get all the information you need to build a complete custom form for any UWA widget, using a few tools of ours…

Gathering the widget's preferences names and default values

As indicated in the previous section, preferences are all available, along with metas, favicon and such, through the JSON tool:
In the case of the Digg widget, that URL would be:
…which returns a detailled JSON file. Sample JSON.
This gives you the names of the preferences for the widget, their type, value, and other useful data. Based on these, you are now able to generate a proper form, using which the user will be able to change the any widget's preferences.

Displaying the Edit section

The edit section depends on the displaying platform. Therefore, it is up to you to display the gathered preferences within a form that fits the context's UI, and to store these preferences.

Setting/updating the widget's preferences

In our example at the start of this page, the Alexa widget can take up to 5 sites, with variables names being “alexaSite0” to “alexaSite4” - you would have gathered these names thought the JSON tool above. We'll build an IFrame URL in order to compare two sites: alexaSite0 → netvibes.com & alexaSite1 → nytimes.com
Resulting IFrame URL:
In order to properly set-up the widget's preferences, you have to know the preference variables used by the widget, and therefore use the JSON tool above. In its extract, you will find the variable names from the <widget:preference> element.

Handling the widget communications (resizing, preferences, title...)

The IFrame code can be placed anywhere within the body tag of a standard XHTML page. In order for the widget to properly communicate with your system/webpage, you not only need to place a proxy file on your host, as already advised, but you also need to place JavaScript code within the page itself. This code will let you completely handle the various messages sent by and to the widget, one of the most frequent being the resizing message.
Here is the basic code on which to build upon. As-is, it should handle resizing automatically.
<script type="text/javascript"
<script type="text/javascript">
msgHandler = function(message) {
  var id = message.id;
  switch (message.action) {
    case 'resizeHeight':
      var frame = document.getElementById('frame_' + id);
      if (frame) {
        frame.setAttribute('height', message.value);
      console.log(message.action + ': not implemented - ' + message.name + ':' + message.value);
UWA.MessageHandler = new UWA.iFrameMessaging;
    'eventHandler': msgHandler,
    'trustedOrigin' : 'nvmodules.netvibes.com'
This code creates a message-handler for all messages coming from the running widgets. The UWA.MessageHandler() method is called by the widget with a JSON object as a message. This message contains the following properties:
  • id: the widget's ID, as declared in the IFrame URL.
  • action: the name of the action. There are a handful, listed below.
  • value: the action's value.
  • name: if needed, the name of the target to which the value applies. If not used, its value is 'false'.
For instance, in the above sample code, we have built a handler for the resizeHeight action, which is triggered when the widget is first displayed, or when its content is updated. It asks for the container to resize itself according to the displayed content's height, which is given in the action's value. Once the widget's frame has been found (it's ID should be of the form frame_{ID}, as indicated before), the widget's height is reset to the required value.
In this sample code, only the resizeHeight action is fully described, in order for you to get the idea of the way it works. Other actions are redirected to the default behavior, which as you can see is simply to display a message in the console for this minimal example. In our own version of this code, you can make it do whatever is needed by your website to react consistently.
The full set of available actions is as follows:
action description
addStar can be used to indicate that the URL has been correctly sent to Netvibes
resizeHeight can be used to resize the widget's height according to its content's height
setIcon can be used update the widget's favicon
setSearchResultCount can be used indicate the number of results for a search with the widget's content. usually placed beside the title
setTitle can be used to change the widget's title, as displayed by your website
setUnreadCount can be used indicate the number of unread messages. usually place beside the title
setValue can be used to update the widget's preference value
The switch section of the above code can therefore be customized according to your needs and possibilities. For instance, here we set an aditionnal method for the setTitle action:
switch (message.action) {
   case 'resizeHeight':
      var frame = document.getElementById('frame_' + id);
      if (frame) {
        frame.setAttribute('height', message.value);
   case 'setTitle':
      var chrome = document.getElementById('widget-' + id);
      var title = chrome.getElementsByClassName("title")[0];
      if (title) {
         title.innerHTML = message.value;
      console.log(message.action + ': not implemented - ' + message.name + ':' + message.value);

IFrame proxy

The proxy.html file should be present anywhere in your domain, and passed as a parameter in your IFrame. This file is a very basic HTML file, the purpose of which is to trigger specific JavaScript code. That code can be called from Netvibes' domain, or from within the proxy.html file itself.
Note that the JavaScript code is released by Netvibes under LGPL license.
The following example links Netvibes' own ifproxy.js:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.netvibes.com/js/UWA/Utils/ifproxy.js"></script>
<title>UWA Container Proxy</title>
If needed, you can host yourself. Just remember that the Netvibes-hosted version is always the latest. Here's what the current JS code would look like in the proxy file:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<script type="text/javascript">
var map = {};
var hash = location.hash.substr(1);
var pairs = hash.split('&');
for (var i = 0; i < pairs.length; i++) {
    var pair = pairs[i].split('=');
    if (pair.length == 2 && pair[0].length > 0) {
        map[pair[0]] = unescape(pair[1]);
if (typeof map.target !== 'undefined' && typeof map.message !== 'undefined' &&
    typeof map.origin !== 'undefined' && typeof map.uri !== 'undefined') {
    if (map.target != 'parent') {
        throw new Error('The communication system works with the parent window.');
    if (parent.parent.UWA.MessageHandler) {
        var message = null;
        if (typeof map.message === 'string' && map.message.length) {
            parent.parent.UWA.MessageHandler.dispatch(map.message, map.origin, 'ifproxy');
<title>UWA Container Proxy</title>
The location of the JS code is not important, as long as it is triggered from the proxy.html file. What is important is that the proxy.html file MUST be stored on the same domain as the widget.

Quick FAQ

Q: Where should I put the “proxy.html” file you provide us with?
A: It should be uploaded on your own domain.
Q: You mention a unique ID for each widget. Who provides it? The user? Your system? Our system?
A: The widget ID has to be unique to the current page, and handled/generated by your system. All you will need from us is the widget's URL, provided by Ecosystem (or from a list of selected widgets).
Q: How can I implement drag&dropping on UWA widgets?
A: It all depends on your own system. Widgets are hosted in an IFrame, so you will need to build a drag&drop functionality for your system if you don't have one already, and make it work with iframed UWA widgets.

Single Sign-On (sso) - Netvibes Documentation - manager [Documentation]

Netvibes Documentation - manager [Documentation]

Single Sign-On (sso)

Single sign on allows an existing user management system to be integrated with the dashboard. User accounts can be created and accessed based on their session with a separate system. Users can access their dashboard account seamlessly without having to log in a second time.
The behaviour for users is as follows. When a new user visits the dashboard, a new Netvibes account, based on their email address, is created for them. The account is created on the fly and they are automatically logged in and presented with the dashboard. There is no interaction required by the user.
Existing Netvibes users are asked if they wish to link their existing Netvibes account with the new dashboard. On their successful authentication and approval, they are automatically logged in and the dashboard is added to their “Dashboards” list.

SSO integration

The dashboard must be integrated using the simple, non-JavaScript iframe method.
The iframe calls a different script which contains several additional pieces of information: the current timestamp, private and public keys, the email of the user who is logged in and a hash of these items. It requires some logic (generating the timestamp, sha1 hashing, accessing the user's email address) on the partner's site to generate this url with the relevant pieces of information.
The same script is called regardless of whether the user is, or is not, an existing Netvibes user. Based on the user_email parameter, the user is either logged into their existing account or a new account is created for them on the fly.
The public and private keys for the dashboard, which are used in the url, can be generated in the Single Sign On section of the NPD Manager.
An example of the url that should be called in the iframe (please note that all keys are samples and will not work for demo purposes):
http://www.netvibes.com/partner/[name of public page].php?api_key=af8adac8807092b1e1e21662dda56142f3aa5b99&timestamp=1275496157&user_email =test@test.com&sign=a8e50e34bd60206ac8a06b60b05bdc1f8a7609f6
The url is constructed using the following parameters:
Public key provided by Netvibes.
e.g. af8adac8807092b1e1e21662dda56142f3aa5b99
A UNIX timestamp of 10 digits reflecting the current UTC time e.g. generated with time() method in PHP
e.g. 1275496157
The email address identifying the user to be logged into Netvibes
e.g. test@test.com
The private key provided by Netvibes. This is not used in the final url but is used to construct the sign value.
e.g. 3Ebac988343201cf3c7336684a3656ff3c2cd3d4
The sign value is a SHA1 hash function of all strings and values alphabetically sorted plus the private key.
I.e. in PHP:
sha1(api_key[api_key_value]timestamp[timestamp_value]user_email[user_email _value][private_key])
Using the sample data in the example, the following would be used in PHP:
With a resulting value of:
It is very important that the construction of the sign value is done on the server side so as not to expose the private key or message used in the hash.


Cookies is an option for the Single Sign On feature. It allows for extra parameters to be added to the URL that will be transformed into cookies. It's only for the SSO option.
If you include data about, for example, “pref1, pref2” and append them as parameters to the SSO URL (e.g. ?…&pref1=red&pref2=45)
pref1 and pref2 will be stored in the user's cookie (but not any other pref, in that example).

Restrict Access

By default, new dashboards are publicly accessible. To restrict access so that only authorized users can access the dashboard, check the Restrict acces to your NPD under the “Restrict access” section. Users will then be required to log in using an authorized account in order to access the dashboard. See the users section for enabling access to users.
Checking Make your NPD on Netvibes domain inaccessible will hide your NPD from the Netvibes.com URL.

Guest Pass

A guest pass allows you to easily share dashboards to selected users, without the need to create user accounts.

Create Guest Pass

Go to the Guest Pass menu of your dashboard. Click on Create Guest Pass: it will generate 2 URLs.
  • The 1st one is the guest pass to the dynamic dashboard.
  • The 2nd one is a read only version of your dashboard.
You can choose to add a password to your guest pass: when users enter the URL of the guest pass, they will be asked for it. When accessing a password protected guest pass, the name field should be left blank, only the password should be entered.
That password can be found in the NPD manager if you forget it: just mouse-over the lock in the guest pass you protected.

Delete Guest Pass

Deleting a guest pass will revoke access from all of those users who accessed the dashboard using that particular guest pass.
To delete a guest pass, select the one you want to delete in the dropdown menu. Click Delete Guest Pass.

Custom DNS

As well as the iframe implementation, Netvibes also supports custom DNS. In this implementation, the whole dashboard is served from the partner (sub)domain.
  • Enter your host name in the box (www.mysitename.com)
  • Ask the sysadmin of your domain to update the following three hostnames to point to the public IP of Netvibes (replace www.mysitename.com with your own hostname):
  • Request a sysasdmin at Netvibes to update our server configuration

Netvibes Documentation - manager [Documentation]

Netvibes Documentation - manager [Documentation]


By default, the dashboard can be accessed at http://username.netvibesbusiness.com. There are also options to iframe the dashboard within your site, or use DNS to point your hostname to the dashboard.

Iframe implementation

In the NPD manager, the main URL on your site where the dashboard will be accessed should be entered under “Iframe” in the “Iframe URL” field. e.g. http://www.yoursite.com/netvibes
There are two methods to integrate the iframe on your site. A simple one, which is what most partners need to set up their dashboard, and a more advanced method which allows rss feeds from external sources to be added directly to the dashboard by users. The simple method is to create a page which contains an iframe of the following form:

<iframe height="1300" frameborder=0 border=0 scrolling="no" src="http://www.netvibes.com/partner/premium.php?universe=[ username ]" width="100%" name="nvFrame" id="nvFrame"></iframe>

Replace [ username ] with the username which can be found in the main URL: username.netvibesbusines.com. The more advanced version involves dynamically creating the iframe with JavaScript: Create an empty <div> which will host the iframe.

<div id="netvibesContainer"></div>
And include the following JavaScript in the page:

<script type="text/javascript">
var netvibesUrl = "http://www.netvibes.com/partner/premium.php? universe=[ username ]";
var matches = window.location.href.match('subscribe=(http:\/\/.*)$');
if (matches) {
 netvibesUrl += "&";
 netvibesUrl += matches[0].replace(/\s+$/, '');
netvibesUrl += '&rnd=' + Math.random() * 100000; var iframe = document.createElement("iframe");
iframe.src = netvibesUrl;
iframe.id = "nvFrame"; 
iframe.name = "nvFrame";
iframe.title = "[title]";
iframe.width = "100%";
iframe.height = "1300";
iframe.frameBorder = 0;
iframe.marginWidth = 0;
iframe.marginHeight = 0;
iframe.scrolling = "no";
iframe.align = "center";
var container = document.getElementById("netvibesContainer");
container.appendChild(iframe); </script>

Replace [ username ] with the username which can be found in the main URL: username.netvibesbusines.com.

To create links to add rss feeds directly to the dashboard use the following url:
[url of dashboard, i.e. page that hosts iframe]?subscribe=[url of rss feed]

Dynamic iframe resizing

Since the dashboard is customizable by the user, it is necessary to resize the height of the iframe to match the height of the content. For this functionality to work, the following requirements must be followed:

The iframe has to have the attribute: id=”nvFrame”

A file called resize.html is provided by Netvibes that must be hosted on the same domain as the iframe page. This script dynamically resizes the iframe to match the height of the dashboard.

The URL of the resize file should be entered in the NPD manager under “Iframe” in the “Iframe URL” field.


Hands on with Apple's Podcasts for iOS | Macworld

Hands on with Apple's Podcasts for iOS | Macworld

Good news, podcast fans! No longer will you have to dig through your iPhone or iPad’s unaptly-named Music app in order to sate your listening appetite. On Tuesday, Apple released a new free app—titled, much more appropriately, Podcasts—which now serves as the one-stop shop for all of your iOS podcast needs.

Podcasts’s closest relative is probably iBooks, in that it not only organizes your podcasts into a library and lets you listen to them, but it also provides a front end for downloading them as well. Of course, since podcasts are free, Apple’s opted to call this last feature a Catalog instead of a Store (though it looks pretty much the same as the iTunes Store).

Movin' on up: Your existing podcasts will be moved from Music and Videos to the new app.
When you install Podcasts, it’ll move any existing audio podcasts out of Music and video podcasts out of the Videos app, and instead store them in Podcast’s library.

Wall of sound: Your podcasts are organized in a library, à la iBooks.
Much like in iBooks, the first screen you’ll see in Podcasts is your own library. You can organize this either by thumbnail or as a list. In the former case, you can tap on any of the thumbnails to view information about the show, including a list of episodes. Tap any of the episodes to play them back. In list mode, you’ll see a number indicating how many unplayed episodes you have for each podcast. There’s a search field (for the iPhone or iPod touch, you’ll have to swipe downward to reveal it) and an Edit button, which lets you delete podcasts.

Podcasts also lets you manage subscriptions. Tap on any podcast in your library and then tap on either the podcast’s name (on an iPhone or iPod touch) or the gear icon (on an iPad). From there you can turn on or off a subscription for that podcast, decide whether you want episodes sorted by newest first or oldest first, or mark all episodes as played or unplayed. Once you’ve turned on subscriptions, you also have the option to activate the auto-download feature; turn that on, and you’ll be prompted to specify how many episodes you want to keep. While Apple says auto-download requires a cellular data or Wi-Fi connection, there doesn’t appear to be any way at present to limit it if, for example, you only want to download while you’re on Wi-Fi.

Top of the charts: Apple's also created a Top Stations feature that identifies popular podcasts in certain categories.
Apple’s also spent some time beefing up the podcast discovery process. A new feature called Top Stations lets you quickly flip through genres via a radio-style tuning dial. Swipe the dial to flip through top-level topics like Comedy, News, Games & Hobbies, Technology, and more. Some categories include sub-genres: Under Education, for example, you’ll find Educational Technology, Higher Education, K-12, Language Courses, and Training.

Under each header (or sub-header), Apple features five podcasts. Swipe up and down to scroll through them—tap on any to start streaming the latest episode automatically (tap again to pause). An info button next to the thumbnail brings up an episode listing, just as if you were in the Catalog. You can stream or download an episode or subscribe to a podcast right from the Top Stations interface. At the top of the screen is a toggle that lets you choose whether you’re browsing through audio podcasts or video podcasts.
The Catalog looks more or less like the iTunes Store, including featured podcasts, top charts, a search function, and more. You can also browse by audio or video podcasts. In a thoughtful move, the Podcasts app builds in a little known feature from the App Store: You can actually stream any podcast episode right from the podcast Catalog by simply tapping on its name. Or, if you prefer, you can download the episode to your iOS device so you can play it back even when you’re not online.

Time for some playback: Podcasts uses a delightful tape-recorder metaphor for tweaking playback controls.
Apple’s built robust playback tools into the Podcasts app. By default, playing any podcast looks much like the Music app: a big thumbnail in the center, below which you find forward and back buttons for skipping to the next or previous episodes, play/pause controls, and a volume slider (along with an AirPlay control). In addition, though, Podcasts has buttons that lets you jump back 10 seconds or skip forward 30 seconds, handy for those “what did they say?” moments, or for skipping commericals.

If you need even more fine-grained controls, swipe upwards (or just tap) on the thumbnail in the middle and you’ll get more options, including a full timeline that you can scrub through. There’s also a control for adjusting the speed of playback, both faster and slower. Plus, for those who like to listen to podcasts as they’re falling asleep, there’s now an integrated sleep timer. And an AutoPlay feature continues playing the next unplayed episode of the same podcast after the current one is finished, with no need for user intervention.

Apple didn’t forget to leave out the fun, either: As the podcasts plays, a classic reel-to-reel style tape recorder spins along in the background. Skip rapidly through the episode and the playhead disengages, the left-hand reel despools and the tape mounts up on the right-hand reel. It’s an attractive little piece of detail, even despite the somewhat outmoded metaphor.
Sharing receives a much bigger push in Podcasts as well. You’ll find a Share button on each podcast and episode in your library, as well as for podcasts on the store, inviting you to tweet, iMessage, or email your friends about your newest podcast obsession.

Of course, many of us listen to podcasts on multiple devices. Fortunately, Apple has taken that into account somewhat, allowing you to sync your episodes back to iTunes on your Mac and PC. And, if you’re logged into the same Apple ID on multiple devices, Podcasts will sync up your listening position, so you can pick up on your iPhone where you left off on your iPad.
It’s nice to see podcasts get the same kind of attention as ebooks, though Apple does have a tougher row to hoe here, thanks to full-featured competitors like Downcast and Instacast. Still, a standalone Podcasts app goes a long way towards decluttering iOS’s media playback capabilities, a trend which has already seen Apple split the iPhone’s iPod app into Videos and Music. Now if only the company would turn that critical eye on iTunes on the desktop.

Mountain Lion 101: AirPlay Mirroring | TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Mountain Lion 101: AirPlay Mirroring | TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Mountain Lion 101: AirPlay Mirroring

Mountain Lion 101 AirPlay MirroringOne of the flagship iOS features to carry over to OS X Mountain Lion is AirPlay Mirroring, which allows users to mirror their desktop to an Apple TV. System audio can also be streamed to AirPlay-compatible devices, which means that apps without custom AirPlay support (like Spotify) can stream directly to an Apple TV or Airport Express.

AirPlay Mirroring is a great way to share content from your desktop, no matter what program you're running. It works well even for streaming video sites like Vimeo.

You can control AirPlay Mirroring via the new AirPlay menu bar icon, which shows up when there's a valid target device on the network. You get some additional display options once you've turned AirPlay Mirroring on:
Mountain Lion 101 AirPlay Mirroring
When enabling AirPlay audio, go into Sound>Output in System Preferences and choose which compatible device you want the sound to go to:
Mountain Lion 101 AirPlay Mirroring
In my testing the mirroring worked great, but some issues can arise when you turn AirPlay Mirroring off. I'm using a mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro and after AirPlay Mirroring was turned off, it still had my Mac's resolution adjusted to that of my TV's. To fix it, you'll have to open the display panel and select your previous resolution. However, after a few times using AirPlay Mirroring, the problem stopped. Richard Gaywood noticed similar issues in his review. Unlike Richard, my MacBook Pro wasn't running hot with AirPlay Mirroring going, but it also has a newer graphics card.

Other than this issue, I think that AirPlay Mirroring is going to be extremely useful. The requirements are pretty tight; if you have a computer that wasn't purchased in the past year or so, it probably is not supported. If you're looking to get AirPlay Mirroring features for older systems, AirParrot will fill that gap nicely.

Apple - OS X Mountain Lion - See everything the new OS X can do.

Apple - OS X Mountain Lion - See everything the new OS X can do.

200+ New Features

OS X Mountain Lion is our best OS yet. Because all these new features add up to one amazing experience on your Mac. And every device you use.


Improved preference pane

Mountain Lion makes it easier to customize your settings with the redesigned Accessibility pane in System Preferences.

Accessibility pane available from anywhere

You can access the Accessibility pane from anywhere on your Mac with the Command-Option-F5 keyboard shortcut.

New braille display support

Mountain Lion supports 14 new braille displays.

Drag and drop using modifier keys

Drag and drop with VoiceOver now supports modifier keys such as Command and Option, allowing you to execute different actions based on the context.

Reorder tables

You can now reorder tables by column headers using VoiceOver.

Drag items to hotspots

You can now drag items to hotspots using VoiceOver.

Support for press and hold buttons

VoiceOver in Mountain Lion supports press and hold buttons.
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AirPlay Mirroring1

Wireless mirroring

Send what’s on your Mac screen to an HDTV wirelessly with Apple TV. Mirroring is great for classrooms, conference rooms, and your living room.

High definition

AirPlay Mirroring sends a video stream automatically optimized for the HD capabilities of your Mac and Apple TV. It supports up to 1080p HD.

Automatic detection

When a Mac with Mountain Lion detects an Apple TV on the same network, the AirPlay Mirroring menu item appears in the menu bar.

Menu item

To wirelessly mirror your Mac to your HDTV, click the AirPlay Mirroring menu item and choose your Apple TV. Use the menu to select a different Apple TV on your network and set resolution matching.

Resolution matching

AirPlay Mirroring scales the contents of your Mac desktop to fit on your HDTV.  For a sharper image, choose to set the resolution of your desktop to best match that of your Apple TV.

Seamless integration with iTunes

When you play movies or TV shows with iTunes on your Mac, AirPlay Mirroring will automatically switch to a full-screen AirPlay experience on your HDTV.

Encrypted streaming

AirPlay Mirroring uses encryption to securely send what’s on your Mac to your Apple TV.

Audio support

With AirPlay Mirroring, audio from your Mac is wirelessly sent to your Apple TV. You can use this feature independent of AirPlay Mirroring by selecting your Apple TV in the Sound pane of System Preferences.

High performance

AirPlay Mirroring takes advantage of advanced hardware video encoding to deliver high-definition mirroring efficiently and optimize processor use.
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Auto Save

Rename from the title bar

Rename a document without leaving the app. Just click the filename in the title bar and choose Rename from the document menu.

Revert to last saved

Easily revert to the last saved version of a document to instantly undo all changes you made since you last saved the document.

Move to iCloud

Instantly move iCloud-supported documents to iCloud from the document menu.

Prompt to save when closing a document

The new “Ask to keep changes when closing a document” preference prompts you to keep or discard changes when closing a document.

Untitled documents in the cloud

Untitled iCloud-supported documents are stored in iCloud so they’re available on all your devices.

Keyboard shortcut for Duplicate

Quickly duplicate a document using the Command-Shift-S keyboard shortcut.

Keyboard shortcut for Save As

Use Command-Shift-Option-S to save a document using a different name and location.
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Built-in Sharing

Share button

Built into many Mountain Lion apps, the Share button reveals a menu of sharing services appropriate for the application you’re using.

Share sheets

Share sheets appear in the app you’re using, so you can share quickly and easily — there’s no need to switch to another app and drag in a file.

Share menu services

When you click the Share button, the Share menu presents services that are relevant to the app you’re using and the type of file you’re sharing.

Share anything

With built-in sharing, it’s easy to share photos, videos, links, and documents from the apps you use to view them. Share using Mail, Messages, and AirDrop. And share directly to Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, and Flickr.

Single sign-on

Sign in once to Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and Flickr and your Mac is all set up to share right from the apps that support it.
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Calendar sidebar

Click the Calendars button to keep a list of all your calendars accessible in a sidebar.

Search suggestions

When you’re searching for an event, Calendar offers suggestions so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.

Search tokens

When you select a suggestion, Calendar creates a search token displaying a list of events that contain a match. Combine multiple tokens to refine a search.

New date picker

The new date picker in the inspector displays a mini calendar so you can easily change the date of an event.

Event notifications

Calendar notifies you with an alert when an event is about to occur. Open Notification Center to see a list of upcoming events.
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Groups column

Contacts includes a new groups column, which always gives you quick access to your contact groups.

Unified view

Contacts brings information about your contacts together and displays it on one card — even across multiple services. So if you have a friend’s phone number in Yahoo! and his email address in iCloud, Contacts creates one entry.

Share button

Easily share contact information to Mail, Messages, or AirDrop from the Share button in Contacts.
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Widget browser

Dashboard includes a new widget browser that makes it even easier to find a widget.

Search widgets

Quickly find widgets with the new search field. In the widget browser, start typing the name of the widget and Dashboard displays the results. Click the widget to add it to your Dashboard.

Create folders of widgets

Organize your widgets into folders in the widget browser.
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Talk anywhere you can type

OS X now supports Dictation. So wherever you can type, you can use your voice instead. Just select a text field and turn Dictation on. Use the keyboard shortcut — press the Function key twice — or choose Dictation from the Edit menu in any app. When you’re finished speaking, click Done. Dictation converts your words into text.

Works with any app

Dictation works with text fields in any OS X app — no additional third-party developer support is required.

Works with Contacts

Just say your friend’s name, and Dictation knows who you mean. It works with information in the Contacts app to recognize and spell names accurately, even if they have unusual spellings.

Keyboard shortcut

Press the Function key twice to start Dictation. Press it twice again when you’re done speaking.

No setup or training required

No setup or special training is required. Dictation just works. The more you use it, the better it understands you. Dictation learns the characteristics of your voice and adapts to your accent.

Works out of the box

Dictation uses the built-in microphone on your Mac, so it works as soon as you start speaking. You can also use an additional microphone.

Dictate commands

Dictation understands basic text-related commands such as “all caps,” “new paragraph,” and “new line.” When you say “period,” “comma,” “question mark,” or “exclamation point,” Dictation punctuates for you.


Dictation supports English (U.S., UK, and Australia), French, German, and Japanese. When your system is set to one of these languages, it automatically enters the right text.
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Swipe between pages

Swipe left or right on the trackpad to navigate through your history in Dictionary.

New dictionaries

The Dictionary application in Mountain Lion includes Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and German definition dictionaries.
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Single sign-on

Sign in once and your Mac is all set up to share even easier to Facebook, right from your apps. It sets up Notification Center and Contacts to work with Facebook, too. And you can post to Facebook without signing in again.

Facebook notifications

When you are signed in to Facebook, you can see your Facebook notifications in Notification Center.

Facebook Share sheet

When you select Facebook from the Share menu, you see the Facebook Share sheet. It’s a handy card that includes the content you’re posting and makes it easy to add a comment. When you post a photo, you can add it to one of your albums.


Let your Facebook friends know where you are. Click the location indicator in the Facebook Share sheet and add a location to your post.

Facebook friends in Contacts

When you’re set up for Facebook in Mountain Lion, it adds your Facebook friends to Contacts — with profile photos and contact information. When friends update their information on Facebook, it’s automatically updated in Contacts.

Add profile photos

You can add profile photos for contacts who aren’t Facebook friends by choosing Update Contacts in the Facebook settings of Mail, Contacts, and Calendar.
Facebook integration coming this fall.
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Features for China

Improved text input

Typing Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese is easier, faster, and more accurate than ever. As you type, Mountain Lion offers more up-to-date and relevant candidates for words and phrases.

Dynamic word lists

Mountain Lion draws word and phrase suggestions from lists of words that update dynamically without the need for an OS X update.

Fuzzy Pinyin input

Mountain Lion adds support for Fuzzy Pinyin, which makes text input easier for users who type Pinyin with regional pronunciations.

Pinyin autocorrection

When you mistype a word, Mountain Lion offers a likely candidate for the word you meant to type.

Better handwriting recognition

Mountain Lion supports almost 30,000 Chinese characters. Handwriting recognition complies with the GB-18030 standard for character support.

Mix Chinese and English

You can now type English words in a Pinyin sentence without switching keyboards.

User dictionary in iCloud

When you add words to your user dictionary in the Pinyin input method, iCloud makes them available on all your devices.2

Emoji and facemarks

You can now easily add emoji and facemarks to a Pinyin sentence without switching keyboards.

Definition dictionary

The Standard Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese is now available in the Dictionary app for those using Simplified Chinese.


Lookup in Mountain Lion supports Simplified Chinese. Place your cursor over the word and tap with three fingers on the trackpad to see the definition. If you use a mouse, Control-click the word and choose Look Up from the contextual menu.

Sina Weibo

Sina Weibo, the popular Chinese microblogging service, is built into the Share menu. Sign in once and it’s set up. You can share links and photos to Sina directly from Safari, Preview, Photo Booth, and Quick Look. And it works with Notification Center, so you get a notification whenever someone mentions you in a post or sends you a direct message.

Youku and Tudou video upload

Easily share videos on popular Chinese video-sharing websites Youku and Tudou. When you preview a video file in QuickTime Player or Quick Look, you can post it directly to Youku or Tudou with the Share button — without switching to another app. With single sign-on, log in once and start posting videos.

Baidu search in Safari

Baidu, the leading Chinese search provider, is a built-in option for searching in Safari.

Easy setup for popular mail clients

Mountain Lion makes it easy to set up Mail with the popular services QQ Mail, 126, and 163.

New fonts

Mountain Lion includes eight new fonts, from modern to classical, for Chinese users.
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Inline progress for downloads and file copies

When copying a file from a server or connected drive, you’ll see its progress in the file’s icon in the Finder. You can also cancel a copy in progress.

Easy encryption

You can now encrypt a drive from the Finder. Select the drive and choose Encrypt from the contextual menu.

Share button

The Finder in Mountain Lion includes a Share button, so you can share files using Messages, AirDrop, or Mail.

Customizable sidebar

Customize the sidebar by dragging categories to the desired location.

Tap for Quick Look

Instantly preview files with a three-finger tap on the trackpad.
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Game Center

Game Center app

The new Game Center app in Mountain Lion lets you set up and personalize your gaming experience. Use your Apple ID to create a Game Center account or log in with your existing account from iOS. Once you’re signed in to Game Center, the app provides a complete view of your gaming network.

Friend discovery

Game Center shows you everyone in your gaming network and lets you browse your friends’ friends. If you see someone you want to play, send a friend request. Game Center even recommends new friends to expand your gaming network.

Game discovery

The Game Center app shows you which games your friends play and lets you browse recommendations for new games you might like. Open the Mac App Store from Game Center to purchase and download new games.


Check out leaderboards in Game Center to find out how your scores rank among your friends’. You can also see how you rank among the scores for the day, the week, or all time. And you’ll see the top players of each game.


You’ve discovered hidden items or completed a challenging level. In Game Center, you can see your hard-earned achievements and compare your feats with those of your friends.

Multiplayer games

Game Center lets you play multiplayer games with friends on a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Find opponents

Invite your friends to play right from a game. Game Center also automatically matches you with players who want to play the same game.

In-game voice chat

During live multiplayer games, in-game voice chat lets you talk with your opponents or team members.


When a friend request or an invitation to a game arrives, you see it in Notification Center. As you play a turn-based game, you receive a notification when you’re up next.

Parental controls

In the Parental Controls pane of System Preferences, you can choose to allow your child to play Game Center-enabled multiplayer games or add friends in Game Center.
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Choose where apps are installed from

Gatekeeper gives you three security options for downloading and installing apps for your Mac. You can download and install apps from anywhere, with the same protection that OS X Lion provides. For maximum security, choose to allow only apps from the Mac App Store to be installed. Or download and install apps from the Mac App Store and apps that have been signed with a Developer ID.

Gatekeeper alert

Mountain Lion alerts you if you download and try to install an application from a developer who does not have a Developer ID.

Manual override

If you receive an alert that an app is from an unidentified developer, you can still choose to install it. Control-click the installer or the application icon to reveal a contextual menu. Choose Open and you’ll see a dialog that allows you to install the application.
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Automatic setup

When setting up a new Mac, getting started is even easier in Mountain Lion with iCloud because it automatically uses content from your iPhone or iPad. And it’s just as easy to set up iCloud on any Mac. In Setup Assistant, sign in with your Apple ID and iCloud is automatically set up across all the apps that use it. It pushes your accounts, settings, and content to your Mac so you’re ready to go.

Create a new iCloud account in Setup Assistant

When you start up a Mac for the first time, you can create a new iCloud account in Setup Assistant, so you’re ready to go as soon as you get to the desktop.

iCloud Document Library

The iCloud Document Library is a convenient, consistent way to access your iCloud documents across all your Mac computers and iOS devices. It shows you the documents for the app you're using. When you're in Pages, for example, you can see all your iCloud Pages documents with the most recent one at the top.

Built-in sharing

The Document Library includes Share sheets for Messages, AirDrop, and Mail so it’s easy to share documents stored in iCloud.

Icon and list view

In the iCloud Document Library, you can view your iCloud documents as icons or as an ordered list.

Sort options

In list view in the Document Library, sort documents by name, date modified, or file size. In icon view, scroll down to reveal options for sorting by date or name.

Document folders

In the iCloud Document Library, you can organize documents into folders by dragging one document onto another — just as you do on your iPhone or iPad. Folders you create on one device automatically appear in the iCloud Document Library. And when you open an app on any device, you’ll see your iCloud document folders for that app.
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Launchpad search

Launchpad in Mountain Lion includes a search field that makes finding apps even easier. When you enter Launchpad, start typing the name of the app you’re looking for and Launchpad displays matching results. Click the app to open it.
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Mac App Store

OS X software updates

In Mountain Lion, OS X software updates are available through the Mac App Store. It’s a central location for updating OS X and your apps.

Mac App Store notifications

The Mac App Store notifies you when updates are available for OS X or purchased apps.

Apps pushed to all Mac computers

The Mac App Store in Mountain Lion can automatically download apps purchased on another Mac.

Share button

Share a link to your favorite apps from the Mac App Store using Messages, Twitter, or Facebook.

Full screen

Take the Mac App Store full screen to browse apps using the entire display.

Swipe between pages

Navigate the Mac App Store using Multi-Touch gestures. Swipe left or right on the trackpad or mouse to go back and forward through your history.

Automatic download of app updates

The Mac App Store automatically downloads app updates and OS X software updates so they’re ready to be installed.
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Indicate the people who are most important to you by making them VIPs. Just click the star next to a name at the top of a message.

VIP smart mailbox

To view all messages sent from VIPs, click the VIP smart mailbox in the favorites bar.

Mail notifications

When new mail arrives, you receive notifications by default. You can also choose to be notified when VIPs send you messages, when messages arrive in a certain mailbox, or when you get a message from a particular person in Contacts.

Inline find

Easily find a word or phrase in a message. As you type, Mail instantly highlights all occurrences of the text you’re looking for in a specific message while dimming the rest of the message. The Find banner displays the number of results. Use the arrow keys to browse matches.

Click to go to top of inbox

Click the sort bar at the top of the message list to go instantly to the top of the list.

Web page sharing options

The Share button lets you email a web page from Safari. You can send the page in Reader view, or as a web page, PDF, or link right from the message window.

Preferences pushed to iCloud

iCloud pushes your VIPs and recent senders to all your devices.3
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With iMessage, you can send messages to anyone who has an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5 or later, or a Mac with Mountain Lion.

Elegant new design

The elegant design of Messages makes it easy to follow conversations. Your current conversations are listed on the right and ongoing conversations on the left, with the most recent on top. Messages stores your message history, so you can pick up a conversation where you left off.

Autocomplete names

It’s easy to start conversations. Start typing a friend’s name in the To field and Messages works with Contacts to autocomplete it — no need to add friends to a buddy list.

Send to phone number or email address

You can send iMessages to a phone number or to an email address associated with an Apple ID.

Easy group messaging

Easily send messages to a group. Just type each name in the To field. When friends reply, everyone sees the responses.

Delivery receipts

With iMessage delivery receipts, you know when your messages have been delivered.

Read receipts

You can let friends know that you’ve read their messages by turning on read receipts in Messages preferences. iMessage informs your friends when you’ve read their messages.

Conversations everywhere

iMessage keeps your conversations up to date on all your devices. You can start a conversation on your Mac and pick up where you left off on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Encrypted messaging

iMessage uses end-to-end encryption so your conversations are private and secure.

Send large attachments

Send high-quality photos, full HD video, or documents. iMessage allows attachments of up to 100MB.

Typing indicator

As soon as a friend starts typing a reply, Messages displays ellipsis points in your conversation to let you know a response is on the way.

Search messages

Use the search field to quickly find recipients or messages you sent.

Forward a message

To forward a message to a friend, click the message to highlight it and then choose Forward from the contextual menu. You can even select multiple messages.

Message notifications

When someone sends you a new message, you receive a notification even when Messages is not running.

Full screen

With Messages in full screen, you can take advantage of the entire display.

Support for instant messaging services

Messages supports the traditional instant messaging services supported by iChat, including AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber.

Switch to video

Switching from a conversation to a video call is easy. Click the FaceTime button to open the FaceTime app and initiate a video call with your friend.
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Pushed to all devices

With iCloud, your notes stay up to date on all your devices. Create notes on your Mac, and they appear in the Notes app on your iPad. Change a note on the go on your iPhone, and it’s updated on your Mac.


Stay organized by arranging notes in folders.


Use the search field to quickly find the note you’re looking for.

Add links

Notes supports links — simply highlight a URL and drag it into the note.

Photos and attachments

Drag a photo or an attachment into a note to include it.

Fonts, bullets, and lists

Format your note with fonts, rich text, bulleted items, and numbered lists.

Pin notes

Pin a note to keep it handy on your desktop. Just double-click, and your note opens in its own window. Even if you close Notes, the note stays open on your desktop. You can pin multiple notes to see them all at a glance.

Built-in sharing

The Share button is built into Notes, so it’s easy to send a note to a friend or colleague using Mail or Messages.

Full screen

Click the full-screen button to take one or all of your notes full screen.

Multiple accounts

Notes works with IMAP services, so your notes stay up to date on your devices. You can also create notes and folders that appear only on your Mac.
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Notification Center

Notification Center

If you miss a banner or want to see all your notifications, you can find them in Notification Center. Notification Center consolidates notifications from Messages, Calendar, Mail, Reminders, and third-party apps in one convenient place.

Menu bar icon

An icon in the menu bar indicates when you have new notifications. Click the icon to reveal Notification Center and view all notifications.

Accessible anywhere

You can access Notification Center anytime, even when you’re using a full-screen app. Swipe from the right edge of the trackpad with two fingers or click the Notification Center icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Notification Center slides in from the right. To hide it when you’re done, just swipe back or click the icon again.

Banner notifications

Banners appear in the upper-right corner of the screen and slide away into Notification Center after 5 seconds. You can click the banner to go directly to the app.

Alert notifications

Alerts appear in the upper-right corner of the screen and remain there until you click Close. To go to the app, click Show.

Easy to configure

Configure your notifications in System Preferences. You can select which apps send you notifications, the order in which you see them, how many recent items appear, and whether you receive a banner or an alert.

Show Notifications

In Notification Center, swipe down to reveal the Show Notifications switch, which prevents banners and alerts from appearing in the upper-right corner of your screen. Notifications still appear when you open Notification Center.

Uninterrupted presentations

Notifications won’t interrupt you. They’re automatically disabled while you’re presenting in Keynote. They also won’t appear if your display is mirrored on an external monitor.


Share your thoughts to Twitter right from Notification Center. Click the Twitter button and add your comments in the Share sheet. When you add the @, the Tweet sheet fills in the rest from Contacts.

Post to Facebook

Update your status message in Notification Center. Click Facebook, type your status, and post.
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Photo Booth

Share sheet

Photo Booth includes Share sheets for AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Vimeo. So you can easily share your favorite Photo Booth shots.

Set picture as Twitter profile picture

Take a picture in Photo Booth and use the Share button to instantly make it your Twitter profile picture.
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Power Nap4

Ready when you are

With Power Nap, your Mac sleeps but your applications stay up to date. So you have the latest information — such as mail, notes, reminders, and messages — when your Mac wakes up.

Backups and updates

Power Nap performs Time Machine backups to Time Capsule and downloads OS X software updates while your Mac sleeps, so you can begin installing as soon as you wake it up.

Power efficient

Power Nap works whether your Mac is plugged into an AC power outlet or is using battery power.

Silent operation

Power Nap refreshes the data on your Mac silently; no fans or lights come on.
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Documents in the Cloud

Preview in Mountain Lion supports Documents in the Cloud so you can access your PDF documents and images from anywhere.

Built-in sharing

Preview includes a Share button so you can easily share documents to Messages, AirDrop, or Mail. Images can also be shared using Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

Fill out PDF forms

Preview lets you quickly fill out forms. Using image analysis, Preview detects areas that are intended for text entry, such as underlining and boxes. Just click to add your text. And click to select checkboxes.

Inline notes in PDF documents

Adding comments to a PDF document is even easier in Mountain Lion. Click the area where you want to add the comment and start typing. When you’re done, the text is hidden. Click to read the comment.

View all notes and highlights

Choose Highlights and Notes from the View menu to display all your notes and highlights in the sidebar.

Search notes and highlights

Search notes and highlights in a PDF document either by author or by content.

Insert page from scanner

Preview makes it easy to scan pages and images directly into an existing PDF document.
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QuickTime X

High-performance H.264 encoding5

When you select a standard HD export setting, QuickTime Player takes advantage of hardware video encoding for optimal performance.

Built-in sharing

QuickTime Player includes new Share sheets for Messages, AirDrop, and Mail.

AVCHD video

In Mountain Lion, QuickTime Player makes working with AVCHD video easy. A built-in clip browser shows you the video clips in your AVCHD media. Choose the clip you're interested in to immediately play it back, quickly trim it to the perfect length, and even share it with others.
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Reminder lists

Stay organized with to-do lists. Create lists and add reminders or drag reminders into existing lists. To see more than one list, select multiple lists in the left column. You can also keep a list handy on your desktop. Double-click the left column, and the list opens in its own window.

Add due dates

Manage your tasks with due dates. Add a due date to a reminder and Reminders alerts you when the deadline approaches.

Set priority

Prioritize a task by choosing low, medium, or high.


The search field makes it easy to find a specific reminder.

Location-based reminders

Add a location to a reminder on your Mac, and receive a notification on your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac when you depart from or arrive at that location.6

Pushed to all devices

iCloud keeps your reminders and lists up to date on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and PC. Create a reminder on the go and it’s automatically available on your Mac. Organize lists of tasks on your Mac and stay on top of them with your iPhone.

Reminder notifications

You receive a notification when a reminder is due. Upcoming reminders appear in Notification Center.

Mark as complete

When you complete a task, click the checkbox and the task is removed from the list. At any time, you can see the items you’ve completed by clicking the Completed list.

Swipe between reminder lists

Swipe left or right on the trackpad or mouse to quickly move between lists.

View as a single column

For a more compact view, hide the Reminders sidebar so your reminder list is front and center. You can access your other lists by swiping left or right on the trackpad or mouse.

View by date

Keep track of tasks by due date. Click a date in the calendar to see all the reminders due that day.

View completed tasks

Click the checkbox when you’ve finished a task, and Reminders removes it from the list. You can see everything you’ve finished by clicking Completed at the top of each list.

Multiple accounts

Reminders works with CalDAV services like Google Calendar and Yahoo! Calendar. You can also create reminders that appear only on your Mac.
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Smart search field

Safari now has one field for typing both search terms and web addresses. When you type in the field, Safari detects a likely web page match based on your previous browsing and presents it as a Top Hit. Top Hit suggestions improve as you select the results.

Share button

The Share button is built into Safari, so it’s easy to share web pages using Mail, Messages, Facebook, and Twitter.

Offline Reading List

Safari saves the web pages in your Reading List so you can catch up on your reading even when you don’t have an Internet connection. If an article in your Reading List contains multiple pages, Safari fetches the pages and stores them, so you can read the entire article offline.

Tab View

Use Multi-Touch gestures to switch between your tabs. On the trackpad, pinching in reveals your open tabs. In Tab View, a two-finger swipe navigates between them.

Password AutoFill

When you log in to a website, Safari offers to save your password for AutoFill, so you don’t have to type it the next time you log in.

View passwords

If you forget a saved password, you can find it in the new Passwords pane in Safari. Use your system password to authenticate, and you’ll see all your passwords.

iCloud Tabs

Pick up browsing right where you left off — on your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac.7 iCloud makes your open Safari tabs available on all your devices, so you can access the last websites you looked at.

Smooth scrolling

Thanks to hardware acceleration, web pages scroll smoothly in the browser window even when your Mac is loading new web page content.

Do Not Track

Safari supports an emerging privacy standard called “Do Not Track.” When you turn on Do Not Track or surf the web with Private Browsing, Safari asks the websites you visit not to track you online.

Rename bookmarks in the bookmarks bar

Click and hold a bookmark or folder to rename it.

Improved hardware acceleration

With improved hardware acceleration, Safari renders text and graphics even faster.

Faster performance

Safari speeds up JavaScript performance by up to 6 percent compared with Safari 5.1.8
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Gatekeeper gives you three security options for downloading and installing apps for your Mac. You can download and install apps from anywhere, with the same protection that OS X Lion provides. For maximum security, choose to allow only apps from the Mac App Store to be installed. Or download and install apps from the Mac App Store and apps that have been signed with a Developer ID.

FIPS 140-2 certification in progress

Encryption in Mountain Lion is in the process of being certified for FIPS 140-2, the government security standard.

Kernel ASLR

Kernel ASLR helps keep your system safe from malicious software. Kernel ASLR randomly arranges kernel components in memory at boot time to make it significantly more difficult for an attacker to use kernel functions in an unintended way by calling their memory addresses.

Management tools for FileVault

FileVault in OS X provides new management capabilities using the fdesetup command-line tool. fdesetup allows third-party management tools to enable FileVault, determine encryption status, capture and manage recovery keys, and add users to a FileVault-encrypted system as well as synchronize directory-based user authentication credentials with the local credentials for FileVault access.

More sandboxed apps

In Mountain Lion, FaceTime, Mail, Reminders, Notes, Game Center, and Safari are sandboxed applications.

Check for updates daily

Mountain Lion checks for new updates every day, making sure you have the latest software for your Mac.

Safari safe HTML handling

When you open an HTML file saved from the web, Safari displays only local information and does not access remote resources or send data to a remote server.
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Go full screen on any display

If you have a secondary display connected to your Mac, you can take an app full screen on either display. Drag the window to the desired display and click the full-screen button.

Drag and drop files in screen sharing

Copying files from one Mac to another is as easy as drag and drop in screen sharing. Simply drag the file from the remote Mac to your local Mac and it’s copied.

Improved scroll bars

Scroll bars in Mountain Lion expand when you hover the cursor over them, so it’s easier to scroll a web page or document.

Game Center-enabled Chess

Chess in Mountain Lion includes Game Center support so you can go head to head with your friends. Sign in to the Game Center app to see your achievements and track your progress.

Photo Stream screen saver

Choose Photo Stream as the source for your photos, and showcase your most recent shots while you’re away from your Mac.

New slideshows

Mountain Lion includes new screen saver slideshows: Flip-up, Floating, Holiday Mobile, Ken Burns, Origami, Photo Mobile, Photo Wall, Reflections, Scrapbook, Shatter, Shifting Tiles, Sliding Panels, Snapshots, and Vintage Prints.

Faces integration in photo picker

The photo picker now includes Faces, which displays all the pictures of you contained in your iPhoto library. So it’s easy to choose a photo for your account picture, Contacts card, or Messages account.

Easier AirPrint setup

Set up and print to an AirPrint-enabled printer on your network without having to download a driver. The printer appears in the Nearby Printers list in the Print dialog.

Smart Collections in Font Book

Create collections of your favorite fonts using Smart Collections that instantly display all fonts based on search criteria.

Xsan 3

Mountain Lion includes Xsan, the high-performance cluster file system for accessing data from shared storage.

X11 install on demand

X11 on Mountain Lion now uses install on demand. When you first launch an app that requires X11 libraries, you are directed to a download location for the most up-to-date version of X11 for Mac.
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Pinch to zoom text

Pinch the trackpad to zoom in on a document.

Documents in the Cloud

TextEdit supports Documents in the Cloud so you can access your TextEdit documents from anywhere.
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Time Machine

Encrypted backup

Mountain Lion includes the option to create encrypted backups on Time Capsule.

Backup to multiple locations

Time Machine allows you to choose multiple backup locations and seamlessly switch between them. Now you can have a backup of your data at work and at home.
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Single sign-on

Sign in once and Mountain Lion sets up Twitter for sharing, so you can tweet from any app. Signing in also sets up Twitter for Notification Center and Contacts.

Tweet right from an app

When you choose Twitter from the Share menu, you can tweet links and photos directly from Safari, Preview, Finder, Photo Booth, and Quick Look without switching to another app and signing in.

Tweet sheet

Choosing Twitter from the Share menu brings up the Tweet sheet, a handy card that contains the content you’re tweeting. The Tweet sheet makes it easy to add a comment — you can even see how many characters you have left.

Tweet photos and links

Twitter in Mountain Lion makes it easy to tweet links from Safari or photos from Photo Booth, iPhoto, and Quick Look.

Multiple Twitter accounts

If you have multiple Twitter accounts, you can sign in to all of them in Mountain Lion. Use the Tweet sheet to choose which account to send the tweet from.

Twitter notifications

You receive a notification when someone mentions you in a tweet or sends you a direct message.

Profile pictures and user names in Contacts

When you use Twitter single sign-on, the Contacts app displays your friends’ Twitter profile pictures and user names in their contact cards. So you can see who’s tweeting.


The Tweet sheet makes it easy to give your tweets more context by adding a location. Just click the location indicator in the Tweet sheet to add a location to your tweet.