Apple’s next major version of OS X dropping in this summer delivers some cool functionality that has been ported over from the iPad, and one of those nifty features is Notification Center.
While some believe Apple is ripping off Growl, Notification Center is arguably more complex and, therefore, more functional.
Not only does it display timely notifications for all kinds of apps, like Mail, IM clients, Twitter, Game Center, and even FaceTime, the tool is so well integrated with the entire OS that we’ll probably wonder “how on Earth did we live without it?”
“See what’s new with you. All in one place. Something new is always popping up somewhere on your Mac — an email, an instant message, a friend request, a calendar alert, and more,” reads Apple’s promo for Notification Center.
“Notification Center makes it easy to stay up to speed, because there’s one place to see everything. Notification banners appear on your desktop and disappear quickly so they don’t interrupt what you’re doing. Swipe to the left, and you’ll see all your notifications in a simple, ordered list. So you’ll always know what’s up as soon as it comes up.”
The description may not be enough to give you an idea of how Notification Center actually works.
You know how they say an image is worth more than a thousand words? Well, have a look see (images from Apple's OS X Mountain Lion marketing page
There are some deep customization options too.
You can choose which notifications you want to see in Notification Center and arrange them however you like, and you can even preview your new email, messages, reminders, Twitter mentions and messages, even software updates, all from the Notification Center interface.
It lives in the background of OS X Mountain Lion, so all you need to do to visit Notification Center from anywhere in OS X - even from a full-screen app - is to swipe left on your trackpad.
Alternately, if you're using mouse & keyboard for input, you can invoke Notification Center by clicking the target icon at the top-right corner of your Mac’s display.
OS X version 10.8 dubbed Mountain Lion is set to arrive at the end of Summer 2012, Apple confirmed earlier this month.
Aside from Notification Center, the OS will be chock full of new features, many of which are already available on the iPad.
Previously we had to guess Apple’s intentions with every new major release of OS X. This time around, the company itself revealed that OS X Lion is a direct attempt at unifying the Apple ecosystem by bringing every relevant feature from iOS back to the Mac.
For more OS X Mountain Lion coverage, visit the related stories below.