Apple Shows Off Mountain Lion’s iCloud, Dictation, More

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple showed off several new features in the upcoming version of OS X dubbed Mountain Lion during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote presentation Monday morning.  While several features had already been detailed at previous events, Apple dove deeper into Mountain Lion’s iCloud support, and also showed off iPad-like dictation and system-level Twitter support.

Apple reiterated that iCloud support will be built-in at the system level and added that apps such as Pages, Numbers and Keynote all auto-sync documents through iCloud. Messages, which is currently available as a public beta, also relies on iCloud, as does Reminders syncing.

Mountain Lion: Coming next monthMountain Lion: Coming next month

Mountain Lion will include a Reminders app just like iOS 5 for managing to-dos. The Notes app, which has been included in iOS since the original iPhone, will be part of Mountain Lion, and will support text as well as attachments, web links, and in-line photos. Both support iCloud syncing.

New today was system-level dictation support, much like the third generation iPad’s dictation feature. Users can speak to their Mac and their words will convert to text in any document.

Along with Dictation, the company also showed off PowerNap, a new feature that lets your Mac install App Store software updates, perform backups, and update other data at night when you aren’t using your computer. It runs your computer in a low power mode that doesn’t kick on your fans, too.

Safari will include iCloud Tabs, which syncs open Web page tabs between your Macs and iOS devices, and the Web browser includes more support for multi-touch gesture navigation.

Good news for users that want to cut another cord from their Macs is AirPlay support. Mountain Lion will include AirPlay mirroring with support for 1080p video.

Apple said Mountain Lion will also incude better support for Chinese languages and services in China such as the Twitter-like Sina and local email services.

Mountain Lion will be priced at US$19.99 — $10 less than Lion — and customers that buy new Macs starting today will get the new OS upgrade for free. Mountain Lion is scheduled to ship in about a month.