Apple released OS X Mountain Lion preview today ahead of the planned summer release and we briefly touched upon some of the more important features like the all-new Messages app, Gatekeeper anti-malware capabilities, enhanced local services for the Chinese, system-wide Twitter integration and brand new iOS-like Notification Center. Tucked away as a side-note in Apple’s press release is AirPlay Mirroring, another welcome addition to Mountain Lion’s arsenal of over a hundred new features (so claims Apple).
Yes, there are a few apps for that, though, I have yet to find one that works as seamlessly and effortlessly as AirPlay implementation on iOS devices. Eagle-eyed readers could point out that AirPlay support was long-planned for Lion until it was abruptly pulled last-minute without an explanation. Sure enough, it took longer than expected, so we are excited with full AirPlay Mirroring now a possibility on Macs running Mountain Lion.
Just as you would expect, AirPlay Mirroring in Mountain Lion lets you tunnel whatever is on your Mac wirelessly to your television through the Apple TV set-top box. Think web pages in Safari, kitten clips on YouTube, movies from iMovies, Keynote presentations or any other content displayed on your Mac, including your desktop. Yes, just like on the iPad.
Better yet, using AirPlay Mirroring on 2011 Mac notebooks does not need a local wireless network, because the machine can create an ad hoc wireless network to pair with the Apple TV. This is gold for road warriors and educators who only need a MacBook and an Apple TV to present their portfolio or teaching material on the big screen.
There are some caveats, though.