This week Apple brought a bit more detail to the eventual full release of their next big desktop software version OS X Mountain Lion, and one feature continues to present itself as the real hero. This feature is of course known as Notification Center. While this sort of functionality began its life in the Apple universe on the iPhone, it has come to the desktop in what might be the best form its been in yet. Here lies the connection between all of your desktop applications and functionality, accessed by you with great ease.
What Notification Center does is to take every alert, update, and message you might be getting in all of your preferred applications and ties them all together in one location. This center for notifications exists as a list as well as a set of pop-ups which disappear after a short set of seconds after they've been initiated. Users working with OS X Lion already have some of this functionality in place now, with only the option to close the Notification bubble right now rather than having it able to be closed or Shown.
Each Notification bubble is able to preview the content it's alerting you about, this including for example: a Twitter mention, a software update, or an email. Your Notification Center list appears with a title for each application and an X in the corner of that title to get rid of all updates at once. If you've got no Notifications, you've got no Notification Center at all! Clicking a Notification here from your list will bring you to the application it originated from.
You can arrange your Notification Center in whatever order you want it to appear, and you can choose which applications give you Notifications and which do not. A simple swipe from right to left on your trackpad will bring you to your Notification Center, with the opposite gesture pushing the list away once more. Simple stuff!
Check out the Timeline below to see more OS X Mountain Lion updates from this week's keynote at WWDC 2012, and get prepared for the update soon!