iOS style notifications hit OS X Mountain Lion in new Notification Center

Apple OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) will feature iOS style notifications Apple has confirmed when the new version of the operating system is released in the summer.

The new notifications will come in two guises detailed by Apple in a developer preview of the new OS X 10.8 operating system released on Thursday 16 February.

The Unifed Notification Center will be accessed via a new gesture swipe on the trackpad and reveal a thin panel on the left hand side of the screen that can be accessed at any time, including when you are in full-screen apps.

"You can access Notification Center anytime, even when you’re using a full-screen app. Just swipe from the right edge of the trackpad with two fingers or click the Notification Center button in the upper-right corner of the screen, and Notification Center slides in from the right side of the screen. To hide it when you’re done, just swipe back or click the button again" Apple tells Pocket-lint.

Designed to look like the notification panel on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, the new feature will detail notifications from apps such as Mail, Messages, Reminders (also new in Mountain Lion), and Calendar among others.

Users will be able to set which apps give them notifications, the order in which you see them, how many recent items appear, and whether you receive a banner or an alert.

In an approach similar to how third-party app Growl works, notifications will also appear as banners or alerts in the top right hand corner of the screen.

"When new notifications arrive, Mountain Lion shows you banners or alerts that appear in the upper-right corner of your screen. Click the notification to go to the app and see more detail," Apple explained to Pocket-lint in a recent demo.

Like Growl, which was previous free but now costs £1.49, banners will show for 5 seconds before disappearing, highlighting that you have a new message be it from something social or an app letting you know something is happening.

Apple says that at the moment the Notification Center works with many of its own software apps including Calendar for event reminders and invitations, Mail for incoming email from VIP senders (another new feature in Mountain Lion), Messages for new messages�, Reminders for reminders coming due, FaceTime for missed calls, �Game Center for friend requests and invitations to games, �Mac App Store for OS X Software Updates and Twitter for direct messages and mentions.

Developers will be able to opt to have their apps send notifications to the new system in the same way they already do for iOS apps. 

- For more news on the latest from OS X Mountain Lion check out our dedicated Mac OS X homepage.