Apple announced today at its WWDC 2012 keynote event several new features that we can expect to see with the next major release of its operating system. Mountain Lion, although previewed earlier this year, shows off some of its new features to the world. The new operating system will be available for only $19.99, which is a 1/3 cheaper that OSX Lion, which was $29.99. This price drop hopes to encourage new users to adopt the new OS, and with the upgrade price to include updates from Snow Leopard and Lion, this is sure to be the case. On top of this, purchasing the new OS through the Mac App Store will also allow you to upgrade all of your machines on the same license.

With the release of many new major Mac models also available after the announcements at the conference, any Mac purchased from today until the release date in July will be applicable for a free update to Mountain Lion when it does finally release.

The new dictation feature, similar to that of Siri which is found on many mobile devices is integrated into the system. This allows dictation into any application, including Facebook Update, Emails, or even search queries in Safari with its new unified html address and search bar. The dictation feature can be activated though a quick simple shortcut, and then by simply speaking what you would like the system to input for you.

A view of some of the new application icons in the dock

iCould Tabs is another new feature seen at WWDC which combines all of the tabs open on your Mac's and all mobile devices, and provides a centralised place where they can all be viewed and opened. For this to work, all the devices will have to be logged into the same iCloud device.

Another new feature introduced with Mountain Lion is Power Nap. This will allow your Mac to carry on with select tasks when it is charging and sleeping. Such tasks include the downloading of emails, backups of TimeMachine, application updates and various other low intensity applications, that can sometimes take a long time. The new Power Nap feature will only be available on the new ultra-thin MacBook Pro's announced earlier today, as well as the second-generation MacBook Airs.

On top of the number of features already announced such as Messages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center and Games Center, this is sure to be an exciting release of the next version of Apple's flagship operating system.