Apple announces Mountain Lion
Just as you’re getting used to Lion, Apple has decided that we need a new update for its Mac OS X system. It’s only been seven months, but Mountain Lion is bringing with it a lot of things that may look more than a little familiar to Apple’s mobile users.
So what exactly will Mountain Lion do that is so different?
Mac users can wave goodbye to Address Book on their machine; it’s becoming Contacts, the same name used on iPhones and iPads. And it’s changing too, making it easier to use with a choice of display modes, and a easy way to share contacts.
This is another one of those things that’s getting a name change and a facelift. iChat will be replaced bya new Messages app, that will allow you to send unlimited messages, including photos and videos, directly from your Mac to another Mac or iOS device.
It will still support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk. If you’re already on Lion, a beta version is available on Apple’s website.
iOS 5 brought the Notification Center to mobile users; now OS X Mountain Lion will do the same for the Mac. Alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps will all be available here.
Mountain Lion allegedly makes it easier to set up iCloud to access documents, pushing changes to all your iCloud enabled devices.
Like in iOS 5, Twitter is going to integrated right into Mountain Lion. You can update your Twitter status from Safari, share images directly from Photo Booth and tweet from third party apps too.
Mountain Lion includes a new security feature, Gatekeeper, which allows you to control what can be downloaded and installed on your Mac. Although you can still choose to install applications from all over the internet, Gatekeeper’s default setting permits only apps from the Mac App Store and those developers that have a unique Developer ID from Apple. You can increase that security threshold if you wish, although that limits you to only Mac Store apps.
Mountain Lion is bringing Reminders and Notes to your Mac so you can keep your memos synced across all your devices, whether they’re iOS or OS X. Meanwhile, Game Center is also on the way, along with AirPlay Mirroring (through Apple TV) and system-wide Share Sheets to share links, photos and videos directly from Apple and third party apps.
The developer preview is coming soon, but the public release won’t be until late in the summer.