It’s only been seven months since Apple released OS X Lion and today, they’ve announced Mountain Lion: the next major OS X installment. While OS X Lion brought a few of the features from Apple’s “magical iPad” over to their computer OS, Mountain Lion is going to build upon that by borrowing even more features from iOS.
Mountain Lion (10.8) will bring over 100 new additions to OS X - but, it’s highlighted features include Messages, Notification Center, AirPlay Mirroring, Notes, Reminders, Game Center, Twitter and deeper iCloud integration.
Messages and Notification Center are without a doubt two of the most highly anticipated OS X features that will come with the release of Mountain Lion.
Messages is a new cross-platform messaging application for OS X that communicates with iMessages on iOS and allows Mac users to message iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users with iMessage enabled.
Notification Center will bring a new centralized location to OS X for receiving all notifications and its appearance will resemble that of its sister iOS counterpart.
AirPlay Mirroring is another great feature coming to the Mac with Mountain Lion and it will allow users to mirror the screen of their Mac to an HDTV via an Apple TV and a Wi-Fi connection. AirPlay mirroring will be system-wide and everything that’s displayed on the Mac (including videos, photos, documents and more) will be streamed wirelessly to the Apple TV.
Here’s Apple’s full press release for Mountain Lion:
Apple Releases OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview with Over 100 New Features
CUPERTINO, California—February 16, 2012—Apple today released a developer preview of OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of the world’s most advanced operating system, which brings popular apps and features from iPad to the Mac and accelerates the pace of OS X innovation. Mountain Lion introduces Messages, Notes, Reminders and Game Center to the Mac, as well as Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration and AirPlay Mirroring. Mountain Lion is the first OS X release built with iCloud in mind for easy setup and integration with apps. The developer preview of Mountain Lion also introduces Gatekeeper, a revolutionary security feature that helps keep you safe from malicious software by giving you complete control over what apps are installed on your Mac. The preview release of Mountain Lion is available to Mac Developer Program members starting today. Mac users will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store™ in late summer 2012.
“The Mac is on a roll, growing faster than the PC for 23 straight quarters, and with Mountain Lion things get even better,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The developer preview of Mountain Lion comes just seven months after the incredibly successful release of Lion and sets a rapid pace of development for the world’s most advanced personal computer operating system.”
The developer preview of Mountain Lion features the all new Messages app which replaces iChat and allows you to send unlimited messages, high-quality photos and videos directly from your Mac to another Mac or iOS device. Messages will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. Starting today Lion users can download a beta of Messages from www.apple.com, and the final version will be available with Mountain Lion. Reminders and Notes help you create and track your to-dos across all your devices. Game Center lets you personalize your Mac gaming experience, find new games and challenge friends to play live multiplayer games, whether they’re on a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Mountain Lion presents notifications in an elegant new way, and Notification Center provides easy access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps. System-wide Share Sheets make it easy to share links, photos and videos directly from Apple and third party apps. Twitter is integrated throughout Mountain Lion so you can sign on once and tweet directly from Safari, Quick Look, Photo Booth, Preview and third party apps. Mountain Lion also introduces AirPlay Mirroring, an easy way to wirelessly send a secure 720p video stream of what’s on your Mac to an HDTV using Apple TV.
More than 100 million users have iCloud accounts, and Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to set up iCloud and access documents across your devices. Mountain Lion uses your Apple ID to automatically set up Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Messages, FaceTime and Find My Mac. The new iCloud Documents pushes any changes to all your devices so documents are always up to date, and a new API helps developers make document-based apps work with iCloud.
Gatekeeper is a revolutionary new security feature that gives you control over which apps can be downloaded and installed on your Mac. You can choose to install apps from any source, just as you do on a Mac today, or you can use the safer default setting to install apps from the Mac App Store, along with apps from developers that have a unique Developer ID from Apple. For maximum security, you can set Gatekeeper to only allow apps from the Mac App Store to be downloaded and installed.
Mountain Lion also has features specifically designed to support Chinese users, including significant enhancements to the Chinese input method and the option to select Baidu search in Safari. Mountain Lion makes it easy to set up Contacts, Mail and Calendar with top email service providers QQ, 126 and 163. Chinese users can also upload video via Share Sheets directly to leading video websites Youku and Tudou, and system-wide support for Sina weibo makes microblogging easy.
Hundreds of new APIs give developers access to new core technologies and enhanced features within OS X. The Game Kit APIs tap into the same services as Game Center on iOS, making it possible to create multiplayer games that work across Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. A new graphics infrastructure underpins OpenGL and OpenCL and implements GLKit, first introduced in iOS 5, to make it easier to create OpenGL apps. Using Core Animation in Cocoa apps is easier than ever, and new video APIs deliver modern 64-bit replacements for low-level QuickTime APIs. Enhanced Multi-Touch™ APIs give developers double-tap zoom support and access to the system-wide lookup gesture. Kernel ASLR improves security through enhanced mitigation against buffer overflow attacks.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
Mountain Lion Beta is available to download today for developers and will be available for the public to download on the Mac App Store this summer! Stay tuned for more coverage on OS X Mountain Lion.