In a somewhat surprising move today by Apple, they announced the immediate release of Mac OS X 10.8 via a developer preview (now officially just OS X, no more “Mac”) without the use of a press event, but rather through the press release section of their website. Continuing the naming trend they’ve been using since releasing Mac OS X, they’ve named the current release Mountain Lion with a version number of 10.8.
Mountain Lion brings a boatload full of features, over 100 to be exact, which bring it’s functionality closer to that of Apple’s iOS devices, more specifically the iPad. With it’s release coming this summer, as stated by Apple, it will feature tons of features Apple added to the iPad and iPhone in iOS 5, with deep iCloud integration, Notification Center, Twitter integration, Game Center, and more, being apart of the list of notable features.
iChat has also been replaced to “Messages”, becoming integrated with iMessages on the iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone. You can now iMessage people between your Mac and iOS devices, as well as keep your messages in sync with both the Mac and your iOS devices. It’s currently in beta and has the same features, and then some, that are found in the iOS 5 version. You can download the beta from Apple’s site now, if you’re running Mac OS X 10.7.x. Click here to find the download, as well as more information from Apple. The application functions essentially identical to iChat, but has an iOS-esque look to it.
Another feature that is being talked about throughout the tech community is a new feature Apple has included in 10.8 called Gatekeeper. It’s purpose is to protect users when downloading apps for their Mac. Normally, you’d download an app from the Mac App Store, but as always, there are other ways of getting apps for your computer. Gatekeeper, by default, prevents you from downloading applications that are not “signed” by developers or from downloading apps from anywhere but the Mac App Store. As of the developer preview, there are options for this so it can be turned on, off, or whatever you like. The purpose is to enhance computer security and keep you from downloading malicious applications.
As stated early, the operating system is only available to registered developers as a developer preview, except for the Messages Beta application which can be downloaded from the link above. Apple says the update will be available in the summer, but no exact date or price point has been revealed yet.
Source: Apple PR
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