Today Apple announced a new revision of their Mac OS X software arriving this summer. Apple are going along with their wildcat theme with 2012′s revision being named Mountain Lion. What’s going to happen when the company run out of wildcat names (Cougar and Lynx are the only two I can conjure off the top of my head) is anyone’s guess. Might we be seeing a new range of Apple software along the lines of ‘Anaconda’, ‘Python’ and ‘Boa Constrictor’?
But back to present day, Mountain Lion seems to Lion what Snow Leopard was to Leopard OS X. This new version will not change any of the core software mechanics from Lion, but instead will add more gadgets on top. Most notably, all of the additions have been at least inspired by the iOS platform, and it’s obvious Apple are continuing to improve the synergy between the two devices.
Here’s a roundup of the new features:
Messages is a direct link with the iDevice’s iMessage program: the basic texting tool. This enables Macs to send direct text messages to any iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad running the latest software. You can even start testing it out now as Apple has released an open Beta for everyone running Lion 10.7.3 and up. Download Messages for Mac here.
2) Notification Center
Notification Center from the iDevices is also arriving in Mountain Lion enabling you to check messages, mail, Game Center notifications (more on that later), Calendar notes and much more. It is accessible almost anywhere and is an instant update on just about everything going on around you.
3) Game Center
Not to blow our own trumpet but just last month we predicted Game Center to arrive to Mac as part of our 2012 Predictions (read our other predictions here). Win for OneClickMac! Game Center is an achievement and game manager that comes standard with all iOS devices. On the Mac, it will hopefully provide an easy alternative for developers who want to include multiplayer in their games, and will allow cross-platform connectivity. This means someone on an iPhone can compete against someone on a Mac. Neat.
4) AirPlay Mirroring
Air Play also comes standard on any new iOS device and allows you to mirror your Mac screen onto any TV in the house (has to be connected to an Apple TV though). This is great for when you want to watch movies downloaded from iTunes on a big screen, or even play games.
5) Other iOS Apps Brought over to Mac
The obvious theme here is iOS. Mountain Lion will include a few other apps borrowed from the mobile platform. These include Notes, a quick note taking application, and Reminders, an alarm/to-do app.
Read more about Mountain Lion on Apple’s website here.
We are pretty excited about Mountain Lion. We’re especially interested in seeing how Game Center works and how developers are going to take advantage of the extra features it offers. Mountain Lion is not set for release till this summer, so don’t get too psyched. Like Lion, Mountain Lion will probably be available via download through the Mac App Store.