OSX Upgrade – Mountain Lion
The next upgrade to Apple’s computer operating system, version 10.8, was released to developers on February 16. Mountain Lion, as it is being called, is scheduled to be available to the public in the summer about the same time that the next version of the Windows is expected. This revision does not introduce any significant changes, it is still a version 10 OS, but rather opts for a lot of smaller changes that build on the previous version, Lion.
It is interesting to note that the “Mac” was removed from the OS’s name, providing further evidence of Apple’s plan to more closely integrate its desktop and mobile OS. In fact, many of the features that being added to Mountain Lion are cloned directly from iOS.
Some of the more interesting features of OS 10.8 are:
- iCloud, which will enable a users to more easily sync documents between computers and mobile iOS devices;
- iMessage, which will facilitate chatting between users of Macs, iPhones and iPads, including sending of photos, HD video and attachments up to 100 MB in size;
- Game Center, iOS’s social gaming platform is coming to the Mac, allowing the user to play against anyone on an iOS device;
- Airplay Mirroring, the popular iOS feature that turns your Apple TV connected television into a giant monitor will do the same for your desktop/laptop computer, in combination with Game Center this will effectively turn your computer into a gaming console; and
- Additional support for Chinese characters and social networking sites.
A more controversial feature that is being added to the OS is Gatekeeper. This is a security feature that allows the user to control the types of apps that are installed on their computer. Gatekeeper is seen by some as Apple’s attempt to extend its infamous App Store reviewing process to the entire web. At least for now though users will have three security levels to choose from: the first allows downloads from the Mac App store only, the second allows downloads from developers who have an Apple issued security certificate and the third allows any downloads from anywhere.
The new OS will run on any Mac that is 2009 or newer, if you have an older device then cutoff dates are as follows: mid 2007 iMac’s, 2008 Pro desktops, early 2009 Mac Mini’s, late 2007 MacBook Pros, 2008 MacBooks and late 2008 MacBook Airs. Apple has not disclosed the cost of the upgrade, but it will likely be the same as Lion, which was $30.