Apple previews OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, brings iOS and the Mac closer together

By on February 16, 2012, 10:11 AM

Released only about seven months ago, Lion was the first version of Apple's Mac OS X desktop operating system to reflect a strong influence from iOS. Today the Cupertino-based company is teasing us with a peek at the next major update to OS X, dubbed Mountain Lion, releasing a developer preview that brings a few more features and apps from the iPhone and iPad to the Mac.

As its name suggests, it's a continuation of Lion packing lots of small changes and optimizations rather than being a complete overhaul of the OS -- not unlike the transition from Leopard to Snow Leopard. With this upcoming launch, Apple is reportedly moving OS X releases to a yearly schedule.

Scheduled for public release in late summer, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is still in an early development stage, but far along enough for Apple to begin highlighting a few key features. Among them is a new Messages app which replaces iChat and adds iMessage support to Mac, while continuing to offer access to AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. A public beta of Messages is available for download right now.

The application enables Mac users to text chat via iMessage with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. You can start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on another iOS device, send photos and other attachments, or launch a FaceTime video call to bring the conversation face-to-face.

Keeping up with the iOS-like additions to OS X, Apple is also bringing Notification Center to the Mac, providing a central location for alerts from apps such as Mail, Calendar, Messages. Reminders, Notes, and Game Center apps are also being ported over to the desktop and will sync seamlessly across your various iDevices.

AirPlay Mirroring is another welcome addition for those wishing to beam a 720p video stream of their Mac's screen to an HDTV connected to Apple TV. Users will be able to stream content from iTunes, but apparently some content will be blacked out on the Mac while playing back on the HDTV due to copyright limitations.

Like it did with iOS 5, Apple is adding full Twitter integration in Moutain Lion, meaning that users can tweet directly from Safari, Photo Booth and other apps. Lastly, there's also a new security feature called Gatekeeper that will give users more control over which apps can be downloaded and installed on their Macs.

Overall, Mountain Lion already sounds like a solid upgrade and another step towards Apple's plan to bring iOS and Mac OS X closer together. One feature that's notably missing is Siri, although Apple says that more than 100 changes and additions are coming in OS X 10.8 so perhaps they're just keeping it under wraps.




User Comments: 19

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Ok thats cool and all, but should they really charge as an upgrade? I mean, twitter integration, notification center etc... were all updated on the iPhone for free, surely they can't be serious in charging at all for this?

Guest said:

iFAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

There has been no announcements on pricing yet, not even a hint when Mountain Lion might ship. So let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Although if they charge me $29 for this upgrade and if it is worth it I have no problem paying that much for it. I've paid more for VMware and Parallels upgrades.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Also, here's a video of some of the new features: [link]

topcoach said:

I have a Macbook and hooked up to a 2nd monitor. I was really disappointed at how non user friendly the multiscreen support is in OSX. I wanted to like OSX, but I kept on going back to Windows 7 because it so much easier to work with a multi-screen setup in Windows. I hope Apple is listening, and addresses this serious shortcoming in OSX in version 10.8.

enocheed said:

Guest said:

iFAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you make these comments at Windows 8 hideous interface too? This is still in beta not final. Windows looks the same to so you make comments that it should be free. All windows should have been free since it's insecure and crap. They still have yet to show that there are viruses for mac os.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I like the approach Apple is taking and a yearly release schedule for $29 sounds good to me. The seamless integration of cloud storage is great, especially if it's meant to centralize what you do with your smartphone or tablet (no wonder Apple wants you to live and breath into their ecosystem). It's not for everyone but for the average user I bet it simplifies many things.

Windows 8 will bring more drastic changes, the question is whether they will be able to make it a seamless transition or if they are going to make the user suffer while Metro is new and the desktop is still there.

howzz1854 said:

i still have yet to upgrade to Lion.... does anyone know if it'll play nice with outlook 2011? i only use my macbookpro's OSX for work's email and shyt.... it'll really such if Lion bricks my email.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

@howzz1854 I believe MS updated their office suit to be compatible with Lion, I've never used Outlook on OS X though but Word and Excel seem to work ok with 10.7. Personally I use Sparrow as my mail client.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

There are actually only about 36 species of cats in the world. Less than that of the large ones. How will Apple continue to name its OSes, after they run out....

I suppose the could call the "mountain lion, a "puma", or a "cougar", or perhaps a "Florida Panther", to extend the outlook, but that would be cheating!

Oh wait, this is Apple we're talking about.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

CC - I bet they'll choose a different naming scheme when they get to OS 11. (or would it be OS XI?)

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

enocheed said:

Guest said:

iFAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All windows should have been free since it's insecure and crap. They still have yet to show that there are viruses for mac os.

Haha facepalm of the year. Sure yes you are right, more viruses on Windows but if you have decent knowledge and aren't stupid you wont get virus most of the times. Noscript, AV, Frequent updates and bam done. OSX, Linux, Windows are great operating systems, no need to be blatant brainwashed fanboy and diss everything.

Oh yeah 80% market Share Windows ... says it all. That should tell you why there are more viruses on Windows OS then OSX....

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

+1 artix, I have no soft words about this, but only 'acts of stupidity' by a user get their PCs infected, in 23 years+ since I own a PC, I never had any infection on my personal computer, a little care about what you install or click is always helpful.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

"720p video stream to you HDTV...Some content will be blacked out"

That is a complete fail. 720? Blacked out content? Just get Windows... geeze

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

To Mario, Well no they don't need to announce a price, we already know its going to cost, its apple. What I was trying to get across is that alot of the features they are "Adding" they added to the iPhone for free? FREE! Why would anyone pay for a supposed "Upgrade" to have the same features from there phone?! Madness surely?

waterproof said:

Looks like pair of jeans being used as a theme for this OSX update.

Guest said:

It looks like they just added some Intelliscreen combined with a gnome widget / gDesklet. Can't wait for this "useful and necessary' upgrade.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

"720p video stream to you HDTV...Some content will be blacked out"

That is a complete fail. 720? Blacked out content? Just get Windows... geeze

Thats not Apple's doing, that is the legal action of the MPAA/RIAA. Uncopyrighted material will not have that restriction. If it could be done on Windows with copyrighted material, then it is because of a licensing agreement. I doubt you could do it with the same material that is blocked from the iTunes store.

To Mario, Well no they don't need to announce a price, we already know its going to cost, its apple. What I was trying to get across is that alot of the features they are "Adding" they added to the iPhone for free? FREE! Why would anyone pay for a supposed "Upgrade" to have the same features from there phone?! Madness surely?

Do we know the cost? I assume it will be $30 which isn't unreasonable. Thats the price of going out for a meal in any large city. It costs $39 right now to fill up my 2002 Civic and I live in one of the cheapest places in the US to buy gas. The features add functionality and ease of content sharing between the computer and the phone. There will likely be a bunch of changes under the hood too. If it was just a couple little features they'd just roll it out into 10.7.4 or any other 10.7.x update.

It looks like they just added some Intelliscreen combined with a gnome widget / gDesklet. Can't wait for this "useful and necessary' upgrade.

I suspect you are just a troll and don't even own a Mac. If you aren't a troll and you do own a Mac, then ok, just don't upgrade. 10.4 still works fine just like XP still works. Nobody is forcing you to upgrade.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

topcoach said:

I have a Macbook and hooked up to a 2nd monitor. I was really disappointed at how non user friendly the multiscreen support is in OSX. I wanted to like OSX, but I kept on going back to Windows 7 because it so much easier to work with a multi-screen setup in Windows. I hope Apple is listening, and addresses this serious shortcoming in OSX in version 10.8.

In what way exactly? I've got a Macbook Pro that I hook up to either 2 additional monitors (3x screens) or an HDTV quite frequently and my experience has been every bit as user friendly on OSX as Windows.

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