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Roundup of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Features and Notes

Apple surprised everyone this morning with a developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. The new release brings a number of iOS-like features to the Mac, as detailed in this video:

- Messages - new version of iChat with iMessage support
- Reminders - create lists and tasks, synced via iCloud
- Notes - create notes, synced via iCloud
- Notification Center - on screen pop-up notifications
- Share Sheets - share buttons to email, tweet, message, etc...
- Game Center - social gaming center for Mac
- AirPlay Mirroring - broadcast your Mac's screen to your Apple TV

Apple also released a public beta of the Messages App for OS X Lion users and is available today.

Apple did give some of the media early previews of Mountain Lion, which we suspect may have been the unusual media event that had been predicted. OS X Mountain Lion is available to registered developers today, and will be go on sale in late summer 2012.

Roundup of our earlier coverage:

- OS X Mountain Lion's Documents in the Cloud Simplifies File Access Across Devices
- Apple Officially Drops 'Mac' Name from OS X Mountain Lion
- Software Update to Move Inside Mac App Store in OS X Mountain Lion
- OS X Mountain Lion Limits Apps to Mac App Store, Signed Apps by Default
- OS X Mountain Lion Drops Support for Many 2006-2008 Macs with Integrated Graphics
- OS X Mountain Lion to Be True Mac App Store Exclusive

We've also opened an OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion forum for questions and discussions about Apple's new operating system.

Top Rated Comments

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33 months ago
They haven't mentioned a single feature related to pro users. Nothing. It's all about being a consumer, consuming video and sharing your unemployment stories with your friends.

P.S. Why am I a newbie even though i joined in 2003?
Rating: 33 Votes
33 months ago

And we need game center on our Macs why?

To play games with friends? It's a perfectly understandable addition to OSX.
Rating: 27 Votes
33 months ago
I hate how Notification Center pushes the entire desktop away to the left. A semi-transparent sliding overlay similar to Growl's default UI would be much more elegant.
Rating: 22 Votes
33 months ago
I wonder if we'll get "One more thing" at WWDC. Maybe Siri for Mac?
Rating: 18 Votes
33 months ago

Looks like I will be sticking with Snow Leopard for awhile.
Rating: 16 Votes
33 months ago
This annoying checkbox from Lion is finally fixed!
It remembers his 'state'. So you don't have to uncheck it anymore.
Rating: 16 Votes
33 months ago
This is a sad day. This is the day when Apple took Mac out of the OS X label. In other words, this is the beginning of the death of the Mac computer. Just like the time when Apple took the word Computer out of its name, the removal of the word Mac IS a big deal. Gone are the days when Mac Computers had real power and meant the user was a bit different and did not settle for the PC norm. Now, the so-called Apple Corporation puts out consumer products at the expense of its computers. I like and use a Mac computer. I don't like nor can I use an Apple iOS computer. I don't want nor do I need 90% of the so-called new features in 10.8. Talk about making a toy out of a great computer? I want the best computer on the planet bar none. And lately, Apple has been dropping the ball in favor of its phones and other consumer goods. Can anyone say Thunderbolt? Yes, it is a great technology, but where are the adapters, cables, and devices us power users want to do our jobs? Thunderbolt is a white elephant waiting for a zoo. Like firewire before it, Thunderbolt will be washed away by the next flavor of the month. Apple is letting its Mac computers go away to concentrate on phones and ipads. I am not looking for a game machine that socially connects its user to the world. I want a computer. A real honest-to-goodness computer with keys and a screen. Remember you heard it here first, the word Mac was removed from OSX today. This is the beginning of the death of the Mac computer.
Rating: 14 Votes
33 months ago

iOS X 10.9

Dandelion. Segue to flower names
Rating: 13 Votes
33 months ago
And they didn't even have the balls to call it Cougar!
Rating: 11 Votes
33 months ago
Going to a yearly release schedule may look like Apple is giving attention to its Macs, but Apple is also redefining what a .x update to Mac OS X is. iOS has received feature updates each year, and this is also a features update for the Mac OS. Looking at what's new, most of the updates are not at the actual operating system level, except for AirPlay, further iCloud integration, and notifications. I don't believe in the past that those would be enough of a paradigm shift for a .x upgrade. Snow Leopard had enough under the hood changes that even without OS paradigm shifts, it was a worthwhile upgrade.

When I saw with my groggy eyes this morning that there would be a Mountain Lion so soon after Lion, my first reaction was of happiness that Apple came back to its senses and realized the performance issues and bloatedness with Lion were so pervasive that they were going to do a Snow Leopard style update which would make the OS run leaner and faster. Of course, that's not what Apple has announced.

I suppose this upgrade is to make it as easy and intuitive as possible to move from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac. What I think Apple forgets though is that it is the iPad and iPhone interface that is new. Most computer users have been Windows users and are comfortable with a file system manager and a little bit of complexity, as long as you give it an intuitive UI, which the Mac always excelled at. I haven't used these new iCloud open and close boxes yet, but it looks like Launchpad, which doesn't give you very much control.

I am glad to see Airplay coming, but beyond that I would have been more happy with performance updates and bug fixes. I'm not terribly disappointed into the balkanization of iCal and Address Book and Mail and iChat into new applications—at the least you can say it's semantic and logical, unlike iTunes which is a catch-all.

I am not against progress, and maybe I'll learn to adjust in time with the Lion and post Lion-OS's. I just feel like some of the elegant intuitiveness of the Mac is being pushed aside for an easier appliance-like environment, which works, unless you want to do something the computer doesn't anticipate you wanting to do, a la Windows Wizards. I think we'll look back on computers from the 90s and 00s as being unique in that they allowed more granular control and were a bit more bohemian and quirky (and to me natural feeling) than what is to come next.
Rating: 10 Votes

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