OS X Mountain Lion available in July via Mac App Store for just $19.99

Apple today announced that OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, will be available in July as a download from the Mac App Store. Mountain Lion introduces more than 200 innovative features including the all new Messages app, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, Facebook integration*, Dictation, Power Nap, AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper. With iCloud built into the foundation of OS X, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to keep your content up to date across all your devices.

“The pace of innovation on the Mac is amazing, OS X Mountain Lion comes just a year after the incredibly successful launch of Lion,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in the press release. “With iCloud built right in and the new Notification Center, Messages, Dictation, Facebook integration and more, this is the best OS X yet.”

Using your iCloud account, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to set up your Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Reminders and Notes. The new Reminders and Notes apps help you remember important tasks and jot down your thoughts quickly, while iCloud automatically keeps everything up to date. Documents in the Cloud works with iCloud-enabled apps including Apple’s iWork® suite so you can always access and edit your documents on any device.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

The new Messages app replaces iChat and brings iMessage to the Mac, so you can send messages to anyone with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or another Mac. You can include attachments, high quality photos and HD video, and your iMessages appear on all your devices so you can pick up a conversation right where you left off. iMessage includes group messaging, delivery and read receipts, typing indicators and secure end-to-end encryption. The Messages app also supports traditional instant messaging services, including AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk and Jabber.

Mountain Lion streamlines the presentation of notifications, and with Notification Center you can see all your notifications from OS X and third party apps in one convenient place. You can customize which apps send you notifications, the type of notification you receive, and how many items are shown in Notification Center. When you want to focus on your work or watch a movie, you can choose to temporarily suspend all notifications.

New system-wide Sharing is built into Mountain Lion, making it easier than ever to share links, photos, videos and other files. Clicking the Share button allows you to share quickly without having to switch to another app, and you just need to sign in once to use third-party services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo. Facebook and Twitter are integrated with Notification Center so you can receive notifications when someone sends you a message or mentions you in a post or Tweet.

With built-in support for Facebook, you can post photos, links and comments with locations right from your apps. Once you’ve signed in, your Facebook friends automatically appear in Contacts with their profile photos. Your Facebook notifications work with Notification Center in Mountain Lion, and you can even update your Facebook status from within Notification Center.

Dictation is built into Mountain Lion and allows you to dictate text anywhere you can type, whether you’re using an app from Apple or a third party developer. Mountain Lion also introduces Power Nap, an innovative new feature that keeps your MacBook Pro with Retina™ display and MacBook Air (second and third generation) up to date while it sleeps. Power Nap automatically refreshes Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Photo Stream, Find My Mac and Documents in the Cloud, and when plugged in, downloads software updates and backs up your Mac using Time Machine®.

The revolutionary new Gatekeeper feature makes downloading software from the Internet safer by giving you control over which apps can be installed on your Mac. You can choose to install apps from anywhere, just as you do today, or for maximum security you can set Gatekeeper to allow only apps from the Mac App Store. The default setting allows you to install apps from the Mac App Store and apps from developers that have a unique Developer ID from Apple. In addition to checking daily for security updates, Mountain Lion includes app sandboxing to keep misbehaving apps from compromising your system, and kernel ASLR for improved protection against buffer overflow attacks.

Additional new features in Mountain Lion include:

• AirPlay Mirroring, an easy way to wirelessly send an up-to-1080p secure stream of what’s on your Mac to an HDTV using Apple TV®, or send audio to a receiver or speakers that use AirPlay;

• Game Center, which brings the popular social gaming network from iOS to the Mac so you can enjoy live, multiplayer games with friends whether they’re on a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch;

• a faster Safari with a unified Smart Search Field, iCloud Tabs that present your open tabs across your devices, and a new Tab View to quickly swipe through them;

• new features for China, including significantly improved text input, a new Chinese Dictionary, easy setup with popular email providers, Baidu search in Safari, built-in sharing to Sina Weibo and popular video websites Youku and Tudou; and

• over 1,700 new APIs that give developers access to the latest core OS and web technologies, as well as the newest features of OS X, including Documents in the Cloud, Notifications, Sharing and Game Center.

Pricing & Availability

OS X Mountain Lion will be available in July from the Mac App Store for $19.99 (US). Mountain Lion requires Lion or Snow Leopard (OS X v10.6.8 or later), 2GB of memory and 8GB of available space. For a complete list of system requirements and compatible systems, please visit: apple.com/osx/specs/. OS X Server requires Mountain Lion and will be available in July from the Mac App Store for $19.99 (US). The OS X Mountain Lion Up-to-Date upgrade is available at no additional charge via the Mac App Store to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 11, 2012.

*Facebook integration will be available in an upcoming software update to Mountain Lion.

Source: Apple Inc.

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Apple shows off iOS 6 with all new Maps, Siri features, Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams via iCloud, and more – June 11, 2012
Apple unveils all new MacBook Pro with stunning Retina Display – June 11, 2012
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MacDailyNews presents live coverage of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s WWDC 2012 keynote address – June 11, 2012


      1. I think it’s actually due to the influx of new Mac users, AKA former Windows users. They are not used to upgrading the OS, so they’ll stick with whatever the Mac comes with for a longer time, until a “compelling need” forces the upgrade.

        1. Good point – Windows 8 is likely to face a user backlash if Microsoft goes ahead with their current plans to remove the Start menu and force people to use Metro. Windows users have been trained to be fearful of major OS updates from Microsoft, and Windows 8 will do nothing to persuade them otherwise.

          Whereas Apple’s plan with Mountain Lion is to make the OS X update so compelling and exciting that people will actually *want* to upgrade. So, let’s give the recent ex-Windows sufferers some time – once they realize that OS X updates are actually enjoyable experiences (and as long as Apple does their job right to make the process as painless as possible), they’ll come around.

  1. I want to upgrade everything, but I have a mac mini, and an early intel powerbook that Lion won’t install on. There is still quite a few generations of old hardware that have decent life left but are stuck on the older OS. It would be interesting to see what percentage of elligible hardware has not upgraded, not just overall installations.

  2. I still run a lot of legacy apps. So, I need to stay with Snow Leopard and Rosetta for the foreseeable future. It’s just too dang expensive for me to upgrade all of my creative and productivity apps to Intel versions. Especially when the older version still run pretty snappy under Rosetta.
    Plus, I am one who is not that excited about Apple combining OS X and iOS features together in a major computer operating system. Especially given the state of current Apple computer hardware. It would be one thing if we had touch screen Mac computers. But we don’t,yet. Plus adding iOS features to OS X seems, at least to me, that Apple is “dumbing down” OS X or simplifying to the point that much of the OS X we have had and loved will soon be closed off to the end user. The end user experience will end up being much like it is on iOS where there is a lot of customization or custom setup or control from the user. Apple more or less, with iOS, dictates the complete user experience. I am objectionable to this on a mobile OS, but for a full fledged computer OS, I think it’s not a desirable direction. And I am not a big fan of the full screen apps all of the time approach of Lion and Mountain Lion. I prefer to have a choice to run an app full screen or not and not forced into one solution.

    1. “And I am not a big fan of the full screen apps all of the time approach of Lion and Mountain Lion. I prefer to have a choice to run an app full screen or not and not forced into one solution.”

      I have yet to find an application running on Lion that forces you to work full-screen. For that matter, everything I’m running comes up by default in windowed mode, and requires a click (or keystroke) to go full screen.

      1. There are so many who are resistant to change for no other reason than the limited ability to unleash their untapped capacity.

        This is not really the Apple way to resist change but there are many Johnny come lately’s to the platform who want everything the way it was when they were in college (or of that age).

    2. you haven’t used Lion, have you. The apps don’t run full screen unless you tell them too. And the iOS features, which is really just notifications, is really nice to have. Other than Versions..ML is an improvement. If you are still running PPC, you are way behind. Remember, you can image your old Mac and run it in parallels.

  3. I meant,
    The end user experience will end up being much like it is on iOS where there is NOT a lot of customization or custom setup or control from the user. Apple more or less, with iOS, dictates the complete user experience. I am NOT objectionable to this on a mobile OS…

  4. I meant,
    The end user experience will end up being much like it is on iOS where there is NOT a lot of customization or custom setup or control from the user. Apple more or less, with iOS, dictates the complete user experience. I am NOT objectionable to this on a mobile OS, but…

  5. actually, michelPM, you are objectionable – twice. How do you know what Apple is doing to ‘unite’ the mac os and iOS? so far, in my opinion as a macuser since 1984, its all to the good. what, exactly do you need to ‘customize’ to get work done?

  6. Is there any indication of when Apple will stop providing security updates for Snow Leopard? With Lion only a having a 40% adoption rate so far, maybe they will continue to support Snow Leopard beyond this summer.

    1. Mark,
      You’re absolutely right about this.
      This is what I am talking about, too!
      It seems the current versions of OS X and ML are all about seamless connectivity of iOS devices and not a lot of improvements to make OS X better to work directly with your Mac and stuff directly on the Mac. OS X offers lots of flexibility in adding, organizing and working with data. iOS does not. Examples like you can’t add fonts to iOS devices or applications. You can’t easily transfer video or movies made on iMovie on iOS to further edit on iMovie for the Mac.
      Both iPhoto and the Photos app on iOS are not too flexible in how a user would like to organize images. Air play only works across Apple devices only for mirroring video content.
      No way to AirPlay across other Mfrs. devices over WiFi.
      I needed a new DVD BlueRay player and a streaming media box. So, I found a Sony combo device that fit the bill. Works great, but need to use cables all of the time to stream content that is only on my iPad.
      My point being is that iOS is a much simplified OS subset of OS X that is less capable and not as flexible an OS. I can deal with its limitations on mobile devices (love my iPad), but I think incorporating more of iOS into OS X has the potential of too simplifying an OS made for much more robust computing hardware. I don’t know. I see OS X and iOS complementing each other and that works well, IMO. I just see the merging of the two to be a step backward. It’s like Apple wants to make the computing experiences on both platforms easier, seamless and simpler, but at the same time, there is the potential for losing flexibility, choice and being “locked in” to doing things the way Apple thinks we should or need to do things on their computers and devices.
      Gets back, yet again, to Apple’s closed system, wall-ed garden approach to all of their products.
      This approach has a lot of positives, but there are negatives about this approach, too!

  7. A 40% adoption rate; $19.99 price tag; and the ability to update from Snow Leopard does not speak well for the iOSification of the Mac OS.

    While many will find Mountain Lion a compelling update, I don’t care about features that do little to improve my productivity. The only thing I found useful in the entire Keynote presentation was the system-level dictation support.

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