Apple has announced that version 10.8 of OS X is to be called Mountain Lion and will be released this summer. You'll find everything you need to know here, from in-depth preview impressions to information on updates and the eventual launch.
Jul 25, 2012
I have a confession to make before I begin this review of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: I never really used or liked OS X Lion. Sure, I installed it on my iMac at home and played around with gestures on a Magic Trackpad, but my workhorse 15-inch MacBook Pro remained stubbornly on Snow Leopard, Apple’s previous version of OS X. Snow Leopard was in many ways the pinnacle of a previous era of computing: a fast, stable, reliable desktop operating system that bore no trace of influence from Apple’s enormously successful iOS products. Lion, by contrast, represented Apple’s first steps down a different path — the company literally said it was bringing iOS interface concepts like gestures and fullscreen apps “back to the Mac.” Some of the changes were drastic, some were minor, but in the end Lion never felt as tightly polished and cohesive as Snow Leopard. Worse, it sometimes felt a little slower too.Read Article >
So although my preview of Mountain Lion in February held significant promise, I still approached the final build we were given to review with some hesitancy. If Lion was Apple’s first tentative step down the road towards a unification of iOS and OS X concepts, Mountain Lion is the company hitting full stride. Features like Notification Center, share sheets, and AirPlay mirroring are lifted almost directly from iOS, and iCloud support is built into the foundations of the system.
Jul 24, 2012
As part of its quarterly earnings press release, Apple has confirmed that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the latest version of its desktop operating system, will be released via the Mac App Store tomorrow. Priced at $19.99, Mountain Lion brings a number of elements from iOS to the Mac with new features including Notification Center, expanded iCloud support, Reminders, a revamped Messages app, and more. We took an in-depth look at an early preview of OS X 10.8 back in February, and Apple has also detailed each of the 200+ new features you'll find inside the OS starting tomorrow. When the moment does finally arrive, you'll need to be running either Mac OS X Lion or the most recent version of Snow Leopard (10.6.8) to upgrade.Read Article >
Here's our review of Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
Jun 11, 2012
Apple's also touting a number of key third-party apps that have been updated for the new display, like Adobe Photoshop and AutoCAD. There's also a new version of Diablo III, whichis a bit more fun.Read Article >
Developing. Check out our Apple WWDC live blog for the latest updates!
May 1, 2012
Whereas the Mac App Store provides an iOS-style curated app experience, current Mac owners are also able to install any application they desire from the web or elsewhere. As part of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple will be introducing a third option: apps that are available outside the App Store, but are signed by digital certificates courtesy of Apple to help ensure they're malware-free. It's part of a new security feature called Gatekeeper, and Apple has officially started herding Mac developers in its direction. In an email sent out to today, Apple encouraged developers to begin signing their applications, plug-ins, and installer packages with their Apple Developer ID to take advantage of the feature (the Developer ID itself launched back in February).Read Article >
Using Gatekeeper, Mac owners will be able to set their computers to install only App Store applications, App Store and Developer ID-signed applications, or any application whatsoever. It's unclear how users will take to Gatekeeper, and with Mountain Lion not scheduled to arrive until later this summer there's more than enough time for developers to get onboard. Apple is touting Gatekeeper as one of Mountain Lion's standout features, however, and with the company already encouraging developers to adopt the system, it's clear that Cupertino plans to put a lot of weight behind the feature.
Apr 18, 2012Read Article >
Apple announced the Developer Preview for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion back in February, and the company continues to iterate the software in anticipation of its summer release. The third version of the preview has now been made available to developers, but it appears to contain more than a few issues. 9to5Mac has the full release notes, which mention everything from FileVault issues that can prevent users from being able to log into their machines to brightness settings inconsistencies. There's even a noted problem with Java applets potentially not being able to run in Safari, though given the recent Java-derived vulnerabilities on the Mac some might consider that a good problem to have. It's a grab bag of bugs across multiple feature sets, making it clear that Cupertino still has quite a bit of polishing to do before releasing Mountain Lion into the wild. There's no mention of any new features that have made it into the build, but we'll be sure to let know when any surface.
Mar 23, 2012Read Article >
The latest version of Mac OS X may be phasing in support for higher resolution displays. A source with the second developer preview of 10.8 Mountain Lion has told Ars Technica that double-sized icons are appearing in a few places, including Messages, the updated version of iChat. As shown in the screenshot below, the green audio chat icon is twice as wide as it should be, displaying in 2x resolution.
Mar 19, 2012
OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview 2 adds iCloud tabs to Safari and Twitter to Notification CenterRead Article >
Additionally, 9to5Mac has found that Twitter alerts are now showing up in the OS X Notification Center as well. This isn't a huge surprise, but the new Notification Center needs all the third-party app support it can get to become useful. The Reminders app also has a new iOS-inspired feature: you can now set location-specific reminders. This feature wasn't enabled in the first Mountain Lion Developer Preview, but again we're not surprised to see this headlining iOS feature make its way to OS X. While none of these are game-changing features, they all sound like useful refinements to Apple's next desktop OS.
Mar 17, 2012
Apple is working towards the summer release of OS X 10.8, aka Mountain Lion, and to that end it's released a 2nd Developer Preview to, well, developers. The change log shows that there are still a lot of unfinished edges in the OS, from Game Center to AirPlay to the Notes app. However, one thing you wouldn't know until you ran it is that there's a new privacy feature. Dustin Curtis discovered that when an app attempts to access your contacts, OS X pops up a dialog box asking your permission. Once you grant it, there's a new section in the Security preferences that lists all the apps you've granted permission to.Read Article >
Obviously, the feature is a response to the privacy issues that were raised last month with iOS, which allows any app to access contact information without permission. Apple promised that it would release an update to iOS that would require explicit permission, but made no such promise for OS X. Desktop operating systems typically offer a much wider array of permissions to apps, though Apple is taking steps to lock that down a bit in Mountain Lion. App sandboxing is one step, and now this permissions dialog is another. As for iOS, Apple hasn't yet said which version would implement the contact permissions dialog, but it wasn't in the iOS 5.1 version the company released on March 7th.
Feb 19, 2012
One feature of Apple's new Messages beta that we missed on first inspection is its support of drag-and-drop file transfers. The new app allows you to add files to iMessages, which can be sent to an iOS device or other instance of Messages. MP3 and video files can be played, text and PDF documents can be read or opened in other apps by tapping the Action button; everything works exactly as you'd expect it to.Read Article >
Transfers are a little buggy, with text files sometimes freezing up, and we hit a file size limit with a 220MB MP4 video. Incompatible file types are represented with a question mark icon on iOS devices, and can't be acted on. Also, transfers don't work the other way around, so there's not yet an easy way to send a PDF from an iOS device within iMessage, or via iMessage from within iBooks, for instance. Perhaps we'll see an update to the service when the Golden Master of iOS 5.1 arrives in the next couple of weeks.
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If the Messages beta didn't satiate your desire for an early sample of OS X Mountain Lion, here's a way to start using another feature early. AirParrot is a new Mac app that lets you stream your computer's display right to your Apple TV over AirPlay, an ability built straight into Apple's forthcoming OS upgrade. There are a couple of caveats right now: it doesn't work with audio, and you won't be able to bypass any Apple TV passwords you may have set up, though both features are planned for free updates soon. We'd like to see how the quality holds up — AirParrot works by encoding your display output into H.264 video, meaning you'll likely see some compression artifacts or lag depending on whether you've prioritized speed or image quality in the preferences. The app is out now for $10, and will work on machines running Snow Leopard or Lion.
Feb 17, 2012
When news of OS X 10.8 hit the internet yesterday, owners of older Macs collectively held their breath while they waited to hear if their machines would work with the new operating system. Well, The Unofficial Apple Weblog has posted an unofficial list of which Macs are supported under the current developer build of Mountain Lion. Here's the list:Read Article >
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Apple might not have been talking about Safari much during today's Mountain Lion reveal, but it wouldn't be an OS X upgrade without some new additions to the native browser. The company has seeded a preview of version 5.2 to developers today, and it comes complete with some UI changes that'll roll out with Mountain Lion this summer. The most obvious one is the belated addition of a Chrome-style universal search bar, where you use one box at the top to enter both URLs and search queries. URLs themselves have been given a visual overhaul, too, dropping the "http://" scheme and greying out parts of the address beyond the domain. Next to the address bar is a permanent button for the Reader feature, which lights up blue when available — currently, Reader is activated by a button that only appears in the address bar when viewing compatible pages. It's probably not recommended as your daily driver just yet, but with the Mountain Lion preview still very early, Safari 5.2 on Lion might be the better option for developers focusing on web technologies.
Apple's making a big deal out of Mountain Lion today, but there's an equally big change quietly afoot: the "Mac" in "Mac OS X" is no more. Instead, Apple's desktop operating system is now simply called OS X. We confirmed the official name change with Apple, who told us that the preferred full name is "OS X Mountain Lion," and a quick look around the company's new Mountain Lion pages reveals that the tweak is already well in effect. That's not to say the "Mac" brand has been demoted, as it's still used throughout Apple's site — it appears that Mac is being used to identify hardware products, while OS X refers to the software. As with everything else about Mountain Lion, that matches the iOS naming scheme of calling the iPhone and iPad by separate names than the OS, but we'll see exactly how Apple plans to manage all this branding in the future.Read Article >
Oh, and Apple conspiracy theorists might draw a line from today's change to 2007's decision to officially rename the company "Apple, Inc." from "Apple Computer." Does it all mean something? Only Apple knows for sure.
Feb 16, 2012
A beta version of Apple's new Messages app, which will be part of OS X Mountain Lion, is available to download now from Apple's website. If you're interested in giving it a shot, you'll need to have upgraded to 10.7.3, which rolled out with some difficulty a few weeks back. Some of us were able to download the app, though others have reported errors when visiting the Messages page on Apple's site. If you can get it to work, it's a quick 66MB download.Read Article >
Of course, the big new feature (aside from the redesigned interface) is the integration of Apple's iMessage service. This previously was an iOS-only affair, but now you can send messages seamlessly between your Mac and iOS devices using your iCloud account. In a quick test, Messages on Lion seems to work much like it does when running on Mountain Lion. The install process was a little less elegant that we've come to expect from Apple and required a reboot, but was pretty straightforward in the end. Upon launching the app, you're prompted to enter your Apple ID (or create one if necessary); you can then choose whether you want to turn on read receipts and add additional email addresses you can be reached at.
It's only been seven months since Apple launched Mac OS 10.7 Lion, but the company isn't sitting still: it just announced the developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, a tweaked and enhanced new version of the operating system that includes major new features like Notification Center, AirPlay mirroring, and iMessage. Yes, those are all headline iOS features as well; Mountain Lion continues Apple's cycle of using the iPhone and iPad to influence Mac development and vice versa. And note the name change — Apple's dropping the "Mac" and simply calling it OS X Mountain Lion.Read Article >
Mountain Lion also represents a dramatic speedup in the pace of OS X updates: Apple says it'll be issuing yearly updates from now on. That's partially to match the breakneck pace of iOS development, but also to capitalize on the growing popularity of the Mac in general — Mac sales have outgrown the general PC market for something like six years now, and Apple says it's investing heavily in the platform to build on that trend.