Well guys I have got to be honest with you all, I was not expecting this. I don’t know whether or not that has something to do with the fact I walk around all day with my head in the clouds and so missed all the rumours, or just pure laziness on my part for not being on the ball a bit more. Never the less, Apple have released to the Developer community, details of Apples new OS X Mountain Lion due to be released this summer for us mere mortals. I gotta say I love the name, I had always wondered what would come after Lion and I think this big cat is very apt. However having a nice name is one thing, but will this big cat really fulfil Apple users big demands and expectations. Lets take a look and see what is coming this summer on OS X Mountain Lion.
With Lion, it was clear Apple where introducing the iOS experience to our desktops and laptops, incorporating the entire Apple ecosystem into one massive user friendly system where all your information is available on all your Apple devices at any given time. With Mountain Lion Apple have added some of the features we have become accustomed to in iOS 5 such as Messages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Centre, AirPlay, Game Centre and then some new Gatekeeper, Share Sheets and full Twitter integration.
First there is Gatekeeper and when I first read about this I must admit I was a little bit dubious. At first it sounds like Apple will be controlling what we as the user put on our systems as far as software is concerned, however this is not the case. Along side buying software from the Mac App Store, Apple understand that not all software can be purchased in this way, so Apple have come up with Gatekeeper that will hopefully give piece of mind to users. A developer adding software to the App Store is all well and good but if you are a developer who wants to sell the software from your own site, Apple will give the developer a certificate which basically authenticates that app. When you buy the software your system will recognise the certificate and allow it to continue installing. The developer does not have to show Apple anything in order to get the certificate, it is given first time round in good grace. If however something goes badly wrong with the App, then Apple remove the certificate from the App and your system will not load it until such time as the developer has rectified the problem.
Messages will now give you the ability to send a receive messages right from your iMac, MacBook Air or MacBook, although this will make way to iChat which for some may be an unwelcome loss. Apple really are making us think as an ecosystem. In my case, everyone in my family has an iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch, staying connected will become much easier and of course by passing the networks. It really does make sense to have all Apple products throughout your family if communication plays a big part. Other companies are heading in this direction which is good as it will make all companies continually enhance the experience we the users are getting. Reminders, Game Centre and Notes have also been added which are pretty self explanatory. The notifications centre is another new addition, with a swipe to the left to right, a small side bar will appear with all your notifications, just as it does with the iOS devices.
Without doubt, I think for me personally AirPlay is a fantastic addition. As with the iPad 2, from your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, you will be able to wirelessly display your screen on any HDTV that has an Apple TV connected. Giving you 720p video streaming, across a wireless connection, total integration and all in the Apple way of such ease.
There have been rumours from the developers using and playing about with Mountain Lion, that certain systems may not have the ability to run Mountain Lion and not down to the process but the graphics cards. It would seem that Apple have stopped supporting Intels GMA 950 and x3100 chips. Also a minimum system requirement of an Intel Core 2 Duo is needed but don’t get caught out, you my still have the processor ability but the graphics chip could let you down. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this system spec change when Mountain Lion is released.
Mountain Lion certainly seems to be another promising development from Apple, however, lets not jump the gun, Lion certainly had a few teething problems that had quite a lot of people frustrated. $29.99 is the rumoured pricing purely on the basis of the previous two OS updates, Apple themselves have not listed a price. And as to be expected, already the Windows 8 v’s Mountain Lion debates have started to rumble, for me I will just keep my head below the parapet for a little bit longer, at least until more is mentioned about both OS.
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