Apple updates its iOS mobile operating system once a year. But why should the iPhone and iPad have all the fun? Today, Apple announced that it will release a new version of Mac OS X -- Mountain Lion -- this summer, just a year after the release of Mac OS X Lion.
Like Lion, Mountain Lion offers numerous feature additions that will be familiar to iOS users. This Mac OS X release continues Apple's philosophy of bringing iOS features "back to the Mac," and includes iMessage, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center, Twitter integration, Game Center, and AirPlay Mirroring.
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As the first Mac OS X release post-iCloud, there's also much more thorough integration with Apple's data-syncing service. Mountain Lion also brings options to limit which kinds of apps users can install. And although there are no actual mountain lions in China, Mac OS X Mountain Lion does add a raft of features to speak to users in the country that's Apple's biggest growth opportunity.
Mountain Lion will be a paid upgrade to Mac OS X; like Lion, it will be available only via a Mac App Store download. Apple hasn't yet set a price or a release date more specific than "summer." Mac developers will be able to download a developer release of Mountain Lion on Thursday, giving them several months to update their apps to take advantage of the new features in the release.
I've had a few days to use an early development version of Mountain Lion. Here's a look at what's new so far, keeping in mind that Apple may add and change features over the next few months as we get closer to the planned release.
iOS apps come to the Mac
Mountain Lion comes with several new apps that will seem quite familiar to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users. Reminders, Notes, and Game Center have all made the move to the Mac.