Apple Mountain Lion OS
February 16, 2012 by staff
Apple Mountain Lion OS, Apple’s giving developers a preview of the next version of Mac OS X today called Mountain Lion. The software, due out this summer, once again brings over features from Apple’s iOS.
Apple’s got a new big cat on the prowl.
Its name is Mountain Lion, and it’s the next major release of Mac OS X.
The software is being released as a preview to Apple developers today, with a commercial release to follow sometime this summer through the company’s Mac App Store.
Like Lion before it, Apple has imbued the new software with many of the top-billed features from the iPhone and iPad, all with the intent of making its computers more useful and approachable to the millions that have snatched up an iOS device in recent years. It’s also a direct response to recently-added features on those devices that–for better or worse–make the Mac a less essential piece of the puzzle.
Of course, the idea of convergence between the two platforms is nothing new. When taking the wraps off Lion (Mountain Lion’s predecessor) in 2010, Steve Jobs said the software was what the company imagined would happen if the iPad and the MacBook “hooked up.”
Mountain Lion is very clearly the result of a longer term commitment.
Does that mean we’ve finally reached a point where OS X (as Apple calls it now, not “Mac OS X”) and iOS are on the cusp of becoming one in the same? No. To carry the “hook up” comparison further, it’s another step in Apple’s strategy to tie users into its ecosystem, creating differences where they’re needed, but also blending in similarities that make everything feel more unified.
For years the unification came in the form of iTunes, but as restated by Apple CEO Tim Cook in a talk earlier this week, the company believes that computers are not longer at the center of people’s digital lives. In Apple’s vision, that role’s been taken over by iCloud, and the software that taps into it. In Mountain Lion, iCloud is that glue, taking some of those iOS apps gone OS X and made them work with one another.
That said, the release represents an unusual departure for Apple, which in years past has used its annual developer conference as a place to unveil its major Mac OS releases. Apple broke with that tradition with Lion, instead showing it off about 9 months before it would hit the market. This time around, Apple’s giving itself and developers what is likely to be a shorter timeframe to work out bugs and integrate new features.
The end result brings the possibility of both the Mac and iOS devices receiving annual updates, something of an achievement for Apple given that the Mac OS has traditionally held to a release cycle of about every two years. It’s also a stark contrast to competitors like Microsoft, which is expected to release its Windows 8 software–the follow-up to 2009′s Windows 7–near the end of this year.
As usual, Apple isn’t offering a full look at what the new OS will have when it ships but is instead focusing on 10 features that it will launch with. Among them are ones you may have already heard of and been using for the past three months. That includes software like iMessage, Reminders, and Notes. Those three apps were introduced as part of iOS 5 and are now standalone pieces of software that work like and sync up with their iOS counterparts.
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