Apple dropped a bomb this morning announcing it’s next addition to the OS X family, 10.8 Mountain Lion. This was quite the surprise as in the past they haven’t released OS X versions so close together. In fact, there was almost a two-year gap between the release of Leopard and Snow Leopard. Like Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion aims to be almost an expansion pack adding a few new apps and features rather than being a full UI overhaul as we saw with last summer’s Lion.
What we know so far:
- iChat will be known as Messages and will allow you to send iMessages to any Mac, iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device running iOS 5. (Lion users can beta test this new app now!)
- A Notification Center displaying alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, System Updates, etc.
- iCloud integration that will now automatically sync and update your files across all devices.
- Stream your Mac to your TV (AirPlay Mirroring) watch movies from your Mac or play games via Game Center.
- New security elements (Gatekeeper, as they call it) which allows you to control how apps are downloaded and installed.
- A Game Center app identical to the one you see on your iOS devices.
- Twitter integration, sign-in once and you can tweet directly from Safari, iPhoto, or Photo Booth.
- Notes and Reminders app’s that will sync with your iOS device apps (if iCloud is enabled).
If you are registered in the Mac Developer program it’s your lucky day because you can test out a preview release of Mountain Lion right now! Everyone else will have to wait until this summer to get their hands on the new and improved feline.
Check out the Mountain Lion Sneak Peek video over at Apple.
UPDATE: Lion users can beta test the new Messages app now! (FYI: Installing Messages replaces iChat but all features of iChat are included in Messages)