Only seven months after releasing Lion, Apple announced today that the next generation of Mac OS X will be available this summer. Bridging the gap between OS X and iOS, Mountain Lion is aimed at making most applications available on both platforms, allowing users to connect with each other from multiple devices. Developers willing to shell out $99 for the "Registered Apple Developer" status can experience the developer preivew today, while a beta version of the new Messages application is available for all Lion users.
Mountain Lion will include its own versions of popular iOS apps like:
- Messages: Replaces iChat and allows users to send unlimited messages, photos, and videos from one Mac to another Mac device, still supports AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messanger and Google Talk.
- Notes & Reminders: Create and track your to-do list while easily syncing information between all your Mac devices.
- Game Center: Enables live multiplayer gameplay between Mac devices.
- Share Sheets: Lets users tweet links, photos, and videos from any supported app including Safari, Quick Look, and Preview.
New Features and Applications include:
- AirPlay Mirroring: Stream videos up to 720p from your Mac to an Apple TV.
- Notification Center: Consolidates alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, System Updates and third-party apps into one location hidden beneath the desktop.
- Gatekeepr: Protects users from installing malicious software and
can be configured to allow installation from three sources:
- The Mac App Store
- The Mac App Store and pre-approved developers
- Or Any Source
- Other features:
- iCloud Account Syncing
- Redesigned Graphics Subsystem
- Improved Chinese User Support
Apple also announced that developers will now have access to "hundreds" of new APIs including:
- GLKit: Makes it easier to create OpenGL apps.
- GameKit: Makes it possible to create multiplayer games across Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
- 64-bit QuickTime: Makes it easier to use Core Animation in Cocoa apps.
- Enhanced Multi-Touch™: Provides double-tap zoom support, access to system-wide lookup gesture, etc.