Category: OS X Mountain Lion

Apple Unleashes Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion Notification Center on a MacBook Air

Mountain Lion Notification Center on a MacBook Air | Image courtesy of Apple

Today Apple has released OS X Mountain Lion onto the Mac App Store and into the hands of many eagerly awaiting customers. Priced at just $19.99 (£13.99) this marks Apple’s cheapest update and the first OS in a cycle in which Apple proclaims it will deliver an upgrade a year. This philosophy means that the upgrades will be small iteration updates, not the gigantic feature packed updates of the past.

In February when Mountain Lion was announced I wrote up the basic changes that extend far and wide but not necessarily so deep.

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Expectations at WWDC 2012

Moscone West in San Francisco adorned for WWDC 2012

Moscone West in San Francisco adorned for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is approaching quickly and unlike last year it looks like Apple might put on more than a software only show. Equally exciting for 2012 is that in the six months that have passed Apple has released and updated relatively few products. Particularly notable for the six months that have made up 2012 so far is that not a single model of Mac has been refreshed. We know that Apple has a particular dislike for releasing new hardware in August and after late October which leaves only a few months for a whole bunch of products to be crammed into.

Macs which have so far been completely void of any changes and many of which haven’t been touched for almost 12 months or more will likely be changed ahead of the “back to school” period which usually runs during June and July. Such a release timeframe could coincide nicely with the release of OS X Mountain Lion pinned by Apple for “late summer”.

It is possible to say with confidence that neither the iPhone nor the iPad will see any sort of hardware change announced during the WWDC keynote on Monday. Both of Apple’s leading products are firmly set in predictable cycles—iPad in March and iPhone in October for those slow off the mark.

The problem with such a high number of potential announcements is that it becomes difficult to make accurate predictions for WWDC which has in recent history focused more on developers than consumers, certainly since the iPhone moved to a Fall refresh in 2010.

But as Apple has indicated in its WWDC 2012 material the upcoming week is the one “we’ve all been waiting for”. So let’s take a look at the likely candidates for next weeks keynote.

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There’s a New Cat in Town

Mountain Lion Notification Center on a MacBook Air

Mountain Lion Notification Center on a MacBook Air | Image courtesy of Apple

Today it was revealed that late this Summer Apple will release its ninth major release of its desktop OS called OS X 10.8 ‘Mountain Lion’. The announcement which was planned in advance and cleverly timed to be unveiled by a number of large blogs at the same time came as a complete surprise to those who hadn’t been briefed in advance. Mountain Lion’s release is also remarkably close to the release of Lion which only debuted last year, Apple says that it will now release major updates to its desktop operating system roughly every year.

Apart from this bizarre delivery of Apple news Mountain Lion is also incredible in a number of other ways. Apple says that Mountain Lion has over 100 new features (a familiar figure in relation to OS X releases) but today the focus has been on just ten of these, all of which have been influenced heavily if not entirely by iOS. The process of iOSifying Mac OS has been occurring for a number of releases and was very evident in OS X Lion, with Mountain Lion it is in full force.

Federico Viticci over at MacStories wrote a piece on the iOSification of OS X just last month, a rather obvious topic but not one that was written about much.

The features of Mountain Lion have been covered in detail by a number of the carefully selected outfits for publication. Macworld, The Verge, The Loop and John Gruber of Daring Fireball have in my opinion the best coverage, much of which is similar but this is due to the nature of how Apple fed the information.

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