Although we have covered Apple's upcoming Mac operating system, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion extensively in our last issue, there has been more news revealed about the OS. Earlier this month at the WWDC 2012, Apple revealed features that were rumored to be included. One of these is Siri dictation. A release date of July has also been announced along with a price tag of $19.99.
Apple also released the Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4 on Monday, June 18. This version of Mountain Lion makes it almost the complete version users should expect. It comes with a whooping 1.08GB install size and is packed with features. If you are a developer, you can access this version of Lion on the Mac App Store. Apple also released Server Preview 5 along with it.
What We Knew Before WWDC
Our previous issue covered pretty much everything there is to know about Mountain Lion aside from the information revealed by Apple at WWDC. The OS will offer more integration and functionality with the iDevices such as instant messaging with iMessage, Documents in the Cloud, Notifications and Reminders. It will even offer inter-connectivity between iDevice and Mac gamers with
. Could cross-platform
multiplayer gaming be in the works? It certainly is a possibility. Game Center
Apple actually boasts over 200 features for Mountain Lion and markets it as the OS that will bring the iPad to your Mac. In fact, Lion did this previously and Mountain Lion will expand on this movement. However, it will not be phasing out standard Mac features by any means like the Terminal.
Like Apple's upgrade plan for Snow Leopard to Lion, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion can be obtained by going to the Mac App Store. You will no longer need to go to your local Apple Store and purchase a DVD in order to install it manually. Apple is truly embracing the Web and digital distribution , and it looks as if the company is attempting to make physical media obsolete.
Apple also appears to be making Mountain Lion much more consumer-friendly and tightly guarded in terms of security or malware threats. The Flashback virus and Java exploit must have made quite an impression on Apple. The company is moving away from Java and Xll support and has announced Gatekeeper to keep it more secure than ever for end users.
Announcements At WWDC
In our previous story pre-WWDC, we predicted that a form of Siri integration will be included in Mountain Lion. This is none other than Dictation, which will allow you to use your voice to record text on your Mac, otherwise known as text transcription. We hoped Apple would offer full Siri from the iPhone, but even owners of the latest iPad are still waiting for such integration. Siri is certainly a feature that Apple will keep expanding both in scope and device compatibility. However, iPhone owners have the most complete version thus far and it will remain that way for a while at least.
At the WWDC conference, when
lion and describing the Siri
dictation integration, Apple Mac exec Craig Federighi said, "Because
it's built into the system, it works everywhere; you can talk into your
Facebook webpage if you want or even in third party applications like Microsoft
Word. That's Dictation, it's that simple." demonstration Mountain
Banners and notifications will also be heavily integrated. Federighi said, "With Mountain Lion, we've replaced all of this with a consistent and elegant system based on Banners and Alerts, So Banners slide down from the top of the screen, right there into the upper right hand corner, and if you ignore them, they just slide out of the way."
Apple is no stranger to the integration of social networks into various aspects of its operating systems, and Mountain lion will be no exception. Facebook support has been announced to be fully featured. Expect it to offer automatic updates, notifications and updates on a desktop environment like with Twitter. Also, expect Apple to be gearing it for consumer use, which is heavily defined today by social media. Who knows what future social networks may be supported, but Apple is a strong proponent of Twitter and Facebook for the iDevices and Macs. The recently-released Development Preview 4 showed just how extensive this Facebook integration will really end up being. According to 9to5Mac:
"Facebook will now support native OS X banner notifications for actions such as Wall posts and inbox messages... Unfortunately, this build does not offer integration with Facebook Chat in the Messages app, although it is possible to setup Chat separately, so while you can get banner notifications about new messages, you won't actually be able to reply to them without going through your web browser."