Mountain Lion, the ninth major version of Mac OS X, is currently in the works for a release later this summer, but the Developer Preview can be downloaded today by those in the Mac Developer Program. For everyone else, CNET's Kent German has already taken a detailed look at what we can expect — the primary takeaway being that features of iOS are coming to the desktop, along with added security protection.
Here are some of the things coming to Mountain Lion:
- The user-friendly iMessage and Reminders apps
- The Notification Center
- If you're a Twitter user, you'll be able to tweet directly from a number of apps in Mountain Lion, including Photo Booth, Safari, Quick Look and Preview.
- iCloud integration and easier syncing between Mac and other devices
- AirPlay Mirroring, allowing you to take what's on your Mac and present it on an HDTV via Apple TV
Another new feature is a security-specific application called Gatekeeper, which allows users to choose and approve the locations from where downloaded apps can originate. For example, a user can allow only apps from the Mac Store, allow only apps from both the Mac Store and third-party developers that are signed with an Apple Developer ID, or allow all.
For the security-conscious (which, in all seriousness, should be everyone), the Developer ID is an impressive step forward in protection. Screening the apps in your own store is one thing, but adding the ability to track titles living elsewhere is quite another. What's more, it's a step that none of Apple's rivals are taking.
For screenshots and a "First Look" video on Mountain Lion, see German's post "With Mountain Lion, Apple brings iOS and OS X a big step closer."
Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and IT Security blogs.