Mountain Lion shipping in July

At the WWDC keynote presentation today, Craig Federighi, Apple's SVP of Mac OS, gave us more details about the next big-cat operating system.

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Mountain Lion, originally seeded to developers in February, will be available from the Mac App Store in July for $19.99.

Apple's new operating system takes the Mac OS in a new direction, with Apple integrating a number of iOS-inspired features from its mobile devices. Apple SVP Craig Federighi says the new OS has over 200 new features, including notifications, Reminders, Game Center, Documents in the Cloud, and Messages. Many of these features are standalone programs, but some such as the Notification Center and sharing tools are systemwide services. Apple is also enhancing security options with its Gatekeeper technology, the service that warns you when you could potentially download harmful software.

On the stage at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Federighi demoed the Reminders app and Notes app, both with dedicated icons on the Dock. He showed off the Messages app and demonstrated the drag-and-drop functionality of Documents in the Cloud.

Safari also got a major update, which Federighi claims has the fastest javascript engine of any OS. Some new features of Safari include the ability to check iCloud tabs that show you what tabs you have open across all of your iCloud-enabled devices. There is also a new Tab View that lets you use gestures to move between tabs and you can reverse-pinch to zoom out and view tabs as individual pages, then pinch to zoom back in.

Another new feature called Power Nap fetches data even when your Mac is in sleep mode. So even when you've stepped away from your Mac for awhile, documents, apps, photos taken on your iOS device, and more will all sync up with iCloud sync. It will also perform system software updates, check for e-mail, and perform Time Machine backups -- all while the computer "sleeps."

Game Center for Mac was also featured as part of the presentation. Along with leader boards, gaming stats, achievements, and multi-player matching just like the iOS version, Game Center will allow turn-based and real-time gaming between iOS devices and Macs.

Federighi also mentioned new features for China with Mountain Lion: Chinese input methods improved, new fonts, character recognition, and support for Baidu as well as a handful of Chinese e-mail services.

For more detailed information about all the features in Mountain Lion, read our First Take for Mountain Lion from earlier this year.

 

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