Apple gives developers fully baked Mountain Lion

Apple's next big OS X update has hit golden master status, a sign the software is just about ready for a public release.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

Apple's next major release of OS X, dubbed Mountain Lion, is in its final testing stages.

Apple today gave developers the same version of the software that will be released to consumers later this month.

Mountain Lion is the followup to last year's Lion, and represents the eighth iteration of OS X. Apple first debuted the software in late-February with a preview release, and has since followed with a handful of beta versions that squashed bugs and introduced new features.

As a quick recap, Mountain Lion brings a handful of iOS features to Macs, including the notes and reminders apps. It also adds a few other things, like Twitter integration and Apple's Game Center and iMessage services. There's also a new security feature called Gatekeeper, designed to fend off malware by controlling what applications can and cannot be installed.

At its annual developers conference last month, Apple said it would release the software as a $19.99 update, as well as providing it as a free upgrade for anyone who purchased a new Mac.

Apple has still not provided a firm release date for Mountain Lion. Last year the company offered a similarly general release time table, then surprised watchers byannouncing a next-day release during its third-quarter earnings call. The company could do the same at its upcoming earnings call, which takes place Tuesday, July 24.

(via Macrumors)