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Apple's Mountain Lion Aims to Bring Mac OS X and iOS Together

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Only seven months after releasing Lion, Apple announced today that the next generation of Mac OS X will be available this summer.  Bridging the gap between OS X and iOS, Mountain Lion is aimed at making most applications available on both platforms, allowing users to connect with each other from multiple devices.  Developers willing to shell out $99 for the  "Registered Apple Developer" status can experience the developer preivew today, while a beta version of the new Messages application is available for all Lion users.

Mountain Lion will include its own versions of popular iOS apps like:

  • Messages: Replaces iChat and allows users to send unlimited messages, photos, and videos from one Mac to another Mac device, still supports AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messanger and Google Talk.
  • Notes & Reminders: Create and track your to-do list while easily syncing information between all your Mac devices.
  • Game Center: Enables live multiplayer gameplay between Mac devices.
  • Share Sheets: Lets users tweet links, photos, and videos from any supported app including Safari, Quick Look, and Preview.

New Features and Applications include:

  • AirPlay Mirroring: Stream videos up to 720p from your Mac to an Apple TV.
  • Notification Center: Consolidates alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, System Updates and third-party apps into one location hidden beneath the desktop.

  • Gatekeepr: Protects users from installing malicious software and can be configured to allow installation from three sources:

    • The Mac App Store
    • The Mac App Store and pre-approved developers
    • Or Any Source
  • Other features:

    • iCloud Account Syncing
    • Redesigned Graphics Subsystem
    • Improved Chinese User Support

Apple also announced that developers will now have access to "hundreds" of new APIs including:

  • GLKit: Makes it easier to create OpenGL apps.
  • GameKit: Makes it possible to create multiplayer games across Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
  • 64-bit QuickTime: Makes it easier to use Core Animation in Cocoa apps.
  • Enhanced Multi-Touch™: Provides double-tap zoom support, access to system-wide lookup gesture, etc.

Read the official Apple Press Release.