Apple’s Mac OS X is here at last, as was foreshadowed by iTWire’s Mac expert Stephen Withers, and it’s finally downloading to what could well already be millions of Macs around the world.
Yes, a day of upgrading has begun for owners of compatible Macs purchased over the past five years, for those who simply must have Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on their computers from the very nanosecond it has been released.
Those people will be doing what I am right now – downloading the 4.05 GB (gigabyte) OS image onto my MBP 13-inch for immediate, post-fresh backup and post-download installation!
Other people prefer to let "other people" be the launch day/week/month/longer beta-testers to see what inevitable “issues” occur, from the trivial to the undesirable panicking of the precious kernels, and with which hardware and software combinations – despite the new OS having been in beta for quite some time.
Naturally, Phil Schiller, who goes by the name Philip in important media announcements, is ultra-enthusiastic about the new launch, declaring that “People are going to love the new features in Mountain Lion and how easy it is to download and install from the Mac App Store”, and talking up iCloud’s ability to keep virtually everything seamlessly and effortless synced across all your Mac and iDevices.
Apple has all the information in beautiful and "so-good-it-sells-itself" detail at its site here, which you should go through if you want to know more.
However the short-ish version is that:
- iCloud now syncs everything important from your iDevices to your Mac so they all have the same important stuff synched together
- a new Messages app that lets you send text messages on steroids to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users with iMessage on their devices, an awesome-looking new Notification Centre that unifies and simplifies the whole notifications experience
- system-wide Sharing that makes “it easy to share links, photos, videos and other files quickly without having to switch to another app”
- The promise of Facebook integration within apps, with your Contacts and “even update your Facebook status from within Notification Center” coming in an upcoming Mountain Lion post-launch update
- Voice Dictation – dictate text and “type by voice” anywhere you can type – whether a native Apple program or third-party app.
- AirPlay Mirroring so you can send the contents of your MacBook’s screen to your TV connected to an Apple TV unit in “up to 1080p”, or audio to AirPlay speakers
- and the Game Center from iOS and iDevices.
There’s also the GateKeeper, but no mention of the KeyMaster, nor Zuul and the coming of Gozer the Destructor – but we assume they’re on their way to iSmite the mighty Warlord of Windows 8 and his coming army of tablets, ultrabook hybrids, notebooks, desktops and Windows 8 smartphones.
To see if your Mac cuts the upgrade mustard, you can always visit Apple’s “complete list of system requirements and compatible systems”. , please visit: apple.com/au/osx/specs.
OS X Server, which requires Mountain Lion, costs an additional US $19.99 or AUD $20.99, while those lucky new Mac owners who purchased a system “on or after 11 June, 2012”, can upgrade via the Mac App Store free of charge.