iOS-ification is gaining serious steam as Apple brings apps, services and user interface themes from the iPhone back to the Mac. Further with computer specific features, like GateKeeper, also in the mix and increased release cycle velocity, it’s very clear that Apple’s got the Mac on the front burner.
And, what you’re about to read arrived in the marketplace without a single meaningful leak — wow.
Apple has announced the immediate availability of the developer preview of the ninth major OS X release — Mountain Lion — which will arrive in “late Summer.”
“The Mac is on a roll, growing faster than the PC for 23 straight quarters, and with Mountain Lion things get even better,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The developer preview of Mountain Lion comes just seven months after the incredibly successful release of Lion and sets a rapid pace of development for the world’s most advanced personal computer operating system.”
New features include:
- • Messages, Notes, Reminders and Game Center are coming to the Mac
— As are Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration and AirPlay Mirroring
— Messages will support the AIM, Jabber, Yahoo!, Messenger and Google Talk APIs
— AirPlay integration will make easy to share 720p video to a TV via AppleTV
• Enhanced iCloud app integration
— iCloud Documents feature pushes file changes to all registered devices
— API for third-party apps will be available
• Gatekeeper helps keep users safe from malicious software by giving users complete control over what apps are installed on their Macs
— Install apps from any source
— Users can block app installs from outside the Mac App Store (MAS)
— Apps/Dev not on MAS can get a security certificate from Apple
— New Kernel ASLR provides enhanced mitigation against buffer overflow attacks
• Deep Twitter integration beginning with Safari, Photo Booth and Preview
— Third-party integration a new API
• Many new features specific to Chinese users
— Enhancements to the Chinese input method
— Direct tie ins with leading Chinese mail services
— Direct tie ins with leading Chinese video sharing and microblogging services
• Hundreds of new APIs
— Enhanced multi-touch APIs for improved double-tap, look-up functionality
— GameKit APIs for Mac-iPhone-iPad game titles
• New graphics infrastructure for OpenGL and OpenCL
— Brings iOS GLKit to the Mac
— New 64-bit APIs that replace outdated QuickTime equivalents
Whereas you can get most, though certainly not all, of these features from other vendors, the panoramic scope of Apple’s iOS + OS X ambitions are really quite stunning. Further, Apple’s also ticked off two important boxes with GateKeeper (security) and China market specific tie ins and API.
The two things that stand out for me are the amazing clarity of the vision and, again, the simple fact that Apple was able to keep all of it quiet until now — there were no meaningful leaks that I’m aware vis-a-vis Mountain Lion…
What’s your take?