Apple developers have received the Golden Master version of Mac OS X Mountain Lion — a sign that the next-generation operating system for Mac users could be here as early as next week.
Mountain Lion is the latest operating system for iMac and MacBook users and brings more than 200 new features. The goal of the new operating system is to bridge the gap between the iPad operating system, with apps such as Reminders, iMessages and Notifications coming to the Mac.
The Golden Master is the final version developers receive in the long process of testing and is essentially the version released to the public, barring any last-minute problems.
After Apple showed off Mountain Lion at its WorldWide Developer’s Conference in June, rumors began pointing to a July 24 release date. The 24th makes sense as Apple doesn’t typically release products on a Monday.
When available, Mountain Lion will be $19.99 and released only in the Mac App Store. That price is $10 cheaper than past operating systems.
Along with the new applications already mentioned, Mac OS X Mountain Lion will also bring Game Center and greater iCloud integration. This fall when iOS 6 — Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad — is released, complete Facebook integration will also come to Mountain Lion.
Some lighter updates to Mountain Lion that will certainly be welcomed include auto-search in launchpad and easy streaming to Apple TV, allowing live screenshots, movies, videos and more to stream to your television.
Instead of the Software Update app that pops up current in Macs once per week, all updates to the operating system will be done through the Notification Center.
Some users typically wait to see if there are any bugs with a new operating system, but after the excitement behind new MacBook Air and Macbook Pro laptops, expect many users to download on day one. Will you be one?