On Wednesday, Apple lunched their next major version of Mac OS X, Mountain Lion.
With over 200 new features being added to Mac OS X, Mountain Lion brings even more features of iOS to the Macintosh further unifying the experience across multiple Apple product lines. The major new features of Mountain Lion include:
- iCloud support
- Reminders (OS X version of the iOS app)
- Notes (OS X version of the iOS app)
- iMessage (replacing OS X iChat)
- Notification Center (as seen in iOS)
- Power Nap (requires a Mac notebook with build in flash storage; ie: MacBook Air)
- Dictation (voice recognition, but not Siri)
- Sharing button (as seen in iOS)
- Twitter integration
- AirPlay (requires a mid-2011 or newer Mac)
- Game Center
- Safari 6
Mac OS X Mountain Lion is available now for $19.99 on the Mac App Store
for users of Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.7 Lion. If you just purchased a new Mac, perhaps a new MacBook Air or the new super sexy 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, you can upgrade to Mountain Lion for free using the Apple Up to Date program
Business users, ‘techies’, and just about anyone else who is interested, can also purchase and install OS X Server, an add on application module for Mac OS X Mountain Lion that adds server features such as Wiki Server, File Sharing over and above the sharing features in Mountain Lion, network Time Machine backup Support, email and calendar servers, iMessage server, web server, and network OS X software installs and updates. Previously priced at $49.99, OS X Server for Mountain Lion
is available now for $19.99 for the Mac App Store.
Mountain Lion is a great addition to any Macintosh that is capable of running it. I would, however, suggest that anyone running a mid-2007 or 2008 edition Macintosh upgrade their Mac to the maximum amount of RAM memory possible before installing Mountain Lion. Yes, the software will run, but if you only have 2GB of RAM, you may not get the experience you want. (Read: lots of spinning beach balls.) I’m running Mountain Lion on an 8GB mid-2009 17-inch MacBook Pro and things seem to be running well so far.
Earlier this week, Apple released the third update to their Lion operating system for the Macintosh.
Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3 is a maintenance release for all Macs running the Lion operating system and Apple recommends installing the update if you are running a prior release of Lion.
You can download the OS update using the Software Update control panel on your Mac, or you can download the update from the Apple website. Mac OS X 10.7 Lion can be purchased from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (requires Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.6 or later to purchase and upgrade).
Today, Apple released Mac OS X Lion 10.7.1 as a maintenance update the latest version of the Mac operating system.
Even with today’s minor bug fixes to Lion, many Mac users are waiting for OS X Lion 10.7.2 to arrive. It is widely expected that OS X 10.7.2 will include the updates necessary for using upcoming iCloud software.
To download and install the software, simply use the Software Update control panel in Mac OS X Lion.
Ok, Lion was installed yesterday and I was, apparently, in good company because 1 million other Mac owners upgraded along with me.
Scrolling with a Track Pad or Scroll Wheel
Ok, using the scroll wheel on my wireless Mighty Mouse is taking a little bit of getting used to. In Lion, scrolling like like scrolling in iOS; you flick up to move the page down. Basically, we’re talking about an inverted y-axis here. Fortunately, if you can’t make the adjustment, of you’re like me and I have to use a PC at the office, you can revert the scroll wheel functionality back to the way it was in Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard in the Mouse control panel.
iChat Group Windows
Another application that I use all the time is iChat. I use iChat as my client for Jabber chats like Google Talk or Facebook. In Snow Leopard, I would have a chat window for each service. Now, in Lion, all my friends and buddies show up in a single unified window. When a new chat is started, a separate chat windows appears. If I have multiple chats going on at the same time, I can use iChat’s preferences to define if all of the chats should be combined into a single chats window with tabs along the left of the window for each chat thread, or to appear in separate chat windows, as was the case in Snow Leopard.
I had the chance to test both modes out while chatting with two of my friends this evening. I like the consolidated buddies list, but I still prefer to keep the chat windows separate. I very fine tweak to iChat if I do say so myself.