Apple has buttoned up a very iOS-centric OS X Mountain Lion and seeded it with Gold Master status to developers. The move means that Apple is ready to begin selling the upgrade to the public and are giving developers a heads up to download the OS and make any last minute adjustments to their third party software and then resubmit it for approval. But what is really interesting about Mountain Lion is how much closer it’s becoming to being iOS…
Announced last February, OS X Mountain Lion’s development has been on the fast track with key enhancements including tighter integration with iCloud (Apple’s cloud based storage feature), incorporation of Notification Center, renaming of iCal and Address book to a more iPhone centric Calendar and Contacts, and even a very SIRI like Voice dictation utility, the same utility now found on the New iPad. Other enhancements include iMessage, Reminders, Notes, and even Game Center, pointing that Apple wants to make OSX a major player inonline gaming, something it has been trying to do for years, and recently received a leg up through Steam.
And in a move that may signal Apple’s view that a keyboard is a redundant component, Apple is making touch screen active for screens that support it (we are in a post PC era, after all). Now that doesn’t mean that keyboards will be an optional purchase on your next Mac Pro or iMac, but it does show that Apple is moving OS X ever closer to being more like the touch-centric iOS.
Make sure your apps take advantage of the great new features in OS X Mountain Lion when the world’s most advanced operating system ships to millions of customers worldwide. Download OS X Mountain Lion GM seed and Xcode 4.4 GM seed, now available on the Mac Dev Center. Build your apps with these latest seeds, then test and submit for review.
You can also submit iOS apps that take advantage of the new cross-platform Game Center Groups, so they’ll be available when OS X Mountain Lion ships. – Apple Developer release
On the developer side, in addition to seeding the Gold Master version of Mountain Lion to registered developers (a largely symbolic specification since Apple no longer manufactures installation discs, preferring to upgrade through the OSX App store), Cupertino is now accepting third party apps supporting Mountain Lion. This enables them to make last minute changes before Mountain Lion goes on sale, providing for time for Apple to approve any new versions.
But we’re a little surprised that they’re giving so little lead time. In a recent article, an Apple executive revealed that App requests are manually approved by a department which has small cadre of employees wading through thousands of requests. Even so, OSX Mountain Lion seems to be on schedule and ready to go, baring any last minute tweaks of bugs found by registered developers.
Look for OSX Mountain Lion to be available for download and upgrade in the Mac App Store any time here in July (we’re guessing next week or the week after) for the paltry price of $20. And that’s for an unlimited number of computers!