As promised at the WWDC keynote event last month and stated in yesterday’s earnings announcement, Apple has released the next version of its Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, in the Mac App Store. Mountain Lion requires Mac OS 10.6.8 or higher to install as an upgrade and is priced at $19.99.
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,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With iCloud integration, Mountain Lion is even easier to set up, and your important information stays up to date across all your devices so you can keep editing documents, taking notes, creating reminders, and continue conversations whether you started on a Mac, iPhone or iPad.
Mountain Lion contains over 200 new features along with updates to several existing core Mac apps and a few new ones. New features include voice dictation, AirPlay Mirroring, Notification Center, Twitter and Facebook integration, Game Center, and tighter iCloud integration to store and synchronize documents and data cross multiple devices.
Apple provides a high level overview of what’s new in Mountain Lion in this video:
If you’re on the fence about upgrading to Mountain Lion, here are links to some reviews to help you dig into the details a little more to see if it’s right for you:
Before you make the jump to Mountain Lion, you can check its compatibility with existing Mac apps with a handy list at RoaringApps which is updated regularly. Note that Mountain Lion requires a newer Mac and you can find a full list of the supported models on Apple’s site.
If you’ve already decided to get Mountain Lion and have multiple Macs to upgrade, you may want to create a bootable install drive of it so you won’t have to re-download Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store on each Mac individually and you’ll have repair tools at hand if something goes wrong with your hard drive. For instructions on how to create one, check out this Macworld article. Note that you should be sure to do this after downloading Mountain Lion but before installing it since the install files will delete themselves after the installation.
I’m in the process of downloading Mountain Lion now and it’s slow going since Apple’s servers are probably overloaded with others doing the same thing at the same time. I’m looking forward to the new Notes and Reminders apps that will synchronize with my iPhone and iPad and the replacement for iChat, Messages. If you have any questions about Mountain Lion, feel free to ask them in the comments. If enough questions are submitted, I’ll do a Q&A post next week.