Apple today released a developer preview of OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of OS X, which brings popular apps and features from iPad to the Mac. Mountain Lion introduces Messages, Notes, Reminders and Game Center to the Mac, as well as Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration and AirPlay Mirroring. Mountain Lion is the first OS X release built with iCloud in mind for easy setup and integration with apps. The developer preview of Mountain Lion also introduces Gatekeeper, a new security feature that helps keep you safe from malicious software by giving you complete control over what apps are installed on your Mac. The preview release of Mountain Lion is available to Mac Developer Program members starting today. Mac users will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store in late summer 2012. Here is more detailed info from Apple's release today:
The developer preview of Mountain Lion features the all new Messages app which replaces iChat and allows you to send unlimited messages, high-quality photos and videos directly from your Mac to another Mac or iOS device. Messages will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. Starting today Lion users can download a beta of Messages from www.apple.com and the final version will be available with Mountain Lion. Reminders and Notes help you create and track your to-dos across all your devices. Game Center lets you personalize your Mac gaming experience, find new games and challenge friends to play live multiplayer games, whether they're on a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Mountain Lion presents notifications in an elegant new way, and Notification Center provides easy access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps. System-wide Share Sheets make it easy to share links, photos and videos directly from Apple and third party apps. Twitter is integrated throughout Mountain Lion so you can sign on once and tweet directly from Safari, Quick Look, Photo Booth, Preview and third party apps. Mountain Lion also introduces AirPlay Mirroring, an easy way to wirelessly send a secure 720p video stream of what's on your Mac to an HDTV using Apple TV.
Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to set up iCloud and access documents across your devices. Mountain Lion uses your Apple ID to automatically set up Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Messages, FaceTime and Find My Mac. The new iCloud Documents pushes any changes to all your devices so documents are always up to date, and a new API helps developers make document-based apps work with iCloud.
Hundreds of new APIs give developers access to new core technologies and enhanced features within OS X. The Game Kit APIs tap into the same services as Game Center on iOS, making it possible to create multiplayer games that work across Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. A new graphics infrastructure underpins OpenGL and OpenCL and implements GLKit, first introduced in iOS 5, to make it easier to create OpenGL apps. Using Core Animation in Cocoa apps is easier than ever, and new video APIs deliver modern 64-bit replacements for low-level QuickTime APIs. Enhanced Multi-Touch APIs give developers double-tap zoom support and access to the system-wide lookup gesture. Kernel ASLR improves security through enhanced mitigation against buffer overflow attacks.
Apple is pretty much out of big cats at this point, unless they want to release Cougar and risk a bunch of Courtney Cox jokes. They might do that, but it seems unlikely to me.
(And yes, I know that mountain lions and cougars are the same thing, but panthers are also pretty much the same thing, and that didn't stop Apple from announcing both 10.3 Panther and 10.8 Mountain Lion).
They could go to "medium cats" like Lynx and Bobcat, but besides the fact that Lynx is already a text-based web browser, somehow I just don't think it has the same marketing "oomph" that a big cat has, and for the same reason, I'm ruling out kitty-cats (even though I love kitty-cats ).
So my guess is that the next one may actually be Mac OS 11.
As for Mac OS 11, I'm voting for tree codenames - 11.1 Sequoia, 11.2 Alpine, etc... but that's more of a suggestion than a guess.
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