WWDC 2012: With Facebook integration OS X Mountain Lion -- $19.99, ships July

By Jonny Evans

No, it's not going to be made available for free, Apple [AAPL] new Mountain Lion OS ships in July and will cost $19.99. The company has also introduced new MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, including a Retina Display model. Apple's Craig Federighi has also taken the chance to guide the audience of developers through a range of new features bestowed upon OS X, Mountain Lion.


Coming next month

Apple will ship its new OS X in July, once again via the Mac App Store. Hopes that the new operating system will be released today were dashed on Apple's announcement that developers at WWDC would be given a near-final Mountain Lion Developer Preview, and Apple's promise of free OS upgrades to recent Mac purchasers.

Apple has been expected to open up the iCloud. So far the company has revealed plans to auto-configure apps on launch and also introduced three new Lion apps: Messages (so you can send messages to iOS devices), Reminders and Notes.

The company has also made it easier to use iCloud for document storage and retrieval. Now you get a document library of Pages documents that's kept current across all your Macs and iOS devices.

Apple has also confirmed plans to bring Dictation (powered by the same technology as Siri) to the Mac, along with a new system of banners and alerts.

Facebook inside

The company will offer Facebook support within the Mac OS. "New system-wide Sharing is built into Mountain Lion, making it easier than ever to share links, photos, videos and other files. Clicking the Share button allows you to share quickly without having to switch to another app, and you just need to sign in once to use third-party services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo. Facebook and Twitter are integrated with Notification Center so you can receive notifications when someone sends you a message or mentions you in a post or Tweet," Apple says.

This makes it easy to post photos, links and comments from your Mac. Facebook Friends automatically appear in your Contacts database with their profile photos. Facebook notifications work with Notification Center in Mountain Lion.

Safari improvements include a new smart search field and the ability to grab tabbed bookmarks from other devices. The company promises its not especially fast browser will be faster than before.

Additional Mountain Lion improvements include AirPlay mirroring, including the capacity to beam video to the Apple TV and Mac support for Apple's GameCenter, for which Apple claims 130 million accounts.

A little more information on Apple's new security tool, GateKeeper, was also revealed. This lets you set permission levels for apps installation (any, all, Mac App Store only). The default setting is to allow installation of apps from the Mac App Store and apps from developers that have a unique Developer ID. Mountain Lion includes app sandboxing and kernel ASLR protection.

"The pace of innovation on the Mac is amazing, OS X Mountain Lion comes just a year after the incredibly successful launch of Lion," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "With iCloud built right in and the new Notification Center, Messages, Dictation, Facebook integration and more, this is the best OS X yet."

Mountain Lion will cost $19.99 and will require 2GB of memory and 8GB of space. It ships in July.

Also read:

WWDC: iPhone in the wings, expect software surprises

Apple WWDC: iOS 6 says farewell to Google Maps

Apple Mountain Lion OS stalks to launch -- free upgrade?

iPhone 5 release: Apple's September launch, what to expect

Apple TV: exec says it's coming 'soon'

Computerworld's WWDC 2012 topic page

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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