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Apple Mountain Lion Developer Preview Launched with Built-in ‘Messages, Notification Center, Game Center, Twitter’ and More

Mountain Lion Developer PreviewDeveloper Preview of OS X Mountain Lion, brings popular apps and features from iPad to the Mac and introduces Messages, Notes, Reminders and Game Center to the Mac, as well as Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration and AirPlay Mirroring.

Mountain Lion also has a built-in iCloud for easy setup and integration with apps. “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,” explains Apple.

Apple revealed that iCloud now has more than 100 million users accounts.

Also, in Moutain View, once you enable Documents & Data in the iCloud Control Panel…You can then start manually uploading documents from your Mac to the iCloud using this screen:

Mountain Lion

Open Textedit (it must be closed while you enable Documents & Data) and hit “Open.” A manual uploader box will appear like so:

Mountain Lion introduces “Gatekeeper,” a security feature that helps keep you safe from malicious software by giving you complete control over what apps are installed on your Mac. “You can choose to install apps from any source, just as you do on a Mac today, or you can use the safer default setting to install apps from the Mac App Store, along with apps from developers that have a unique Developer ID from Apple. For maximum security, you can set Gatekeeper to only allow apps from the Mac App Store to be downloaded and installed,” posted Apple.

Mountain Lion Developer Preview’s “Messages app” 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.

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 with Twitter integrated

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 also has features specifically designed for Chinese users, including significant enhancements to the Chinese input method and the option to select Baidu search in Safari. Mountain Lion makes it easy to set up Contacts, Mail and Calendar with top email service providers QQ, 126 and 163. Chinese users can also upload video via Share Sheets directly to leading video websites Youku and Tudou, and system-wide support for Sina weibo makes microblogging easy.

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.

Mountain Lion works with Mac and iOS Devices

For developers, 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,” informs Apple. “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 said.

Apple also released “Messages Beta for the Mac,” an early taste of what is coming in Mountain Lion. The Messages application lets you send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch user. “You can start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iOS device, and even start a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation. Messages also supports sending photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations and more and it comes with built-in support for iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk and Jabber accounts. Apple noted that when you install Messages, it replaces iChat–even though iChat services will continue to work.”

You can download your copy of iMessges Beta for the Mac here.

Finally, following a brief removal of Xcode 4.3 from the Mac App Store this morning, the new Xcode 4.4 Developer Preview for OS X Mountain Lion is now available in your dev account and it includes the Mac OS X 10.8 SDK and iOS 5 SDK.

The following apps and features, Apple has replaced with their iOS counterparts and killed today in Mountain Lion:

iChat is replaced with “Messages” app, which introduces unlimited messaging to and from Macs and iOS devices. Although the FaceTime app still appears to be present in Mountain Lion, the new Messages app also integrates FaceTime video chats. Messages on OS X completes the merging of FaceTime and iChat with a Mac compatible version of iMessages from iOS, making iChat and just about every third-party messaging app obsolete in the process.

  • iCal & Address Book replaced with their iOS equals, “Contacts” and “Calendar.” In this case, the change is mainly just the names, but improved iCloud integration gets the OS X Contacts and Calendar apps and the iOS versions closer to becoming one in the same.
  • Software Update: Now updates run through the Mac App Store. Even such mundane things as Printer driver updates:
  • Growl an open-source third party notification utility replaced with Apple’s integration of a “Notification Center” in the Mountain View. Apple is letting developers integrate notifications into their apps, and we will likely see further integration between Notification Center on iOS and OS X in future updates.
  • Mac: Finally, after 10 years, Apple officially drop the “Mac” from “Mac OS X.”
  • HDMI out: With AirPlay mirroring support in Mountain Lion it is now out.

The preview release of Mountain Lion is available to Mac Developer Program members starting today through Developer Center.

Mac users will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store in late summer 2012.

Those with paid developer account can now immediately download OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview. Just log in to your developer account, access the Mac section, click the OS X Mountain Lion tab, and then hit the Get Redemption Code button next to the OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview or OS X Mountain Lion Server Developer Preview. This will launch the Mac App Store and start the download process. You must use a 64-bit, Intel-based Mac running either Mac OS X v10.6.7 Snow Leopard or OS X Lion and have at least 8GB of free disk space to install the OS.

AirPlay on OS X Mountain Lion to Apple TV, wirelessly:

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