OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion [Review]

OS X Mountain Lion is here, and it's even sleeker than Lion.
OS X Mountain Lion is here, and it's even sleeker than Lion.

It’s hard to believe that it was just a little more than a year ago that Apple released OS X Lion. Only twelve months later, and we’re now staring right down the maw of Apple’s ninth major release of Mac OS X: Mountain Lion.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion signifies a new approach on Apple’s part towards OS X updates: instead of going years between major releases, Cupertino is trying to take the rapid release approach that has worked so well for them with iOS and apply it to the Mac.

Mountain Lion, then, feels in many ways less like OS X 10.8 than OS X 10.7.5: a smaller, more tightly focused update continuing what OS X Lion started, taking iOS’s best ideas and bringing them to Mac.

Thanks to major breakthrough features like iCloud syncing, Notification Center, Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring and more, there’s less of a distinction in Mountain Lion between the Mac and iOS than ever. But is that a good thing, and how will it change the way you use your Mac?

Spelltower Launches For OS X Mountain Lion, Brings Hit iOS Word Game To The Mac

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SpellTower

SpellTower, the award-winning word game for iOS, is part of the first wave Mountain Lion-ready games in the Mac App Store today, with Retina graphics and support for Game Center leaderboards and achievements shared with iOS, a Mountain Lion only feature.

SpellTower is a word finding game – click your way through letters set up in a grid, creating words from adjacent letters. The visuals, the sound, and the simple pleasure of finding longer and better words all shine through, making it a joy to play. But how does a game designed for the touchscreen of your iPhone or iPad work on the Mac?

Twitter Notifications, iCloud Tabs & Location-Based Reminders Appear In Latest OS X 10.8 Beta

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A location-based reminder in Mountain Lion beta 2.

Following the release of Apple’s second Mountain Lion beta late last week, registered developers have been stumbling across a number of new features that weren’t present in the first beta. These include Twitter notifications, “iCloud Tabs,” and location-based reminders.

Apple Announces Developer ID System To Help Distribute Apps Outside Of Mac App Store

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DeveloperIDHero

One of the new features of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion has been the addition of Gatekeeper. By only allowing apps to be installed from the Mac App Store, Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper feature gives users a new level of security from malicious software.

Some users feel Gatekeeper is a sign that Apple is moving toward a completely closed desktop operating system that will only allow apps from the Mac App Store to be installed. Easing concerns of this draconian controversy, this afternoon Apple announced the Developer ID program that will help third-party developers distribute their apps safely outside of the Mac App Store.

Mountain Lion Mail Adds VIPs, Notification Control

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Notifications
Dig into Mountain Lion's app preferences to find better controls for notifications

The big new feature in Mountain Lion’s Mail app isn’t really a Mail feature at all: Notification Center will now flash up an alert for every new e-mail you receive. But this can get old fast, especially if you get a lot of e-mail. Thankfully, you can tweak these setting to be finer-grained, and a lot more useful. And you can do this by making your friends VIPs.