Apple releases Mountain Lion on Mac App Store for $19.99

By , Jul 25, 2012

As part of yesterday’s earnings report for fiscal 2012 third quarter, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was quoted in a media release as saying the company would launch the next major revision to its desktop operating system on Wednesday. The company just made good in its promise by letting OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion out of the cage. It’s available now as an exclusive Mac App Store digital download costing just $19.99 a pop…

Apple accompanied the launch with a press release, quoting its marketing honcho Phil Schiller:

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. 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.

The operating system marks another step in bringing over popular iOS features to the Mac platform to both unify core feature set of OS X and iOS and help people upgrading to the Mac from iOS devices familiarize themselves better, the process started with the Lion release last summer.

The software comes with 200 new features. The biggies include AirPlay Mirroring of your Mac’s display to your television through the Apple TV set-top box, Notification Center, iMessage, Game Center, all-new Notes and Reminders apps and of course Facebook and Twitter integration via the standard sharing button known from iOS.

It also includes Siri voice dictation, enhanced Safari with shared tabs via iCloud, better Mail with VIP recipients, tighter iCloud integration system-wide featuring support for Documents in the Cloud, iCloud documents storage access in standard Open/Save dialog boxes, Gatekeeper which only allows for downloads and installs of signed and sandboxed applications from the Mac App Store and much more.

My personal favorite has to be the new PowerNap feature (quite a name, heh?) that keeps your Mac up to date while it sleeps by downloading important system updates, email messages, updating your personal data via iCloud and more.

Apple highlighted the following features in the press release.

• iCloud integration, for easy set up of your Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Reminders and Notes, and keeping everything, including iWork® documents, up to date across all your devices;
• the all new Messages app, which replaces iChat® and brings iMessage™ to the Mac, so you can send messages to anyone with an iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® or another Mac;
• Notification Center, which streamlines the presentation of notifications and provides easy access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps;
• system-wide Sharing, to make it easy to share links, photos, videos and other files 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 integration, so you can post photos, links and comments with locations right from your apps, automatically add your Facebook friends to your Contacts, and even update your Facebook status from within Notification Center;
• Dictation, which allows you to dictate text anywhere you can type, whether you’re using an app from Apple or a third party developer;
• AirPlay Mirroring, an easy way to wirelessly send an up-to-1080p secure stream of what’s on your Mac to an HDTV using Apple TV®, or send audio to a receiver or speakers that use AirPlay; and
• Game Center, which brings the popular social gaming network from iOS to the Mac so you can enjoy live, multiplayer games with friends whether they’re on a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Mountain Lion requires OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later. As with iOS, some features are hardware-dependent. Per iTunes terms, you can install your copy of Mountain Lion on up to five computers authorized with the same Apple ID.

AirPlay Mirroring works with Apple TV (2nd generation or newer), iMac (mid 2011 or newer), Mac mini (mid 2011 or newer), MacBook Air (mid 2011 or newer), and MacBook Pro (early 2011 or newer). Likewise, Power Nap works with MacBook Air (mid 2011 or newer) and MacBook Pro with Retina display.

By the way, notice that OS X Lion is no longer available on the Mac App Store. Apple clearly wants to upgrade its mac user base to Mountain Lion as quickly as possible. You’re advised to check out if your favorite apps have been updated with support for Mountain Lion prior to upgrading.

Luckily, there’s a website for that.

Apple also released OS X Server Mountain Lion, a $19.99 upgrade. At this price, it’s a no-brainer considering OS X Server Lion used to run you $49.99. And before the Mac App Store came along, Mac OS X Server was priced at $500.

From iTunes’ release notes:

OS X Server is the next generation of Apple’s award winning server software. Designed for OS X and iOS devices, OS X Server makes it easy to share files, schedule meetings, synchronize contacts, host your own website, publish wikis, configure Macs, iPhones and iPads, remotely access your network, and more.

Server is now an application you can add to Mountain Lion right from the Mac App Store. Anyone can quickly and easily turn a Mac running Mountain Lion into a server that’s perfect for home offices, businesses, schools, and hobbyists alike.

OS X Server is a 134MB download for $19.99, also via the Mac App Store.

Apple also released Safari 6 for Lionwith Offline Reading List, Smart Search Field and an all-new Password manager. The company also updated the iWork office suite (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) that now support documents syncing via iCloud, Siri voice dictation and crisp interface on the Retina MacBook Pro .

If you’re eager to learn more about Mountain Lion, I highly recommend Federico Viticci’s excellent and usually exhaustive review over at MacStories.

Speaking of which, the publication also released its first eBook containing their best features stories, including Mountain Lion review. It’s a $6.99 download, “custom-designed and optimized for Retina displays, presenting its content in a beautiful, easy-to-read format”.

I just purchased my copy and am loving every of its 120 pages. Also important, 30 percent of its proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

Some other reviews you may want to check out:

• Nilay Patel of The Verge
• John Siracusa of Ars Technica
• Brian Heater of Engadget
• Jason Snell of Macworld
• MG Siegler, TechCrunch
 • Jesus Diaz, Gizmodo
• Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

Are you excited about iOS-ification of the Mac with Mountain Lion?

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  • http://twitter.com/ExWoW MiKey

    I’d add shared Tabs over iCloud ;) Very nice for Safari-users

    • Eric Armstrong

      I’m sure Cloud Tabs are awesome (no sarcasm). But I honestly don’t think I can switch to Safari, not just because I’ve been using Chrome since it launched, but also becuase I LOVE all the features of the new Chrome iOS app, including shared tabs! #Chromosapian

      • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

        What features exactly does Chrome have that Safari doesn’t? Im not trying to sound like an ass, I’m really asking. Ive been using Safari since getting my Mac and I found Chrome to use a lot of ram on my MacBook. Besides extensions and shared tabs which Safari now have what other features does Chrome have over Safari?

  • http://www.facebook.com/nihasnebas Nihas Nebas

    Next things thats gonna be released is a tweak tha allows u to run powernap on older macs;)

    • http://twitter.com/JHerthop John herthop

      When MacCydia comes!

      • Nicolas Loots

        No MobileSubstrate working on Mac = No Cydia for Mac

    • DorianK

      I don’t think you want that. Powernap doesn’t enable the fans.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nihasnebas Nihas Nebas

        thts what its about……who wants fans whie ur mac sleeps:)

  • John Herthep

    Seriously, they rushed this out, I bet it’s very buggy, I’m actually not happy. Definitely not een going to buy it.

    • http://twitter.com/skunnes skunnes

      I actually feel exactly the same. But prolly going to buy after they released some updates anyway :)

      • http://twitter.com/redevil1987 Damian W

        last developer previews did not have any bugs you could spot. So I doubt the final has more. Could it?

      • http://twitter.com/JHerthop John herthop

        Ehh, well, they might have done a little tuning and then it got more buggy, I honestly don’t know. I have never had Mountain Lion. Just lion.

      • http://twitter.com/JHerthop John herthop

        Ps I am John herthep, just a typo

    • http://twitter.com/redevil1987 Damian W

      what do you mean they rushed this out?
      I have been using the beta version for almost 10 months if I remember correctly. On top of this they released about 4 or 5 new developer previews during that period.

  • http://twitter.com/dexrrick derrick

    I didn’t get the e-mail after I request mountain lion up-to-date program…=.=

  • http://twitter.com/leothelion96 Leonard Wong

    Done downloading.The Speed so fast

  • Kok Hean

    Nice

  • http://twitter.com/Mkhan1544 Muhammad Khan

    Mountain Lion is cool and all, but I’m just not feeling the need to upgrade
    because I’m already running lion

    • http://twitter.com/JHerthop John herthop

      Same here. It looks awesome, but I don’t really use the features they added.

  • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

    Loving it so far. There are some really cool hidden features that many people have not seen yet.

  • http://twitter.com/JHerthop John herthop

    But I mean really, they aren’t spending enough tme on os x updates to me. Just look at how long it takes for windows to update.

    • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

      Its only $20 and Lion came out just last year. You really expected a whole new OS? Good luck trying to get Windows 8 (or Windows 7 with Metro as I like to call it) for $20.

  • http://twitter.com/itsowenhowarth Owen Reece Howarth

    Anyone else received the email yet for the Up-To-Date upgrade? :(

  • http://twitter.com/JHerthop John herthop

    Ok, apple did spend some time on this. It is probably ok, but my computer only has a gig of ram. Anyone know how to run it with 1 gig?

    • Eric Armstrong

      I seriously doubt it will run smoothly. I have the 2009 Macbook (White plastic, round edges) and it had a little trouble running Lion with 2gigs of RAM. Depending on what model it is, you could probably upgrade the RAM significantly for a really cheap price. I spent about $35 on two 2gig cards, very simple to instal, and it made a big difference.

    • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

      You only have 1gb of ram in 2012? You really need to get at least 2 man, makes a big difference.

    • Nicolas Loots

      Even Lion can’t run on 1 gig

  • http://twitter.com/Spatulaofd00m MSD

    Biggest let down ever! My 2009 MacBook is too old for air mirroring. Only reason I upgraded. I feel robbed.

    • http://twitter.com/Spatulaofd00m MSD

      Have found airparrot. At $10 seems like a great solution. Flips the bird at apple.

      • mattkin22

        This is a great find. And has better functionality than AirPlay, mainly the ability to use the device connected to Apple TV as an external monitor via Wi-Fi.

    • notewar

      Does air mirroring as smooth as the display shown on the macbook per se? e.g. image transition, animation etc.

      • http://twitter.com/Spatulaofd00m MSD

        Apart from not being able to install the audio drivers. The smoothness is just grand. A tad battery intensive but then it is CPU intensive

      • notewar

        last question, i’ve got a macbook air 2010. Does airparrot automatically scale the size of the display of the MBA to fit the TV screen? I remembered using airparrot last week and i couldnt get it to fit edge to edge of the tv screen.

  • http://twitter.com/Spatulaofd00m MSD

    Air mirroring needs 2011 or newer. Something they didn’t tell you when upgrading.

  • notewar

    what apple mentioned awhile ago was mountain lion can be installed on a macbook pro from 2007-current whereas airplay mirroring is only compatible with macbook 2011-current. Hence thats why you dont see airplay under display preference.

  • José A. Gómez Coria

    I don’t feel cheated about the Airplay, I was cheated by Apple, 6 months
    announcing
    Mountain Lion and They never told us that only computers from 2011 or
    newer will have that function, I am very loyal to Apple and this
    things are not loyal from them. They robbed us. Thats why people
    jailbreak their devices, for that kind of lies. Apple computers are not
    cheap at all, at least I can’t buy an apple computer every year or every
    2 years. So for that kind of lies ¡¡Buy AirParrot!! and Jailbreak your aTV2 and download xbmc or PLEX and you have it! Airplay!!!!

  • José A. Gómez Coria

    Hey JEFF where are you?? or someone make an article about the BIG lie apple sold us, they cheated us!!! AIRPLAY mirroring was the best new function, a lot of people bought it because of that, that was not good at all!!!!