Some preliminary thoughts on Mountain Lion
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Some preliminary thoughts on Mountain Lion


I've had a few days to cull through all the info on Mac OS X 10.8 ("Mountain Lion") and play around with the Messages beta. Here are some preliminary thoughts.

AirPlay Mirroring

One of the features of Mountain Lion I'm really looking forward to is AirPlay Mirroring, which lets you stream what’s on your Mac to your HDTV via an Apple TV.

Right now the only product I know of that can do this is the MacTivia (see our review at http://macte.ch/ksZpI). And as far as I know, this is the first time the concept of streaming computer content has been built right into an operating system.

Being able to view my Mac's content on my HDTV will be very convenient. Heck, I've ripped many of my DVDs to my Mac's hard drive. Now I can play them on my Mac and view them on my large screen TV.

AirPlay Mirroring on the Mac may be bad news for the makers of the MacTivia. However, it could help spur sales of the Apple TV.

Messages

Overall, the beta of Messages -- the replacement for iChat -- works pretty well. It does everything iChat does and more. For example, it comes with the Mac version of the iMessage app on iOS. You can send unlimited messages to anyone on a Mac or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5. What's more, you can start a conversation on your Mac and pick it up on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Pretty cool.

You can send photos, videos, documents, contacts, messages and attachments to an individual or a group. With Messages, you can see when your message has been delivered and when someone’s typing a reply. Turn on read receipts, and they’ll see when you’ve read a message. With end-to-end encryption, your messages stay safe and private. Also cool: you can switch to FaceTime directly from Messages.

However, let me get to one of my biggest grips about Apple's ID procedure. It makes absolutely no sense that the company can't find a good, streamlined way for a user to meld different accounts with different IDs (the iTunes Store, MobileMe and iCloud, for instance) into one across-the-board ID.

Gatekeeper

I'm not sure whether developers will love or hate Gatekeeper, the new security measure in Mountain Lion. I suspect it will be a bit of both. Apple says -- surprise! -- the safest place to find apps for your Mac is the Mac App Store. That’s because the developers who create them are known to Apple, and the apps are carefully reviewed before they’re accepted in the store.

The company says the goal of Gatekeeper is to help you avoid malware even when you download applications from places other than the Mac App Store. Hence as part of Gatekeeper, Apple created the Developer ID. Part of the Mac Developer Program, Apple gives developers a unique Developer ID for signing their apps. A developer’s digital signature allows Gatekeeper to verify that their app isn't known malware and that it hasn’t been tampered with. If an app doesn’t have a Developer ID associated with it, Gatekeeper can let you know before you install it. I

According to Apple, a digital signature makes it possible to verify that an application comes from a developer with a valid Developer ID and that the application hasn’t been tampered with. Digital signatures are created by combining a secret key known only to the developer with a digital summary of the contents of the application. It’s all wrapped together in an encrypted file that becomes part of the app. Gatekeeper checks the encrypted file to make sure everything is OK.

For maximum security, you can install and run only apps from the Mac App Store. You can choose to install and run apps from the Mac App Store and apps that have a Developer ID. Or you can install all apps from anywhere, just as you can today. You can even temporarily override your setting by control-clicking, and install any app at any time. Gatekeeper leaves it all up to you.

There will be three options: allow apps from anywhere (which is how Mac OS X currently works), allow only Mac App Store apps, allows Mac App Store apps and identified developers. But here's the semi-controversial part: the final option is the default one. In other words, you won’t be able to install any app from the web on your machine unless you change the default -- something Mac newbies may not know how to do.

iCloud

John Gruber of "Daring Fireball" (http://daringfireball.net/2012/02/mountain_lion): says that Mountain Lion's iCloud document storage (and Mountain Lion REALLY wants you to use iCloud) is biggest change to Open and Save dialog boxes in the 28-year history of the Mac. Mac App Store apps effectively have two modes for opening/saving documents: iCloud or the traditional local hierarchical file system."

I'm glad that Apple isn't forcing us into an iCloud only mode. Cloud storage is well and good; however, I suspect there are still lots of folks like me who are going to want their own personal, on-premise back-up copies of their files.

Miscellaneous

Why no mention of Siri, Apple's voice recognition, for Siri? Is it now coming to the Mac? Or is Apple simply holding back some info on some of Mountain Lion's features for now? I think -- and hope -- it's the latter.

However, "Wired" thinks there are several logistical challenges to bringing Sir to th Mac. You can read about it at http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/20/tech/innovation/apple-siri-osx-mountain-li... .

With Mountain Lion, Twitter sharing will come to the Mac, too. But what about Facebook? Integrating the world's largest social network seems like a natural step.

Apple has told "Pocket-lint" (http://www.pocket-lint.com/) that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will be exclusive to the Mac App Store when it arrives. according to Pocket-lint. I can understand that (well, sorta) but I still think it needs to be available on a flash drive as Lion is.

What will Mountain Lion cost? Apple hasn't said, but I'll be amazed if it's not US$29.99. That's what Apple has charged for Snow Leopard and Lion.

-- Dennis Sellers

 
AAPL
$100.11
Apple Inc.
-0.64
GOOG
$576.36
Google Inc.
-0.74
MSFT
$46.44
Microsoft Corpora
+0.03
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

This Week at 148Apps: September 22-26, 2...
Your Source For The Latest App Reviews   | Read more »
Kill Shot Review
Kill Shot Review By Jennifer Allen on September 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: OCCASIONAL MISFIRESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Kill Shot is often satisfying, but its more than pushy in-app purchases will leave you feeling a little bummed.   | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Vainglory
I’m going to be straight you with folks. I don’t know much about MOBAs, and I’m certainly no professional. That means I don’t know how well Vainglory, the upcoming multiplayer online battle arena showcased in the most recent Apple keynote, compares to titans like League of Legends or DotA 2 in terms of depth and control. However, in this edition... | Read more »
The Tunnel – An Endless Fall Review
The Tunnel – An Endless Fall Review By Nadia Oxford on September 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FREE FALLIN' Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Tunnel – An Endless Fall is a bit harder to get the hang of than most “endless running/etc” games, but that doesn’t keep it from being hypnotic in its own way.   | Read more »
Ubisoft Launches Just Dance Now in the A...
Ubisoft Launches Just Dance Now in the App Store Worldwide Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
For Better, or for Worse? How the New Ap...
With the release of iOS 8 (finally), Apple has made some noticeable changes on the App Store – bundles, videos, and Testflight integration, to name a few. Many of these additions will make things friendlier for App Store shoppers, but how has it been affecting developers? | Read more »
Asphalt Overdrive Review
Asphalt Overdrive Review By Jennifer Allen on September 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SHORT LIVED ADRENALINEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Asphalt Overdrive is a fairly simple auto-running racing game, but one that’s clouded by the feeling that there’s more to it than that.   | Read more »
Kritika: Wrath of the Pirate King Update...
Kritika: Wrath of the Pirate King Update Introduces New Class: Shadow Mage. Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Vampire Tribunals Review
Vampire Tribunals Review By Campbell Bird on September 29th, 2014 Our Rating: iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Hunt other vampires in the “real world” in this location-based multiplayer game.   | Read more »
Simogo Tease The Sailor’s Dream Via Thei...
Simogo Tease The Sailor’s Dream Via Their New Trailer Posted by Ellis Spice on September 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] A new trailer has arrived for the newest title from Device 6 and | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.