Apple has released the developer preview of OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of Apple’s operating system. The preview release of Mountain Lion is available to Mac Developer Program members starting right now. Mac users will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store in late summer 2012.
Mountain Lion introduces Messages, Notes, Reminders and Game Center to the Mac, as well as Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration and AirPlay Mirroring. Mountain Lion is also the first OS X release built with iCloud setup and integration with apps. The developer preview of Mountain Lion also introduces Gatekeeper, a security feature that lets users control what apps are installed on the Mac.
The developer preview of Mountain Lion features the all new Messages app which replaces iChat and allows users to send messages, photos and videos directly from their Macs to another Mac or iOS device. Messages will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk.
The Notification Center provides access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps. System-wide Share Sheets can be used to share links, photos and videos directly from Apple and third party apps. Twitter is integrated throughout Mountain Lion, and users can sign on once and tweet directly from Safari, Quick Look, Photo Booth, Preview and third party apps. Mountain Lion also introduces AirPlay Mirroring, a way to wirelessly send a secure 720p video stream of what’s on your Mac to an HDTV using Apple TV.
Mountain Lion uses the Apple ID to automatically set up Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Messages, FaceTime and Find My Mac. Mountain Lion also has features specifically designed to support Chinese users, including enhancements to the Chinese input method and the option to select Baidu search in Safari.