Just one year after the release of OSX Lion, Apple has announced a new OSX scheduled for 2012 summer release. Mountain Lion will be a paid upgrade but details have not been disclosed at this point.
Mountain Lion will have a tighter integration with iCloud and syncs your existing accounts, settings and personal data seamlessly. The new OSX will also come with a few new apps from the iOS which includes iMessage, Reminders, Notes, Notification Centre, Twitter integration, Game Centre and Airplay Mirroring.
For this upcoming release, Apple is introducing Gatekeeper which allows users to determine what kinds of apps can be installed on their machines. This follows Apple's strategy of preventing malware getting into your system through the approval process. Like the App Store, Mac developers can now sign up with Apple and get the status of 'identified developers' with a personalized certificates. These developers can then cryptographically sign their apps with the certificates. If any apps from this group of developers turned out to be malware, Apple can then revoke that particular developer's license thus preventing their products being installed on any Macs in the future.
Sharing has also become a whole lot easier in Mountain Lion with Share Sheets. These are pop-up menus that appear when you click on the Share icon within the apps. This can be a Safari webpage you are visiting or a picture or document in Preview. You can send the content via iMessage, tweet it or email the items.
Some of the new features in Mountain Lion are directly targeting users in China. In the new OSX, there is a dynamically updated dictionary for better suggestions or corrections. Also, Pinyin and English can be mixed during text-input without having to switch between keyboard layouts.
Search engine Baidu is now available as an option in Mountain Lion's Safari. Sina weibo, a microblogging site, is supported in Share Sheets. As for video-sharing sites like Vimeo and Flickr, Youku and Tudou will be added to the list of supported sites.
This is definitely good news for those Mac users who worry that Apple is lagging behind OSX development in comparison to the iOS. This annual OSX and iOS release cycle will be hugely beneficial to both Mac and iDevice users alike.