Apple unveiled "Mountain Lion" on Thursday, the latest update to its Mac operating system that will bring the iCloud to every new computer and can sync your computer with your television.
Apple released its latest OS, Lion, just last summer, and decided to unleash this update far sooner than it usually does. It was made available to developers Thursday and will release to the masses this summer.
"The Mac is on a roll, growing faster than the PC for 23 straight quarters, and with Mountain Lion things get even better," Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a statement. "The developer preview of Mountain Lion comes just seven months after the incredibly successful release of Lion and sets a rapid pace of development for the world’s most advanced personal computer operating system."
Mountain Lion brings a lot of the features of Apple's mobile software to the laptop and desktop, such as the "Messages" app, which will replace iChat, the current built-in instant messaging program for Mac computers.
Computer and mobile devices will now be more closely connected because of the iCloud, which is integrated into the new OS. If you are on your computer and save a document into the cloud, you can access it on your iPhone or your iPad. Changes will sync from one to the other.
It also unites the computer and the television with AirPlay mirroring, which helps users turn their TV into an extension of their computer screen. If you have an AppleTV, you can opt to make the TV mirror your laptop screen.
There are several other new features in the operating system, but one set in particular is worth noting – Apple’s continued outreach to China.
On the company’s latest earnings call, CEO Tim Cook described the importance of the emerging Chinese market. That same market has proved troublesome over the past couple months due to reports about inhuman working conditions at Apple’s Chinese manufacturers.
But Apple has insisted it is making every effort to rectify any problems, and this latest OS has new features specifically for China. Web services like Baidu, a popular search engine, and Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, are built into it.