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Apple releases Mac 'Mountain Lion' OS developer preview

Today, Apple released a developer preview of the new Mac operating system, dubbed "Mountain Lion".  The Mountain Lion operating system, the ninth major release of OS X, introduces new features inspired by the iPad and iPhone. 

Those with a paid developer account can now download the OSX Mountain Lion Developer Preview from Apple's Developer Center.  The preview version will help software developers make products that take advantage of the new operating system's features.

New Mountain Lion features include Game Center, Notification Center, Documents in the Cloud, new sharing capabilities, and advanced security features.  Below are descriptions of some of the key features in the Mountain Lion, according to the developer page.

Documents in the Cloud

When users create and edit documents in your iCloud enabled apps, changes are automatically pushed to all their devices so they can access the latest version through your app from any Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. And with the new Share Sheets, users can share documents instantly from your app through Mail, iChat and AirDrop.

Game Center

Connect users to other Mac and iOS game players around the world and bring the excitement of multiplayer and turn-based gaming to your Mac apps. Game Kit APIs authenticate player accounts, access friend information, report and display scores, unlock achievements, provide multiplayer functionality and manage voice chats between players.

Notification Center

Notification Center provides users with a streamlined and unified view of notifications from third-party apps, along with Mail, iCal, iChat, Reminders and system updates, from anywhere on their Mac. With Mountain Lion, new APIs let you alert users of important events happening within your app through Notification Center.

Twitter

Let users easily share links, photos, and their location through Twitter, without leaving your app. Users can add comments to content they tweet and receive alerts when they are mentioned in a tweet with Notification Center. Single sign-on automatically sets up Twitter on enabled apps, so users can start sharing right away.

Share Sheets

Share Sheets make it simple for users to share links, photos, and videos directly from your apps. Users can share content through Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, Messages, Mail, AirDrop, or you can even add your own share destination.

Gatekeeper

OS X Mountain Lion empowers users with a new security feature, giving them control over which apps can be downloaded and installed on their Macs. You can now sign your apps for distribution outside the Mac App Store with the new Developer ID, which lets users know that you are a developer identified with Apple.

Apple has slowly begun to make the Mac operating system more like the iPhone and iPhone systems.  Previously released Lion began the shift, introducing new features like a screen that shows all installed apps and extending the touch gestures used to control a Macbook.

According to 9to5Mac, a 64-bit, Intel-based Mac running either Mac OS X v10.6.7 Snow Leopard or OS X Lion, with at least 8GB of free disk space is required to install the Mountain Lion Operating System.  It does replace your previous operating system, so be sure to use it on a test machine and not your primary system.

Apple has said that the new Mountain Lion software will be on sale this summer.

[Yahoo]

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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