What no rumors working overtime to whet our appetites? A very low key announcement that the next release of Mac OS X, sorry that’s just OS X now, will be Mountain Lion. 10.8. If you’ve paid the yearly subscription of $99 to be in the Mac Developer Program, then you can download the Developer’s Preview for “free”.
Looks to be more iOS influence, but this time, acceptable. More gestures, but the main changes appear to be to the apps. iCal is now Calendar. Address Book is now Contacts. iChat and FaceTime meld into Messages, which you can download the beta here, it does remove the iChat app from your computer, so if you depend on it you might want to hold off. Reminders separates itself as a To-Do manager from iCal and Notes follows in suit from Mail. They have added security options for App installation with Gatekeeper. And the one I really am excited about is AirPlay, wireless display mirroring to your TV via the AppleTV. Notification Center makes its debut on the Mac OS, will the big cat loose to Growl (tried to think of a witty pun, but no dice). Many other improvements throughout the OS.
More Intel machines are getting left behind. Details are not, well, detailed as of yet. But here is what is known:
- 64-Bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better.
- Advanced GPU chipset required.
- 64-Bit Kernal Bootable.
- Internet connection required to download 10.8.
You can check your 64-bit support by opening a Terminal window and typing uname -a and then hit return, resulting in:
Darwin Kernel Version 11.2.0: Tue Aug 9 20:54:00 PDT 2011; root:xnu-1699.24.8~1/RELEASE_X86_64 x86_64
If returns x86_64 than your Mac is booting into a 64 bit kernel.
The models that don’t look like they make the cut are most models before 2008 and / or sluggish GPU’s:
- Any model with Intel GMA 950 or x3100 integrated graphics and ATI Radeon X1600.
- MacBooks before 2008.
- Mac Minis before 2007.
- iMacs before 2007
- Original MacBook Air
Overall I like the improvements and the additions they are releasing.