Apple Releases OS X Mountain Lion on Mac App Store

As promised, Apple released OS X Mountain Lion on the Mac App Store on Wednesday. The major update for the Mac operating system is available only as a download and leaves a few early Intel-based Mac models behind.

Mountain Lion hits the Mac App StoreMountain Lion hits the Mac App Store

Mountain Lion will include several features borrowed from iOS for the iPad such as Notification Center and Reminders, includes system-wide app-level support for Twitter and Facebook, offers tighter integration with iCloud, includes the new iMessages app, Gatekeeper for better app security, and more.

The new OS includes system-level iCloud support so apps such as Pages, Numbers and Keynote can auto-sync documents through between Macs and iOS devices.

Mountain Lion’s Reminders app works like its counterpart on iOS 5 to managing to-dos. The Notes app, which has been included in iOS since the original iPhone, has been rolled into Mountain Lion, and supports text as well as attachments, web links, and in-line photos. Both support iCloud syncing.

The OS now includes system-level dictation support, much like the third generation iPad’s dictation feature. Users can speak to their Mac and their words will convert to text in any document.

Safari includes iCloud Tabs, which syncs open Web page tabs between your Macs and iOS devices, and the Web browser includes more support for multi-touch gesture navigation.

Good news for users that want to cut another cord from their Macs is AirPlay support. Mountain Lion will include AirPlay mirroring with support for 1080p video.

Social networking fans now get system-level support for services such as Twitter and Facebook.

System and some app updates are a little easier to install thanks to PowerNap, a new feature that lets your Mac download App Store software updates, perform backups, and update other data at night when you aren’t using your computer. It runs your computer in a low power mode that doesn’t kick on your fans, too.

OS X Mountain Lion is priced at US$19.99 and is available for download through Apple’s Mac App Store.