Apple reveals "Mountain Lion" update for OS X [Update]

The next major update for OS X just got its code name. In a press release today, Apple announced that the next OS X upgrade is being called "Mountain Lion", which is in keeping with the company's trend of naming updates after wild cats. A preview version of Mountain Lion, also known as OS X 10.8, is now available for download for Mac developers and the final version will launch for consumers sometime this summer.

iCloud: The cloud-based storage service, which launched for iOS devices in 2011, will soon allow Mac owners to store documents and other files in the cloud. 

Messages: The new chat client, which replaces iChat on the Mac, lets users text to other Macs and iOS-based products along with other IM services. Mac owners don't have to wait for Mountain Lion to try out the new program. They can download a beta version of Messages right now.

GameCenter: The iOS game match-making service is coming to the Mac with Mountain Lion, letting Mac gamers see and play against other Mac users as well as iOS gamers.

Reminders and Notes: These two apps will make the move from iOS to OS X with Mountain Lion. Reminders will allow Mac owners to make lists to keep track of their activities. Notes is self explanatory. Mac users will be able to type in some quick notes to themselves.

Notification Center: Mountain Lion adds this new software app that gives users a heads up to anything new on their Mac such as an email, text message or other alert.

Gatekeeper: A new security program for the Mac is included in Mountain Lion. It gives Mac owners a way to set controls and settings for which programs can be run on their machine.

Share Sheets: Mountain Lion will allow a number of Mac apps to offer instant sharing of content via email, text message, Twitter and more with the new Share Sheets feature.

Twitter: Mountain Lion will offer Mac users a way to connect and post messages to their Twitter account directly inside Mac apps.

AirPlay Mirroring: This feature gives Mac owners a way to display their desktop on a television via the Apple TV device.

Chinese features: The Mountain Lion update will offer a number of improvements specifically for the Chinese Mac market. That includes improved text input for typing in Chinese and adding the Baidu search service inside the Chinese version of Safari.

From the press release and the various hands-on previews of Mountain Lion already posted on the Internet, Apple looks like it is continuing to add iOS software features into its Mac operating system, along with more interoperability functions.  It's just a matter of time before the two operating systems become one, perhaps with the OS X 11 release down the road.

Update - Apple has confirmed that it has ditched the "Mac OS X" title when referring to the operating system from now on. It is now simply called "OS X."

Images via Apple

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