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If you haven’t yet downloaded and installed Apple’s latest operating system, Lion, released in June of last year, or if you’re still trying to figure out all its trackpad gestures or the disappearance of traditional scrollbars, you might want to put on your running shoes because Apple announced last week yet another forthcoming OS update called Mountain Lion.

Apple released a developer preview of Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of its revolutionary operating system. Though Mountain Lion wasn’t announced with the roar of previous releases, its features may well live up to their label.

Mountain Lion includes many new features already present in the iOS 5 operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, e.g. Messages, Notes, Reminders, and Game Center for the Mac, as well as Notification Center, Shared Sheets, Twitter integration, and AirPlay Mirroring. The features and programs will be most useful for Mac customers who want to more efficiently exchange data between their desktop and mobile devices.

Though only Mac developers can download a preview of Mountain Lion, general users can download one of its major applications, Message Beta, which brings text messaging to the Mac. Also called iMessage, the texting program when installed, replaces the current iChat application. However, users will only be able to send and receive text messages, photos, and video to and from other Mac and iOS mobile users. Messages will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk.


A full release of Mountain Lion, according to Apple, will be ready for download via the App Store this summer.


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