Months after its announcement, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, aka v10.8, is now available for purchase in the Mac App Store. Officially, we’re now supposed to call it OS X, not Mac OS X, but Apple’s naming scheme hasn’t exactly been tops in 2012…
It’s a $19 upgrade, which is great, and has a range of iOS inspired features including new Reminders and Notes apps, Messages for seamless conversation integration with Messages on the iPad and iPhone, a new Notification Center, speech-to-text dictation, and Game Center (yawn). There’s also easier file sharing, improved AirPlay and iCloud functionality, Power Nap which grabs new messages, photos, documents, software updates, etc., while your Mac sleeps, new Gatekeeper app security, Safari 6, and other tweaks and improvements.
You can find a complete list of all 10.8 features here.
Not all Macs support this new OS X version. Here’s a brief rundown of compatibility:
2007 or newer iMacs and MacBook Pros; 2008 Unibody MacBooks; 2008 or newer MacBook Airs and Mac Pros; 2009 or later Mac minis.
If you purchased a new Mac after June 10, 2012, you likely qualify for a free upgrade to Mountain Lion. Head to this page on the Apple site to see if you qualify. Unfortunately, it’s not an automatic process; you have to submit a “claim” and wait for validation. Not exactly Apple-smooth, but we’ll take it.