At the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced that their next big Mac operating software, Mountain Lion will be available by July. It has not been even a week since the update's been available and Apple has already announced that OS X Mountain Lion has seen over three million downloads making it their most successful OS X release.

Apple claims that there are more than 200 new features in Mountain Lion and it is the ninth major release of the Mac OS. This software is available through the Mac App Store as an upgrade to Lion or Snow Leopard users for $19.99.

Commenting on this milestone, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, Philip Schiller said, “Just a year after the incredibly successful introduction of Lion, customers have downloaded Mountain Lion over three million times in just four days, making it our most successful release ever.”

Will not prowl on all Macs

Roaring on over three million Macs

Here is a look at some of the updated features found on OS X Mountain Lion:

Apple states that by using your iCloud account, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to set up one’s Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Reminders and Notes. The new Reminders and Notes apps help you remember important tasks and jot down your thoughts quickly, while iCloud automatically keeps everything up to date. Documents in the Cloud works with iCloud-enabled apps which include Apple’s iWork suite, so one can always access and edit their documents on any device.

The new Messages app replaces iChat and brings iMessage to the Mac, allowing one to send messages to anyone with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or another Mac. With this feature, one can include attachments, high quality photos and HD video, and their iMessages appear on all their devices allowing one to pick up a conversation right where you left off. iMessage includes group messaging, delivery and read receipts, typing indicators and secure end-to-end encryption. The Messages app also supports traditional instant messaging services, including AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk and Jabber.

Notification Center
Mountain Lion streamlines the presentation of notifications, and with Notification Center one can see all their notifications from OS X and third party apps in one convenient place. One can customize which apps send you notifications, the type of notification they wish to receive, and how many items are shown in Notification Center. When one wants to focus on their work or watch a movie, they can choose to temporarily suspend all notifications.

New system-wide Sharing is built into Mountain Lion, making it easier than ever to share links, photos, videos and other files. Clicking the Share button allows a user to share quickly without having to switch to another app, and they just need to sign in once to use third-party services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo. Facebook and Twitter are integrated with Notification Center so you can receive notifications when someone sends a message or mentions the user in a post or Tweet.

Facebook Integration
With built-in support for Facebook, one can post photos, links and comments with locations right from their apps. Once they’ve signed in, their Facebook friends automatically appear in Contacts with their profile photos. Your Facebook notifications work with Notification Center in Mountain Lion, and you can even update your Facebook status from within Notification Center. Facebook integration will be available in an upcoming software update to Mountain Lion and is not available with the current version that has been released.

Dictation is built into Mountain Lion and allows one to dictate text anywhere one can type, whether they’re using an app from Apple or a third party developer. Mountain Lion also introduces Power Nap, an innovative new feature that keeps your MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Air (second and third generation) up to date while it sleeps. Power Nap automatically refreshes Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Photo Stream, Find My Mac and Documents in the Cloud, and when plugged in, downloads software updates and backs up their Mac using Time Machine.

The new Gatekeeper feature makes downloading software from the Internet safer by giving one control over which apps can be installed on your Mac. Users can choose to install apps from anywhere, or for maximum security one can set Gatekeeper to allow only apps from the Mac App Store. The default setting allows one to install apps from the Mac App Store and apps from developers that have a unique Developer ID from Apple. In addition to checking daily for security updates, Mountain Lion includes app sandboxing to keep misbehaving apps from compromising your system, and kernel ASLR for improved protection against buffer overflow attacks.

In addition to Mountain Lion, the Mac App Store offers a range of apps in education, games, graphics and design, lifestyle, productivity, utilities and other categories, and is the largest, fastest growing PC software store in the world. Users can browse new and noteworthy apps, including apps that take advantage of new features in Mountain Lion, as well as check out staff favourites, top charts for free and paid apps, and user ratings and reviews. For more information, click here.

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