In a repeat performance from last year, Apple announced during its 3rd Quarter financial report that the new operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, which includes over 200 new features, will launch tomorrow, July 25. It will be available only as a download from the App Store for a reduced price of $19.99 compared to Lion’s price of $29.99. Another bonus is that since you are buying from the App Store, you only need to purchase one copy which you can install on all the Macs in your household.
While we’re covering some new features here, one of the main questions to ask is:
Will your current Mac support Mountain Lion?
Last year, upon the release of Lion, PowerPC machines and Macs with single-core Intel processors were excluded from the Lion upgrade. Mountain Lion’s requirements are a bit more stringent as there are even a few 64-bit processors that are left out of the loop.
Basic requirements for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion are as follows:
- OS X v.10.6.8 or later (Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard)
- 2GB of memory
- 8GB of available space
- 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better
- Ability to boot into OS X 64-bit kernel
- Internet connection required to download and install OS X 10.8
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Models that run an Intel GMA 950 or x3100 integrated graphics card
- Models that utilize ATI Radeon X1600
- Any MacBook models released prior to 2008
- Any Mac Mini models released prior to 2007
- Any iMac models released prior to 2007
- 2008 (Original) MacBook Air
If you bought a new Mac after June 11 from Apple or an authorized Apple retailer, you can visit http://www.apple.com/osx/uptodate/ to complete an Up-To-Date request to upgrade to Mountain Lion at no additional charge.
Some of Mountain Lion’s New Features Will Only be Available on Certain Macs
AirPlay Mirroring is a new feature that allows your Mac to stream its screen wirelessly to an Apple TV so you can share movies, TV shows, pictures, web pages, etc… with family and friends. AirPlay audio can also send your music and audio podcasts to AirPlay-enabled speakers.
AirPlay will only be available on the following models:
- iMac (mid-2011 or newer)
- Mac mini (mid-2011 or newer)
- MacBook Air (mid-2011 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (early 2011 or newer)
Power Nap is a new feature which allows the Mac to update itself as well as perform backups while it is sleeping. Power Nap is touted to be silent and power-efficient due to the fact that it is only available on laptops that contain solid state drives. Due to this requirement, Power Nap will only run on:
- MacBook Air (2nd gen or greater)
- MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Not Sure What Mac You Have?
If you’re not sure what type of Mac you have, you can easily tell by doing the following:
In the upper left corner of your Mac, click the Apple button.
Select “About This Mac”
Click the “More Info” button and you should see your Mac type and date identifier in a screen similar to this:
Make Sure Your Mac is Ready
If you’re jumping in on the early adopter bandwagon as I am, you will want to take some steps to insure your Mac is ready for Mountain Lion.
Last year, we covered a checklist to insure Macs were ready for the upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion. You can check out the detailed post here, or read through the summary below:
Run verify permissions and fix disk before applying any updates
To do this:
1. Open Disk Utility (standard with most versions of OS X located in Applications > Utilities)
2. Click Repair Disk Permissions
3. Once completed click Repair Disk
Update your Operating System
Insure you meet the minimum requirements for Mountain Lion stated above. Run all updates to insure your apps are able to run on Mountain Lion.
Check File Storage
OS X Mountain Lion requires 8GB of free space. Of course, it’s always wise to insure you have at least double the amount of space available.
FileVault encrypts your hard drive to protect your data. You may or may not be using depending on your settings. If you are upgrading from Snow Leopard, FileVault was upgraded from version 1 to version 2 so you should disable FileVault before you upgrade. Even if you currently run Lion, you might not have previously disabled FileVault which means you might be on the old version. Either way, it’s advisable to disable it before upgrading to Mountain Lion.
Backup Your Data
After you have made the above changes/fixes/updates, BACKUP your data! Either use Apple’s Time Machine or another backup solution.
Stay tuned to Geek Beat for a review of the new OS X Mountain Lion, its new features, and the move to integrate iOS and the OS X.