This morning Apple announced OS X Mountain Lion (10.8,) the next version of its flagship desktop operating system. OS X 10.8 will ship later this summer, and will be available through the Mac App Store. As with OS X 10.7 Lion, Mountain Lion is geared towards bringing more iOS goodness to the desktop, and further blurs the lines between Apple's mobile devices and computers. New features that will be coming to the Mac with Mountain Lion include a new Messages app that will replace iChat and bring iMessage and FaceTime into one app, Notification Center, tighter iCloud integration, AirPlay mirroring from the Mac to an Apple TV, the Reminders app, Notes app, Game Center leaderboards, Twitter built-in to the OS, Share Sheets to make sharing of any content easier, and Gatekeeper, a new security feature that allows you to set preferences for what can and can't be downloaded. We will go more in-depth on each in a separate feature later today.
With the announcement of Mountain Lion, Apple also made it known that it will stick to a new yearly release cycle for its desktop OS.
Read More | Mountain Lion Sneak Peek
Monster Costume, an iOS developer focused on recreating the way children interact with books, has released Bartleby's Book of Buttons Volume 2, and it's got some nice AirPlay surprises packed in. When using an AirPlay mirroring-capable device like the iPad 2, iPhone 4, or iPhone 4S, you can send the story to your Apple TV in high definition, while the device then become a controller for progressing the story. We've been fans of Bartleby since Volume 1, and you can pick up Bartleby Vol. 2 now on the App Store. Full release after the break.
It seemed like a no-brainer for Facebook to drop an iPad app back when the original iPad launched in early 2010, but it's taken the company a year-and-a-half to finally get things in order. The wait is now over, and today you can download the official Facebook iPad app. Within the app you can browse photos at full screen, watch videos (with AirPlay integration!), and access things like the news feed, messages, Groups, chat, and more.
If you aren't seeing it in the App Store yet, it should be live shortly.
In this video you get a look at an unannounced feature of Apple's AirPlay. You have an iPad 2 running Bartleby's Book of Buttons: Vol. II, and you have an Apple TV. Now, this demo isn't showing the AirPlay wireless capability, due to the NDA, and instead uses a cable - but make no mistake, this is already working wirelessly over AirPlay.
What is interesting is that you have something showing on the iPad display, and something totally different showing on the Apple TV. In other words, the Apple TV is acting as the app, and the iPad has become the controller for the app. Imagine the possibilities this introduces for iPad gaming.
Big thank you to Carbonite and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! Carbonite offers off-site backup of your computer, and you can get two free months (no credit card needed!) by visiting Carbonite and using promo code TPN. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like.
Showyou is a video sharing network for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. After using it for just a few minutes, we immediately wanted to review it and give you a look at how it works. After you download Showyou, you connect it to your Facebook, Twitter, and/or VodPod networks. It will then pull in any videos that your friends on those networks link to or share. You can comment and share videos directly in the Showyou app. Even better, it support AirPlay, so if you have an Apple TV, you can pull up Showyou and go through all the videos your friends have shared, watching them on your television.
Just a quick public service announcement for anyone interested in the second-generation Apple TV--we noticed this morning that a bunch of them are on eBay starting at $79 brand new (20% off) with Buy It Now prices of $89 (which is still 10% off.) With all the new AirPlay-enabled apps that have been dropping lately, we're finding that the Apple TV is becoming a must-have device for anyone who owns an iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone. Check out the Apple TV on eBay for some great deals.
Read More | Apple TV 2nd Gen on eBay
Bloomberg reported that Apple already licenses the AirPlay technology to Pioneer Corp. and D&M Holdings.
Bloomberg quoted executives from Philips as well as Pioneer; the Philips executive was quoted as being interested in the technology, while the Pioneer executive called AirPlay a "blessing for an industry trying to move the needle forward on sales".
In November 2010, Apple issued iOS 4.2, which added AirPlay connectivity to Apple TV and the iPad. Specifically, the update added enables AirPlay—wireless streaming of video, photos, and music from your iOS device to Apple TV—and AirPrint, the wireless printing solution for the iPad. Currently, CE manufacturers are prohibited from taking advantage of the video capabilities inherent in AirPlay, Bloomberg reported.
At Apple's iPad 2 reveal last week, CEO Steve Jobs said iOS 4.3 would be available for download on March 11, the same day the updated iPad goes on sale. But according to BGR, Apple will release the newest version of its mobile operating system at around 1 p.m. EST today.
The update brings a variety of new features, including enhanced Safari performance, iTunes home sharing, AirPlay improvements, slider switch rotation, and a personal hotspot for the iPhone 4. Apple iOS 4.3 will support all iPads, third- and fourth-generation iPod touch, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS.
- Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.3.
- Improved Home Sharing. Browse and play from your iTunes libraries with Home Sharing on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.3.
Not much has changed, but as you can see, the iOS 4.3 functionality is there, and Home Sharing is gonna be awesome with AirPlay.
The newly redesigned Apple TV is next up in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide, and for good reason. You can stream movies, TV shows, photos, and music to the device, and setup just requires plugging it into power, and into your television. A couple minutes later and you're connected to Wi-Fi and streaming Netflix. With iOS 4.2 and the AirPlay feature, you can even send videos and music directly from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch directly to your television. Mix in HD movies rentals from $3.99 and TV show rentals for $.99 cents, and you have a nice little wireless media extender. You can pick one up now for $99 from Apple, or $98 from Amazon with free shipping.