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mountain lion

Although you may not realize it (and the transition is extremely subtle), Apple is becoming more and more game-orientated and it’s pretty clear to see why. In 2010 (the latest year for which I could find accurate figures for), revenues in the games industry totalled a massive $60 billion, with a market capitalization of around $100 to $105 billion. This is a pretty big market – and Apple certainly wants a slice of it.

On the App Store, there are currently around 116,000 apps in the “Games” category (as of mid June 2012) and on average, around 90 new games are submitted each day. The average game costs around $1.05 (with Apple taking 40% commission of course) and the App Store can turn relatively unkown game makers into worldwide superstars (just look at the success of Angry Birds or Doodle Jump, to name but two examples).

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This week has been quite a busy one for app news so without further ado, here’s our roundup of the latest going-ons in the Mac software world.

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With the recent announcement of OS X Mountain Lion, Apple decided to bring AirPlay Mirroring functionality to the Mac. While that’s exciting to look forward to down the road, an alternative app, AirParrot, has come out of the woodwork promising to be even better than Apple’s own solution.

Does AirParrot stand a chance against Mountain Lion or should you just wait until that latter’s summer release? Read on!

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This week has (again) been pretty quiet in the world of Mac news but we’ve still managed to find some juicy stories to keep you ticking over till next week.

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There has been some heated debate over the extent to which iOS and OS X will merge in the coming years. Whatever Apple has up its sleeves for the future, it is undeniable that the company is at least trying to make its apps and branding more unified across both systems.

With Lion, Apple brought FaceTime to the Mac, and remodeled Mail, Address Book, and iCal after their iOS counterparts. With the upcoming release of Mountain Lion, Apple has made nearly identical ports of Game Center, Reminders, and Notes for the Mac. It has also changed the names of several Mac apps to match the iOS offerings, rebranding iCal, Address Book, and iChat with the more generic names Calendar, Contacts, and Messages.

So if Apple’s intention is to completely unify the app experience across operating systems, what apps, names, or interfaces have not yet crossed over?
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The news that has dominated the Apple newssphere this week has been the launch of the new iPad on Friday in 10 countries around the world, with further launches scheduled for the next week. However if you’re not bothered about this new iPad model (or you’ve already got one), then here’s Mac AppStorm’s weekly roundup of the news in the Mac software world.
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Unveiled alongside that Superbowl Commercial all the way back in 1984, the Macintosh was to become Apple’s main focus and through the years saw host to such iconic designs as the MacBook, iMac and, more recently, the MacBook Air. However, while the Mac is undoubtedly close to all our hearts here at Mac.AppStorm, there’s been a perception as of late that Apple are letting things slide with regard to their computers, in large part due to the phenomenal success of iOS. As the argument goes, in a huge profit driven company like Apple it’s the bottom line that counts and last year saw more iOS devices sold in one year than the entire lifetime of the Mac.

Don’t be too quick to write off the future prospects of the Mac just yet though, while portable devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod are all very important to Infinite Loop, Mac sales are strong and increasing market share significantly. Indeed, Apple are finding that there’s more demand than ever for their computers and I’d like to make the argument that the Mac’s strongest years are quite possibly ahead of it, with Apple set to increase their efforts and ensure that the Mac becomes yet more popular still.

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I do not intend here to rehash any of the digital ink already put out there on Mountain Lion. Our own James Cull did an excellent job rounding up what we know about Mountain Lion. And Scott Danielson has had an in-depth look at Messages for Mac. I want to address instead something that might be nagging at all of us Mac users just a bit.

With Mountain Lion, Apple has stepped up the game of brining the two ecosystems of Mac and iOS closer together. The trend started (arguably perhaps) with Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event in which iLife was touted to have taken cues from iOS design, FaceTime was brought to the Mac, the Mac App store was announced, the MacBook Air was introduced, and oh yeah, Lion was announced with many features reminiscent of iOS.

Lion brought with it many iOS like advancements; enhancements to Multi-Touch Gestures, Full Screen apps, Launchpad, Resume/Auto Save/Versions, an iPad like Mail interface, iCal and Address Book highly styled like the iOS counterparts, auto termination of applications again borrowed from iOS, reversed scrolling to better match up with touch screen devices, and many more things that all spell out one thing; OS X is borrowing heavily from the design of iOS.

Perhaps it’s only fitting since OS X spawned the existence of iOS in the first place. They share much base code in common. In fact, Steve Jobs very much emphasized in the iPhone introduction keynote of 2007 that the iPhone OS (as it was then called) was really OS X. But what’s actually going on here? Should we fear for the future of OS X?
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Last Thursday, Apple caught us all a bit off guard with the announcement of OS X Mountain Lion, the next major version of OS X. Now that I’ve had a few days to sit down and take a look at it, I can confidently say that this is no small upgrade. Mountain Lion is a huge leap forward in the unification of iOS and OS X (Apple has officially dropped “Mac” from the name), bringing over many much-loved features including iMessages, Notification Center, AirPlay Mirror, and a whole host of new applications.

Follow along as we dive in and take a look at all of the great new features, updates and tweaks of your next operating system.

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With OS X Mountain Lion, there’s a new sheriff in town: Gatekeeper. This utility gives you the power to decide which apps are acceptable to install on your system and which should be blocked due to being from a questionable source.

Does the arrival of Gatekeeper mean that Apple is inching closer towards full control over your apps? Or will this utility actually give you more control in the long run? Read on to find out.

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