This Week in App News: 12 – 18 March 2012

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.

Apple seeds OS X 10.8 Developer Preview 2

Apple has started seeding the second preview of OS X 10.8, codenamed ”Mountain Lion”, to all registered developers and testers. The preview, which has the build number 12A154q, is available for immediate download from the Mac App Store (where all software updates will be based in Mountain Lion), however you’ll need a redemption code from the Mac OS X Development Portal in order to be able to proceed.

Mac OS X Mountain Lion

The second developer preview for OS X Mountain Lion was released today via the Mac App Store

This new preview brings a few more of those promised iOS features to Mountain Lion than in the first developer preview, which was released last month. The new Notification Centre now integrates fully with the official Twitter for Mac app and notifications for new tweets, mentions and direct messages can either be in banner style (like on Growl) or via the actual Notification Centre itself.

There is also support for location-based reminders, like on iOS 5 and it appears that your Mac will now track you (when you are connected to a WiFi network) in order to alert you when you are in the right location. The preview also brings along iCloud sync for all your open Safari tabs across your iOS devices and there is a new icon on the Safari address bar, ”Show Tabs on Other Devices”, to help you do this.


Location-based reminders in OS X Mountain Lion

There is also a request to access contacts after the Path fiasco, whereby it was found the app was uploading your entire address book (including phone numbers and email addresses) to their own servers. Although this feature will be seen in Mountain Lion, it will also grace all those iOS devices out there in the world at the moment via a future software update.

For more information about what’s coming up in Mountain Lion, be sure to check my roundup of all the new features and Alex’s in-depth review of the first developer preview.

Adobe putting the finishing touches on Creative Suite 6

Adobe is close to finishing the development on Creative Suite 6, one of the biggest overhauls of its collection of high-end software, with a public beta expected very soon. The San Jose based software company has been working on the latest release since mid-2011 and has already released countless private betas and previews.

Photoshop CS6

The new, darker interface in Photoshop CS6

The new features which you can expect to see are a revamped user interface, integration with Adobe’s new Creative Cloud service, which was launched at Adobe’s Max conference last autumn, and much more. All of the apps currently in the CS5 bundle are receiving the update, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Flash. There are also a couple of new applications with this release, including Muse, which lets you create websites without any prior coding knowledge (Muse is currently in public beta).

This new release of Creative Suite also sees Adobe pushing more towards a subscription-based service, instead of having the end user purchase the application outright. A yearly subscription to Creative Cloud provides 20 GB of storage for Mac and Windows users and is priced at $49.99 per month (additional storage is available at extra cost) and users can download any CS6 program that they want, with traditional licences still being offered.

This is a radical new approach and one that Adobe hasn’t used before. Only time will tell whether the idea is a successful one or not, however if you are planning to use CS6 long-term then it most probably works out cheaper to buy a traditional licence outright.

Adobe hasn’t released much information about CS6 but to find out more about Creative Cloud, head over to their website where you can also sign up for update notifications.