This Week in App News

This week has been an extremely busy one in terms of the going-ons in the Mac app newssphere (and I think we all know why…!) so without further ado, let’s get cracking.

Happy reading!

Mountain Lion released to the general public, Lion is sadly no more

On Wednesday the eighth reincarnation of Apple’s OS X operating system was released to the general public via the App Store at the general price of $19.99. Mountain Lion features tighter iCloud integration, built-in apps such as Notes and Reminders that were previously only seen on the iOS platform and a deeper level of security with the new Gatekeeper function.

Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion was released to the public on Wednesday this week after being announced by Apple back in February.

The release of Mountain Lion prompted a surge on Apple’s servers, which struggled to keep up with the ever-growing demand (some users were unable to download the operating system until a few hours after its release) and one network reported an increase of 5 to 6 times the normal network traffic.


The spike experienced in one network’s traffic after the release of Mountain Lion.

Apple also quietly pulled OS X 10.7 Lion from the Mac App Store (including from users’ Purchases lists). Any users running Snow Leopard can upgrade directly to Mountain Lion, as long as their system requirements are sufficient.

If you haven’t already upgraded, make sure you check out Alex’s extensive review of the new operating system and all its new features before heading over to the App Store to grab yourself a copy of it! And remember: our sister site MacTuts+ has plenty of tutorials available to help you get to grips with Mountain Lion.

iWork office suite updated for iCloud and retina-display support

The iWork suite got a big update as well on Wednesday to version 9.2, which brought along iCloud synchronisation for all your Pages, Keynote and Numbers documents across all your iCloud-enabled devices, including iWork on iOS.


iWork 9.2 brought much needed iCloud document synchronisation to complement the tighter integration in Mountain Lion, along with retina support for the new MacBook Pro.

Now, documents created in the iWork suite can be saved to iCloud with a couple of clicks and any changes will automatically be pushed to all your devices, so if you edit a document on your iPad on the way home from work, the changes will be ready and waiting for you when you open it up on your Mac. The change is a welcome one, especially seeing as iCloud support has been built into the iOS version of iWork for some time, and will surely make everyone’s life a lot easier.

The 9.2 update also brought a few other features, including most notably retina-display support for the new MacBook Pro, so your documents will now look even crisper and sharper.

The update is free for all existing users and can be grabbed from Software Update.

Safari 6 released with new unified address-search bar

Another exciting update back on Wednesday was Safari 6 and the good news for those who haven’t yet upgraded to Mountain Lion (or aren’t planning to) is that it’s an update for Lion users as well. One of the most noticeable features of the new version is the unified search bar (similar to Google Chrome), whereby you can type in either a search term or a URL. Safari will then try to match it up either based on your bookmarks or search history, as well as pulling up common search queries from your selected search engine.

Safari 6 Unified

The new unified search bar in Safari 6.

Other features for all users include offline reading lists and an improvement to the browsers Nitro JavaScript engine, which increases the loading speed of a website, along with tweaks to CSS rendering and hardware acceleration to make websites seem smoother to browse through. Mountain Lion users get iCloud tab sync (but only across Macs until iOS 6 is released), support for website notifications and built in sharing features into web pages (such as Add to Reading List, E-mail this Page, Message and Send to Twitter).

The update also saw Apple drop the development of Safari for Windows (which cannot be downloaded from their website). though Webkit nighly builds (the engine that Safari is based on) are still available to download from their website.

The update is available by heading over to Software Update on your Mac. For those of you who have upgraded to Mountain Lion, Safari 6 comes pre-installed.

Carbon Copy Cloner no longer free; now costs $30

Carbon Copy Cloner, a popular solution for Mac users to create a complete backup of their starter disk, has now turned into commercial software from donation ware software, with new users to the software being given a 30-day trial to test its features before being expected to cough up $30 for the full version of the program.


Carbon Copy Cloner, once a donationware app with adverts, has now become a commercial product.

The move was to made in order to “grow our support and development team” and promises the user more frequent updates with the move to commercial. The donationware version can still be used for an unlimited amount of time (though it’s not compatible with Mountain Lion – you’ll have to get the paid version!) and anyone who has made a verifiable donation to Carbon Copy Cloner before July 24, 2012 will be rewarded with a free licence, a nice little touch in my opinion.

If you haven’t already got a licence, then you can go ahead and grab one from their store. To celebrate the launch of Mountain Lion, the app developers are offering a 25% discount on new licences up till August 12.

Heard Anything Else?

If you’ve heard anything else exciting that’s happened this week then go ahead and post a link to it in the Comments section below for the benefit of our other readers!