Weekly Wrap: Mountain Lion, Mountain Lion, other stuff, and Mountain Lion

The Weekly Wrap exists to catch you up on the stories you might have missed. And if you missed the big news this week, boy are you in for some exciting reading: Apple announced a new release of OS X. But while that announcement and its aftershocks dominated the week’s news, we wrote about a few other things as well.

Mountain Lion

The cat’s out of the bag. With nary a leak, without a single peep on a rumor site, Apple surprised everyone with Thursday’s unveiling of Mountain Lion, also known as OS X 10.8. Jason Snell got to spend a few days with the operating system, and he offered up first looks at Notification Center, Notes and Reminders, Gatekeeper, and Messages.

We spoke to developers for their take on Gatekeeper, which protects users from running malicious apps. We took a look at what works and what doesn’t in the Messages beta, since Apple made that available Thursday. We looked at app name changes in Mountain Lion, and went hands-on with the rechristened Contacts and Calendars apps. Frankly, we’re pretty excited about what you’ll be able to do with Mountain Lion.

And, of course, we podcasted about the cougar, too.

Mountainless Lion

Of course, Mountain Lion’s official release is months away; Apple says it’s not coming until late summer. So while we’re all stuck with this now geriatric-seeming Lion OS instead, let’s at least make the most of it.

We offered up a slew of tips for various Lion oddities. We shared tutorials on making your art look grungy, a video guide to using Keychain Access, and hiding and unhiding Mac App Store purchases.

Like Quick Look? We put together eight Quick Look tips, which—ironically enough—you’ll want to take a long, slow gander at. And Mountain Lion’s far enough away that you may well benefit from our guide to creating a bootable Lion install drive for newer Macs.

If you crave software reviews like mountain lions crave deer meat, we’ve got you covered: We reviewed SkipTunes, a menubar utility for controlling music playback. We gave Pacifist the ever-elusive five-mouse rating. And we also looked at My Living Desktop, which makes some of us think of a computer/zombie apocalypse.

So app-y together

And, as ever, we covered a bunch of iOS apps:

  • Tiny Heroes—which, to my surprise, doesn’t involve bite-sized hoagies;
  • NPR Music—an iOS app that speaks in a quiet voice and uses big words;
  • AntiCrop—which uses technology to make bigger things out of smaller things, much like the female cast of Jersey Shore;
  • Nostalgiqa—which seems as easy to use as it is to pronounce;
  • Trenches II——an app that means war;
  • Habits Pro—an app that’s easy to kick… to the curb; and
  • Noteshelf—perhaps the only title in the App Store that rhymes with “Goat’s Elf.”

Speaking of apps, if you download the 25 billionth one, you could win $10,000 to spend at the App Store.

Elsewhere in the world of iOS, we reviewed the iCade and Atari Arcade iPad accessories. Reading that piece costs a quarter.

Apple once again revamped its iAd terms. The company also said that a forthcoming iOS update would require user approval before apps can access the address book.

Apple news

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke publicly about labor conditions across the company’s supply chain; we actually transcribed pretty much every word. After cooling our fingers in a bucket of ice for a while, we reported on Apple’s request that the Fair Labor Association inspect Foxconn and other Apple suppliers in Asia; a report from the FLA is due in March.

Hodgepodge

And then there were a few other stories worth reading, though they don’t fit cleanly in any of the prior sections:

So yes, it was a pretty busy week here at Macworld, and we hope we’ve helped you get caught up. We’ll see you here next Saturday, presumably to wrap up Apple’s announcements surrounding the next new version of Mac OS, 10.9 Jungle Elephant.

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