Minecraft has been available on OS X for a long time, but Mac gamers have so far had to use a Java launcher to start the sandbox game. Now, Minecraft's developer Mojang has created an early version of a native OS X launcher for the game that should make it easier for Mac players to get started.

A post on the Reddit Minecraft page has a link to the new Mac OS X launcher. Mojang stated:

It does not require Java to be installed, nor any other dependencies. Just open up the link, drag the Minecraft icon to your applications folder, and you're all done. That's it.

There is one caveat: You must be running at least Mac OS X Lion (10.7) or newer. Sorry, but Java itself isn't supported on anything lower. :(

Please give it a test and let me know any issues you encounter with it. Note that the visual launcher itself has not changed, so any bugs in that are probably pre-existing and we aren't looking to fix those right now (but will very soon; there's some big changes coming!). We will test the self-updating a few times over the course of the day, so be prepared to allow it to download up to 55MB a few times over.

Mojang is looking for players to give feedback on the native OS X Minecraft launcher. It adds that while this early version is a bit slow, it will "be much, much faster" when the final version of the launcher is released.

Source: Reddit