In Short

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is the last Apple operating system named after "big cats." The ninth major release of OS X was announced in February, 2012 and released in July. More than 200 new features were added in this release, which cost buyers $19.99.

Hallmarks of Mountain Lion included a focus on improved management of content between Apple devices regardless of whether they run iOS or OS X. Apple focused its attention on producing a seamless, familiar user experience. OS X's iChat app was replaced with Messages, an app named after its iOS counterpart. Notes and Reminders became independent apps, while another iOS feature — Notification Center — made its first appearance on the Mac. Mountain Lion also introduced Gatekeeper, Apple's anti-malware system.

Mountain Lion saw the integration of Game Center, the social gaming network Apple first introduced on iOS. Game Center provides gamers with chat, game matching and achievement tracking. The last vestiges of MobileMe were removed, and in their place Mountain Lion fully embraced iCloud, Apple's current cloud service.

Power Nap allowed late-model Macs to synchronize reminders, calendars, notes and other content with iCloud while the Mac was asleep. The feature also enabled Macs for the first time to back up using OS X's integrated Time Machine system while asleep, as well.

Mountain Lion's software update service saw complete integration with the Mac App Store, rather than requiring users to download separate updates from Apple's support servers.

Mountain Lion introduced support for AirPlay mirroring; with an Apple TV on the same Wi-Fi network it became possible to wirelessly mirror the Mac screen. And on the accessibility front, Mountain Lion introduced Dictation, providing systemwide voice input.

More of an emphasis was made in Mountain Lion to enable better social media integration. Systemwide sharing of links, photos, videos and other files was added to popular services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo.

Mountain Lion was superceded in 2013 by OS X Mavericks