Friday, July 13, 2012

Mountain Lion: the changes that Apple has said little about

Apple Mountain Lion will sell by the end of the month. July 24 is the date that occurs most often in terms of its launch. If during the presentations, Apple insisted on ten features (Reminders, Notes, Messages, ... Notification Center), there are many small innovations on which it has little.

On its website, Apple displays a page where it says that the successor of Leo has over 200 new features. Undoubtedly, security is one of the major themes of this version of OS X. If Gatekeeper has been much discussion to make your Mac a fortress, Apple has continued to work on certain aspects of its system to make it less vulnerable to attack.

The ASLR, a feature that was introduced with Leopard, is now extended to the whole kernel. Address Space Layout Randomization is a mechanism that involves introducing an element of chance in the distribution of data areas in memory, and thus limits the potential for malicious code execution. With this device, a hacker will have greater difficulty in enforcing a specific function within the kernel.

In the safety device that Apple is phasing, sandboxing also plays a key role. Since June 1, developers should absolutely support this mechanism if they want to publish their applications on the Mac App Store. The sandboxing is to restrict access from one application to all data and software functions and material available. The establishment of this mechanism has some teeth gnashing, because it has forced developers to thoroughly review their code. In some cases, publishers have had to leave the Mac App Store. These include for example TextExpander 4 that can not operate in this mode. Incidentally, some complain that Apple does not apply the rules it imposes on others. The vast majority of applications available on the Apple Mac App Store are not being "sandboxed". However, Mountain Lion, the Californian Company took the time to correct this paradox. This is the case for FaceTime, Mail, Reminders, Notes, Game Center, and Safari.

You can check yourself if your applications run in a sandbox type, by opening Activity Monitor (Applications> Utilities) and reading the column "Controlled Environment".

Another interesting new feature for system administrators: fdesetup tool will facilitate the management of FileVault in business. Indeed, he will be able to exchange information with servers of asset management. This will allow administrators to eg easily centralize all key FileVault.

There is no security that Apple has made changes to its system, she says she adopted a new infrastructure for OpenGL / OpenCL. The apple has probably continued its construction started with Snow Leopard. In its list of new features, it also indicates that Safari does use the GPU for faster rendering of text and graphics.

In Mountain Lion, QuickTime X will now use your chipset to encode HD videos. Apple states that this feature requires a newer computer. It works with all models released in early 2011.

Still a lot of information about Mountain Lion is under confidentiality agreement. At the developer conference (WWDC), Apple's entry into the details. During the keynote, Craig Federighi stated that Mountain Lion has more than 1700 new APIs. Apple has already communicated the fact that AppKit had before it a set of APIs so that developer does can more easily integrate advanced touch gestures into their apps.

Apple also continues to do the housework. The garbage collector, which was far from unanimous among developers, is now deprecated. A final word about Mountain Lion Server, Apple has been very discreet about it during the WWDC. She just said that its module server will be available for sale "in July" on the Mac App Store for € 15.99, the same price as Mountain Lion.

Regarding what's new in this version, Apple is not much more talkative. In its presentation page, Apple mentions quickly Profile Manager 2. From what you told us, the profile manager for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and finally walk properly. The version included in Leo Server was not the better ones. These sums up the philosophy of this version: Apple polishes what is new in Lion Server. Thus, the control application appeared in 10.7,, now manages all services in 10.8. The significant novelty is Xsan 3, but Apple has not said.

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