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In The News 02-24-2012

In The News 02-24-2012
Your Weekly Update In The World Of Technology

Mountain Lion

Yet Another Big Cat…

Apple released the developer preview of the next version of Mac OS X yesterday.   The new version, 10.8, keeps up with Apple’s big cat theme and is named Mountain Lion.  The release is not available to the typical Mac user yet, however the developer preview version gives app makers a head start on developing new apps before the main OS release.

The main draw for Mountain Lion is that it brings the Mac experience closer together with the iPhone and iPad experience.  Some of the big changes include swapping out iChat for iMessage and Twitter integration, reminders, notifications, iCloud, and the Game Center.  This is Apple’s attempt to bridge the gap between OS X and iOS devices.  The change is not completely merged, however, since you will have to purchase apps separately for both Macs and iOS devices… at least for now.

Playstation Vita

The Game System That Is A Smartphone… Or Is It The Other Way Around?

People of the tech world, meet Sony’s PlayStation Vita.  The new portable gaming console, which hit stores this past Wednesday, aims to be more than a gaming system.  Sony has made a point of adding many features included on a smartphone.  These features include a similar interface, dual cameras, and access to social media.  The Vita is meant to be a high-end portable gaming system with all the advantages of having a smartphone (without, you know, making phone calls).

The PlayStation Vita will cost between $249 and $299 as well as the option of a 3G data plan.  The WiFi version is on the lower end at $249 and the 3G version will go for $299, plus applicable data plan.  Currently AT&T is the only 3G provider for the Vita in the U.S.  Despite not having the ability to make calls, the Vita does include a voice chat feature through its Party application.  Other applications for communication and social connections that are available include Facebook, Twitter, and Skype.

Sony has made the point that the Vita is first a gaming console and second a device that provides smartphone features.  At launch there were only 25 game titles available, however more are expected to be released shortly.  Some big name games that will be included are “Assassin’s Creed,” “FIFA,” “Madden NFL,” and “Little Big Planet.”  It’s hard to tell if people will jump at this new gaming console, but it’s clear Sony is trying to make their consoles a more social experience.