updated 10:01 pm EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
Developers can begin submitting apps immediately
Following the release of the Mountain Lion's Golden Master version earlier today, Apple has officially opened the Mac App Store for optimized OS X 10.8 apps to be submitted for review with an email to developers (seen below). The company says they can also submit iOS apps that take advantage of the now-cross-platform Game Center, one of several iOS features that is now making its way to the Mac. OS X Mountain Lion is set to launch later this month.
While no exact date has been announced, the opening of the store for submissions suggests that the launch is coming up soon. The gap last year between the opening of submissions for Lion apps and the debut of OS X Lion was 19 days -- if history were to repeat itself, the company would get Mountain Lion out at the tail end of it's promised launch date, as has often been traditional when the company offers a vague time frame.
Apple has encouraged developers to leverage some of the new and expanded technology available in Mountain Lion, including the Notification Center, Documents in the Cloud and Game Center. Apps offered through the Mac App Store (which is not mandatory but a popular option for developers) must also adhere to the "sandboxing" guidelines along with conforming to Gatekeeper, a new security feature in Mountain Lion.
The new update for OS X will be sold exclusively through the Mac App Store, with (thus far) no mention of any alternative such as the Lion USB thumb drives currently sold for $69 through Apple retail stores. The download price of OS X Lion was $30, but Mountain Lion reduces the price further and sells for just $20.