updated 11:59 pm EDT, Tue September 11, 2012
New 12C50 build includes release notes, may come tomorrow
Less than 15 hours before the expected announcement of a new iPhone model and accompanying iOS updates, Apple has distributed a new build of 10.8.2 (numbered 12C50) to developers that includes release notes, making it likely to be the final version pushed out for testing before release -- which could come as early as Wednesday. The new build comes only five days after the third developer beta and adds a number of previously-announced but newly-implemented features. Also unveiled was a new build of 10.7.5 (11G54).
Oddly, the release notes accompanying the 10.8.2 build do not mention the expected fix of battery issues that have plagued recent MacBook models running Mountain Lion. As reported yesterday, MacNN's own tests have been corraborated by other sites, showing up to a 38 percent loss of battery life in the same machine over an install of 10.7.4. The first update to Mountain Lion mitigated the problem slightly, but advanced testing of recent 10.8.2 builds suggests that the issue has been largely resolved.
Included in the release notes are new features such as the implementation of a single sign-on for Facebook and built-in, system-wide sharing to the service as well as information from Facebook in both Notifications Center and optionally in a users' Contacts (formerly Address Book). Game Center has also been augmented with Facebook account info, including friend game recommendations, score sharing options and "Like" buttons for games.
Another important feature in 10.8.2 is support for syncing phone numbers for both Facebook and iMessage, with the latter meaning that iMessage texts can now be set to be received or sent from the Messages app for Mac. Facetime calls to a users' phone number can also now be received on the Mac. In addition, Power Nap support will be enabled for the "Late 2010" MacBook Air, Reminders and Notes both get some additional features, and the Siri Dictation feature in Mountain Lion expands to add a number of languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, Korean, Canadian English and French, Italian and Spanish. The Dictionary application also adds support for French.
Users who have upgraded directly from Snow Leopard or earlier system versions to Mountain Lion will appreciate the return of an ability to overwrite the original document when choosing Save As. Other changes include automatic opening of unsent drafts when Mail is invoked, URLs are automatically shortened in tweets sent from the Notification Center, notifications are disabled when using AirPlay Mirroring and Chinese users can add Sina Weibo profile pictures to Contacts.
The new build is the fourth beta of 10.8.2 and the final is expected to be released on or around the time that iOS 6 is made available, possibly as early as Wednesday when the iPhone 5 is announced. Also now available for testing is the latest update for Lion, 10.7.5 build 11G54, which is being seeded with no known issues, but developers are requested to focus on graphics performance and quality as well as Image and Media importing, editing and viewing.
The 10.8.2 update weighs in at 682MB for both the Delta and Combo update, suggesting further that this is the final build short of a showstopper bug being discovered. The 10.7.5 update is even larger, at 1.16GB for the Delta update and 1.93GB for the Combo version. Testers are reminded that with both releases, machines on which they are installed cannot be downgraded to previous versions, and should not be tested on production machines.