June 12, 2012

According to a report from AllThingsD, Verizon Wireless will soon change the way it charges customers for cellular/data plans in a major way. Rather than charging customers for phones calls or messages sent, the report claimed Verizon would charge “almost exclusively based on how much data” is consumed. The new “Share Everything” plans will also be the first in the United States that allows users to share their data with up to 10 devices through a single account:

The plans, known as “Share Everything,” allow users an unlimited number of calls and texts and also allow data usage to be pooled among up to 10 devices on one account. With the move, Verizon becomes the first U.S. carrier to offer the ability for customers to share a bucket of data across multiple devices.

AllThingsD noted that AT&T also has plans for shared data options, but it did not provide more details. As for Verizon’s new plans, which will apparently kick-in June 28, the report explained the cost of the data plan and pricing metrics based on a per-device fee. In other words, you will have to pay roughly $40 per smartphone ($10 per tablet), and then opt for either a $50 1GB data plan or a $100 10GB plan. While the report claimed the new pricing should not impact the cost of plans for users who continue consuming the same amount of data, it is clear that those signing a new plan for a single smartphone are getting a bit less for their money:

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June 11, 2012

During the opening keynote of WWDC 2012 that took place this afternoon, Apple announced a slew of new features in Mountain Lion, Apple’s next Mac OS that is set to ship next month for $19.99. Earlier this evening, Apple released Developer Preview 4, giving us a first look at the new features. Namely, the new features include Facebook integration through the entire operating system, Apple’s new Mac Dictation feature that works much like it does on iOS, 1080 AirPlay mirroring, and several UI enhancements throughout. The additions definitely make the operating system feel like it’s ready to ship, as a GM is most likely coming out in the coming weeks. Let’s talk specifics.

When developers first got their hands on Mountain Lion earlier this Spring, Twitter was integrated throughout the entire OS. Now, Apple has now become sort-of buddies with Facebook, which now brings integration across Mac and iOS. Apple has added a Facebook login under the “Mail, Contacts, and Calendars” setting in System Preferences (note: developers have to download a separate .dmg to enable). Notifications for Facebook now appear in Notification Center and appears with the various sharing methods that are now present in Mountain Lion. For instance, you can just click the share button in a number of apps to simply post links and such to Twitter and Facebook. Safari is where this type of sharing is big. Speaking of Safari, it has gotten a nice makeover in Mountain Lion, with a huge Javascript boost and new features like Smart Search Field (think Google Chrome Omnibar), a new iCloud Tabs that keeps your tabs and bookmarks synced across your devices, and a new Tab View feature that lets you swipe through the tabs loaded on your other devices. As for when Facebook integration will actually hit the masses, it won’t be actually until this Fall, we learned this evening. It’s upsetting that it’s actually not going to be included at Mountain Lion’s launch.

We’re really excited for the new Dictation feature that allows you to natively speak to your Mac by simply just right clicking the microphone button. Apple says this feature works throughout Mountain Lion, “even in Microsoft Office.” From there you just speak natively, like saying “9to5mac.com” into Safari. We know you type it a lot, so why not make it easier by just saying it.. But seriously, it’s really cool.

If you have an Apple TV, you’re going to love Apple’s new AirPlay Mirroring, which allows you to mirror what’s on your Mac in a 1080p stream to your Apple TV, allowing everybody to look what your working on. This feature is perfect for meetings, getting rid of the need for expensive projectors.

Other minor enhancements included in the new Mountain Lion build are Game Center, better feature integration for Chinese users, and a whopping list of 1,700 APIs that give developers a little more flexibility when developing their apps. The Game Center is a lot like the Game Center featured on iOS, allowing you to share scores and more with the friends you’ve added on the social network. Speaking of the Chinese features, Apple has added an all new Chinese dictionary, integration with the popular Baidu search in Safari, and the ability to hook up with various popular Chinese email providers in Mail. As for UI tweaks, Notification Center has been given a new logo, a larger amount of space when it’s opened, and Mountain Lion’s dock has been given a bit of a tweak — looking quite nice.

Mountain Lion is sure to feature a ton of great features when it hits next month. Check out our tour of the new features we just discussed in the gallery that Sonny Dickson helped us build, below:

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During today’s WWDC keynote, Apple gave some demos of the sharing features in the next versions of their desktop and mobile operating systems, including deep Facebook integration in iOS 6. One thing they didn’t mention, however, was the same Facebook integration for the Mac. As it turns out, there’s a good reason for that. The version of 10.8 that launches next month will not support Facebook.

According to a tiny banner hidden on Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion website, Facebook integration won’t be available in OS X until this fall. Conveniently, that’s the same timeframe given for the iOS 6 release, and the presumed timeframe of the next iPhone launch.

Oddly, Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4, released earlier this evening, does contain full Facebook integration. Why Apple chose to omit this feature from the shipping version is a mystery, since it seems to be functioning well in its current form. Perhaps Apple’s agreement with Facebook is to launch all integration in fall. For example, iOS 6 launches in the fall.

Just after its opening keynote this afternoon, Apple released OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4 (build 12A239) and Server Preview 5 (build 12S254j) to developers. Unlike previous developer previews of Mountain Lion, Apple does not ask developers to look into any certain issues, perhaps because Mountain Lion is going to ship in July for $19.99 (a GM to come soon?). Apple also does not list any issues out of the ordinary, as you can see in the release note after the break.

For those looking to test the new Facebook integration announced today (much like Twitter) within Mountain Lion, you could download a separate .dmg from the Developer Center titled “OS X Facebook Developer Preview.” If you are registered with Apple’s paid developer program, you can get the Mountain Lion update on the Developer Center now. For those who are not, it does not look like you will be waiting much longer to play with this latest beast. Let us know if you find anything: tips@9to5mac.com.

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