An In-Depth Look at OS X Mountain Lion

Last Thursday, Apple caught us all a bit off guard with the announcement of OS X Mountain Lion, the next major version of OS X. Now that I’ve had a few days to sit down and take a look at it, I can confidently say that this is no small upgrade. Mountain Lion is a huge leap forward in the unification of iOS and OS X (Apple has officially dropped “Mac” from the name), bringing over many much-loved features including iMessages, Notification Center, AirPlay Mirror, and a whole host of new applications.

Follow along as we dive in and take a look at all of the great new features, updates and tweaks of your next operating system.

Mountain Lion is a huge leap forward for OS X

Mountain Lion is a huge leap forward for OS X

Notification Center

Notification Center is one of the biggest improvements in Mountain Lion

Notification Center is one of the biggest improvements in Mountain Lion

One of the most important new features in OS X Mountain Lion is Notification Center, which unifies notifications throughout the entire OS. If you’ve ever used an iOS 5 device, you should feel right at home using Notification Center. Right now only a few Apple created apps support the notifications, but from what I’ve seen, it does everything you’d expect.

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of Notification Center is the ability to have notifications pushed to you even when apps are not running. Make no mistake: this is a killer feature. Usually I have Twitter, Mail, and a Facebook Notifications app running at all times, but with Mountain Lion those can all be replaced by push notifications.

If you’d still like to use Growl notifications in Mountain Lion, check out Hiss, it integrates the user experience of Notification Center with the ubiquity of Growl Notifications.

Not only is this a huge benefit to your system’s performance, but it also goes a long way towards simplifying your OS X experience. Clicking the “dart” icon in the righthand corner of the menubar launches you into the Notification Center, which shares more than a passing resemblance to it’s iOS brethren, but Apple also went one step further by introducing a new finger gesture, a two finger swipe from the right of the touchpad.

This is the first OS X gesture to take advantage of where your fingers are on the touchpad, and it’s pretty intuitive. All things considered, Notification Center should make the switch to Mountain Lion worthwhile for almost any user, from beginners to professionals.

Notes

Notes is just about what you'd expect from an app called "Notes"

Notes is just about what you'd expect from an app called "Notes"

Notes has been a familiar face in the Apple world since the original iPhone, but for whatever reason Mountain Lion is the first time its been included on the Mac. Notes is essentially identical to what you’re used to on an iPhone or iPad, it has the same aesthetic, and the same basic feature-set.

In my opinion, this is a really nice stealth addition to OS X, it syncs seamlessly with all your other iCloud devices and I actually wrote a good part of this article within the app. Notes is also really lightweight, as a dedicated user of WunderKit (which takes almost 15 seconds to load), it’s nice to have an app just open an up in a split-second and get your thoughts written-out. It doesn’t do much, but thanks to the iCloud integration, I can see Notes becoming an integral part of my daily workflow.

Messages

Messages is really just a new skin on top of iChat with a little iMessage mixed in.

Messages is really just a new skin on top of iChat with a little iMessage mixed in.

Messages is the most obvious addition to OS X Mountain Lion, finally allowing you to send and receive iMessages from your Mac. Sadly, right now it’s a just mess of good ideas that are poorly executed.

First off, Messages is really just a new skin on top of iChat, with some iMessage goodness mixed in. Right now, that’s not quite a winning combination. iMessages often failed to reach both my Mac and/or iOS Device, and when they did get delivered, the experience was too buggy to be useful.

In addition, FaceTime is still a separate app, which can be activated from within Messages. This really makes no sense, but that seems to be a reoccurring theme in this particular app. Messages is not doomed to fail, in fact, it has the potential to be an essential part of OS X, but in order for this to happen, Apple needs to clean up the interface and focus more on utility instead of aesthetics.

Game Center

Game Center's interface is highly stylized, much like the iOS version of the service.

Game Center's interface is highly stylized, much like the iOS version of the service.

Apple is really pushing their online gaming platform, Game Center, and there seems to be no exception in Mountain Lion. Once again, if you are familiar with the iOS version of the service, the OS X version shouldn’t be too surprising.

Since Game Center is only currently available among developers, I couldn’t really try it out, but if it works as advertised you’ll be able to play against friends and strangers in a platform-agnostic experience.

In plain english; if you have a game on your Mac and your friend has it on iOS, you’ll be able to compete head-to-head. This might present some gameplay issues, but thats really up to developers to fix. It’s nice that Apple has included the ability to use Game Center, and it’s certainly a good sign for the future of gaming on OS X.

Twitter and Share Sheets

In OS X Mountain Lion, Apple has included their version of OS-wide sharing, aptly named “Share Sheets”. It works nearly anywhere with Twitter and Messages, and for photos and videos it supports Flickr and Vimeo, respectively.

You’ll probably notice that Facebook and Youtube are missing, among others. Apple is very picky about what services they’ll allow on their platform so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is intentional, but hopefully it’s just an oversight that will be eliminated when the OS is released.

While certainly not groundbreaking, Share Sheets should be a pleasant addition to your OS X experience, despite the fact that Apple seems to have been rather picky about which services to allow.

Airplay Mirroring

If you’ve ever used a PC with Intel’s Wireless Display technology, you probably understand how much Mac users are missing out on. Luckily, Apple’s own variation on the same idea of wirelessly extending your computer’s display onto your TV works just as well, if not better.

You’ll need an Apple TV to use AirPlay Mirroring, but at only $99 it’s not a hard purchase to justify. The ability to beam your music and video content to the TV wirelessly is just another amazing addition to Mountain Lion. Of course, since I was using a developer preview, the connection dropped occasionally, but Apple usually has these minor kinks worked out before the OS hits market, so I’m not worried. So if you’ve been holding out on an Apple TV, OS X Mountain Lion might just be enough reason to take the plunge.

Reminders

Reminders looks alot like its iOS counterpart.

Reminders looks alot like its iOS counterpart.

Reminders is another app taken almost verbatim from iOS, and for most people, that’s a good thing. Functionally, it’s almost the same as the iOS app, allowing you to set reminders for yourself -and that’s it. You’ll lose the geo-fencing capability, but that’s probably just because your Mac doesn’t have GPS anyway, so we won’t shed to many tears over that lost feature.

In addition, you can export your reminders as Calendar events, which should be nice if you plan to take your task management full circle. Unfortunately, since Reminders is directly taken from iOS, it also includes a less-than-stellar interface which, in my opinion, looks a little childish. While some people may like it, i wish Apple would stick with classic UI elements instead of attempting to clone the physical world.

Security Settings (Gatekeeper)

Gatekeeper is perhaps the most controversial addition to OS X, as it locks down your Mac from potential security threats by preventing non-Apple approved apps from being installed. While this setting can be changed in System Preferences, it is symbolic of the shift towards an App-Store-centric universe.

If are a developer looking to make sure your app isn’t rejected by Gatekeeper, you’ll have to get a security certificate as part of the Mac Developer Program.

If you’re reading this article, you probably know a little about Macs, so Gatekeeper is probably more of an inconvenience than a feature, but from grandma’s point-of-view, it’s a lifesaver. Honestly, it’s not unrealistic to imagine that OS X 10.9 will do away with non-Apple approved apps altogether, but until that day comes, Gatekeeper is just one more setting for the true Mac geek to change when they set up their computers.

iCloud

If there is one thing I can say definitively about Apple’s strategy for the coming years, it’s that iCloud is really important. It’s everywhere now and Mountain Lion really pushes that concept.

For the first time, iCloud is beginning to dig deep into system level operations and that’s led to a far more robust user experience. When you first install the OS you are asked to set up iCloud and from that point on it is integrated into nearly every possible part of the experience; from syncing your notes to playing your music.

Although I found it to be considerably more useful than iCloud in Lion, there are still some glaring omissions. For example, “Documents in the Cloud,” isn’t really much better than it was in Lion. One notable addition is the ability to save files to iCloud directly from the “Save” dialog in some apps, but oddly enough though there’s no way browse those files you’ve uploaded. This particular feature might just need to be updated from within iWork, but I hope Apple addresses it before the OS is released; documents could use a little TLC. Otherwise iCloud in Mountain Lion is just plain useful; it works almost without fail in the background, and most users won’t even know it’s there.

Everything Else

Apple has integrated system updates with app updates through the App Store

Apple has integrated system updates with app updates through the App Store

Mountain Lion is really a huge update to OS X, and there are dozens of little tweaks you’ll likely notice. Below are the ones that stood out the most.

  • Safari – The URL bar and search bar have been combined, Chrome style.
  • Dashboard – For whatever reason, Apple hasn’t integrate the Dashboard into Notification Center, but they still seem interested in updating it. In Mountain Lion the interface to add and manage widgets is now similar to that of Launchpad, and the remove widgets feature has been updated for the 21st century. It looks like Apple still has a place in its heart for good ol’ Dashboard.
  • Launchpad – You can now search in Launchpad. Why you’d want to do this instead of using Spotlight is really beyond me, but it’s there if you want it.
  • Chinese Services – Since China is Apple’s fastest growing market, it makes sense that in OS X Mountain Lion they are integrating some popular Chinese services. Baidu now works in Safari and services like 126 and 163 are also included. I obviously didn’t test any of these, but they seem to really be Chinese extensions of Share Sheets.
  • Software Update – Software Update is dead. In its place, Apple is managing system updates through the App Store. This is a pretty common sense move, and it works pretty well. It’s also a little zippier than what you’d expect from the old dedicated update app, so I’d imagine it will be a welcome change for most users.
  • Mission Control – Hovering over fullscreen apps or spaces now shows you a zoom effect similar to the one in the dock. It’s not much, but at least it looks pretty.

Final Thoughts

Mountain Lion is a really impressive update to OS X. The sheer number of new apps and features is almost unbelievable for what Apple considers an incremental update. I’m excited, but I’m also more than a bit worried. Is this the end of OS X as we know it?

While I love many of the new features, the similarities to iOS are pretty outstanding. So one has to wonder, is Apple determined to unify their operating systems, at the expense of their power users? Sadly, that seems to be the way things are headed. Hopefully, though, that’s in a distant future; for now we can enjoy the massive improvements Mountain Lion brings to the operating system formally known as “Mac” OS X. Come this summer, Mountain Lion will be a must have update.


  • Tessa Thornton

    Please, tell me you can switch out the font in Notes.

    • http://alexarena.com Alex Arena

      Yup! You actually can access the full OS X fonts panel, but at least the default is better than Comic Sans;)

    • marc

      Yes. Notes supports rich text so I’d assume all system typefaces will be available.

  • Tim

    I am guessing that Apple will price this upgrade at less than the $29 Lion cost.

    • http://alexarena.com Alex Arena

      I’d imagine its either going to be $29 or free. If they are trying to make OS X more like iOS the first step would be to make it free. Most likely, though, get ready to shell out $29.

      • Maynard G.

        Figure in that Apple has at least broadly hinted that OS X is going to adopt a more frequent release schedule – approximately annually – and I might guess $19.99 – which would a) sound good to users (a 33% price cut – and further relief to the old-timers who used to pony up $129), and b) would work for AAPL by bringing in $40 every two years instead of $30.

        And Apple’s already slashed their packaging costs to zero and cut distribution to the price of moving the bits out of their servers.

        Free for Lion Users IS another possibility with maybe an added twist. When Lion was released, Apple made it hard for Leopard users to get from “here to there” with a double pay/double upgrade process. A Macbook Air user with no HDD and few geek skills might have found it impossible.

        With the more frequent releases and the App Store well-established, Apple might move to a tiered structure, and build in the capability for one-step ugrades from several earlier versions (starting with either Snow or Lion):

        It might go something like this: If you last paid for the last version, free, b) if you last paid for the version prior to that, $19.99, c) if you’re jumping two steps, $39.99. (So you can skip a version if you want for operational or other reasons, but you’ll still pay full freight in the end when you do upgrade.)

        And this being Apple, two versions back might be all they’d support via this method, though with annual releases and some stability in the core code, it could be three or four – at least until there’s a paradigm shift in the overall OS.

        This is not a prediction – but it – or some variant certainly seems an option the company might explore.

  • Jeremy

    For me, dropping “Mac” from the name of OS X seems less likely that they are trying to combine iOS and OS X, and more likely that a future product (AppleTV?) is likely to run something closer to OS X than iOS. Just a guess.

    • http://appleuserpro.com TJ Draper

      Or that the Mac brand has some (undeserved) stigma to it, and the Mac brand is not as important. But the OS X branding is. OS X doesn’t have near the stigma. I know of folks who hate makes but love to run OS X on their Hackintoshes.

      Also, I think it’s just good housekeeping. They’re trying to make things more consistent. iPhone OS changed to iOS. Mac OS X changes to OS X. Who knows what the future holds…

      I do think it possible that a future product not named mac could run OS X and that they are preparing for that eventuality. I doubt it would be the Apple TV though.

      • http://alexarena.com Alex Arena

        It’s all a bit odd to me. What happens to the Mac hardware brand? Will I be buying an Apple Book Pro in a few years?

        Maybe I’m just old fashioned but I don’t like it.

  • obsidian71

    Good article however I think you kind of confuse your readership with your Final Thoughts with the OS X and iOS unification talk. There’s really little point in discussing this because in the body of your article you never go over what makes iOS different than OS X and so the average person really won’t understand if unification of the two OS is good or bad.

    I personally believe unification of the applications is good but don’t believe the OS themselves will unify because Apple has maintained that Microsoft’s “Windows everywhere” approach doesn’t work well with transcending mobile and desktop/notebook devices.

  • marc

    I’m not sure a “true Mac geek” is going to be changing the default Gatekeeper setting. I think keeping installs restricted to applications from the Mac App Store and identified developers is a wise choice.

  • urbanlegend

    I’m really excited but seriously “Mountain Lion” was the best name ? When I updated to Lion I was hoping for a few free updates with missing iOS features (that now we know why were absent from the beginning) like airplay and iMessages. I mean Lion wasn’t a huge change from SL when you think about it, the though of a smaller yearly version update is great but only if it’s free like on iOS.

    • Maynard G.

      Free upgrades from the last version is covered in my earlier reply (attached to a post above).

      Meanwhile, with Apple releasing more incremental and more frequent upgrades, and the naming scheme having worked out so brilliantly (I mean, “Froyo” and “Ice Cream Sandwich?” Seriously??), it makes sense for Apple to conserve Cat names – i.e., Leopard to Snow Leopard and Lion to Mountain Lion. They might already be kicking themselves for missing out on Bengal Tiger (tho I suppose Bengal could be a future release itself).

      But they still have Lynx, Jagarundi, Ocelot, Bobcat/Wildcat, Bobtail, Serval and the salacious Cougar to go. (I’m assuming Flat Headed Cat, Iriomote, Kodkod, Caracal, Geoffrey and Little Spotted Cat are out of the running, while Sand Cat, Pallas Cat, and others are outliers – at best – as possibilities.)

      And if they ever move to including house-living tabbies, Abyssinian, Himalaya, Manx, and Burmese (among others) have a nice exotic sound, e.g., while Maine Coon and American short hair do not. (I personally like Calico, though, even if it is a bit “precious.”)

      http://www.agarman.dial.pipex.com/bco/species.htm
      http://pusscats.com/Cat_Breeds.htm

  • bigboss

    29.99 $ may not be much but this feels more like 5.1 or 5.2 than a 10.8. For someone that doesn’t own an idevice yet then there’s nothing in it so if people are to be convinced to use only apple products because they work better together it should be 9.99 or free of Lion users.

  • Torosnegros

    This is it? Most of these additions can be/are already achieved through different programs. The only thing to note here is Gatekeeper, and I’m having a hard time understanding why many people aren’t more miffed at Apple thinking they have the right (increasingly) to control what we do with the machines we bought from them.

    • marc

      I think you downplay the advantage of having core functions being handled by OS X. Sure, other apps might bridge a gap here and there but integrating those stopgaps into a new core OS is preferable. I’ll gladly spend the $20 or $30 for their effort.

      As for Gatekeeper, go ahead and enable the option for open access. But don’t weep when someone figures out how to install 27 versions of a toolbar on your machine.

      • Dan Bohea

        It’s not preferable if you’re not an iOS user. As a happy Android convert I’ll still be using Simplenote for my notes, Wunderlist & Google Calendar for my to-dos / reminders and won’t benefit at all from Messages over Adium.

        And as for iCloud? Please… DropBox all the way…

        I didn’t buy my Mac to lock myself into a Apple-curated walled garden. I’m sure that’s what they’d like, but it’s not what I’d like. Who in their right mind would?

    • http://riotthill.com Wen Scott

      Non of the features described above would attract my $’s (even a freebie) to upgrade to Mountain Lion. Notifications are a distraction, launchpad is a sloppy mess if you have more than one partial screen of apps, a push feature will continually drain your device’s battery, for example. Notes might be nice, but as stated above, there are already many alternatives, most of which are also in the cloud, and not confined to Apple devices. (Evernote, Writing Nook, DropBox, Penzu, Google Notes/Docs, etc.)

  • http://www.perezfox.com Prescott Perez-Fox

    I’ve been very vocal about my disdain for Lion. In my opinion, it was worse than Snow Leopard and actually removed many features (access to the user Library, coloured menu icons in Finder, etc. etc.) So my first question is ‘do we get that stuff back?’

    Also, did we get an improved Address Book/Contacts app? I’m waiting for the three-column view to return to life. Right now it’s easy for searching, but terrible for adding.

    iCloud on Lion was clunky. I hope they smoothed out the syncing with calendars and contacts. There have been numerous times where I’ve left the house and a recently-entered event didn’t make it to my iPhone.

    Did they fix Launchpad? That is, are we now able to move and remove apps? Because for me, in Lion, it’s completely broken. I can’t remove any app unless it’s from the App Store, and I can’t ungroup any application once it’s grouped.

    Regarding Notifications Center, does it “kill” Growl, or is it for different things. I have become use to how and when Growl works. I wouldn’t mind some general notifications in the background, but I’d hate having even more shit popping up on my screen to tell me that I received a Twitter reply.

    • Tim

      Hear hear! I still want my desktop printers back and the ability to change Finder label colors like OS 9.

    • Jeremy

      Changing icons from colored to monochrome is hardly “losing a feature”, it’s nothing more than a design change.

      • http://www.perezfox.com Prescott Perez-Fox

        It’s not just a design change, it’s an engineering change. The ability to recognise icons at a glance is key to productivity. Yes, we’re talking fractions of a second, but my having to look twice for a specific shortcut or icon delays operations. Those half-seconds add up to real time over the course of a working day. And perhaps more importantly, it’s a frustration! Every time I look at a Finder window, I think to myself “Apple are being a bunch of jerks because this should be an option. They’re being dictatorial about UI, something very personal to all users.”

        Naturally, we’ve found some hacks and workarounds to bring ‘em back, so it means I have to “killall Finder” every time I reset, which is annoying. But a small price to pay to bring back the colours.

        I guess the fact that I wrote two long blog posts with tips and tricks to customise Lion is evidence that they messed up on interface and functionality. I never did that with any other OS release. The “natural scrolling” is the tip of the iceberg on this regard. Never have they been to heavy-handed in changing basic interface elements and trying to give us new habits.

    • http://alexarena.com Alex Arena

      1. You’ll never get that back.
      2. Well they changed address book to contacts, but nothing is really new.
      3. iCloud seems to work really well from my limited time with it.
      4. You can move apps and remove any that come from the App Store.

      To your comment about disliking Lion, I completely agree. For me, though, ML has fixed enough of those Lion quirks that I can use it on my every day machine.

  • Harm de Wit

    I’m critical towards this update. I dont see any significant system changes except for the gatekeeper, game center and notifications. As for the notifications i think it’ll be the best improvement but only because of the ability of getting notifications of apps that are inactive. i don’t see myself using gatekeeper or gamecenter.

    All of the other features are just apps and i don’t need them or i have better alternatives.

    • Bilel Mhedhbi

      I definitely agree. I switched to Mac when I bought a white macbook with Snow Leopard. I read about the history of MacOS X and I sincerly think that the number of additions between incremental updates are decreasing.
      Seriously, I think that SL and Lion should have been merged into a single update. And this Mountain Lion update brings nothing more than a few eye candy features and a few apps that might make iOS users happy in the beginning but it’s not really that interesting for someone that doesn’t have an iOS device (i don’t have a smartphone in fact).
      So I really ask myself, where is apple going to? Do these few additions justify the blog poster to say: “Mountain Lion is really a huge update to OS X”?

  • Andy

    Does it support full screen apps on multiple monitors?
    That always annoyed me about Lion! :-(

    • http://alexarena.com Alex Arena

      Nope, I feel your pain, it’s the worst. Let’s hope they add it in later.

  • http://lex.io Lex

    One more: now time machine supports encryption of backups when working via network

  • phunkidude

    Given that Adobe CS5.5 is not yet compatible with Lion does this mean we will have to wait for CS7 to get full OSX/CS Suite compatibility?

    Honestly, do Adobe not get developer copies of OSX like the rest of the world?

    • http://appleuserpro.com TJ Draper

      I’m not sure what you mean. I’m still using the original CS5 and it runs fine on Lion.

      I have plenty of problems with Adobe, but I’m not having problems with CS5 on Lion.

      • http://www.perezfox.com Prescott Perez-Fox

        I am using InDesign and Illustrator CS6 beta (I’m in the pre-release program), and they generally work with Lion. The only annoying this is the enduring mismatch with Spaces/Multiple Desktops, which has persisted since they were introduced back in Leopard. Adobe Suite apps really don’t understand my multiple desktop workflow, ie, “InDesign files must open in Space 1 ONLY!!!”

  • Gochally

    I’m primary interested in three things with any operating system update: performance (responsiveness), stability and keyboard accessibility.

    Will Mountain Lion address any of these?

    Snow Leopard was great in that it minimized the OS footprint and made improvements to the OS at the core. Lion and other recent software updates by Apple (witness the evolution of iLife) have failed in this regard. Features like autosave and faces, for example, severely impact performance and cannot even be turned off.

    Any feature which negatively impacts performance in any noticeable way should have the ability to be disabled. Have they addressed this issue with Mountain Lion?

    I recently had to go back to an old PC laptop running Windows XP to search through a directory of photos and I was surprised that Windows Explorer was able to render the thumbnails of the same photos faster than Finder on my new MacBook Pro, despite the fact that the MacBook Pro has significantly faster processor, graphics card and more RAM. How can this be possible?

    About ten years ago I remember running an older version of Excel 95 on a newer PC and I was blown away when I clicked the button to open: it happened INSTANTLY. Today’s computers are significantly more powerful, yet even when I open a small app, there is a slight delay. When I hit Alt-Tab, it’s instant. I like that. Yet, so many other repeatable tasks do not happen instantly. Why is that?

    Responsiveness is a beautiful thing – it’s what creates that flow feeling you get when you are immersed in something. All of the slight delays and pauses – it’s like listening to a CD with scratches on it – the skips kill your “flow”. Unfortunately, features make great selling points and software gradually gets more bloated and less responsive.

    • Curtis

      You should read MacKungFu! It gives you terminal commands to enable the speed your talking about with some small sacrifices in animation.

  • igonzo

    If it’s free then it’s a big update, if it’s standard 29.99 then it’s nothing special (I mean seriously features that were introduced last year in iOS ?).
    But I believe it will be a free update because they are trying to bring the iOS experience to Macs for new users, that’s why there wasn’t a big announcement and not by accident it’s called OSX now (and not MacOSX). As everyone has seen yearly updates worked out for Apple pretty well because they are free. It raises your products value in the eyes of the consumers.

  • http://modernisten.co.vu/ Robin Lundgren

    Software updates for OS X in the app store ey.. Hope they boost up the speed of the Mac app store and also give in push notifications. Can’t be bothered to check the app store manually on a regulase basis.

    • http://alexarena.com Alex Arena

      App Updates auctually do show up in Notification Center. It’s pretty useful, as I always forget to check.

  • Blair

    Snow Leopard was one of my favourite OS X updates that I can remember. At first I hated Lion, but I have since grown to like it. But I still have two problems with it, takes a long time to boot up, SL took 30 sec to boot up, Lion takes 1 min or more on the same machine.

    But this Mountain Lion seems to be all about notes, notifications and messaging. Those are hardly new things. I use Wunderkit for notes and I just installed a free note taking app to try it out called NoteTab, which looks very similar to this new Notes, and Reminders seems redundant to the above I just mentioned. I never use iChat so I don’t think I’ll use iMessaging since I use Facebook already. Game Centre is cute, but not a must have. The URL bar update to the Safari is cool. The iCloud integration seems to be the most robot feature you mentioned.

    I’m with Bilel Mhedhbi and Gochally on this one. I’m left wanting the meat & potatoes? And performance is key. Maybe it’s because I don’t have an iOS device that none of these features interest me enough to pay $29. But if ML ends up being cheaper, then ya, I might try it. I’ve never had anything negative to say about Apple before, but I just get the sense that Apple is running out of substantial idea’s for it’s power users.

    • Blair

      That would be, “The iCloud integration seems to be the most robust feature you mentioned.”

  • Blair

    I forgot to mention the second issue I have with Lion that I hope ML address’s, my White 13′ Macbook from mid 2010, heats up to 90 degrees. This is not good when watching movies in bed. I am told this is a common issue with Lion but this never happened with Snow Leopard and I hope it’s something ML fixes.

    Sometimes I feel like OS X is turning into a feature hog like it’s competition Windows. What makes Apple Apple, is how it simplifies tasks in a clever and intuitive way, with as few steps as possible. With Lion and now ML, I fear Apple is forgetting what made OS X distinctive from Windows, “less is more” and “performance is everything”.

    By the way, AppStorm is my go to site for app news. I try out most apps you mention. Keep up the great work.

    • http://alexarena.com Alex Arena

      Thanks, we try our best! As to the heating issue, ML runs pretty cool in my MBP, with the exception of playing The Sims, which it heats up during (nothing new). I’m not sure if the heat was a hardware issue, but I hope that helps.

  • herpderp

    It feels more like they just shoved in software than any real OS upgrade. I can say now that Lion/Mountain Lion = Vista

    • Blair

      Nicely put. You efficiently summed up what I was trying to get at with much less “real-estate”. Ha.

    • Sepp

      Totally agree with your statement.

  • JD

    I think, like herpderp already mentioned, this is more a Software update than a OS update. Apple added just a few new Tools which don’t justify a new “big cat”.

    And what about the Design of those new Apps? I hate the “pseudo real” Design!
    I don’t want a Notes-App(!) to look like a real Notebook! (With a yellow ripped pieces of paper look!?!?) Same for the Contacts-, Reminders- and Calendar-App. Why that leather-texture? This looks like a 80′s Game or an App for kids. I know how to use a Note-App even if it doesn’t look like a real life Notebook! X-D

  • crazyhorse

    I like it, a good FREE update. It has to be free because it’s OSX (as in iOS). For Mac OSX you had to pay but now we live in a different time. If you want a big brand new OS then you have to wait for 2014 probably.
    You seriously think Apple would sell this few apps as a new OS when a Windows 8 comes out this year about the same time ? They will make it a free AppStore update to show everyone that Microsoft is living in a cave with their internet store and charges people for their software. Aand we all know that Microsoft cannot release free significant updates to attract customers and boost their product sales because they don’t own much hardware.

  • R

    And in-depth look at Mountain Lion? Really? There isn’t much more – if anything – available here than on the Apple website.

    • http://alexarena.com Alex Arena

      We offer an objective look at what Apple has to offer.

      • Jaro

        It depends on point of view. From the prosumer POV you’re not.

  • R

    I’m not commenting on your objectivity, I’m commenting on the lack of truly compelling content. I’ve enjoyed your articles in the past, so I’m a frequent reader. But after a week of reading all manner of reviews on Mountain Lion, the only thing I found compelling about your particular articles was the irony of the title versus the content. It doesn’t seem as if you’ve actually had a hands-on as so many other reviewers have.

    • jaro

      I second that.

  • rob

    i don’t see any reason why paid for this, nothing is really impressive, it looks just a small update.

    agree on the comment above, that snow leopard was much better, flash sucks in Lion, i hate how Apple will say what is good for me. Now i can’t see a stupid youtube video without the computer running like i’m rendering a movie for hours….just silly.

  • Joe C.

    I have a 2007 MacBook Pro and I’m running SL. IMHO, SL is the slickest OS X variant every created by Apple. Call me crazy but I want my iOS & OS X experience to be separate. My MBP has been tweaked and customized lovely and SL is a big part of my my machine is MY machine.

    SL4EVER

    • Dl

      I purchased a gently used iMac that was running Leopard on my first Mac ever, then Apple send a Snow Leopard CD with a purchase I made. That was fine, then Lion came out and I upgraded to that. That is fine too. I haven’t had any problems with any of them or anything to complain about. I find the Mac to be a fantastic PC and the user experience is above and beyond anything I’ve used to date. ( No more Windows etc for me) My husband stole my iMac and bought me a new one. I would never have thought he’d leave Windows. I didn’t because I didn’t know anything about what using a Mac was like. I stuck with whatever he purchased and used it also. No more. I believe I’ve used most of the features and capabilities with each OS. I would like to know what features in SL are better and why. Thanks

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  • Dl

    Well it’s not named Ice Cream Sandwich at least, that’s just downright embarrassing. LOL And what the heck is Froyo (spelling) Honeycomb was not bad I guess.

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  • http://www.cambridgetax.co.uk TaxTeddy

    Still underwhelmed. Still a Snow Leopard user. Still running iTunes 9. Still likely to be.

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  • Cory D

    Oh Look…SAMBA and AFP is removed. Nice so much for SMB scanning. CUPS got Neutered…Who can one say this is a step forward when stuff…stuff that a lot of folks use are being removed???

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