Apple released OS X Mountain a few days ago, and after buying it and testing and blundering my way through the new features, I'm ready to give a review. Enjoy!
Ok, so first, we're going to make a list of the new features, what they do, and how to use them.
If you don't need to read the features and you'd like to just upgrade, please click here.
A quick overview
- Notification Center: My personal favorite, Notification Center is just what it is on iOS. Fully customizeable notification types, as well as the full control over who can send you notifications. You can also Tweet directly from Notification Center, and this fall, you're going to be able to update your Facebook status as well. To access Notification Center, simply click the logo at the top right corner of your screen or do a two-finger swipe left on your trackpad.
- AirPlay Mirroring: I don't have an Apple TV, but some friends of mine use it a lot with their iPad, and now anyone can mirror on their Mac as well. This is especially nice if you've got a desktop computer in the back room, but you'd like to show off some photos or watch a video without crowding around the desk. AirPlay requires a 2011 or later mac with Mountain Lion.
- Sharing: Sharing is now supported within most apps, with sharing support to Twitter, Messages and any email account you have set up.
- Dictation:I personally don't use voice commands very much, because I prefer to just type, but Dictation is still pretty cool. Anywhere where you can type, you can use dictation by double tapping the FN key (customizable) and double tapping again when you are done talking. Here is a demo of Dictation on my first day using it. I swear I won't change what it interprets it out as.
OS X Mountain lion dictation test
The nice thing? It gets smarter as you go along. So if you use it at first and the quality sucks, just keep using it and it will familiarize itself with your voice. This will make it hard for the computer to recognize more than one voice, so if you use a family computer this might not be your best bet.
- Safari: Safari was my backup browser, the default one, the one that was OK when Chrome was having issues (i.e., never). Now that Apple enabled smart browsing, a feature that allows you to search Google and type in URLS in the same bar, my main complaint with Safari has been solved. I'll start using Safari as it has its other features enabled too. Besides smart browsing, Apple has added a Share button, and iCloud tabs allows you to continue surfing where you left off when you turn off your iPhone and get on your computer. Multi-touch gestures allow you to view all tabs and switch between them easily on your trackpad, and Reading List is a simple and less-permanant form of bookmarking.
- Security: With Gatekeeper, you have more control over where your applications can come from. Apple is realizing that, because their computers are becoming more popular, they are also becoming a bigger target for hackers and viruses. OS X Mountain Lion is a very important update for this reason, as it improves your security tenfold and makes your mac faster and easier to use.
- Messages:As in iOS 5, now you can send free messages from Apple device to Apple device, now including computers. Messages can send to any email or phone associated with an Apple ID, or to Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger and most other internet chat clients.
- Reminders:Again, like in iOS, Reminders just allows you to get Reminders in Notification Center and alarm-like thingies.
- Lastly, we have a few more features that don't exactly need a whole new listing.
- Power Nap--sleep now keeps your Mail, Calendar, and Twitter/Facebook updated while its still conserving energy.
- Text Edit--you can now zoom in your text files and post them to iCloud with a click.
- AutoSave--Just a few updates, you can now double click the title in Pages and change the name of a document. A few keyboard shortcuts, nothing major.
- Dashboard--Widget browser was made usable and not freaking slow like it was.
Ease of Use Nice, some features need some tutorials, but most are easy to figure out.
Overall Rating Excellent, 5 stars.
I hope you've enjoyed my review of OS X Mountain Lion. If you've been convinced to upgrade for an amazing price of $19.99, please click here.
By Calvin Spangler Young
Apple Geek/fan, iKnow it all, homeschooled nerd, and guru for any thing with the prefix of a lowercase i.