Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thoughts On Mountain Lion

Oh wow. The new update for OSX is out. I was quite excited about this update since I decided to skip OSX Lion because so many people reported performance issues and other troubles after the release.

First thing to like about Mountain Lion was the price. The update costs only around 16 euros. Nice. Previously Apple has priced upgrades so that if something costs $20 in the U.S. it also costs 20€ in Europe thus making upgrades relatively more expensive in Europe. But that's enough about the pricing.

I'm no power user of Macs. I use my Mac for web browsing, light image editing and other everyday stuff. So these opinions reflect the opinions of a average user after couple weeks of usage.

new features

Mountain Lion introduces quite a bit of changes to gesture controls and one of the biggest changes is so called natural scrolling. I am sorry Apple but how is this natural or intuitive? I disabled this feature right away and reverted back to the old and trusty way of scrolling. However Mountain Lion does have some new nice gestures. When you sweep with two fingers from left to right over the left edge of the touch pad you expose the new notification center. The notification center is a pretty cool feature. I just wish that I could set up Skype and Tweetdeck messages to appear in the notification center but I guess this requires a new versions of those programs. I hope they are released soon. Three finger swipe exposes the dashboard, it's nothing revolutionary, but this feature might become handy if Apple plans to launch an app that allows you to control your Mac with an iPad or other iDevice with touch controls.

One thing that bothers me is that in Mountain Lion swipe gestures have been removed from Finder (indeed they were removed already from Lion). But you can restore them quite easily. All you need to do is press the option key down before you swiping. This trick was first published by Macworld. Second thing that has changed in Finder is the fact that by default it does not show your HD on the devices list. To edit the sidebar and which devices it shows just click Finder/Settings/Sidebar and check the box next to HD.

I haven't figured out any use for the Launchpad. It is supposed to make launching applications easier, but I find the four finger pinches quite cumbersome to use. Usually if I know what app I want to launch I just tap ctrl+space and use the spotlight search. Again, Launchpad might come handy if you use an iPad to control your Mac.

I'm sure there are lots of new features (like AirDrop and iCloud, or Gatekeeper) that I haven't even touched but these were the ones that caught my eye. 

front row

The problem with Mountain Lion is that it gets rid of Front Row. Even though I did not use it that much it still was a great way to use iRemote to control Mac when you wanted to listen music or watch movies. What do I do with iRemote anymore? It is in fact now a useless piece of kit unless you are very enthusiastic on giving pp presentations. I think it is a bit of counter intuitive that you can buy and rent movies from iTunes but app that makes it easy to watch those movies has been removed from the OS.


I haven't noticed any performance issues on my Macbook Pro (mid 2010). There are slight hiccups when you switch to full screen mode on QuickTime. The transition just isn't as smooth as it could be. Other wise my old Mac seems to work just fine.


There have been rumours that Apple is preparing a larger update for Mountain Lion, but no release date has been published. We just have to see if the update brings any improvements to already good piece of software.

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