By now you've probably slapped down the $19.99 required to upgrade your Mac to Apple's latest and greatest--OS X Mountain Lion. If you haven't, you should - I've been using it for the past week, and I have to say, I'm impressed with many of the improvements and features. Here are my top 5 reasons to upgrade, and my overall impressions of Apple's latest operating system.
If anything, Mountain Lion is fast. Even on my older MacBook Pro, it's much faster than the previous feline operating system incarnation, Lion. Specifically, Safari. I don't know how Apple did it, but web pages load blazingly fast--it's actually a pleasure to watch each page load in Safari. I've always been Safari users for its general zippiness as a browser, but if you're a skeptic, give Safari a try again. Like Chrome, the new version of Safari searches and accepts URLs from the same bar. I imagine some of this kind of streamlining really gives the browser a boost.
2. iOS integration
There are a million apps in the app store for taking notes, but when it comes down to it, Apple's own Notes app has always been the easiest. After all, it's on your iPhone no matter what, and its a natural go-to for things like grocery lists. The only downside--syncing with Mail on your desktop was so clunky.
This feature might seem small, but it's so useful. If you're an ardent Flickr or Twitter user, all of Apple's native applications now support sharing to these services. Share from Safari, Preview, or straight from the finder. Even if you aren't the biggest social networker, you can also easily share documents and links via e-mail or the Messages app (the latest iteration of iChat). It's the easy integration that I love, and I can't wait to see Facebook added to the mix this fall.
Notifications in Mountain Lion work just as you'd expect--they pop up on your system just as they do in iOS, only they're so much more useful. We love seeing all our events, reminders, and important e-mails right in a single sidebar. The larger screens on my Mac makes the feature so much more useful than in iOS, since you can work and view notifications at the same time.
The only thing we don't like about Mountain Lion is that it isolates older Mac users just a little more. I wish features like Airplay Mirroring and Power Nap worked on older computers. Power Nap, which updates applications while your Mac is asleep, requires a Mac with built-in flash storage (i.e., a MacBook Air). Airplay Mirroring requires a computer from 2011 or later (with a Sandy Bridge processor). I can understand why these features might need extra hardware, but I still can't help but wish they worked on all Macs--especially since they're among Mountain Lion's best new features.
Bottom line: For $19.99, you get a lot of bang for your buck with Mountain Lion. Upgrade for the speed boost alone--stat!
Pros: Faster than previous version of OS X overall, huge steps forward in iOS integration for iPhone and iPad users, nice social networking and sharing integration, lots of new features for a reasonable price
Cons: No huge differences from OS X 10.7 Lion, some features, like Airplay Mirroring and Power Nap, don't work on older Macs.
(image: Ambika Subramony)
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was purchased by reviewer for testing and review purposes.