As many of you know, I’m pretty much an Apple Fanboy. Okay, not pretty much. I am one. I’m not getting paid for this review, which is a shame.
I’ve got an iPhone 4s, an iPad, a Macbook Pro, and an iMac for home. Shauna has an iBook. All my kids have iPod touches. We back up everything on a Time Capsule. And use Apple TV.
See? I told ya.
That said, I’m not an early adopter. My first iPhone was a 3Gs, my first iPad was second generation, and I don’t possess a MacBook Air. On the other hand, I’ve been so impressed with Mac OS X that I tend to upgrade as soon as the next generation arrives on the market. Enter Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
I’ve been using Mac OS X Mountain Lion for about a week now, and as usual, I’m impressed. After my upgrade I skittered over to the Apple site and drooled through the “200 new features” page. For fun, I took a bite out of every new feature that looked delicious (hey, I’m on vacation). I won’t do a full review here, but rather focus on the yummy stuff I’m still using a week later.
1. Mac App Store
Mac OS X Mountain Lion sells for a whopping $19.99 (cue sarcasm). Apple has forever rendered the “is it worth the software upgrade?” conversation moot. Twenty bucks? Yuh huh.
True, the download takes some time, but seriously? The price is unbeatable in this solar system and the online accessibility is just awesome. I love not having install disks piling up in my drawer. Apple has also funnelled all software updates into the App Store icon on my desktop so I can now follow the same yellow brick road for every update.
Okay, I haven’t used this much (yet) but it’s really cool. I have yet to test how teachable the software is. Let’s try this little test. How is it doing? Those italicized words were dictated without a hitch following a double tap of the function key.
3. Notification Centre
As a rabid iPhone geek, this was a long time coming. All my notifications in one place? Seamlessly synced with my iPhone and iPad? Sold.
One of the best apps on the iPhone is reminders, especially paired with Siri. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grabbed my iPhone and told Siri, “Remind me to pick up the kids at 4pm” or something like that. Done. Now I can dictate my reminders on my Mac or vice versa. Wicked awesome, to borrow a phrase from yesteryear. Or just before that.
Texting for free on my Mac? Conversations synced seamlessly with my iPhone and iPad? I’d have bought the upgrade just for this. Thanks to notification centre, I won’t miss texts from my family while I’m jugging away on my laptop.
6. iCloud docs
I know Apple has been flirting with Cloud computing for some time now, but again, the seamless (have I used that word before?) integration between all my devices is breathtaking. I saved a Pages doc to the cloud on my Mac, picked up my iPad, and it was already there, waiting for download. No matter where I am or what tech candy I’m carrying, I have access to my documents. I can open them, edit them, and save changes to the Cloud. So cool.
7. VIPs in Mail
I’ve loved Mail for years now, and adding VIPs (special someones) to the sidebar is brilliant. This enables me to sift through stacks of emails to find the ones that really matter. Combined with notification centre, I can also get an alert that my beautiful wife, Shauna, has sent me an email. Sigh…
8. Looking ahead
With iOS 6 looming in the September mist, I can hardly wait for fully baked in Facebook integration. Or how about iCloud tabs in Safari? How many times have you done some online searching on your desktop, then picked up your phone and left home. You open your browser history and GARG! Where is that site you found? With iCloud tabs, you can sync browser history and pick up where you left off.
What about you? Have you upgraded to Mountain Lion yet? If so, what do you like/not like?