Mountain Lion

Much like I did with Lion, I picked up the Mountain Lion upgrade to Apple’s OS X the day it was available on the Mac App store. I’ve already discussed it before, but this whole download new version of OS while sitting in your room is pretty brilliant. But I’m more amazed when I think of the 3 million downloads at $20. That’s $60 million in sales without a dime in shipping. In 3 days.

In traditional bullet point style, here goes.

  • 10.8 is a massive performance upgrade. Everything just seems to run faster, and there are huge improvements to memory management (I use Free memory to keep an eye on available memory). But there’s more. The return from sleep is brilliant — seconds over what was normally a 4–5 minute return. The other improvement I’m seeing is when I connect over to an external monitor — the resolution shift/adjustments take seconds now as well.
  • I think Growl probably kicked themselves in the foot (paw?) at some point by going paid, but regardless, the notification center is a great add-on. More apps will naturally integrate themselves, which will make it better. It’s great though that Chrome is Notification center-ready already. Twitter is so-so; it’s nice to get alerts but annoying that to reply it takes me to Twitter web, which isn’t a good UX. (No, don’t ask what a chirag sexy cake is).
  • Quirk: Apple has announced that FB integration (at the OS level, and into notification center as well) will come by in the fall. But as I accidentally discovered, the packages are available within Mountain Lion already. Hmm.
  • Firing up notification center takes some understanding (a quick google explains it though), but there isn’t a hot key with the magic mouse. I haven’t been bothered by this yet but it would have been nice.
  • Fonts. I had the same problem with Lion — post the upragde, Chrome’s font rendering went for an absolute toss, and for the font-geek in me, I’m forced to use Safari when I can’t stand it. Let’s hope they fix that quickly.
  • I like Safari’s zoom-out tab mode. It’s cool. I’m not sure it’s necessarily too useful though — I’ve never thought of it as a problem to navigate tabs, but it is pretty.
  • Icons seem to have gotten a facelift — well, the Retina Macbook Pro is responsible for that, I’m sure. But it’s nice to see crisper, brighter icons around.
  • The return of the Save As.. is a welcome one for most people I’m sure.
  • It would seem that I can no longer view the battery life time remaining on the status bar — requiring a click to be able to see this information.
  • Freeing up an additional 10GB of space post the upgrade? Sold!

Overall I’m really happy with this upgrade. The performance improvements alone are solid, and notification center is a good answer to a common problem.

Well there you have it. At least I didn’t do another ‘is Mountain Lion worth $20’ with a cost breakdown post, right?

Chirag Desai @Chirag