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Review roundup: Apple's OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is a bargain at $20

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
With the launch of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on Wednesday, review embargoes were lifted, and tech pundits heaped praise on the value offered by Apple in its $19.99 operating system upgrade.

Mountain Lion is now available on the Mac App Store at that upgrade price for Snow Leopard and Lion users, while customers who have bought a new Mac since June 11 are eligible for a free upgrade. Initial reviews of Mountain Lion issued Wednesday were positive, welcoming new features from iOS at a relatively inexpensive price.

David Pogue of The New York Times

"Mountain Lion is a gentle, thoughtful upgrade," Pogue wrote. Though Apple boasts there are more than 200 features in Mountain Lion, he said not all of them are of value to most users.

However, Pogue assigned a dollar amount to features that he believes users actually will utilize, like AirPlay Mirroring, voice dictation, Power Nap and Notification Center. Assigning a value to those new features, while subtracting for some various issues, Pogue's "highly scientific accounting" found $46.90 worth of enhancements in Mountain Lion.

iCloud tab listings


One of the most valuable features in the eyes of Pogue is the new Share menu. He called it a "clever step-saver" that he believes users will turn to often for posting content to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Vimeo.

For Pogue, the biggest issue with Mountain Lion is a set of options to save documents that are "almost more confusing than before." Apple has returned the "Save As" and "Revert to Save" functions, though only a few programs incorporate this system.

Katherine Boehret of The Wall Street Journal

For Boehret, the most important changes in Mountain Lion are the new Messaging application, Notification Center, Dictation, and Facebook and Twitter integration. However, Facebook won't work this fall until a software update is issued.

Still, Boehret was "completely addicted" to the Share menus in Mountain Lion. Sharing options are available in Safari, the Notes application, or even individual photos that can be shared with friends.



She also had positive experiences with the new Power Nap and AirPlay Mirroring features, which she said work as advertised.

Things didn't go as smoothly with Notification Center, which doesn't allow tagging of friends in Facebook updates and doesn't automatically shorten URLs posted to Twitter. Boehret said the software also failed to alert her of dozens of @replies received from Twitter.

"For people who already use iPhones, iPads or iPod touches, many of the new features in Mountain Lion will feel like second nature," she said. "I can't completely rely on Notification Center just yet, but this operating system's focus on smart sharing and overall integration with social networks makes it a pleasure to use."

Ed Baig of USA Today

The new features of Mountain Lion will look "awfully familiar" to iPhone and iPad users, Baig said, though they "should please the Mac faithful just the same." He found that the changes in Mountain Lion are worth the "modest" upgrade price, though one of his favorite features — Facebook integration —?isn't yet publicly available.

Baig was able to upgrade his 2010 MacBook Air to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store in just 20 minutes. However, he noted that some older Macs may not be able to take advantage of new features. For example, his second-generation MacBook Air was not able to do AirPlay mirroring or Power Nap.

He found that Reminders, Notes, Messages and iCloud integration all worked as advertised by Apple. Game Center functionality remains limited, and Baig wasn't able to test competing against other players, as only a handful of Game Center-compatible games are currently available on the Mac.



As for dictation, Baig found it convenient to activate the feature by pressing the function key on the keyboard twice. He found that dictation was most reliable in quiet environments, getting it right "more times than not."

"Apple has committed to a roughly once-a-year upgrade path with OS X, so don't be surprised if next year, Mac software resembles iOS software that much more," he concluded. "In the meantime, Mountain Lion is one big cat that you'll want on your computer."

Other reviews

Other, mostly positive takes are available from Brian Heater of Engadget, Daring Fireball's John Gruber, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, John Siracusa of Ars Technica, Jason Snell of Macworld, Om Malik from GigaOm, and Jesus Diaz with Gizmodo.
post #2 of 71

"But they didn't actually make any changes. It's just Lion with the applications and features that should have been in Lion from the start."

 

"I hate the skeuomorphic designs."

 

"Typical Apple users, paying for a service pack."

 

I think that's everything.

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post #3 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"But they didn't actually make any changes. It's just Lion with the applications and features that should have been in Lion from the start."

"I hate the skeuomorphic designs."

"Typical Apple users, paying for a service pack."

I think that's everything.

Oh come on that's lame there are for more bad things to say than that... ! The new desktop image sucks, for example.
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post #4 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post
Oh come on that's lame there are for more bad things to say than that... ! The new desktop image sucks, for example.

 

Ah, right. "I hate the new Dock." "Notification Center was just stolen from Google." "10.8 still doesn't have [pointless feature that five people on the entire planet would ever use]; it's worthless."

 

And how could I forget:

 

"Apple is doomed.™"

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post #5 of 71

Is anyone else that's eligible for the free upgrade having problems registering their machines?

 

I'm stuck at the upload proof of purchase page. After selecting my file I see a blank thumbnail appear and no progress bar of any kind. Clicking continue does nothing.

 

Has anyone successfully gotten past this step?

 

Edit: Must be their site. Finally went through! 


Edited by Duo - 7/25/12 at 7:25am
post #6 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duo View Post

Is anyone else that's eligible for the free upgrade having problems registering their machines?

 

I'm stuck at the upload proof of purchase page. After selecting my file I see a blank thumbnail appear and no progress bar of any kind. Clicking continue does nothing.

 

Has anyone successfully gotten past this step?


Just had lots of problems registering two new Macbook Airs (10 days old), first attempt could not get passed stage 2, second try completed and received email with pdf and the second email with unlock code, followed the instructions in the email went to the Mac App store and entered the download code only to get the message code had already been used. I have sent an email to app support about this an am awaiting reply in next 24 hours.

 

I then set about registering the second Macbook Air, process went smoothly, claim reference appear on screen at the end of the process and then nothing, no email and unlock email, just no response from Apple.

 

So after 2 hours still nothing, I am starting to feel I should have just paid the money.

post #7 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauln View Post


Just had lots of problems registering two new Macbook Airs (10 days old), first attempt could not get passed stage 2, second try completed and received email with pdf and the second email with unlock code, followed the instructions in the email went to the Mac App store and entered the download code only to get the message code had already been used. I have sent an email to app support about this an am awaiting reply in next 24 hours.

I then set about registering the second Macbook Air, process went smoothly, claim reference appear on screen at the end of the process and then nothing, no email and unlock email, just no response from Apple.

So after 2 hours still nothing, I am starting to feel I should have just paid the money.

Probably a good idea to wait a day or so, I have a suspicion Apple might be rather heavily trafficked today. / smile
Edited by digitalclips - 7/25/12 at 7:51am
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post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauln View Post


Just had lots of problems registering two new Macbook Airs (10 days old), first attempt could not get passed stage 2, second try completed and received email with pdf and the second email with unlock code, followed the instructions in the email went to the Mac App store and entered the download code only to get the message code had already been used. I have sent an email to app support about this an am awaiting reply in next 24 hours.

 

I then set about registering the second Macbook Air, process went smoothly, claim reference appear on screen at the end of the process and then nothing, no email and unlock email, just no response from Apple.

 

So after 2 hours still nothing, I am starting to feel I should have just paid the money.

I had the same problem with code as well. It said This code has already been used. Each code may only be used once.

 

Maybe they sent the same code to everyone by mistake.

post #9 of 71

Yes, but people will still whine.

 

Maybe if Apple pays them $19.99 and Tim Cook personally shows up at their home to click the install button?

 

Nah... They'd still whine.

post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

 

Maybe if Apple pays them $19.99 and Tim Cook personally shows up at their home to click the install button?

 

Nah... They'd still whine.

 

Hell, the whiners would still whine if Steve Jobs showed up at their home!

post #11 of 71

Anyone else annoyed by all the social media integration? Good thing when Leopard came out it didn't have MySpace integration...

 

Update...just read the Gizmodo review:

 

"The verdict is still the same: while usable and fast in the newest hardware, this version doesn't solve the clusterf*ck of interface concepts introduced in OS X 10.7 Lion."

 

Yup. Spot on.

post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

 

Hell, the whiners would still whine if Steve Jobs showed up at their home!


Not me! That would totally be cool if Steve Jobs showed up at my place and helped me install it!

post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by twosee View Post
That would totally be terrifying if Steve Jobs showed up at my place and helped me install it!

 

Fixed, I think. 

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post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"But they didn't actually make any changes. It's just Lion with the applications and features that should have been in Lion from the start."

 

"I hate the skeuomorphic designs."

 

"Typical Apple users, paying for a service pack."

 

I think that's everything.

 

You forgot 

"Bring Back [fill in the blank with something that is gone]"

post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Probably a good idea to wait a day or so, I have a suspicion Apple might be rather heavily trafficked today. / smile

 

Yep. This stuff happens on the first day every time. It will happen next year with OS Liger, it will happen this fall with iOS 6. 

post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Fixed, I think. 

 

No, Steve Jobs showing up would be magical and amazing. Course it would just be the secret and lost prototype of the new iSteve (sell it to Gizmodo but be sure to get more than $5k cause the iSteve is worth it). 

 

Steve Ballmer showing up now THAT would be terrifying. 

post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by pondosinatra View Post

Anyone else annoyed by all the social media integration? Good thing when Leopard came out it didn't have MySpace integration...

 

Update...just read the Gizmodo review:

 

"The verdict is still the same: while usable and fast in the newest hardware, this version doesn't solve the clusterf*ck of interface concepts introduced in OS X 10.7 Lion."

 

Yup. Spot on.

 

Well, no one is forcing you to use it! Do not log into the social media part of notification centre and it wont be there! So no one will be upset about it I think!

 

Second point: You are referring to Gizmodo... that sums it up for me!

 

The only downside of this update is the Messages! It is currently a mess and will be like this until iOS6 comes out! The current issues with Messages will be addressed then.

post #18 of 71

...new dock?

post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFreeman View Post
Well, no one is forcing you to use it! Do not log into the social media part of notification centre and it wont be there! So no one will be upset about it I think!

 

Except it shows up elsewhere in the OS whether you've signed in or not.


Second point: You are referring to Gizmodo... that sums it up for me!

 

Couldn't be truer.


The only downside of this update is the Messages! It is currently a mess and will be like this until iOS6 comes out! The current issues with Messages will be addressed then.

 

What's wrong with it on your end?


Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post
...new dock?

 

Yes. The notification light has actually LOST visibility, which was impressive.

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post #20 of 71

No ZFS.

 

Quicken 4.0 won't install. 

 

This is worthless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/s

post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

"Except it shows up elsewhere in the OS whether you've signed in or not."

 

"Couldn't be truer."

 

"What's wrong with it on your end?"

 

 

- I have not seen it anywhere in the user interface. It shows up in the preferences but it is not intrusive and if it is off, then no issues at all. Also the tab in Safari can be removed so if social media not your cup of tea then it wont cause problem for you, otherwise it is OK I think.

 

- Could not agree with you even more (if it makes sense!)

 

- The problem with Messages starts when you start using other services like Google chat with it. It sometimes unifies all chats with contacts but only carries the one from iMessages to iphone/other macs. I think with hindsight I should not have used the word "mess" but I think there is much room for improvement. Also it would be nice to allow us to respond within the notification centre or the balloon. 

post #22 of 71
Any idea how well it will run on a 2008 Mac Pro? Planning on waiting a week for congestion to clear.
post #23 of 71
It's been said before but it's very disappointing that a 2yr old laptop isn't compatible with all the features in this s/w release. The two I'd looked forward to most were AirPlay and PowerNap. I get that AirPlay maybe requires more hp though I hear there's a hack so there goes that argument. But PowerNap? Why can't my 2010 Air pull that off? I'm a recent convert to Apple and so far I'm not liking what I'm seeing. There h/w costs way to much to feel outdated 2yr later.
post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Any idea how well it will run on a 2008 Mac Pro? Planning on waiting a week for congestion to clear.
Not sure how it will work, but I just downloaded the update in about 1.5 hours and see no reason to wait for congestion to clear. Installing now. Responding on iPad. The congestion issues would seem to relate to up to date issues, turning in your free upgrade coupons.
NoahJ
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post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

Quicken 4.0 won't install. 

 

 

Quicken 2006 for Windows, the last version that was vaguely usable, installs just fine in Parallels. lol.gif

 

I assume at this point Intuit has replaced all technical people with marketing bots, losing the ability to update its products.

post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Any idea how well it will run on a 2008 Mac Pro? Planning on waiting a week for congestion to clear.

 

If this is of any help, it runs nicely on an early 2008 15-inch MBP, 2.4Ghz, With 6GB RAM.

 

I assume this is well below your Mac Pro specs. 

post #27 of 71
In related news, Apple is helping even non-Apple customers.

Microsoft's $40 upgrade price seems to be a response to Apple's upgrade prices.

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-puts-more-muscle-behind-windows-8-upgrade-push-7000000141/
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post #28 of 71

I plan on upgrading my mid-2009 MBP.  But the fact that Facebook doesn't even work yet is something I didn't realize.  I'm in no rush.  I'll wait for any congestion issues and likely upgrade in a few weeks.  

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #29 of 71

At $20, it's a no-brainer. 

 

However, it's a lot more worthwhile to people with '11/'12 SSD-based machine than anyone else. It's a real pity that my 15" MBP can't use AirPlay. I look forward to someone hacking it in. :)

post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

...new dock?

Yeah -- how about replacing it with, say, the Apple Menu?

post #31 of 71

Thanks for the word "Skeuomorphic." 

post #32 of 71
Originally Posted by IanRid View Post
Yeah -- how about replacing it with, say, the Apple Menu?

 

How/Why would that work/be good?

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post #33 of 71

Hmm. I just watched the little M.L. promo movie on Apple's web site.  I just spaced-out.  There wasn't one thing in there that I could give a rat's ass about.  Hopefully, under the hood, it's (at least) a faster and more stable version of Lion. Other than that; what is it the kids say? Oh yeah.... "meh".

And that background music is irritating as crap. (and I usually LOVE all Apple ads and promo /demos).

post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso 
There wasn't one thing in there that I could give a rat's ass about.

I'd rather that than it being described as a catastrophe:

http://allthingsd.com/20120725/valves-gabe-newell-on-the-future-of-games-wearable-computers-windows-8-and-more/

Gabe Newell (Valve) worked for Microsoft for 13 years and obviously operates the most successful digital PC game distribution store in the world, which is primarily geared towards Windows and he's saying:

"We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality."

I think we'll have to wait until it hits the fans before we see if it makes a mess but I'll take a minor update over that. Apple is at least still allowing QTPro to run in ML and for the most part it shouldn't behave much differently from Lion.
post #35 of 71
Quote:

>>> Originally Posted by twosee View Post

>>> That would totally be terrifying if Steve Jobs showed up at my place and helped me install it!

 

 

Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Fixed, I think. 

Wha?  You no like zombies???  lol.gif

 

(I think Undead Jobs would STILL run rings around Redmond's regents...)

post #36 of 71
Honestly, when I watched the Lion presentation I thought most of this was there. Obviously I was wrong. It seems to work great so far, but also seems to lack some of the basic features. At least the ones that should have been included in this release...

It took me a bit to notice the Spring board change, as I was looking for overall changes. But to follow Tallest who posted this earlier, it has changed. Rounded rectangle.
post #37 of 71
OM F'N god. Has anyone tried to use AirPlay mirrored that has more than one native display? Not only is it broken, but it takes ten minutes to get back to where you started! I had high hopes for this!
post #38 of 71
I hope that in the future iOS also becomes more like OSX. A file management system and an expose type interface with multiple apps open at once for drag and drop on an ipad would relieve most of the complaints I have with using it. I do like notification center, notes, and the new way of organizing iwork files on 10.8. These are game changers for me and well worth the a.j.
post #39 of 71
Nope. It gets worse. Four times now the screen saver has bumped displays. So the main display 8/27/11 iMac custom $3,500 moves to the left display, the left display is now on the right display, and the right display is on the main. Every time the screen saver ends... Like hit the mouse.

I've rebooted and it still happens. Is this the new "full screen".

Actually, it just said it's sending Apple a message.

Anyone else see all the new com.apple in Activity Monitor?
post #40 of 71
Seriously? I mean seriously?!? They send this out to developers for months. Months! No one uses more than one display?

I'm starting to wonder how many people sign up for developer accounts vs. how many people actually test the software. It's great if you're a fan and get this early, but someone please test out the functionality!

I'm stewing! So how many people looked at all the release notes and said "I haven't seen that problem.". Because they weren't looking for it! Didn't they say to focus on graphics in the most recent release? WTF?

So I'm starting to guess that 99% of the "testers" are people who paid $99 to try out the new flavor in advance. This is a horrible system. Maybe there should be a $500 program for people who actually test the functionality, and perhaps it gets reimbursed 3 months after release.


I'm stewing... I'm a scorned woman!
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