OS X Mountain Lion: First Impressions

Alright. I just finished updating my Macs to OS X Mountain Lion.

I’ve not really had, well, any time with it to formulate a proper review, so here’s my first impressions.

It’s good.

I have had some problems. Firstly, on first launch after install it was extremely buggy and slow. A lot of things didn’t work. Tweet from Notification Center didn’t work. Safari was laggy as hell. It kept asking me to re-enter my email passwords.

After a restart, however, everything was back to normal. Better than ever, actually.

Boot times — even on my old iMac — were far improved (though, admittedly, it could just be a placebo effect). The whole OS seems “snappier”.

I’m one of the three people who actually use LaunchPad (getting at all my apps through a gesture? What’s not to like?), so when I opened it after updating I was a little taken aback. Icons are bigger and are now in a 7×5 grid, rather than the 8×5 grid it used to be. It’s also got a search field, much like WebOS’s JustType (it even looks quite like it: sans the text, of course), which makes finding apps even easier… If you can’t be bothered cmd+space to use Spotlight to search, that is. And let’s be honest, who can?

Game Center is still ugly and green. Notes is still ugly and yellow. Calendar is still ugly and leather, though now has a better name than the old “iCal”.

The new dock is gorgeous.

Safari is faster than ever. iCloud Tabs just work. The new Inspector is great. The progress bar thing has had a minor tweak that is far improves it over Safari 5. The new tab view thing just makes sense. I hope they put that in iOS 6.

No apps I have have been updated for Notification Center yet, but I enjoy flipping it backwards and forwards.

Dictation works as I expected it would, with my Scottish accent. Which is, actually very well. Siri has taught me how to say some things to have it understand me. A cool little detail: when using dictation it cuts out the fans, so there’s less background noise. Really subtle but important attention to detail.

Documents in the Cloud for iWork just works perfectly. Software updates via the App Store just makes sense.

I have only two qualms with Mountain Lion… On top of the Ugliness of some of the apps.

1) Why is the “Desktop & Screensaver” icon in System Preferences still using the Snow Leopard?
2) Why is the “Continue” arrow in the installer off center within the circle? There’s 6 pixels above, and 7 below. 4 pixels on the left, and 5 on the right. Would it really be so difficult to scale it up by the 1 pixel needed to have it centered? C’mon, Apple. You’re better than this.

About Lewis Dorigo

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