Wednesday, July 25, 2012

OS X Mountain Lion: The First 60 Minutes

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This morning at around 8:30am OSX 10.8 (Mountain Lion) was released to the public. At that time I was up, with a cup of coffee in my hand watching the installation progress bar like a hawk. This was the first major update for my new MacBook Pro and thankfully it went as smooth as it could be. About a hour later, the installation was complete. I entered my login credentials and proceeded to get my first hands-on glimpse of the new big cat. The first thing I did was change some preferences. I didn't like the idea of having the "Users and Groups" drop-down in my menubar, mainly due to the fact that it felt cluttered, but also because I wouldn't use it (this is MY MacBook). Next, I changed my previous wallpaper to the default one. After fixing my preferences I decided to check out the new apps and features. Starting off with notification center, I really liked the 2 finger 'swipe' gesture used to access the notifications. I also appreciate the new alerts and banners. Alerts allow for the notifications to stay in the upper right corner until the user closes them. The badges disappear on their own. However, the best part about Alerts and Banners is that they are completely customizable for each individual app. If I want a banner for the Calendar in place of an alert, I can do that. The next feature I tried out was Dictation, and I have to say that Dictation is amazing... and I'm not too sure why I'm not using it to write this article. Dictation works in any text box, and to activate it, you just tap the function key twice. Not only is it accurate, but it's fast and adjusts to your voice characteristics. Now let's talk about notes and reminders. Notes and Reminders explains it's self just in it's name. Notes holds some cool features such as drag and drop images and of course, iCloud syncing. iCloud syncing allows you to type a note on your Mac or iOS device while syncing that note between your devices. It's nearly instant and very useful. Reminders, like notes uses iCloud. So far I am really enjoying Mountain Lion and after I spend more time using it I will return for a complete review.

Vance Gulley has made multiple appearances over the last year on TheTechTile and is returning as a regular review writer and expert on Mac OS X, iOS, and Apple in general. Vance is an Apple user first and foremost, despite his many Android phones.

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