Mac OS X Mountain Lion is officially here.
Although it experienced a shaky start with networks being down and downloads being slow, Apple’s next-generation operating system for the Mac family lineup is a success.
Mountain Lion has bridged the gap between iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad and the Mac, bringing familiar features like Reminders, Messages and Notes to the desktop and laptop world.
Mac OS X Mountain Lion is available in the Mac App Store for $19.99.
“Ultimately, this is pretty easy,” said Nilay Patel at The Verge, “you should spend the $20 and upgrade to Mountain Lion, especially if you have a newer Mac. You’ll gain a handful of must-have features, and everything will get faster and smoother. I haven’t really missed Snow Leopard at all since upgrading, which is remarkable considering how much I disliked Lion.”
The top five features that really make Mountain Lion a valuable operating system include:
1) Notification Center: Working at a day job where Windows-based laptops are used, I frequently use Microsoft Exchange. While I hate everything about my laptop at my real job, I love how I can get the preview of an email in the bottom right corner. Notification Center can now do this with emails through the Mail app on your Mac! In addition to other things like, “Aperture has a new software update,” or “This person retweeted you,” Notification Center is a winner.
2) Mail: Specifically the new VIP feature in Mail. I have a few contacts that I absolutely need to pay attention to when it comes to email. The only problem is that I probably receive a couple hundred emails per day. VIP is so simple and intuitive, it’s hard to believe it was just developed now.
3) Safari: The new Safari finally gives Google Chrome a run for its money. The single URL/Google search bar is definitely welcomed and the ability to save my spot in iCloud so I can pick up later on my iPad is very smart. Page scrolling is also great.
4) Messages: While the beta version was decent, the finalized version of Messages works great. The ability to send text messages to family members and friends with iPhones or iPads from your desktop delivers what AOL Instant Messenger never was able to deliver.
5) Twitter: I feel like I’m slowly getting away from Facebook and moving closer to just Twitter. That’s why I love being able to easily tweet from Safari and the Notification Center.