As one of the many users who downloaded Mac OS X Mountain Lion on opening day, there are several new features to be excited about, but is the upgrade worth it?
First off, for $20, you can’t beat it. Mountain Lion is only available through the Mac App Store and it’s the cheapest operating system Apple has ever released for the Mac, with previous versions costing $30. So from a price standpoint, upgrading is definitely wort it.
What about the features?
One of the biggest updates of Mountain Lion was greater iCloud integration. If you use Apple products across the board, this is a great thing. With additions of Notes, Reminders, Messages and the Notification Center, all of your iOS devices will be in sync with your Mac. It makes things like making to-do and grocery lists much easier, and automatically sync to your iPhone and iPad. It’s not better than Dropbox when saving documents and files in the cloud, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Twitter is a great and welcomed addition — if you’re into Twitter, that is. With the ability to tweet from the Notification Center quickly (complete with the perfect bird tweet sound) and easily see re-tweets and mentions, Twitter seems like it just belongs with Mountain Lion. With it, you can easily share websites from Safari.
Voice Dictation was a feature of Mountain Lion that was highly hyped, but has failed to live up to its potential. People thought they were getting Mac’s version of Siri, but instead, they can only talk to their Mac and see their words appear. And for the record, it’s not that accurate. Until Siri comes to the Mac, anything similar just won’t be up to snuff.
AirPlay Mirroring is a great feature in theory, especially if you’re a teacher or business person who does a lot of presentations. But for the everyday user who has an Apple TV to take advantage of it, it’s more or less a gimmick. There really isn’t a huge reason to use your TV as an external monitor. Moving things around on your screen is delayed on your TV and the resolution is sub-par.
These are just a few of the new features in Mountain Lion. Is it worth the upgrade? Of course, but something new is definitely lacking. Apple needs to keep its operating systems familiar, but Mountain Lion fails to roar ahead into the next-generation of Macs.