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by adam mathes
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Mountain Lion Notes

Some quick notes after a couple days of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion use.

GOOD

Visual changes like the new dock are almost all pleasant improvements.

Power Nap is a subtle yet brilliant feature – nightly backups and sync are nice. (Though Time Machine should be updated to prioritize backing up during power nap times rather than heavy usage times.)

Mirroring of smaller, obviously named apps like on iOS is a welcome change – Calendar, Reminders, Notes – hopefully iTunes will follow suit next iteration.

Multiple disk support on Time Machine.

Gatekeeper will make OS X a much more secure platform by default by preventing users from running unsigned code without warning. But it preserves the ability for power users to run whatever applications they want. I think this is the best possible compromise in the modern computing world, and one I wish they would mirror on iOS eventually.

Easily saving documents to iCloud makes apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote much more useful between iOS and OS X.

More prominent Reader button in Safari.

MIXED

Autosave/revisions changes are welcome given where things were in Lion, but I think it will take another iteration of the operating system or two until both OS X and my habits really gel around it. I love it in theory but it’s yet to actually improve my workflow.

Safari’s new killer features is iCloud tabs, but you need iOS6 for them to really be useful, so it’ll be a while.

Combined search/URL entry on Safari is something lots of people wished for from Chrome. Personally I think it’s a confusing and misleading design that coerces more search results pages per user, and I find it pretty annoying.

Messages was a disaster when I tried the beta – I am reserving judgment on it now until further use. At least it hasn’t crashed yet.

Apple’s RSS support in Mail and Safari – which was already weak – has been removed entirely. Maybe it’s better to leave it to 3rd party developers, but it would be nice to have a clearer way to discover feeds and create subscriptions OS wide in an obvious way, but that ship has pretty much sailed. Far far away.

Once again all my custom python modules and web development setup stuff is hosed – I should know by now how to make this less painful but I always forget about it until it’s too late. (But this effects about zero percent of normal users.)

BAD

Skeumorphic designs on Notes, Reminders, etc. already a bit of a stretch on iOS, seem even more absurd on OS X.

Notification center is an abomination, just like it is on iOS. I have turned it off and wish I could remove that icon.

Dashboard still doesn’t have an option to run on the desktop? Why is it even still there? I think this is the only thing that might make me use it over the power user GeekTool.

Any quantitative speed improvements to Safari seem to be offset by the distracting and seemingly slow animation in the combined url/search bar.

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