Mountain Lion: First Impressions

I’ve been a Mac user for well over a half-decade and, in that time, I’ve experienced quite a few “big cats.” My first operating system was the impressive Mac OS X v10.3 “Panther;” since then, I’ve upgraded to Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, and now Mountain Lion. Each release has been refreshingly better, though the real changes and upgrades have gotten more evolutionary than revolutionary since the release of Mac OS X 10.5, or Leopard.

I recently upgraded to the newest release of the operating system, now known as OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (no more “Mac,” aah!). I thought I’d turn my impressions into a blog entry for the enjoyment of my four readers. Here goes.

Social Media Integration is a Big YAY!

Let’s face it: Social media is basically the major reason that most people log onto the internet via their MacBook Pros, iPads, and iPhones these days. Having it integrated into OS X is a major plus, especially because it allows the submission of tweets or Facebook status updates, as well as notifications from each of those social networks. Its integration into the new Notification Center feature is easy and wonderful, and I am totally sold. Combined with “Share Sheets” in major Mac applications, this is a big “yay!” from me.

Notification Center is a Moderate YAY!

Notification Center was long overdue, and I think it’ll be a great supplement / replacement for Ye Olde Growl. Its implications in terms of the Mac App Store and sandboxing are a little worrying, but I’m willing to overlook that in favor of a slick, minimalist, and convenient implementation.

More iOS Apps is a Small YAY!

I don’t really use the iOS Notes and Reminders applications frequently, but it’s nice to have them in OS X for easier accessibility. In fact, it might even prompt me to use them more often as I’m considering moving away from my Evernote tendencies. The renaming of iCal to “Calendar” is long overdue, and changing the Address Book app to “Contacts” makes sense, too. The iOS operating system may be our master soon, so these baby steps are a great way to ease it in. Hah.

Performance is a Big YAY!

My 2012 MacBook Pro had no problem running Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion.” In fact, my 2008 MacBook Pro ran it with ease, as well. That said, Mountain Lion flies through the day on my new laptop even more than its predecessor did. Things just feel smoother, nicer, and more responsive, and that’s a net positive for stress levels and productivity.

Overall, a YAY!

I have really nothing negative to say about the wonder that is Mountain Lion. Then again, that might be saying something: I was rather vocal in my disapproval of Snow Leopard, and even several features in the last version of the operating system. With a slew of great, new applications, and new features like Notification Center and social media integration, this OS looks primed to ease the convergence of mobile and desktop lives, as well as their respective operating systems. I like that.