From one mountain predator to another.. My View on transition from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion

Last night it finally happened. I got Mountain Lion! The new OS X update popped up in the App Store, having waited for the time since it was announced during Apple’s earnings report. With a 4mbps connection, it took around 4 hours to download and install in 30 minutes. I must say this was most seamless OS update I have ever seen on a computer. After a day spending with it, the $20 upgrade seems total worth it!

I have a 13″ Macbook Pro Early 2011 edition bought during August. It came with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and I did forget to get the free upgrade to OS X Lion. Snow Leopard was rock solid, may I dare say it’s the best of both worlds – in aesthetics and in UNIX. Very soon after the purchase MBP is my favorite machine!

I wanted to upgrade to Mountain Lion for a few reasons

  • A geek myself, so will vouch for anything that’s new
  • Apps Compatibility
  • It’s just $20!
  • Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion – both live in the mountains.. 😀

So how’s it?

For starters installation was seamless (wished I had a faster internet connection, people in the US downloaded the same in half an hour). There was a bit of stutter at the app store, came as “this installation file is invalid” or similar. Anyways the download went through and installed in around 30 minutes I believe, I slept off half way through. The next day I got up and was greeted by a metal grey screen login screen. There was the setup of iCloud and automatic updates and the new look. All my settings and files were as it was before. So to reiterate, the most seamless update!

Performance wise, it’s pretty good. But I suspect it takes a little more memory than Snow Leopard did. Good thing I did double the RAM Apple provided.

One thing that’s missing is the expose. Instead it’s the Mission Control, where all apps appear in one place with full screen apps occupying the top row. It’s sort of a soup of applications grouped together in one area and full screen apps occupy their own space. Though the Mission Control is ok, I can’t figure the concept of full screen. I mean I can’t switch to a full screen app from a non-full screen app using Command-Tab.

There’s this Launchpad, apps menu which is inspired by iOS. It looks nice and good way to reach to an app. Every feature has been tweaked, the new multi-finger gestures are a 50:50, re-touched UI, and the minor things. I’ll list out a few tweaks and niggles that caught my eye

  • While in a full-screen app go to launchpad and come back, sometimes the dock remains there, had to go to launchpad and back again to hide it (Oh yeah I put the dock on the left hidden, gives more space to cramped 13″ screen)
  • Finder has now the option of “All My Files” which shows all files in groups – documents, music, videos etc. I don’t find it useful, spotlight search is very powerful enough.
  • I like the twitter integration in the notification bar. Can’t wait for Facebook integration!
  • The 3-finger swipe for going back while browsing a web page is now a 2-finger swipe. It can be issue as it’s used for scrolling too. Three finger swipe to left or right brings full-screen apps in view.
  • Now lot more animations, scrolling animations look more natural and iOS like.

There are lots more changes, Ars Technica comprehensive review has touched on almost all aspects.

Is the upgrade worth it? Totally, if you ask me. It may not be a radical change, but some of the small new features are good (haven’t used reminders, notes, iCloud etc) and the existing features haven’t much. I as developer am concerned on few things like terminal, operability etc which thankfully is not being hampered. Plus with this new update all the new apps and updates are compatible, I can tweet right off my notification bar. Some things I miss, the Expose Spaces, might be the only reason you as a Snow Leopard user might not want to upgrade. Other than that, there’s no reason why you should not be downloading it already!

PS: Few links to help you tame this new beast

http://lifehacker.com/5928799/everything-you-need-to-know-about-os-x-mountain-lion

http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/25/apple-os-x-mountain-lion-10-8-review/

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One comment

  1. Wow Adi, this is grt.Though, i have no knowledge about mac n apple OSs, But must say this illustration is enough to leave a brief idea. Keep writing


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