Review of OSX Mountain Lion
I want to start out by saying that I have always been an Apple customer, since I started using computers 20 years ago. The imac was actually my first computer. I am not biased to Apple, though, as I have used and owned both Apple and PC computers at the same time. Normally, I am used to singing Apple’s praises, but I am afraid that Mountain Lion is not winning any awards in my book. You will read an honest review of OSX Mountain Lion.
If you are a diehard Apple fan as I have been for years, you aren’t going to like this review, and you probably won’t like me personally when I am done, but at least I have spoken the truth. Apparently Apple doesn’t care about the customer anymore, and they no longer care for providing what is called the Apple experience. It seems as though if Steve Jobs isn’t running things, then Apple goes all to hell. Be warned, I will not pull any punches in this review, but you will get the honest truth, because anything else wouldn’t be in your best interest.
Issues, Issues, Issues
The first thing that I have to say, is that compatibility just doesn’t measure up to past operating systems. With every new release, OSX is becoming more obscure and quirky. I have fairly decent equipment, considering I am running a Quad Core 2011 Macbook Pro. I was running Snow Leopard and loved it. Everything worked and things ran beautifully. What drove me to upgrade was that I’d skipped Lion, and developers of new apps were already starting to focus on Lion and above, and I didn’t want to be left behind.
So I bought Mountain Lion for $20, not realizing that a few days later I would be more than willing to pay $100 if someone would set my computer back the way it was. Right from the App store, I downloaded OSX Mountain Lion, installed it, and was up and running, excited to get started.
Crashes? Apple? What?!
After restarting, I put in my password to log onto my computer and before the desktop even came up fully, it crashed and went back to the login screen. (Does anyone else remember the bomb symbol from OS9?) I put in my password again, and the second time it booted up just fine. I let that slide and decided to try out some of the new features. After playing around, I realized that they were minimal, but fairly useful, so I continued to explore.
I went to Software update to see if there were any stability updates for Mountain Lion, only to find that updates run through the App Store now. I also found out that I couldn’t log in. I tried, and tried, and tried, and much to my dismay and frustration, I inexplicably couldn’t log into the App Store, which I had logged into an hour earlier with the same user name and password.
I called Apple Care, and ended up working on the issue with a specialist for 2 hours, only still not have the issue resolved after all of that time and effort. On a side note, the Apple Care specialist did absolutely everything that he could and was extremely courteous and helpful, so at least customer service is still alive. It took developers a couple of days to resolve the issue and figure out what the problem was. Don’t misunderstand me; I can live with all of that. I completely understand that there are going to be bugs, but never have I encountered so many from any of the many Apple products I have owned combined.
Doing Away With Useful Features
I could live with all of the problems. I am fairly forgiving as a designer and developer, because I understand how hard it can be. However, one thing I completely disagree with is removing a feature that you could easily leave in. The feature I am talking about is ruining Mail. I like the layout, it is pretty, but it was a horrible decision to remove RSS feeds from Mail.
Every morning, I check my email and read the latest RSS feeds from all of my favorite design blogs. I loved this, because it was all in one place. It was convenient and productive, and just made sense. For some idiotic reason, some of the decision makers decided to remove this feature from Mountain Lion. Why? I’m sorry but you can’t give me a good reason, because there just isn’t one. In the next update, Apple needs to put this back. Now, I have to check my email and read my rss feeds with different programs.
Resetting Mouse Orientation By Default
I don’t know who’s brilliant idea this was, but the first thing I actually thought when I booted up Mountain Lion was “Great, my mouse doesn’t work with it.” It turns out that someone at Apple thought it would be funny to make your mouse scroll in reverse to what everyone on planet Earth is used to- with down being down, and up being up. No, that is too simple for Apple, because they had to make it backwards by default. “Surprise!” OSX Mountain Lion is ass backwards and then has the balls to call it “Natural Scrolling” in the Mouse settings under System Preferences. Natural to who?
I Am Just Not Impressed
Notifications are annoying, so I turned those off. Dictation is a joke. It doesn’t work like you would hope, and is really a huge disappointment. Don’t think that you can dictate an entire paper or article with it, or anything actually useful. iCloud is a joke as well for the moment. I really don’t trust having all of my stuff backed up to iCloud. Apple has been poor in execution with everything else, so I don’t plan on relying on iCloud, only to lose my files in return for my loyalty. No thanks, I will continue to share my documents between different computers with my Drop Box account. I actually trust their services, and if all else fails, I still have my 32GB flash drive that I keep on my keychain. I have read all over the net where people are having problems already, where they can’t log in, or they can’t access the files that they have uploaded. The whole point of Apple is that everything is supposed to be streamlined and help with productivity, not hinder you.
Everything actually runs slower with Mountain Lion than it did with Snow Leopard. It takes longer to boot up now, and takes longer to shut down. Programs take longer to open, and I get the beach ball frequently, which means that it is thinking about what it is supposed to be doing. I wonder if Apple even tested this before they released it or if they simply crossed their fingers and hoped it would hold together?
It’s Not All Bad
Giving OSX an honest review, I can’t ignore the good things, even if they don’t outweigh the bad. I like Reminders, because I can see how this would help you to stay on task with your important agendas of the day. I do like how they integrated Notes, which can be made to work like everyone’s favorite feature from the past, Stickies. These are great mini tools, but I can’t think of anything else useful that I am really happy about or would actually use.
Shape Up Or Don’t Ship It Out
I have been a supporter of Apple products, sincerely because I have always believed they were superior products. Everything has always been streamlined and intuitive, I have never had any software issues, and everything has always worked well for me. OSX Mountain Lion is the first real taste of failure for me that I have experienced from Apple. If they don’t get it together and continue on the track of delivering superior products as they have always done in the past, they are going to destroy everything they have built. It has taken them a decade to build a solid brand that everyone trusts, but it takes just one major flop like Mountain Lion to plant the seed of doubt in loyal customers. My best suggestion is stay as far away from Mountain Lion as you can, until you hear of Apple releasing a major update that fixes all of these issues. If I’d known what I was going to experience with this update, I wouldn’t have taken $50 from Apple to update. I would have stuck with Snow Leopard and a well oiled machine. Apple, if you’re listening, you can’t remove great features and add worthless ones. You have to deliver the perfection that we have come to expect from a brand that has delivered just that, for nearly a decade.
Have you upgraded to OSX Mountain Lion? What do you think about all of this? Can Apple redeem themselves?