Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mountain Lion - my experience

I've never installed an OS on its debut. I generally wait 5-6 months for the .4 release.

This time was different. I really don't like Lion (Apple removed it rather quickly from the App Store, didn't they?). I also have a MacBook Air that I really don't rely on -- so I could sacrifice it.

Notes so far ...

  • I backed up the installer prior to installation. (I did the same thing for Lion. Glad I did since it's now gone from the App Store. I'll have it if someone needs it.)
  • In addition to the 4+GB installer there were GB or so of iWork and iLife and firmware updates to apply.
  • The Guest account was reenabled. I removed it.
  • I was able to add a keyboard shortcut of cmd-opt-S for Save As... (instead of cmd-opt-shift-S). It's good to have Save As back. I also changed Settings:General so I'm asked if I want to save changes on exit (I may change it back to default).
  • Unsurprisingly, my broken iCloud Contacts database (hundreds of replicated groups) is still broken. Contacts sucks less than it did though.
  • It doesn't feel any faster or slower than Lion.
  • I'd read Notational Velocity didn't work. Works fine for me. I run as a non-admin user fwiw. Sync to SimpleNote worked to. That's a relief.
  • There's supposed to be a LaunchBar bug with Contacts, but mine was fine. I have iCloud disabled so maybe that helps.
  • My Time Capsule backup was gone after the upgrade. Good thing I wasn't relying on it. When I ran TM it showed no backups. I used the option-click trick to get TM to validate my backup and now the backups are all accessible through Time Capsule. I think this may be related to the 7.6.1 firmware bug with older Time Capsules.
  • I enabled voice dictation; that's not automatic. (Lately it's working on my iPhone, but I doubt it works as well on the desktop. Unrelated to this, but Siri is actually working again.)
  • None of my apps were moved into an 'incompatible application folder'. This machine has always run Lion, so that's not surprising.
  • Chrome seems fine, I'd heard it had problems. Maybe Google fixed 'em. I had to make it my default browser again.
  • There are new Parental Controls for the Game Center. I didn't see any other changes there.
  • I think I'll like Messages. It does remind me though that I'm going to have to come up with some way to fix my broken iCloud account. I don't think Apple will be much help.
  • What's with Video Chat being in both Messages and FaceTime? Isn't that a bit odd?
  • I like the unification of App Store and system updates.
  • For kicks I tried using Google's ActiveSync service as an Exchange Account. Didn't work - couldn't contact server.

Overall it feels like a less broken version of Lion. Maybe I'll upgrade my main machine in September rather than February.


Martin said...

I installed Mountain Lion on my MacBook Air for testing. I have not faced any serious problems but some annoyances.

Photo sync between Mac and iOS (via iTunes) for example was gone and I had to reconfigure all iOS devices in iTunes. Contacts sync with Google was gone too but easy to reconfigure.

A major annoyance is that some apps and services try to access the keychain before you have fully logged on. The results are keychain password dialogues and error messages. The former from Apple Mail and Google syncs (in Apple Contacts), the latter in OmniFocus.

My default mail client Mailplane 2 was not compatible with Mountain Lion and I had to upgrade to Mailplane 2 still in beta. It is OK but beta still shows as some feature from Mailplane 3 are still missing.

All in all not too bad but neither impressive. Mountain Lion is certainly not worth more than the price of CHF 20.00 (or whatever it is in other currencies).

John Gordon said...

I didn't realize iTunes photo sync was gone -- I haven't put ML on my main machine yet.

Strange how many things only you and I seem to notice!

I think of ML as a better version of Lion (not hard) -- and the only real benefit is likely to be signed code management (a benefit with a grievous cost).

Martin said...

iTunes photo sync as a function is still available but I had to reconfigure it – it was gone without any further notice and I hadn't noticed that for some time … I'am struggling with syncing photos to my iOS devices anyway, there seems to be no scalable solutions. Syncing a few albums, tags etc. from iPhoto is easy but there's apparently no smart way to sync a larger number of photos.