Apple Mt. Lion – Most Annoying OS Release Since Win98? - Part I

Malcolm is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Apple Mt. Lion – Most Annoying OS Release Since Win98? Part I

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)  recently released a new version of its OS X, named Mountain Lion. I have been a fan of Apple for many years, used Macs since the very first 128K model, bought many of my own, and upgraded my OS many, many times. Mostly my upgrades have gone with few significant hitches, even to the original OS X on my Mac G3.

This time, however, it has been a tremendous pain, in spite of the fact that I like a lot of the new features. Why?

<img src="/media/images/user_13421/mtlion_large.png" />


But let me explain first:

  1. I upgraded from Snow Leopard, passing Lion, so this was a double upgrade for me. Therefore this review may cover some features that are not brand new.
  2. I am a power user. While I do not do any more programming – except some FileMaker Pro – I use my computer for 8 – 20 hours per day. I use it for writing, researching, photo editing with LightRoom and Photoshop, Bento Database, HTML editing, and occasional sound and video editing. Typically I have three browsers running, along with 6 – 10 other programs.

That said, let me begin with …

What I do like about OSX – ML:

- iCloud

The instant iCloud integration is really nice. I have not used this for photos since I use Adobe LightRoom for all of my photography. I am semi-pro and have exhibited in three countries, so iPhoto is not sufficient for my needs.

However, I have played with it for a bit, and I can say that some of the features really are cool. This starts with Photo Stream. It is way cool that you drop a new photo into iPhoto on your Mac and POP! Almost instantaneously, it appears on the iPad (or iPhone) and vice versa. Additionally, I think they have improved some of the information/editing interfaces. It is also nice how easy it is not only to post to Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), but you can view your FB albums and drag and drop any of them into your local albums or the photo stream. I do have some problems with iPhoto, but that is for the next session.

<img src="/media/images/user_13421/icloud_01_large.jpg" />

Email in iCloud is just “done.” It is just there on all devices exactly as one would expect, although this is nothing really new. The Mail client app is the source of most of my frustration. However, the panel view and the way it collects related messages is very helpful. Searching is fast, and a drop down from the spotlight search field allows you to select how your search string should be used, i.e. is it in the From field, etc. – all based on existing messages. This works very well once you get used to it (although I do wish they allowed multiple search criteria).

If you use Apple iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) then, if you so select, your files are all saved to iCloud and available instantly on all your devices. The Preview program that gives you quick access and limited editing capabilities for PDF files and images, also now allows you to place PDFs into your iCloud account.

- Notifications

This is also nice. I use a lot of Spaces. These are virtual monitors so that you can have one set of applications or windows in one virtual monitor and another set in another. This allows me to group certain functions together. Wherever you are, a little note will appear in the upper right corner for notifications from Mail or other applications. Clicking one of these zips you to the appropriate app no matter what Space you are in. If you ignore it, the Notifications panel is easily opened on the right side of the screen and you can see and select any unvisited notification.

- iMessage

This is a great tool. It lets you send FREE text messages/chats and attach photos and videos to an iPhone/iPad (or other Mac) free of charge. Before ML, this could be done from one iOS device to another, but now you can do it from a Mac. This is a valuable feature, although emails usually work. Also, with Facetime and Skype available on both Mac and the iPhone, this may be more than necessary. Still, it is good for a quick text… or 20.

- Conclusion

Apple claims to have over 200 new features in Mountain Lion. It has been reported that 20% of Mac users have moved to the new OS just five weeks after the release. I am sure that there are also a lot of changes under the hood, improvements that while important, are not so noticeable. I have reported here on those that affected me the most.

The big ones for me, however, are those that have impacted me negatively. That is for the next section of this story…

<Continued – Part 2: After the good – the ugly!>

==== Understanding Apple series

You may love Apple and their products, or hate them to the core, but you cannot deny that Apple now has the highest market cap of any company, their products are trend setters, and currently they are trading at rather low multiples, especially regarding forward earnings.

Warren Buffet has the maxim: “Invest in what you know!” So, for those who want a unique perspective on Apple’s success, I have a series of articles Understanding Apple. I hope you will find them helpful and provocative.

Let me know what you think.

Previous article: iPhone 5 is a Screamer!.



JaanS owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Facebook and has the following options: long JAN 2014 $20.00 calls on Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.

Malcolm Manness has a Masters degree in Computer Science, and has worked for 14 years in development, technical publications and software quality assurance. He has been investing for 20 years. Currently, he does writing, and FileMaker Pro programming on contract.

His short fiction can be found (under pseudonym J. Seunnasepp) at


blog comments powered by Disqus