Feeds

Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

Out on sale today, but is it all talk and power naps?

The essential guide to IT transformation

Sleep, perchance to stream

During the night it will wake periodically, and quietly, to check for e-mails or other notifications waiting for you. Even better, if it’s plugged into the wall it’ll even download software updates, too. It won’t install the update though, which is probably just as well – you need to initiate that. Even so, it’s a time saver and, with night time downloads, it could be a money saver for those labouring under ISP data traffic metering schemes in the day time. It also updates Reminders, Notes, Photo Stream and more while you’re snoring the night away.

Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Reminders appears more akin to the iOS version than the feature offered in iCal

Like Lion, which snubbed early Intel Mac models that weren't 64-bit savvy, Mountain Lion can’t be installed on every Mac. If you have a MacBook, it needs to be one from early 2009 onwards, and MacBook Airs from late 2008 only need apply. Beyond that, specific functions have their own demands. Power Nap only works on MacBook Air models from late 2010 and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. So this key feature won’t work on the non-Retina Display MacBook Pro models in the last six weeks.

The explanation is simple: Power Nap relies on flash memory to work and doesn't function with hard disk drives. Even so, it’s a story Apple needs to tell clearly, as customers buying an expensive, powerful MacBook Pro (without Retina glory) could justifiably expect all the latest features, irrespective of what kind of storage their machine boasts. It remains to be seen if a retrospective SSD upgrade in HDD models will wake up the Power Nap functions.

Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Likewise Notes has taken on iOS form – previously found embedded in Apple Mail

Other features include a further alignment between OSX and iOS. Notes and Reminders, as mentioned above, now appear as separate apps on the Mac, in keeping with their iOS presence. Both work well and make use of iCloud, so your data is kept current on all your devices. And the Notification Centre from the iPhone comes to the Mac as well.

Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

The Notification Centre is a new addition to the Menu bar

These notifications bring a new gesture control: swipe from the edge of the trackpad with two fingers and your upcoming appointments, new messages, reminders and more all slide neatly into view. It’s a highly satisfying way to do it and you can banish individual messages that appear in the same way, flicking them out of sight with disdain.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Made for Sharing

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?