Apple Mountain Lion: review roundup

July 25, 2012

Apple released the latest version of its Mac operating system Wednesday, further pushing the trend of making the Mac more like the iPhone and iPad.

The company sent Mountain Lion out for sale over the Mac App Store for the low, low price of $19.99, touting features pulled from iOS such as the Notification Center, Messages, Reminders, the Game Center and voice dictation.

The new system also includes features such as easier sharing integration for social networks and Power Nap, which will sync and update your computer even when it’s asleep — though that feature only works on Macs with built-in flash storage.

Shane Richmond of the Guardian said that the additional iCloud integration from the Mac works smoothly and makes it very easy for users to share information between their Apple devices. This is particularly true with iCloud’s new Document in the Cloud feature, he said.

“Make a change to a presentation on your Mac and it will be pushed to your iPad in seconds. It’s one of those delightful, Apple ‘it just works’ features,” Richmond wrote.

At Time, Harry McCracken also highlighted the convenience of being able to sync across devices, but said that the voice dictation feature is far from perfect.

“The results aren’t flawless. Even though the feature asks permission to peek at your contacts so it can recognize their names more accurately, it still got befuddled by some of mine,” he said.

He also noted that some voice commands, such as telling the computer to write in all caps, aren’t working yet.

Still, overall the feature works pretty well. In McCracken’s words: “You’re not going to use it to compose your master’s thesis, but you might well find it worthwhile for e-mail or text messages.”

The system also has improved full-screen functionality, Apple Insider reported, adding in the ability to let those using multiple screens to target which display gets the big-screen app.

While the system still doesn’t let users put several apps into full-screen mode on multiple monitors, the blog’s Daniel Eran Dilger wrote “Apple’s solution in Mountain Lion is an incremental band-aid, but does expand the usefulness of Full Screen mode to users who connect to external displays.”

Related stories:

Apple shares fall on missed earnings

Apple starts sale of new iPads in China

New ‘Mountain Lion’ system for Macs goes on sale Wednesday, features from mobile devices

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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