Mountain Lion preview

T3 is the only UK magazine to have time with Apple’s new big cat, OS X Mountain Lion, before it went on sale and here's what we thought.

Updates
It's easy enough to install, available as a digital download from the Mac App Store and once you've got it, you'll be ready to go in well under an hour.

Features
The main draw and the biggest update is Power Nap. When you Mac is powered off it will turn on periodically during the night, in silence, and check for emails, messages and more. If it’s plugged in, it’ll even download software updates, so you can install them in the morning.

iOS-style
Notes, Game Center, Notification Center and Reminders all arrive on the computer in Mountain Lion. And while there’s no Siri in this computer OS, there is Dictation.

Messages is the Mac version of iMessage, that allows you to send free messages to other Mac users. It's been available for months as beta but this is the final thing.

There’s also a very cool feature called Sharing so that by clicking on the sharing icon you can easily send web pages by email, or photos to Twitter. You won't use it all the time but it's a nice to have.

Performance
The Safari browser is one of the clearest signs of Mountain Lion’s improved performance. It was never a slow browser especially, but it seems to fly now.

Another handy refresh is the fact that browser tabs are now saved to the iCloud, so if you're surfing on your iPhone you can carry on where you left off on your Mac when you get home.

Verdict
Mountain Lion is a powerful and worthwhile upgrade with lots of nifty features and improvements. It would be great if neat functions like Power Nap were available on all Macs, not just Flash Drive storage models.

But there’s still lots to enjoy on every compatible machine. The ongoing sewing together of iOS and OS X is to be welcomed, and the integration of iCloud to keep all your Apple products up to speed is particularly good.

 

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