Apple OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Now for the real question: is Mountain Lion worth the $19.99 asking price? That's a loaded question. If you have Snow Leopard or Lion, and you have a Mac new enough to support OS X 10.8, pinch whatever pennies are necessary to afford this update. $20 is a more than fair price for a major OS update that offers as many new features as Mountain Lion. Snow Leopard users can also upgrade straight to Mountain Lion for the same $20, so if you held off on updating to Lion, you can grab the update for a minimal investment. Some would argue that Apple is essentially charging users for a service pack, but that debate has been going on for years. The bottom line is, if you want the latest OS for your Mac and all that comes with it, Mountain Lion is not going to break the bank.

Mountain Lion is essentially a refined version of Lion, with a ton of useful additions that mostly tap into the iOS ecosystem. Those who use iPhones and iPads will greatly appreciate the extras; those who do not use an iOS device… Mountain Lion might give you pause to consider one. And that's the goal for Apple. The halo effect has great potential. Those who have experience with iOS products will feel more at home in Mountain Lion than in any OS X build before it.

It's tough to nitpick an OS that costs $20. There is no doubt that there is $20 worth of value here for Snow Leopard and Lion users. There are subtle performance improvements throughout, and the addition of Notification Center finally makes OS X as adept as iOS in the alerts department. For avid iCloud users, there's even more value with synced Contacts, Calendar inputs, Reminders and Notes. There's never been more synergy between an iPhone and a Mac, and it's certainly intentional. OS X 10.8 makes it even tougher for iPhone users to consider Android; moving forward, you'll miss out on tons of cross-platform iCloud synch capabilities and whatever else Apple thinks up.

We do wish that some of Apple's new inclusions worked with more third-party apps, and while we trust that Gatekeeper is a solid long-term move, it'll no doubt cause frustrations for many indie developers right now as they try to get their programs certified by Apple. We also wish things like Reminders and Notes could be added right from Notification Center.

If you're expecting a fresh face to OS X, you won't find it here. What you will find is $20 worth of refinements, additions, and updates. If you are considering the Mac platform as a whole for the first time, this is probably the best OS X yet. And if you're an avid iPad or iPhone user who is still on a Windows machine, you'll probably dig all of the iOS features woven into the fabric of Mountain Lion enough to consider making the crossover.

Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

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