First Look at Mountain Lion

It took from 8:37 AM to 11:25 AM  to download and install Mountain Lion. I suspect this is because everybody was trying to do it at the same time and this process will get a lot faster. The first thing you’ll notice when Mountain Lion starts are that Notifications and Notes and have been added to your dock. Both of Notifications and Notes work pretty much as they do on the iPad or iPhone if you have one. To control what apps can send a notification and how it will appear on your desktop go into System Preferences and then Notifications and then set the preferences  for each how you want it. You have a choice of None, Banners which appears and then disappears and Alerts which will remain on the screen until you dismiss them. If you want to turn off Notifications all together click on the notification icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen and then pull it down and you’ll see the option to turn Notifications off. Or you can simply option-click in the Notification icon to turn it on and off. I have to admit I hardly ever use Notes on the iPad but with the ability to do notes on the desktop and have it sync to the iPad I suspect I will be using it more.

The next thing I tried was mirroring my Mac Mini desktop to my Apple TV and it worked perfectly. It appears that as long as your Mac Mini and AppleTV are on the same network mirroring will work. You can only turn off mirroring at the computer as far as I can tell, which doesn’t make sense to me. However it is possible that I am missing something. I not sure how often I will be using mirroring, it would make more sense if I had a lap top, but it is nice to have.

I then tried dictation. To start to dictate you simply hit the function key twice within any application, and the microphone will show up or you can go up to the menu bar and under edit and hit start dictation. You can change the keyboard shortcut by going into System preference and then Dictation. If you have a Mac Mini like I do, you will need a microphone for this to work. Dictation is excellent at not picking up background noise. While testing dictation I was watching Security Now and it didn’t pick any of it up. Dictation worked surprisingly well and I suspect it will work even better once I learn how to do it correctly.

The first time you tweet something it will ask if you want to use this Twitter account for all OSX applications. If you use Safari, you can share a page by clicking on the icon in the upper left corner. At this time point you can share to Twitter, Messages and by email. Facebook should be added later this fall. I am disappointed but not surprised that there is no way to share to Google Plus. I also wish there was a keyboard shortcut for each option, right now the only one available is if you want to email a page to someone.  Also what you can share to seems to be app specific, for example Notes only shares to Messages and email, while  you can also share to Twitter if you use TextEdit

When I started up Safari I got the message that the Safari Omnibar extension that I had installed was no longer valid. I had to download the uninstaller from the Web site and when I went to deploy it I got a message that I couldn’t open it because it was from an unidentified developer. To open it I had to go into Security & Privacy and under General set the “Allow applications downloaded from” to anywhere. Unless you know what you are doing I recommend leaving it at the default which is Mac App Store and identified developers.

I am still going through the hidden things that are available on Mountain Lion, so far I am most impressed by dictation. I have run across a couple of hiccups, such as the ability to crop being grayed out in Preview and the application Skitch keeps crashing. Have you tried Mountain Lion yet. Do you like it and have you discovered any hidden tricks.