OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

The ninth major version of OS X adds more than 200 new features

OS X Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion is OS X version 10.8

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Reminders and Notes used to be buried away in iCal and Mail, respectively, but they've been stripped out into their own apps, and given some new capabilities in the process, to match their iOS counterparts. It's a smart move if you use both of Apple's operating systems, because it's immediately obvious from the icons what the apps are meant to be.

Reminders is a rather simple to-do list, but with one impressive feature: you can set alerts to appear when you leave or arrive at a location. Type in 'Work' or 'Home' and it looks up the location from your personal details in the Contacts app, then ring-fences it.

Street names and postcodes can be set, too, but Apple has neglected to provide a means to look up someone else's address from the Contacts app. Nor can you create a shortlist of bookmarked places that you visit often.


Reminders is rather over-simplified

The Notes app defaults to the hard-to-read Noteworthy typeface. The similarly ugly Marker Felt, and tried and trusted Helvetica, are also available.

Notes is just one example of how the Share button, adopted from iOS and used extensively in Mountain Lion, is a genuine time saver. Where it would normally take several steps to share something – copying text to the clipboard, switching to another app, creating a message and pasting the text – it now takes just a couple of clicks. It isn't that the old way is at all difficult, but it certainly is inefficient.

Notes is a great example of how Share works brilliantly

Splitting Reminders and Notes into their own apps means a little more room is taken up in the Dock, but that's easy to live with when it means not having to think about where they are stored when you sit down at a Mac. Consistency with iOS runs deeper than the Reminders and Notes apps. iCal and Address Book have been renamed Calendar and Contacts, to match.


Download Mountain Lion now from the Mac App Store