For most of my digital life I’ve been a PC. Over the past few months I’ve noticed a shift; while I wouldn’t put myself in the category of Apple fanboy, I think I’m pretty close and I’m certainly a fan of their products and service. I suppose the shift started when I upgraded from a Windows phone to an iPhone couple of years ago – the difference was incredible. Since that time I’ve also purchased an iPad and begun using a MacBook Pro on a regular basis. I’m at the point where I find my Windows laptop annoying.
This post however is not about PC versus Mac, it’s about the upgrade process using Apple products. As a former PC user I’m used to spending an incredible amount of time, a lot of money, and a fair amount of stree anytime a new operating system comes out. Apple has completely changed my thought process when it comes to upgrading. My MacBook came with Snow Leopard installed; since then I upgraded to Lion and a short while ago to Mountain Lion. The upgrade to mountain lion took a little more than an hour, was super simple, and only cost $20.
Two features in Mountain lion that grabbed my attention was iMessage and dictation there’s also quite a number of other updates that I’ll be exploring. As a side note, I mistakenly thought that iMessage was included in Lion and I’m glad to have it now so that all of my devices will deliver messages.
I don’t know how much I will use dictation – in fact while it peeked my interest I thought it would be more of a novelty than something useful. As it turns out dictation is fairly accurate and I’ve been using it to write this post and needed only to make a few minor changes.
I have not bought in to all of Apple’s applications in fact I use chrome as my main browser and the Gmail website and calendar site as my primary calendar and mail applications. Today, after more than a year using my MacBook I finally added my credentials to the mail app because of Mountian Lion. The updates to Safari and the ability to use it cross-platform may also get me to switch from Crome. It’s about time Safari move to a single bar.
One interesting note about the upgrade is the Facebook integration which was touted as one of the reasons to upgrade is not included. Supposedly if you visit their what’s new site Apple says Facebook integration will be released this fall. Perhaps when it is included Apple will change the single sign in sheet’s name from mail, contacts and calendars to something that is a little more obvious for social network sign-ins.
Update: I wrote this about a month ago – since then I have not experienced any major problems. However, I hardly use dictation or the share button. I haven’t noticed any issues with battery life, though in my upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion I seem to have lost a significant number of hours of charge time (I used to be able to be unplugged for 7, since Lion I’ve not seen more than 4).
One final note – there does seem to be a heat issue. As others have noted MBPs get hotter before the fan cuts on. Mine gets to the point where I can’t have it on my legs. It’s mostly during web usage and I wonder if it has something to do with flash.
My suggestion at this point is, that unless there is a feature that you know you need and will use to wait on your upgrade. I don’t see anything about this update that the casual user needs. In a few months they’ll have another update working out some of the minor bugs – that’s when I’d update.