Feeling Stalked by a Mountain Lion

It is very common to take a cautious approach to software updates, and under normal circumstances I would be one of those people. But because photographers look to me to provide guidance on the latest and greatest tools, I generally feel compelled to upgrade quickly. This generally works out just fine, but sometimes it proves a little problematic. And such is the case with my upgrade to Mac OS X “Mountain Lion”. It hasn’t been a smooth upgrade…

OSXMountainLionHere are a few of my not-so-pleasant experiences with Mountain Lion on my MacBook Air:

  • Battery Life – I was initially annoyed that the Energy Saver icon on the menu bar no longer allowed me to see how much time was estimated to be left for the battery unless I clicked on it. Then I read reports of significantly reduced battery life under Mountain Lion, and it made sense why Apple perhaps didn’t want me to know how much time was remaining. I’ve not conducted any testing that could be considered even remotely scientific, but my sense is that the battery is indeed providing less time. Some quick math suggests I’m getting about 20% less time with the battery than I used to get. Other users have reported considerably worse performance.
  • Broken Software – The worst issue is that certain software applications have stopped working properly. This isn’t exactly a new thing on the Macintosh platform, but this time it seems to have stung a bit extra. I waited to upgrade until I thought I was in a good time gap on projects, but some key applications stopped working, leading to delays on project tasks that popped up unexpectedly. A double whammy!
  • Unavoidable Cloud – The notion of having some of my documents and data automatically synchronized online is a good thing. But in some ways it feels like it is just getting in the way. For example, some applications now present an iCloud option initially, instead of simply creating an empty document. It is an extra step that is a bit annoying.
  • Passwords Won’t Save – I use a lot of saved passwords for websites, but Safari under Mountain Lion suddenly refuses to save passwords for some of the key websites I use nearly every day. Very annoying. Especially because so many websites have unique password criteria, so I can’t use the same password across various sites. Say what you will about password security, but I expect saved passwords to be saved. Somehow Mountain Lion has caused Safari to experience a partial memory loss.

To be sure, there are some cool new features in Mountain Lion that I’m happy to have. But on balance, my recommendation would be to wait a little while, or at least to take a very cautious approach. Despite the new features you’ll appreciate and the remarkably low $19.99 price for the upgrade, there are some problems with this update, and I have to assume (hope?) they will be addressed by Apple soon. I sure can’t wait…

Did I miss any other problems with Mountain Lion that have impacted you? Feel free to share in the comments below…

About Tim Grey

Tim Grey is in the business of making photographers smarter and happier. He is the author of more than a dozen books on digital imaging for photographers, has written hundreds of magazine articles, and publishes the Ask Tim Grey e-mail newsletter as well as the Pixology digital magazine. He also speaks at a variety of events and leads photography workshops around the world.
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