Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mountain Lion: OS X mature

A year after the release of OS X Lion, Apple launched its successor: Mountain Lion. Few people imagined that Snow Leopard's successor would have a life cycle so short. This timing so tight - unheard of - shows that Apple continues to attach importance to its line of computers. The success of the MacBook Air and we can only assume, the MacBook Pro Retina, shows that Apple's interest to press the fungus.

This speech should certainly to all those who see the glass half full. Mountain Lion OS X is not as obvious change in appearance and you will not be disoriented if you use Lion (also quality). There are pessimists who feel that with Mountain Lion, definitely put Apple OS X under the yoke of IOS. It's not completely wrong, but is there as food for Alarm?

Most of the visible changes is in fact derived from his "little brother" and that reconciliation with IOS, already well underway, continues with a Mountain Lion, which confirms the logic of two very different OS, but under one sky and ... cloud.

One thinks of the arrival of Notes, Reminders, notifications Center, Game Center, the integration of voice dictation part of Siri, but also Twitter and Facebook soon. It should be noted in passing the symbolic dimension of change of some names. Address Book, iCal, or the ancient Checklist have not disappeared, but Apple has renamed to Contacts, Calendar and Notes. This is the nomenclature of IOS which has had the advantage (and after all, a novice Calendar for iCal is speaking ...). The little game for the coming months will be to guess what the "apps" that will complete this list. Plans are already a favorite.

Before one can curse the marriage when you do that make mobile devices from Apple, but otherwise it has obvious advantages. What one learns to do on your iPhone or iPad is applicable to the same on Mac and vice versa. Material may not be more different from each other and yet a sense of use is emerging in software. When you ask her to turn her iPad Mac and even better if equipped with a Magic Trackpad, learned reflexes are preserved on one side of the other. All this is supported by a unity of style in screen (almost) homogeneous between applications that exist in both OS. They have strong identities, some would say questionable (if you do not like the split leather ...), but we remain in a coherent universe. And use of this software skeumorphisme to dress for a realistic look participates to better identify each other rather than from behind a gray level interfaces and virtual binoculars. After it is also a matter of taste.

To reconcile the two software systems and strengthen this global unity, Apple put more than ever on icloud. Still running-in phase with the couple iOS 5 / Lion, the service Apple is expected to take off with the 2012 vintage of Apple OS.

Indeed, Apple has integrated its service as never Document Storage in Mountain Lion. This is a striking feature of this version. See you frequently use this feature without realizing it. Seamless integration that goes far beyond what Apple was able to offer a different era with iDisk for example. A simple and effective that some are bound to criticize, because we do not control much in this case. You must have faith in Apple's servers. Trust is the key word in the service of "cloud", and each has its own story today, which of duplication that appointment ... This function is not synchronized in any case may well be a hit. It would not be surprising that a number of users come to quickly increase storage space on icloud. For now, the bet Apple is on track. As in advertising, moving from one device to another with his documents synchronized by quite a hoot whether you are on your iPhone or iPad his Mac. Everything is there and what is most important. Over time, moreover, it quickly begins to identify applications that are not yet using this function.

The main criticism that could be addressed in the integration of the cloud is the absence of an equivalent to Dropbox, confusing simplicity to have a folder totes this same on every Mac and mobile devices. At least, with the backing of Microsoft SkyDrive and Google Drive to name a few, alternatives abound.

The third highlight of Mountain Lion, is security. After some dilettante on the issue, Apple is taking the problem head on. And on this point, one can only applaud with both hands. Even if it did cringe at some developers in particular, the progressive and sandboxing, Gatekeeper or the complete management of the ASLR (introducing an element of chance in the distribution of data areas in virtual memory) kernel-level should enhance the security of our computers, which were well challenged by the case Flashback. Ironically, this particular malware has prospered by using a loophole Java, a Java Apple had made optional since Leo.

The advantage of the mechanisms put in place is that they protect the beginners without "imprison" the "power users" who can easily pick up some barriers in System Preferences. Apple probably found the right balance; always a delicate exercise on safety.  Anecdotally to many, Apple got rid of X11 that is no longer installed by default. However, interested parties may turn to a replacement (XQuartz). Another casualty whose absence is frankly more pests daily, abandonment RSS feeds that are no longer managed natively or by Mail or Safari. That these flows have been used by a minority of insiders, is that social networks are far more developed, it is indisputable. But they do not replace RSS in all, and this is regrettable amputation. At least there's also no shortage of dedicated software, free and paid, and one could see the Safari address this absence. No extensions that may be, on time comparisons, mountain lion a lot like Snow Leopard . If things have changed on the surface, Apple also made a real in-depth work. During the presentation of 10.8, Craig Federighi the boss of development indicated that sailed over 1,700 new APIs, a whole potential developers.

Clearly, Mountain Lion is not updating the most significant in the history of Apple systems. But this version has many new features (sometimes very simple) that make everyday life more enjoyable. We think that Time Machine can perform backups on multiple media, to PowerNap for all new Macs, which maintains a semblance of activity while the machine is idle (synchronization icloud, download updates, launch backups ...), the Centre which notifications you wonder why it happens only on Mac in 2012, or to dictation. Sometimes it borders on the smallest details, like the dock icons to be drawn much more frankly to extract them. This change will not change for many of us, but we will avoid the calls for help because they panicked novices awkwardly deleted icons wanting click software (true story many times ...).

Apple remains Apple; users will decide that in some respects things have not gone far enough. The Centre will bring such notifications to everyone an equal - Lightweight - freeware at Growl, but with a more elegant desktop integration.

However, advanced users will judge the notifications from Apple certainly too passive. An example, you are notified of new mail, and given the title you choose to delete immédiatement.Mais this is impossible since the notifications, you should open Mail to do it, so a waste of time for action could have been conducted with the notification. A plug-in for as Herald Mail (not yet compatible 10.8) known to display a notification lined with a few basic actions, but here we go over a course that Apple should judge too complex for most users.

With Lion, Apple also introduced a number of promising new concepts, but perfectible. It is believed among others in Mission Control or full-screen display that had not been designed for use with two screens. With Mountain Lion, Apple has made improvements plucked these two tools, unfortunately the teething problems are still out there and there was no general overhaul to rectify the situation.

However the sum of small innovations, enhancements, or bug fixes interface dating from Lion (eg the presentation of contacts more convenient) that the daily, if not transformed, is improved. You'll quickly get its brands and if the opportunity is given to reuse Lion, Mountain Lion of the changes are in short supply soon. Another positive, the latest beta of 8.10 was an unusual stability for a system under development. There were bugs but not enough to push back on Lion pending the next beta. This OS has not left many of our machines, used daily for most of its development phase.

Historically, an operating system has always been a constantly evolving organism. It is never finished, much less perfect: you go, you go back sometimes, new roads are emerging while others are closed. Some of the changes in Lion or Mountain Lion will have a more radical in future versions of OS X.

With development cycles become shorter, it takes more than ever to OS X as a perpetual construction site, and not as the ultimate system in the past Apple was looking to develop with Tiger or Leopard. iOS, born of OS X, took an ascendancy over his elder with astonishing speed and hackneyed cards. The evolution of the Mac is now synchronized with his cousins
​​and these mobile iPad iPhone or accompanying us everywhere, all the time, it is very logical to have their operating systems move forward together.

Mountain Lion displays of sacred improvement over its predecessors and simplifies the use of his machine. It is after all what is most important, and for a small fee.

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