Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TESTBENCH -

It is hard to put off a Mac OS X up­date, es­pe­cially when the com­pany en­tices you with a new bunch of good­ies. The OS X Moun­tain Lion too has the stuff to make Ap­ple users take the plunge as soon as pos­si­ble. The only stum­bling block in the up­grade was the 4GB down­load which took close to 15 hours to down­load over a 750 Kbps con­nec­tion. Dur­ing the du­ra­tion of the down­load you have to en­sure that the Mac is on power. Thank­fully, In­ter­net in­ter­rup­tion did not af­fect the down­load, which just re­sumed from the point the con­nec­tion got ter­mi­nated. The in­stal­la­tion took an­other 30 min­utes or so. Here is a look at what is new and how we liked it:

THE POWER OF CLOUD Like iOS, iCloud is now an in­te­gral part of the Mac OS X. So as you type new notes or add a re­minder, the same gets added to your cloud ac­count and gets synced on your other de­vices as well. For in­stance, with notes the sync­ing is al­most real time. Sa­fari too gets its share of the cloud in the form of a but­ton that shows all tabs open on your other de­vices. YOU HAVE AN ALERT At the top right of the Mac screen, you now have a no­ti­fi­ca­tions icon which shows a list of the lat­est mail, so­cial net­work and app store up­dates as well as Facetime and iMes­sage sta­tus. New up­dates ap­pear as a small win­dow at the top right cor­ner and fade away in sec­onds. You can click on them to open the mail or Tweet. While it is a great fea­ture for reg­u­lar users, those who are hy­per­ac­tive on Twit­ter would dow well to switch off that fa­cil­ity. TALK TO THE MAC As peo­ple who write a lot, we were most im­pressed by the new dic­ta­tion fea­ture. Start the dic­ta­tion on a note pad and just speak your mind—you will have to iron out your ac­cent for bet­ter ac­cu­racy—be­fore click­ing done to con­vert your thoughts to text. This is dif­fer­ent from other speech to text soft­ware due to its abil­ity to punc­tu­ate when you say ‘full stop’, ‘comma’ We had a 80 per cent suc­cess rate with our broad In­dian ac­cent.

TOUCH AND SWIPE Ges­tures have al­ways been one of the best fea­tures of a Mac. It’s only got bet­ter with the new OS. We par­tic­u­larly liked the three-fin­ger drag, the sec­ondary click to show the con­text menu and pinch for Launchpad and spread for Desk­top.

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