U Chic Approved: OS X Mountain Lion

By Tracey Rector, Alumna of IUPUI

I made the switch to Apple's latest operating system, Mountain Lion, a few days after its release in late July.

Before I downloaded it, I reached out to friends and some of my former professors to see if anyone had any issues with it. Everyone only had good things to say

With this upgrade, you’re able to download it from your computer at the Mac App Store for $19.99 (No need to pick up a disc).

I want to note the upgrade won’t work for some of the older Macs. You will know right away if your computer can’t update because it will give you an error message, but you can also check out its technical specifications ahead of time.

Mountain Lion has some slight differences in appearance, but it's nothing you can’t figure out in a matter of seconds. There are a ton of new features that can be found on the Apple website, but here are three that will be especially helpful for you as a student.

Feature #1: iCloud

One of the biggest features of Mountain Lion is the ability to use iCloud, which will allow you to keep your Mac up to date with your other Apple devices.

So now, you can add your due dates and deadlines to iCal on your iPhone, type your notes on your iPad and then when you go to your Mac to type up a paper or study, everything will be there.

Feature #2: Reminders and Notes

I’ve had a Mac since 2007 and have not yet bought an iPhone (Or any smartphone for that matter – it saves me a lot of money, but I will be giving in and buying an iPhone soon).

I have never had the experience to set anything up on an iPhone for alarms or reminders and was really looking for something with my Mac to help me keep organized. There were definitely things I could use, but I never found something I really liked. Needless to say when I stumbled on Mountain Lion’s reminders feature, I was elated. It makes organization easy.

With reminders, you can open them quickly and can basically organize all of your different to-do lists. For instance, you can set up different reminder categories for each of your classes. Or, if you’d prefer to just have one, you can list all your reminders in one place.

Once you’ve completed a task, you can check it off your list and it will automatically go into “completed,” which could be good reference if you aren’t sure whether or not you’ve completed something.

Also with reminders, you can set a date and time to be reminded. You will receive a small pop up in the Notification Center (which you will read more about later). You can choose to close or snooze the reminder.

With notes, it’s the same as the app on the iPhone (which is great that with the new iCloud capability – you can switch back and forth now from your iPhone to your iPad or laptop).

You can have different categories of notes, and if there’s something you’re looking for and can’t find, you can search and it will narrow the different categories it could be in. All very simple and convenient.

Feature #3: Notification Center

As someone who doesn’t have an iPhone, but has enough to-dos on my list that I would like to be reminded, the Notification Center is a really great feature of Mountain Lion.

Depending on what you would like to reminded of, the Notification Center will take that reminder and it will pop up in the top right part of your screen. They are small and don't take up much of your screen at all.

In addition, you can see everything at once going on for a particular day by going into the Notification Center, which will show everything in a simple and neat list.

Explore All of Mountain Lion’s Features

These are just three of many new features you can get with Mac’s Mountain Lion. Some of the other new features include iMessages for Mac, Sharing, Dictation and the Game Center. Check out all features on Apple’s website.

If you’re on the fence about upgrading, keep in mind Mountain Lion will help you be a more organized student. If you are already an organized person, you’ll appreciate the new features. If you don’t necessarily keep things organized, you will find it incredibly easy to keep everything you need in one place. You just enter it in, the Mac does the rest.

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