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So you’ve huddled around a glaring blue download bar of the App Store for nearly 4 hours, taken a full bootable backup of your Lion setup, diligently sat through the install process and are now basking in the glorious roar of Mountain Lion.

Now what? Here are 5 things you might want to check out or fix straight away.

Upload some documents to iCloud

Over the coming weeks and months you’ll find more and more apps with iCloud integration, but for now you may need to be content with iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) and TextEdit. Luckily, my favourite writing app – Byword – is already updated. To get documents into the cloud, just open up any supported app. The new Open file dialog is now built into the main application window (as opposed to a modal popup) and looks like this:

Simply drag a file into the app space to have it uploaded and available on all your Mountain Lion devices (as well as iPad and iPhone if the app is available there too). The file will also still be revealed when doing Spotlight searches, and shown in All My Files from the Finder. You can create folders in the same way as you would with iOS apps – by dragging the files on top of one another.


However, you should know: documents in iCloud are associated with the app that uploaded them. You cannot share data between apps; so TextEdit cannot access things you uploaded in Byword.

This can lead to some confusion: if you try to attach an iCloud document from within the Mail app, you won’t find any documents – this is because iCloud in Mail only sees things Mail has placed into iCloud. To send the file as an attachment, open the original application and find the universal Share icon on the bottom:

Some people are going to find this frustrating and limiting, but so long as you separate functionality between apps (for example, writing articles in ByWord, coding in Sublime Text Try Out Sublime Text 2 For Your Cross-Platform Code Editing Needs Try Out Sublime Text 2 For Your Cross-Platform Code Editing Needs Sublime Text 2 is a cross-platform code editor I only recently heard about, and I have to say I'm really impressed despite the beta label. You can download the full app without paying a penny... Read More ), then you shouldn’t have any issues working with documents in iCloud.

Change your notification settings

Do you like to be productive? Notification center may be about to ruin your day, but luckily you can adjust the settings easily. Open up the Notifications Preferences either from the Preferences panel, or the new shortcut that resides directly in the bottom right of the actual Notification Center (yes, it is very hard to see)

For those of you with a deluge of mails every 5 seconds (did someone say FreeCycle 10 Great Online Resources To Support Your Dumpster Diving Lifestyle 10 Great Online Resources To Support Your Dumpster Diving Lifestyle Dumpster diving is urban scavenging in search of items that can be recycled into something useful or turned into cash. Plus, as the Wikipedia page on dumpster diving tells you, rummaging through your neighborhood garbage... Read More ?), you may want to turn them off completely. Banners appear momentarily, but if you’d rather that messages from certain apps stayed in the corner of the screen, switch them to Alert style.

Play some multiplayer games

Until now, multiplayer gaming remained somewhat elusive to Apple desktop users, but Game Center has arrived to change all that. Assuming the iCloud servers aren’t overloaded as they are at this precise moment, try a cerebral game of chess – which has been built in Mac OS-es since the dawn of… something, I wasn’t a Mac user back then – but now it lets you play genuine human opponents over Game Center. If chess isn’t your thing, let me recommend Ticket To Ride – a fantastic cross platform implementation of a popular board game that sees you building train lines across America, pitting you against Mac, iPhone and iPad players alike.

Start dictating your memoirs

Now that you’ve decided to store some files in the cloud, it’s about time you got around to writing your memoirs – the new dictation features should be perfect for this.

I’m not sure if this is disabled by default, but if you’ve upgraded as I did, dictation functions don’t appear to be enabled immediately. You’ll probably want to go turn that on, from the new Preferences panel. You can also change the shortcut key, but two taps of fn is the default. Hit that twice, anywhere there is a text input, and the “Siri icon” will appear. Dictate, then hit enter or done. (Sorry about the photo, but Siri doesn’t like having her picture taken apparently)

Bear in mind that your recordings are uploaded to Apple’s servers when you dictate and the grunt work is done there, not on your local CPU. This means you need an always on Internet connection, but your system performance won’t suffer.

How are you liking Mountain Lion so far? Personally, I’m really liking the new Safari – but more on that another day. Does anything jump out so far as being incredibly annoying? Or do you think it actually manages to fix a lot of the shortcomings found in Lion? Sound off in the comments!

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  1. Martin Osten
    January 13, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Mac IIci
    That was my first Mac and I loved it. No DOS, or windoze (was it 3.0?) and now Mountain Lion and makes me yearn for Snow Leopard. If that can't happen, gasp, it's back to windoze XP.

    A toy company, that's how you make $. "Apple Toys" for the future 3rd world country -- USA.
    oops, we already are a 3rd world country

  2. David
    November 4, 2012 at 3:38 am

    mountain lion stinks like a rotten kitty litter box. After it was installed I lost my microsoft suite and none of my word or excel files will open. They all say I do not have permission to open my own files. I'm in business school and most of my Capstone was on there along with 3/4 of my college classes. The apple store was more than happy to install mountain kitty for me. Now that they have they don't seem to have 5 minutes for me to be bothered enough to help restore my files. ducked without d lube

  3. David
    November 4, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Snow leopard was way better... now I no longer have my microsoft suite. I can't open word docs or excel ss, I can't seem to access any of my old data. It keeps telling me I don't have permission to open my documents. I'm in Business school and most of my Capstone was in there... There goes over half of my college papers. For some reason the good people at the Apple store cant be bothered for longer than 5 minutes to help restore the information, but they were sure happy to sell me mountain kitty and install it for me...

  4. Lisa
    September 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Now that I have Lion on my MacBook Pro I can not access files. Pages comes up with the dialog box, You need a new version of Pages to open this document.

    I can email the document to myself, open it from the email. I tried saving it to reopen it but alas, I got the dreaded You need a new version message again.
    Now what shall I do? It seems for 19.99 I have locked myself out from my work, my writing and just about everything I used the cpmputer for. I would gladly give it back !

    • muotechguy
      September 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Have you tried... updating Pages? Should be either a system update or via the new appstore updates.

  5. L. Granato
    August 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I can't understand why they totally changed the way you scroll! It wasn't broke, why change it? Also having problems with images doing "goofy" things (flashing, parts of Google email staying on the page-after you leave it) I think the whole upgrade is "wonky"!!!

    • James Bruce
      August 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Because it's opposite to the way iOS operates, and if you're using a multitouch controller on both devices, its confusing. Not such abig deal really - the mjaority of mac owners have a laptop with touchpad; if it doesnt suit you, change it. Nothing to get angry about.

  6. EW
    August 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Pretty sure that's only 4 things....

  7. Victor Cesto
    August 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm


  8. Steve Tee
    August 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Here's the best thing to do once you've installed Mountain Lion - delete it and install Linux.

    • L.Granato
      August 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      I agree!! I partitioned my hard drive and can boot up Snow Leopard anytime, in fact, that's what I'm going to do right now!!! Mountain Lion sucks. It's ok on my iPhone. All Apple did was recreate iOS 5 into OSX!

      • James Bruce
        August 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

        Mountain Lion isnt on your phone... its a desktop OS. And no, even it there are elements of iOS in the desktop now, they did not simply make iOS on the desktop.

  9. Alex Livingstone
    August 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Always fix the scrolling direction >.o

  10. Justin Fortin
    August 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Another thing to do- fix the scrolling direction

  11. LeviTashun
    August 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Might be picking up a Macbook Air for on-the-go work and school soon. It'll be my first Apple product aside from my old, old iPod Nano. Glad to see the OS is looking solid!