7 Quirky Mountain Lion Features That Apple Should Fix

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Moutain LionI’m not an Apple fanboy, and typically I don’t complain about Apple hardware or software, because usually Apple’s products meet and exceed my expectations. I’m okay with troubleshooting problems as they arise, while taking advantage of the hundreds of OS X features that are part of my day-to-day workflow. We’ve covered a lot of these features in our OS X Mountain Lion guide.

However, I do sometimes shake my head in wonder about some of the obvious quirks that Apple knows exist or overlooks. I wonder what Apple developers were thinking when they built or revised some features. Below I list my top quirks, found in Mountain Lion—including problems with Safari Share, Mail Archive, and iCloud—and suggest, when I can, a few possible work-arounds. I’m sure many MUO Mac users out there can add to this list, so please do so in the comments section.

Sharing Feature

In Mountain Lion, Apple incorporated more sharing features within Safari and few other applications. And they were correct to do so. What advance application these days doesn’t have sharing features? But please tell me why the sharing feature for posting webpage links in Safari does not include the title of an article for posting a  webpage link to Twitter or Facebook? The post will include the link, but not the title. Nearly all the third-party apps (such as the YoruFuKurou Twitter client) include the title when sharing a link.

Share button

Fix: well, sorry to say there isn’t one. You have to actually copy and paste the title in the share box, or type it in. How boring.

Screen Shot 2012 10 13 at 3 17 02 PM

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Email this Page

Another Safari share feature that befuddles me is why did Apple remove the ability to “Email This Link” in the Share feature? Most of the time, I don’t want to embed an entire webpage in an email. I just want to share a link to it. Sharing a link can still be done in iOS Safari, so why change it in Mountain Lion?

Mail this page

Fix: Again, you have to manually copy and paste the link in an email. It’s such a waste of time, but I see no other solution, unless you want to build an advance automation macro in Keyboard Maestro or maybe Automator. By the way, the following screen capture shows the results of Email this Link that used to be in Safari.

Email Link

Archive Mail

While we’re on the subject of email, one of the new features of Mountain Lion’s Mail is the Archive button which can be added to Mail’s toolbar and is used to archive selected messages. You can also right-click or Control-click on the selected messages and choose Archive from the drop-down menu. The messages are put into a special mailbox folder that appears on the left-side panel of Mail. But guess what? It seems that the archived mail is actually kept in your mailbox.

Archive button

Messages remain in the Archive mailbox until you delete or move them. Why not allow users to save archived messages to another folder outside of Mail?

Archived mail

Fix: Well, obviously the fix is to right-click or Control-click on the Archive Mailbox and export your archived messages. However, I have to warn you: exported messages lose all their formatting, and are converted to a text-only document, including visible HTML coding that makes reading the messages very difficult.

Where is Save As?

After several complaints about the removal of “Save As…” in Lion,  Apple brought it back in Mountain Lion. If you want to save another version of a document you’re working on in say TextEdit, you can use Option+Shift+Command+S shortcut to do so. If you want to see Save As in the menu bar of a supported application, you have to hold down the Option key when you click on File in the menu bar. Save As… will show up.

Save as menu

But here’s the problem: there are two ways to deal with this Save As feature. If you use the above keyboard shortcut, you will get the old drop-down Save As dialogue box so you can save the document where you want.

SAVE AS 2

But guess what? Apple forgot one tiny detail: the word “copy” is not added for you. You will have to add it yourself. The new version by default will be saved in the same iCloud or Finder folder of the original, or you can save it somewhere else.

However, I discovered  that if you use Shift-Command+S, you will get a duplicate of the file, plus the word “copy” added to the title of the file; and the ability to save the new version to iCloud or on your Finder.

Save as copy

Fix: Use the Shift+Command+S shortcut if you want “copy” automatically added for you.

Where is iCloud?

Many people still don’t get the whole ‘save to the cloud’ technology. But even the ones of us who do might ask, where is the iCloud folder in the Finder of our Mac? If you use Dropbox, you know exactly where the folder is on your computer and mobile device. When you launch TextEdit or Pages, the iCloud folder will automatically open so you can select and open an existing file or start a new one. No problem here.

Icloud folder 1

But say you want to locate the file in iCloud that resides somewhere in your Finder. Where is it? Well, it’s buried in your Home Library > Mobile Documents folders. While that may seem okay, I can tell you it’s not a place to visit and find files on a regular basis, especially if you have lots of other mobile documents being saved there. It can get very crowded in there.

Icloud folder

Fix: If you need to access the iCloud folder a lot in the Finder, I would just drag the Mobile Documents folder into the Finder toolbar to quickly access it.

Finder toolbar

Where is the Home Library?

I referred to the Home Library above, but if you’re scratching your head to find it, don’t feel bad. In Lion, Apple made the Home Library invisible. In order to reveal it, you go to Finder > Go, and then hold down the Option key, and Library will show up in the drop-down menu.

Library

Fix: I’m not sure why Apple insists on hiding the Library folder. But again, when you have it open in the Finder, I suggest dragging it onto the Finder toolbar so you can open it when needed.

Where are Recent Searches?

In Mountain Lion, Apple finally updated Safari to combine the URL address bar and the search field into one place. So when you start to type in the address/search field, Safari automatically starts listing what you may be looking for. I guess that’s cool.

Screen Shot 2012 10 13 at 5 29 14 PM

But here’s the problem: Apple took out the feature that saved your most recent search queries. You may remember, it looked like this:

Mac safari search cache

But now that handy feature is gone.

Fix: Well, if you look closely, Safari will provide a list of Bookmarks and History topics and URLs as you type, but that’s not always accurate, and it doesn’t always show your most recent queriers. So because I often perform lots of searches, I use both Dunno and History Hound to get at my recent or saved searches. These are not built-in solutions, but really, Apple should just bring that feature back.

Well, that’s it for my complaints. What about yours? What features do you find lacking in Mountain Lion? And what’s your work-around for them?

And to show you that we have much love for Apple, here’s our directory of other articles about Mountain Lion that you may find useful.

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