Lifehacker upgrade to Mountain Lion

Should I Upgrade to OS X Mavericks?  October 10, 2015 – 11:06 am

Should I Upgrade to OS X Mavericks?Dear Lifehacker,
Now that Apple has finished OS X Mavericks, I've looked over the features and I'm not sure if I should upgrade. I don't know if any of the changes would really help and I don't want to introduce new bugs and software incompatibilities. What do you think: should I upgrade now, never, or later on?

Not an Upgrade Maverick

Dear NUM,
While no upgrade ever works perfectly or adds everything you, I, or the rest of the world wants, we usually like it more than we hate it. Mavericks, while not without its advantages, doesn't really fall under that category. Much like iOS 7, Apple seems to have called the latest version of OS X complete before they should have (read: bugs) and you don't really have much to gain. That said, in some cases some people will want to upgrade. It is free, after all. Let's break it down.

Slowness, Bugs, and Other Problems

Should I Upgrade to OS X Mavericks?OS X Mavericks suffers from a speed decrease. Through our own experience and discussions with other users online, it looks like the latest update just slows things down for everyone. Why? We're not really sure. QuickLook, for example, seems to load incredibly slowly and nothing should cause that. Generally speaking, things just move quite a bit slower. Updates often require a bit more of the hardware but you'll likely find yourself regularly frustrated with the speed decrease. We expect Apple to fix this with a later update, but that's all the more reason to hold off on your own, personal upgrade for a month or two.

On top of slowness, you'll find a bunch of bugs. While they tend to vary from user to user, we've found that QuickLook doesn't preview certain files it can actually preview, Safari often abuses the CPU (highly negating the effects of App Nap), audio often stutters for no reason, Flash audio drops out until you restart your browser, and plenty more. Although Apple pushed a last-minute update to try and quash some last-minute bugs, nobody knows exactly what they targeted. While the update should bring added stability, you can still expect some problems if you update right away.

Should I Upgrade to OS X Mavericks?You Won't Benefit from New Technologies Just Yet

Apple added a bunch of awesome under-the-hood technologies in OS X Mavericks. Most notably, App Nap will suspend apps you're not using to save you a bunch of battery life. I think everyone loves the idea behind this feature, but unless you use Apple's included apps you won't really gain any benefits. Before App Nap can make a real impact, third party developers have to integrate it. If you really want one of the top features of OS X Mavericks, you should wait awhile to upgrade so that your apps can catch up.

Most Apps Work Well

With each update to OS X—perhaps because they continue to do less—Apple has managed to avoid major compatibility issues with existing apps. For the most part, in our tests, apps that worked under Mountain Lion work well in Mavericks. While you might run into quirks with a few (e.g. Photoshop CS6 doesn't work with tags in some instances, some text expanders have trouble getting permission, some apps are a little unstable on some machines but not others), you should have no trouble work under the new OS without trouble.

Should I Upgrade to OS X Mavericks?We noted a few apps that crashed often under the GM (Golden Master) release, but developers have since fixed those problems. That said, we didn't test every app under the sun, so it's still possible that you'll run into minor issues.

iPhone Users Will Enjoy a Few Minor Conveniences

The built-in Maps app makes it super easy to get directions and send them directly to your iDevice. That only helps if you use an iPhone and the Apple Maps app. If you prefer Google Maps, you can do the same thing with DeskConnect and you don't need OS X Mavericks. While AirDrop might seem like a helpful addition for sending files between your computer and iPhone with ease, it doesn't actually work that way. While we expect Apple to enable this functionality, they have yet to do so. We don't know why. Either way, you can use DeskConnect to do this without upgrading as well.

Some Users Will Enjoy the New Productivity Features, Some Won't

While multiple monitor support really feels like more of a fix than a feature, if you have more than one display you'll certainly appreciate the change. That said, most Mac users—perhaps even amongst the Lifehacker readership—just have one monitor. If you don't have more, you don't get anything out of these new display options.

Should I Upgrade to OS X Mavericks? Should I Upgrade to OS X Mavericks?


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  • avatar How many Mac can be upgraded with Mountain Lion upgrade?
    • You can install it on all your Macs. Do it the way I do: Download it once, copy the install file to an external drive, and copy it back to your other Macs to install. You can, of course, download it more than once… but I just find this method easier, at least for me anyway.
      Just make sure you own all the computers you do this for, to avoid trouble legally with the purchase. Also make sure the machines are compatible with 10.8 before attempting installation.

  • avatar How do I upgrade from Leopard to Mountain Lion ? | Yahoo Answers
    • Is there a way to do it with out the Mac App Store? Do I have to get Snow Leopard first ? If so how do I get it because they only have Mountain Lion for download right now. thank you

  • avatar how to upgrade from leopard to mountain lion? | Yahoo Answers
    • Go to the store and buy it, which is what my friend is having to do

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