Mac users have been able to play with Apple's newest big cat, OS X Mountain Lion, for exactly one week now. While most users report a seamless, fluid experience, the fact remains that this is the fourth time in one week that I've needed to publish a story about new bugs, problems and issues that new Mountain Lion adopters are experiencing with their Macs.
Apple said that OS X Mountain Lion was downloaded about three million times in the first four days after its release on July 25; thanks to a large pool of first adopters, Apple will be able to pinpoint more issues within the first build of OS X Mountain Lion and solve the problems in future updates. Currently however, Apple has not released any software updates to OS X Mountain Lion, but one might expect the first major software Mountain Lion update in about a month or so.
Adopters of OS X Mountain Lion will be disappointed to learn that a handful of apps, mostly from third-parties, won't work with the new Mac operating system. Apple Store employees may not know which applications are incompatible. To check out which of your favorite OS X and iOS applications will work with Mountain Lion (and Lion too), check out RoaringApps' full table of compatible and incompatible applications. There are literally thousands on this list, so it's best to use the search function to find which apps you need before upgrading to Mountain Lion.
Mountain Lion is compatible with a handful of Mac Models, including 2007 iMacs and later, the late-2008 aluminum MacBooks and the 2009 MacBooks, all MacBook Pros that debuted after 2007, as well as MacBook Airs and Mac Pros after 2008. Apple has also made Mountain Lion compatible with 2009 Mac Mini models and later, as well as Xserve devices. To find the exact model of your Mac by clicking the Apple icon in the top left corner of your computer screen, clicking "About This Mac," then clicking "More Info" on the bottom.
Despite warnings of incompatibility, users are still reporting many issues with the new operating system, but most of them are issues with specific applications. Safari, Apple's Web browser, seems to be one of the major sources of issues with Apple users; those same users report none of the same issues when using Mozilla Firefox, however.
Let's get to the reader emails and submissions:
System Errors and Freezing
It's not uncommon to report sluggish activity after upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion (there's a fix for that at the bottom of this story), but a handful of frustrated Mac users are reporting ultra-poor performance, to the point of freezing, when performing particular actions.
IBTimes submitter "franee" said her 2011 MacBook Air is missing a few sidebar items from the Finder, but she reports more serious performance issues since updating the software.
"Mac froze after doing a screenshot with a selected area," Franee said, also noting that "after the initial upgrade, Mac ran super hot. [The] fan was running so loud."
IBTimes submitter Martin Samson, owner of a 27-inch iMac Intel I5 16MB RAM, said his machine will not wake up from sleep and his computer has to be restarted with the power button.
"Seems quite a few other Mac users are suffering the same problem," Samson reports.
IBTimes submitter "Sls096" said once their early 2008 MacBook Pro was upgraded to OS X Mountain Lion, put the computer to sleep, and two hours later, "it was dead."
"Power button does not work," said the user. "Sleep light comes on for a few seconds and I can hear what sounds like a disk ejecting for about three seconds. No disk is in. Charger green light is green. Now I am left with a Pro that will not work at all. MacBook Pro worked perfectly fine and I never had an issue until I upgraded to Mountain Lion. Very frustrating!!!"
IBTimes submitter Aubrey said she's noticed a bug within "Parental Controls" since upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion, noting that her kids can "no longer access YouTube on their account even if I go into System Preferences and 'Always Allow' it."
"In fact, I can go under "Web" settings and lift all restrictions on websites, and they STILL can't access YouTube. I want to use Parental Controls, but right now it's not working as it's intended. Any ideas? I've called AppleCare, and after two hours of them finally sending me to a supervising agent and him taking over my computer and doing everything I'd already done and not quite seeming to understand why he got disconnected if I logged out even though I'd granted elevated permissions or whatever. They finally sent the problem to the escalation department."
IBTimes submitter "Fred," owner of an 8 GB Mac Mini, said he noticed his computer's cursor often becomes invisible after sleep or periods of inactivity, which forces him to restart his computer.
"It is not like the cursor is not there because it is," Fred said. "It is just simply invisible. This never happened prior to installing Mountain Lion. I am also using a wireless trackpad."
Problems With Safari
Emailer Stephen Boss said he had "another foul day with Mountain Lion issues," more specifically while using Safari. Boss even sent along a Quicktime video of his Safari screen "flaking out" while trying to boot up the homepage. His video showed the "favorite" tabs on his Safari landing page continually appearing and disappearing with no input from the user.
Boss also said he had "another kernel panic this morning again" after "doing all the maneuvers."
"Someone should tell Apple to never release an OS upgrade when Mercury is in retrograde," Boss said.
Ray Powell, owner of a late 2009 27-inch iMac, said he wished he waited until the first maintenance release of OS X Mountain Lion. Specifically, he said he gets this "horrible white flashing in the background" when viewing friend's pictures in Facebook on Safari.
"I have a number of other problems, but they are with [third-party application] Parallels.app," Powell said, again citing Safari as the source of most of his issues.
Third Party Application Issues
Emailer Alain Brouillaud, owner of a 2007 2.4 GHz iMac, said he is having issues with iPhoto, iMovie, Skype, and Adobe Flash. Brouillaud's iMac is the earliest iMac generation that is still compatible with OS X Mountain Lion, but his compalints don't make it seem that way.
"I can't open the programs, the machine says they've 'unexpectedly quit,'" Brouillaud said.
Emailer George Lebovitz said that OS X Mountain Lion has "a few minor issues I can live with," but notes "one perplexing omission with Mail."
"I send out 'stuff' to a distribution of people (Bcc, of course) and always take pains to remove the original sender from the list," Lebovitz said. "I used to put the cursor in the list of distributes, hit Command + F and "find" whomever it was I needed to omit. This handy feature is now disabled. Sigh."
Another application that many Mountain Lion users are experiencing issues with is Microsoft Outlook. Kim Bishop, owner of a mid-2008 17-inch MacBook Pro, said she upgraded to Mountain Lion on Sunday and everything was fine until she opened her Outlook Exchange server. She couldn't see any of her emails.
"The mail shows up but once I click on it and read it, it disappears without any way to go back to look at it. Not sure what that's about. It's only in the inbox... other e-mails that are copied because of the rules I have are there, but the main inbox in my Exchange server is blank even though it's telling me I have 8 new e-mails."
AirPlay Mirroring Problems
One of the most anticipated features of OS X Mountain Lion, which would seamlessly transmit whatever's on your Mac screen to any HDTV with an Apple TV plugged in, is having several issues in its debut on the OS X software.
IBTimes submitter David Cortez, owner of a late 2008 MacBook Pro, said he has no AirPlay mirroring on his Mac, and he even has trouble with dragging and dropping icons and files, needing to press the escape button to release the files.
IBTimes submitter "Red Heron" found that AirPlay is still very half-baked.
"Airplay Mirroring is a slightly jerky when streaming video movies from Amazon even with a 30 mbs download service," Red Heron said. "It also will not work on MacBook Air models that are more than 18 months old."
OS X Mountain Lion Fixes and Solutions
"Just did the upgrade on a near-new MacBook Pro with 8 GB and a Hybrid Drive (8GB NAND)," said "Tony from OZ," an IBTimes submitter. "Mine was taking ages to start and shut down and, on a few occasions, would not shut down at all. I reset SMC settings and cleared PRAM and it's back to its old screaming self again!"
Brett Reilly of Social Media SEO has five steps to diagnose all Mountain Lion erros, which involves verifying Disk Permissions with the Disk Utility and resetting the computer's PRAM, which often helps the installation. This comes straight from Apple:
"A small amount of your computer's memory, called "parameter random-access memory" or PRAM, stores certain settings in a location that Mac OS X can access quickly. The particular settings that are stored depend on your type of Mac and the types of devices connected to it. The settings include your designated startup disk, display resolution, speaker volume, and other information."
Reilly explains how to diagnose and fix issues in Mountain Lion on his page.
IBTimes submitter Jack Lichman updated his 2011 MacBook Pro to OS X Mountain Lion the morning it came out, and while installation was fine, he said the "computer did nothing but hang up, crash, and freeze." Lichman said it took him about "two hours to click on a browser, click my email bookmark, and read one email.
Lichman offered up a possible solution to users' similar lag issues.
"Once I cleared my PRAM, verified and repaired my permissions and the disk through the Disk Utility during start-up, my computer was running great. It still is. It's as fast or faster than Lion on normal computing. Only a couple of problems, it has added a few seconds to shut down and Time Machine seems to take a little longer to back up. Besides that, it works like a dream."
Some users may discover that after upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion that some of their old files and applications have gone missing. Of course, this is always an infuriating moment for Mac users, when they can't find what they're looking for after a major software release.
Not to fear: Apple was ready for this issue: Mountain Lion automatically identifies the applications and documents that won't work on the new OS and places them in a folder in your Finder, appropriately named "Incompatible Software."
Apple will likely issue solutions to some of these bugs in the system, but some users are finding ways to get their computers up and running after an initial stumble with OS X Mountain Lion.
To any Mac users experiencing any issues, errors or bugs with Mountain Lion, please feel free to write in or leave a comment at the bottom of the page. If you have solutions to any of these issues, please, help out your fellow reader! Be sure to note which kind of Mac (model, year) you own.