Apple kills 'software update' in Mountain Lion, fights inconsistency

The internet is buzzing with the somewhat surprising news of Apple announcing their latest OS -- Mountain Lion -- to the world, and ridding itself of the "Mac" naming convention. It's clear with this release that the company is really pushing to unify it's OS platforms and remove software cruft to create a consistent experience across their range of devices. 

First, the one of the biggest (but subtle) thing we've heard today is that Apple's actually dropped "software update" as the mechanism to deliver OS and application updates now, including for iTunes and the other packaged apps. According to our forum, selecting the software update option in the menu now opens the App Store.

We're sure that many users will be glad to see this in one place, instead of two. Other inconsistencies from iOS have been changed, too, iCal is now Calendar, Address Book is now Contacts, iMessage is now a part of the chat client.

These small, but noticable improvements are likely to be  most evident to those who use the devices in their everyday life. However, it's clear we're hurtling toward some sort of iOS X future.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google developing Chrome strong password generator

Next Story

Twitter's new look now available for all users

56 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

The real issue is that 3rd party apps can't make use of the Mac App Store unless they're actually in it. What both Windows and OSX need is a unified API for application updates that can be easily implemented in every app. For OSX this exists as a 3rd party solution used by most and it works great. Windows on the other hand has a gazillion different updaters for every damn software.

I don't know anything about the new Mac App Store so pardon my ignorance. Does this mean that all apps now have to be installed through their app store? Please don't tell me you have to go jailbreak your Apple computer?

Even if it's not the case now, it certainly looks like the road that Apple is headed down...

This is such an irony - Software providers are partners with hardware providers. They scratch their backs each other. New versions of software is being released regularly, it barely has any new features, but it has higher system requirements. This is how both parties benefit from users. Users believe that if they have the newest version of something, they are safer, or probably, have a better experience.

The only things that require new hardware to a vital point are OSes and games, staying with an old OS, like XP and not playing games is a way for me to go. My computer can run Windows 7 just fine, I've used it for more than two years, but I went back to XP, because this thing doesn't make any sense - Windows 7 is barely any better than XP, but it has 16 times higher system requirements.. just so you can run Aero... What a joke.

And antivirus software is another bulls**t - if a person knows what pages to visit and what not, what content to download and what not, he doesn't need an antivirus. Only stupid users, who download the first thing they see need them.

It's so funny how many people realize that, and they still buy new hardware in order to run stupid new games or a new version of an OS, when the old OS isn't any worse. Microsoft will stop the support of XP in 2014, but people will keep on using it, only those who realize, that upgrading is useless. It would be useful, only when there are dramatic changes, and the old OS is REALLY outdated and lacks MANY vital features, which is not the case - XP will still be up to date for probably five or six more years, only THEN, it will be worth updating to a new, polished version of Windows.. or MAC OS X. I was giving only examples with Windows, because I've used it the most.

The only OS worth updating is Linux, because its system requirements have been the same for probably ten years, and will most likely stay the same in another ten years time.

Saex_Conroy said,
This is such an irony - Software providers are partners with hardware providers. They scratch their backs each other. New versions of software is being released regularly, it barely has any new features, but it has higher system requirements. This is how both parties benefit from users. Users believe that if they have the newest version of something, they are safer, or probably, have a better experience.

The only things that require new hardware to a vital point are OSes and games, staying with an old OS, like XP and not playing games is a way for me to go. My computer can run Windows 7 just fine, I've used it for more than two years, but I went back to XP, because this thing doesn't make any sense - Windows 7 is barely any better than XP, but it has 16 times higher system requirements.. just so you can run Aero... What a joke.

And antivirus software is another bulls**t - if a person knows what pages to visit and what not, what content to download and what not, he doesn't need an antivirus. Only stupid users, who download the first thing they see need them.

It's so funny how many people realize that, and they still buy new hardware in order to run stupid new games or a new version of an OS, when the old OS isn't any worse. Microsoft will stop the support of XP in 2014, but people will keep on using it, only those who realize, that upgrading is useless. It would be useful, only when there are dramatic changes, and the old OS is REALLY outdated and lacks MANY vital features, which is not the case - XP will still be up to date for probably five or six more years, only THEN, it will be worth updating to a new, polished version of Windows.. or MAC OS X. I was giving only examples with Windows, because I've used it the most.

The only OS worth updating is Linux, because its system requirements have been the same for probably ten years, and will most likely stay the same in another ten years time.

my machine runs worse in xp because the 64bit version blows goats, and so far every machine old or new ive installed windows 7 on has run better than xp regardless of using aero or not, why cant people let the 11yr old xp die allready.

oh and when they end support for xp in 2014, it wont be uptodate, it will stop reciving goddamn updates

DKAngel said,
my machine runs worse in xp because the 64bit version blows goats, and so far every machine old or new ive installed windows 7 on has run better than xp regardless of using aero or not, why cant people let the 11yr old xp die allready.

oh and when they end support for xp in 2014, it wont be uptodate, it will stop reciving goddamn updates

Because there are people like Saex_Conroy who believe because they hack around the registry and patch some files it makes them an expert on computers thus anything they say must automatically be rational and reasonable.

I also find it funny that 'love Windows XP' so much given how much hate was received when it first was released just as the hate was poured onto Windows 2000 when it was first released.

Um, has'nt Windows has this for a long time?

Visual studio
Windows
Office
Silverlight
Visio
Project
WIndows Live Essentials


They all update from Windows Update.

With Lion and now Mountain Lion they are just making me want to move back to Windows. I hate all the iOS stuff they are starting to put in. It makes me feel like i'm using a child's toy, I find it all ugly. I want more apps combined, not separated into individual apps, and I think the new iCloud save window and Launchpad just ridiculous looking on a desktop computer.

Apple is moving farther away from what I want in my OS and more into something that it feels a 6 year old should be playing with because they aren't smart enough for a real computer.

So you want them to make it more confusing and harder to navigate? Come on man. It's a beautiful and powerful OS that is easy to navigate. All it really did was add some nice features that ios already has. Everything else is the same. I just don't get your logic. You may be happy with an OS like Linux that allows you to play around more.

Epic0range said,
Um, has'nt Windows has this for a long time?

Visual studio
Windows
Office
Silverlight
Visio
Project
WIndows Live Essentials


They all update from Windows Update.

With Lion and now Mountain Lion they are just making me want to move back to Windows. I hate all the iOS stuff they are starting to put in. It makes me feel like i'm using a child's toy, I find it all ugly. I want more apps combined, not separated into individual apps, and I think the new iCloud save window and Launchpad just ridiculous looking on a desktop computer.

Apple is moving farther away from what I want in my OS and more into something that it feels a 6 year old should be playing with because they aren't smart enough for a real computer.

Epic0range said,
Um, has'nt Windows has this for a long time?

Visual studio
Windows
Office
Silverlight
Visio
Project
WIndows Live Essentials


They all update from Windows Update.

With Lion and now Mountain Lion they are just making me want to move back to Windows. I hate all the iOS stuff they are starting to put in. It makes me feel like i'm using a child's toy, I find it all ugly. I want more apps combined, not separated into individual apps, and I think the new iCloud save window and Launchpad just ridiculous looking on a desktop computer.

Apple is moving farther away from what I want in my OS and more into something that it feels a 6 year old should be playing with because they aren't smart enough for a real computer.

Looks like its time for you to join the Linux bandwagon...

Boyd Petersen said,
So you want them to make it more confusing and harder to navigate? Come on man. It's a beautiful and powerful OS that is easy to navigate. All it really did was add some nice features that ios already has. Everything else is the same. I just don't get your logic. You may be happy with an OS like Linux that allows you to play around more.

I personally find mac's horrible to navigate if I want to do simple file browsing.

Minimoose said,
I personally find mac's horrible to navigate if I want to do simple file browsing.

Ever thought that maybe the problem lies with you and your refusal to pick up a book and learn?

Epic0range said,
Um, has'nt Windows has this for a long time?

Visual studio
Windows
Office
Silverlight
Visio
Project
WIndows Live Essentials


They all update from Windows Update.

With Lion and now Mountain Lion they are just making me want to move back to Windows. I hate all the iOS stuff they are starting to put in. It makes me feel like i'm using a child's toy, I find it all ugly. I want more apps combined, not separated into individual apps, and I think the new iCloud save window and Launchpad just ridiculous looking on a desktop computer.

Apple is moving farther away from what I want in my OS and more into something that it feels a 6 year old should be playing with because they aren't smart enough for a real computer.


Its funny how Mac users want Windows and Windows users want Mac. Hahahahaha.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Ever thought that maybe the problem lies with you and your refusal to pick up a book and learn?


No - Finder is just really horrible.

Chica Ami said,
And now all Apple needs is a new UI, current UI is gettig old.

What UI? From what I saw of the preview video of Mountain Lion, every single app has a different look to it. Talk about a consistency nightmare. That used to be one of OSX major features - everything looked the same, window-wise. Now the Games Center window is wood-like with a green felt background. The Calendar app is brown and yellow. I get the whole real world objects in a digital medium but really?

Chica Ami said,
And now all Apple needs is a new UI, current UI is gettig old.

They already have new UI. Look at the Reminder app and the GameCenter.... and cringe.

Chica Ami said,
Watch out Redmond, the game is just the beginning. Mountain lion is just the start.

Microsoft add hundreds of new features, and people say it's lame.
Apple adds 1 simple update features, and people are like "OMFGHELLYEAHAMAZINGOMG, WATCH OUT WINDOWS!"... No logic at all... And haven't mac users been saying "Watch out microsoft" for like.. 10 years?

Chica Ami said,
Watch out Redmond, the game is just the beginning. Mountain lion is just the start.

I guess OS X 10.1-10.7 don't count.

Chica Ami said,
Watch out Redmond, the game is just the beginning. Mountain lion is just the start.

if OSX has "hundreds of new features" like Apple says, then Microsoft should do that for Windows and say that it has "over 11,000 new features".

Had an thought. What about apps like iLife that are installed but weren't bought through the App Store. Will they now get their updates through the App Store?

protocol7 said,
Had an thought. What about apps like iLife that are installed but weren't bought through the App Store. Will they now get their updates through the App Store?

Yep

Totalaero said,
Take note Windows

Yea, it'd be nice if MS put all of their updates in some kind of Windows Update program, only merge it with Windows Media Player...

Totalaero said,
Take note Windows

Why? There's nothing wrong with the way it's currently done in Windows. I click Windows Update, I receive updates, I reboot, I'm happy.

Oh, and I don't have to upgrade to a new version of Windows every year.

Raa said,

Why? There's nothing wrong with the way it's currently done in Windows. I click Windows Update, I receive updates, I reboot, I'm happy.

Oh, and I don't have to upgrade to a new version of Windows every year.


No, it's every two or three. And it costs $200.

Raa said,

Oh, and I don't have to upgrade to a new version of Windows every year.

Neither do Mac users. But it's not a hassle doing so as it costs about as much as a couple of albums and can be done right over the internet.

Owen W said,

No, it's every two or three. And it costs $200.

Yes, every two or three... and it costs $100 for Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade.

But you know what's nice? Microsoft actually supports old versions. Good luck installing the new iMessage beta on Snow Leopard. You know, the Apple operating system released around the same time of Windows 7. It's already unsupported by Apple (somewhat).

rfirth said,

Yes, every two or three... and it costs $100 for Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade.

But you know what's nice? Microsoft actually supports old versions. Good luck installing the new iMessage beta on Snow Leopard. You know, the Apple operating system released around the same time of Windows 7. It's already unsupported by Apple (somewhat).


So pay $30 and upgrade?

virtorio said,

Neither do Mac users. But it's not a hassle doing so as it costs about as much as a couple of albums and can be done right over the internet.

If you don't upgrade to the latest OS X, you get left off the bus.

StarLion said,
Take note of what? Windows 8 is already unifying the phone, tablet, and desktop...

About consistency with the user interface - have a good look at the desktop on Windows 7 as it exists. It is a mishmash of different styles, common controls, dialogues, half modern and half old school etc. Sorry but even GNOME and KDE have more consistency between their bundled applications that Microsoft does with their own Windows software.

Enron said,

If you don't upgrade to the latest OS X, you get left off the bus.

Ohh that sounds bad. I better go tell my boss to fire all the people in my office that are still using Leopard and Snow Leopard because apparently their computer don't work anymore. Thanks for the heads up.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

About consistency with the user interface - have a good look at the desktop on Windows 7 as it exists. It is a mishmash of different styles, common controls, dialogues, half modern and half old school etc. Sorry but even GNOME and KDE have more consistency between their bundled applications that Microsoft does with their own Windows software.


So is OS X then...and Linux doesn't have any consistency unless everything looking ugly is what you like.

virtorio said,
Ohh that sounds bad. I better go tell my boss to fire all the people in my office that are still using Leopard and Snow Leopard because apparently their computer don't work anymore. Thanks for the heads up.

While not as much of an issue for SL, there are a lot of apps now that only run on 10.6 and up. To my knowledge, you can't even do iCloud in SL. Windows XP, on the other hand, is 10 years old and runs the latest version of Office and pretty much anything else you can throw at it.

I've faced obsolescence twice (inability to upgrade the OS past a certain point due to system requirements and the Intel conversion) on the Mac platform in the time my 2001 PC is still useful with new software. I guess Apple just assumes you buy a new Mac every few years or something.

SierraSonic said,

Pay 30 every year, or 100 every three to four...

That's not a fair comparison. The "$30" upgrades are usually for "point" releases, which are more comparable to service packs then anything else.

virtorio said,

Neither do Mac users. But it's not a hassle doing so as it costs about as much as a couple of albums and can be done right over the internet.

Well when they add keen things like Twitter support to the OS, this makes it sound like twice the deal at half the price! Sign me up!

SierraSonic said,

Pay 30 every year, or 100 every three to four...

$100 ? more like $300. OSX = Windows Ultimate and not the other 6 lower versions of Windows.

alexalex said,

$100 ? more like $300. OSX = Windows Ultimate and not the other 6 lower versions of Windows.

Yeah, because OS X totally has tons of business orientated features right? Have fun paying for service packs.

funkydude said,

Yeah, because OS X totally has tons of business orientated features right? Have fun paying for service packs.

Using that logic Windows 7 was a Service Pack for Windows Vista.

Which of course it was not, and neither are 10.x releases of OSX.

StarLion said,

Take note of what? Windows 8 is already unifying the phone, tablet, and desktop...

Thats exactly what i thouught When i read thiss

Mr Nom Nom's said,
About consistency with the user interface - have a good look at the desktop on Windows 7 as it exists. It is a mishmash of different styles, common controls, dialogues, half modern and half old school etc. Sorry but even GNOME and KDE have more consistency between their bundled applications that Microsoft does with their own Windows software.

Yeah, because one single UI style is perfect for every single application, right?

Breakthrough said,

Yeah, because one single UI style is perfect for every single application, right?

There is a difference between UI styles and inconsistant button sizes, fonts, general control layouts, positions, margin between controls and the edges of dialogs, icon styles and so on. OSX may not be perfect in this regard, but Windows is all over the place (and that's not even getting into inconsistencies between their major product lines like Office, Visual Studio, Server).

alexalex said,
$100 ? more like $300. OSX = Windows Ultimate and not the other 6 lower versions of Windows.

Yet the Ultimate Edition of Windows has all the features of the 6 lower versions anyway, go troll somewhere else

Zagadka said,

Yea, it'd be nice if MS put all of their updates in some kind of Windows Update program, only merge it with Windows Media Player...


lulz

Mr Nom Nom's said,

About consistency with the user interface - have a good look at the desktop on Windows 7 as it exists. It is a mishmash of different styles, common controls, dialogues, half modern and half old school etc. Sorry but even GNOME and KDE have more consistency between their bundled applications that Microsoft does with their own Windows software.


...and then look at Mountain Lion's Quicktime, Safari, Finder, Calender, Reminders, Contacts, and Messages.

FalseAgent said,
...and then look at Mountain Lion's Quicktime, Safari, Finder, Calender, Reminders, Contacts, and Messages.

Which ignores the fact that they use the same widgets from the same toolkit.

Owen W said,

No, it's every two or three. And it costs $200.

Windows XP - 2001
Windows 7 - 2009
Windows Vista - 2006

Time betweek windows XP and vista = 5 years.
Time between vista and 7 = 3 years
Time between XP and 7 = 8 years

3 or 5 years is very different than 2 or 3. Additionally many people such as myself went XP>7, waiting 8 years between an OS upgrade.