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Survey: The OS X features you love the most (and those you don't love at all)

Macworld staff | June 3, 2013
Ten days before Apple (presumably) unveils the next OS X, we find out which features in OS X Mountain Lion our readers and staff actually use. The winners: Messages and Notification Center. The losers: Dictation and Game Center.

Lex Friedman is the feature's most vocal defender: "I'm a big fan of Notification Center, though I wish I had more options to control the banners that pop up: I'd like to snooze Reminders for a customizable amount of time, or mark them as Done from the notification instead of turning to the Reminders app. And I'd love if I could somehow hide my current stacked-up banners without muting all new banners, too."

Reminders produced a very close, three-way split among our readers and our staff.

The big benefit of Reminders that its supporters see involves its syncing ability. "The seamless syncing between iOS and Mac makes Reminders invaluable for my to-do list," says Dan Moren. And while Jon Seff admits he doesn't love it, he says "I like how it syncs up via iCloud on my Macs and devices, and it does enough to be my to-do app of record." Dan Frakes, on the other hand, says that he uses "better, third-party solutions."

Lex Friedman again stands for the defense, acknowledging that Reminders is his "most-used Apple app after Safari on my Mac." Among the major factors in its favor, he lists its syncing with iOS and its natural-language interpretation.

If there's a "most apathy-inducing" feature of Mountain Lion, it appears to be Sharing. About half of our surveyed readers &mdash and most of our staff — have used it at least occasionally, but nobody seems too excited about it.

"It made AirDrop more useful," comments Dan Moren, while Dan Frakes says only "Most of the apps I'd share from have their own sharing features that I use instead."

Facebook & Twitter
Social networking services don't seem to be especially popular among our readers, to judge from their general indifference to Mountain Lion's integration with Twitter and Facebook: Only a third of survey respondents said that they take advantage of that integration, and more than two-thirds of the members of that subset do so only occasionally.

For Facebook, the same was true of our staffers (just one person admitted to using the feature occasionally). Twitter, on the other hand, yielded an even split between those who use it occasionally and those who never use it.

"I get the Notification Center alerts for Facebook. That's nice, I guess," says Lex Friedman; Dan Moren, on the other hand, says he never even turned the feature on, since he's not a regular Facebook user.

Twitter occasioned more comments: "I will share via Twitter from apps sometimes, although I generally prefer using a client (Tweetbot) to do so. I do like that I have multiple Twitter accounts in Mail, Contacts & Calendars to make it easier to use them," says Jon Seff. Many staff members echoed the usage of third-party clients.


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