One of the things that typifies Mountain Lion is Apple’s insistence on removing existing features that users know and love. I suspect some just weren’t finished in time, but others seem to simplify interfaces at the cost of user frustration.
Here at TUAW Central, we receive regular emails from readers asking for work-arounds for features that no longer appear in OS X. Need a menu-bar display control? There’s an app for that. Want to add hyperlink annotations in Preview? You may need to hunt around a bit for a solution, but there’s not one in Preview itself.
Operating systems are supposed to keep improving — offering fixes and better features. With Apple, OS upgrades often have users wondering where their favorite tools are and why things they used to be able to easily accomplish are no longer possible.
I will spare you the exact phrasing Beloved TUAW Leader Victor Agreda Jr shared to express his displeasure with the the current Airport utility, and turn to TUAW Editor Mike Rose.
Rose points out that simplifying the user interface only goes so far. Apple understands that 80% of user interactivity applies to just 20% of OS features. This encourages Apple to trim down feature sets for better maintainability. “You can only apply the 80/20 rule so many times, however,” Rose explained, “Before you’re left with an on-off switch and a picture of an Apple.”
As rumors of OS X 10.9 ramp up under unified OS team led by Craig Federighi, we wonder: what message would you send Apple? What features do they need to bring back, what features would you battle to the death to save, and what features would you be willing to cut?
Join in the comments with your thoughts, and let us know what you think.
It’s the Apple Operating System Battle Royale. May the OS ever be in your favor.