Friday, October 19, 2012

OSX Mountain Lion and Freeway Workflow

This blog post will be directed mainly toward the folks at and how Mountain Lion will affect their workflow.

First, I'll list some of the applications that we commonly use and how they change with Mountain Lion, then my general thoughts on the OS in regard to web design (I'll have to write a more general review later).

Also, we never used Lion, so this is from the perspective of a person who jump from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion.


Freeway Pro 5.5 

At this time, Softpress hasn't put any work into implementing the Mountain Lion features into Freeway (Possibly because of Freeway 6!). This means that features like full-screen, recents listed on right-click on the dock icon, and versions don't exist. Freeway runs just like it did on Snow Leopard. It would be awesome to have versions!
Freeway Pro 5.5 Screenshot
Good 'ol Freeway, just the same as always.


Oddly enough, Showcase, which is a slideshow/gallery application that comes bundled with Freeway has many of the ML (Mountain Lion) features in it. For example: full screen mode.
Showcase in full screen mode (mountain lion).
Full screen mode in Showcase is nice!
Also, when you right-click on the dock icon, there is a handy list of the files recently opened with Showcase: 

Last but not least, versions are supported!

However, showcase is probably set to leave the Softpress stage as they have recently announced Exhibeo, a beautiful app which does almost the same thing.


Exhibeo, being a brand new app, only runs on Mac's running Lion and up. Right now, in version 1.0.0, there have been quite a few bugs reported. However, we are sure Softpress will get these fixed up shortly.

Exhibeo also supports the main Mountain Lion features:
Exhibeo in Full Screen Mountain Lion
Full-screen mode
Recents in the menu

Exhibeo Versions


Textwrangler is the free, go-to, html editing app for Mac's. In mountain lion, the interface has changed just a tad. The document pane now is nice and square with the rest of the design. Also, full screen mode and recents work. Unfortunately, versions don't exist. :(

Textwrangler Full Screen Mountain Lion
Full-screen mode

iOS Simulator:

Along with Mountain Lion came a updated version of the iOS Simulator, which comes as part of Xcode off of the Mac App Store. The iOS Simulator now allows you to view websites using Mobile Safari 6 and using the new screen ratio. However, the 4" retina display renders huge on my 21" iMac, forcing you to scroll to see the whole device. 
However, you can still set the device to the regular iPhone, which renders in correct physical dimensions as well as supplying a nice frame!

iOS Simulator


Sketch is my vector app of choice, and is awesome for UI design. When I upgraded to ML, it was one of the first apps I opened. Just like Exhibeo, it fully supports all features of the newest Mac OS.

Sketch 2.0 Versions Mountain Lion
Sketch Versions

Thoughts on the OS

Although there are lots of people saying that Apple is trying to mush OSX and iOS into one being, I don't see this as the case at all. They do play nicer together now than ever, which is a good thing. Also, I think Mountain Lion brought some of the best parts of iOS over to the mac. The notification area being one, and LaunchPad being another. 

LaunchPad is a lifesaver. When you might have 75 applications installed, it is soooo nice to be able to sort them into folders!

The social integration makes it a breeze to upload screenshots of your projects to your portfolio on Facebook.

Swiping though full screen apps is a breeze, and makes managing many apps at once easy and fast (no more digging though a pile of windows!).

The one thing I hate about ML is how they hide the user library. However, there are many tutorials telling you how to permanently show it.

Another downside is that they disable the built-in apache server on the user level, however, you can get around this with the free app Simple HTTP Server.

Overall, I think the $20 to upgrade from Snow Leopard was one of the best investments we've made. From a productivity standpoint, I can work much faster now that with Snow Leopard. I would strongly recommend that you make the upgrade if you have compatible hardware!

If you have any questions about working with Mountain Lion, please let me know in the comments and I'll answer to the best of my ability!

~Caleb Grove

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I'm Caleb Grove

Yep, that's me. I'm a 17 year old web unicorn and own OnRamp Web Design. My skill base is quite broad, though my real focus lies in UX and UI design for the web. When it comes to designs, I'm a perfectionist, scooting 1 pixel at a time.

My main blog captures all my web-related thoughts that exceed 140 characters. Anson S is my personal blog, where I pander in politics and religion. You can tweet me on Twitter at @SirCalebGrove, circle me on , or friend me on Facebook.

About this site

This is my playground. harnesses the power of HTML5 and CSS3. It was built using my web design weapon of choice, Freeway Pro, using a inline flexible system. Responsiveness was hand-coded. The blogs are hosted by Blogger, whose template code was generated by the Blogger actions. Website hosted by GJX Hosting. Creativity provided a disturbed mind, and not much else.

No unicorns where harmed in the making of this website, except through caffeine overdose.