New Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Features Review
The long awaited WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference has come in place now and the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion has been announced by Apple’s Phil Shiller. Apple may have already revealed a little bit of information regarding OS X 10.7 Lion, but at this week’s WWDC 2011 conference Jobs and co revealed a whole lot more.
The eighth major release of the world’s most advanced operating system with more than 250 new features and 3,000 new developer APIs, will be available to customers in July as a download from the Mac App Store for $29.99. Some of the amazing features in Lion include: new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, an innovative view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, the best place to find and explore great software, built right into the OS; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is only going to be available in the Mac App Store and should make upgrading easy as pie, especially given the new low price of £20.99.
The OS was originally announced back in October 2010, OS X 10.7 Lion has taken some of what makes iOS great and updated for the desktop.
The OS X 10.7 codenamed ” Lion ” is a big update with a thundering 250 new features. Some major ones among those features which were announced during the WWDC event are given below :
If you’ve ever put off installing a software update as you didn’t want the hassle of restarting your Mac while in the middle of something, you’ll definitely welcome Lion’s new Resume feature. When a Lion Mac restarts, it returns to exactly the same state it was in before it shut down.
Running applications relaunch and open windows reopen. It’s so comprehensive that if you highlighted text in an open document or app, it’s highlighted again on restart. This will prove incredibly useful, and a major timesaver; no need to save your work, close everything down and then relaunch it all after boot-up. With Lion, it’s all done automatically.
Like fullscreen apps and Auto Save, Resume is only available in (to use Apple’s term) “apps that have been developed to work with Lion”. Third-party developers will no doubt welcome the opportunity to take advantage of these exciting system features, but it remains to be seen how fast software will absorb another level of OS integration.
The way OS X saves your work has undergone a revision, with two new features added for Lion. Instead of pressing Command+S every couple of minutes, saving is automatic in OS X 10.7.
It does more than simply save a backup copy as you go, like Microsoft Word and TextEdit do already. Instead, it saves the changes that have been made to a document instead of saving the file in its entirety, so it doesn’t waste disk space. You can lock a document to prevent changes being auto-saved, and documents are automatically locked after two weeks.
The Auto Save feature is only available in applications written to take advantage of it, so remember to manually save documents created in non-autosaving apps.
There has never been something in computer networking as simple as the floppy disk, or USB memory key for moving files between computers. Sure, Dropbox is great once you set it up, but the setup process still involves a signup and software installation. Most people simply don’t get networking — that’s an area left to I.T. to set up (“just save it to drive G”) or families lucky enough to have a geek born into their ranks.
Apple has made sharing files between Macs really simple with Lion. As long as the Macs are physically in close proximity, computers nearby will appear in the “Airdrop” section of the sidebar and files can be sent from one computer to another. (Files can’t be retrieved from another computer, for security reasons, though — that’s an instance where you still need to set up proper networking.)
Apple uses some really lateral thinking and clever technology to make this possible — it uses the same tech as in the iPhone to discover the physical location of your Mac, and where other people’s Macs are. Nearby Macs can then automatically see your Mac.
Full Screen Applications
Another feature making its way from iOS to Mac OS is fullscreen applications. With a single click, apps written to take advantage of this feature can fill the entire screen, with no borders or distractions. You can swipe between fullscreen applications and the desktop to use your apps that are not being viewed fullscreen.
Naturally, iLife and OS X-native apps such as iCal, iPhoto, Preview and Mail will have a fullscreen option, and system-wide support allows third party developers to include the feature in their own applications.
New Multi-Touch gestures and fluid animations built into Lion let you interact directly with content on the screen for a more intuitive way to use your Mac. New gestures include momentum scrolling, tapping or pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, and swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps. All Mac notebooks ship with Multi-Touch trackpads and desktop Macs can use Apple’s Magic Trackpad.
Mission Control is another long-awaited OS X feature that will become available with OS X Lion. With a swipe on the trackpad, users will be able to see, at a glance, everything that’s running on their Mac, from apps to their associated open windows along with what’s running in Spaces. With a centralised location to see everything running on their Mac, users will be able to get where they want to go immediately, without having to dig through menus, switch between Expose views or long-click Dock icons.
Mac App Store
The Mac App Store is built into Lion and is the best place to discover great new Mac apps, buy them with your iTunes account, download and install them. Apps automatically install directly to Launchpad, and with Lion’s release, the Mac App Store will be able to deliver smaller “delta” app updates and new apps that can take advantage of features like In-App Purchase and Push Notifications.
There’s a new Launchpad in iOS – this is an app launcher that works just like the homescreen in iOS.When you open Launchpad, open windows fade away to be replaced by a grid of application icons, just like you see on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. You can rearrange their position by dragging icons to different locations, and group them in virtual folders. And as with iOS, multiple pages of apps can be navigated with a swipe gesture.
Apple’s Mail program will receive a facelift as well, using much the same layout found on the iPad’s Mail app. Now with Mail 5, users will be able to quickly browse through messages on the left and get a full-screen preview of every email on the right. The addition of a new Mailbox bar will let users quickly access the most-used mail folders, letting them get where they want to go quickly. Schiller demonstrated the improved searching in Mail 5, showing how the app automatically gives you contacts and content from actual emails via the drop-down so you can find what you want quickly.
Mail 5 also offers a new conversation view, much like an organisation system found in the latest versions of Microsoft Outlook. With Conversation view, users will be able to group an entire thread of emails by conversation so they can quickly get to everything said about a subject. From there they can either save or delete entire conversations with only a couple of clicks. You can also drag-and-drop entire conversations to your favourites bar in Mail.
Security and FileVault 2
On a technical level, the FileVault 2 security option now encrypts your entire hard drive, not just the Home folder. It encrypts as you work and decrypts on the fly using XTSAES 128 data encryption; we’re promised it’s totally unintrusive.
A recovery partition containing utilities found on OS X install discs can be used to restart your Mac after a particularly bad crash without having to boot from the optical drive, and SSD TRIM support has been added to keep solid-state drives optimised.
Perhaps most significantly, the server edition of Lion is incorporated into the client version. As Snow Leopard’s Server Edition is sold separately for £417, this represents quite a saving for those who want to set up a Mac purely as a server.
Other Mac OS X Lion 10.7 features
Apple says there are 3,000 new APIs as well as aWindows Migration assistant, FaceTime built in, plus a Lion Server add-on.
The price and Availability
Pricing & Availability Mac OS X Lion will be available in July as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (US). Lion will be the easiest OS X upgrade and at about 4GB, it is the size of an HD movie from the iTunes Store. Mac OS X Lion Server requires Lion and will be available in July from the Mac App Store for $49.99 (US).
The interesting thing about that is that the Mac App Store allows any apps purchased in it to be installed on up to 10 computers. That means one $31.99 purchase will cover upgrading up to 10 Macs to OS X 10.7 — an effective per-machine cost of $3.20.
Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. The Lion upgrade can be installed on all your authorized personal Macs.