OS X Lion: Features, Thoughts and Analysis

The announcement of a new operating system is no small deal, so today has proven to be an exciting time for Mac enthusiasts everywhere. OS X Lion seems set to be a huge step forward for the Mac operating system, and there are some significant changes to be expected.

A few of the top highlights include a Mac App Store, Launchpad, full-screen apps, and “Mission Control”, but read on for the full lowdown on what to expect from Apple’s next big cat.

Mac App Store

The Mac App Store app has a very simple interface, reminiscent of the same experience on the iPad. There’s a simple one-click download button that grabs the application, automatically installs it, and places the icon in your Dock.

A really slick process, and one which will delight most mainstream Mac users. In addition, licensing is handled by the Mac App Store itself. Purchase an app, and it’ll be automatically licensed for use on all your personal Macs.

The Mac App Store isn’t just an OS X Lion feature, though, and you don’t need to wait until next Summer to try it out. Developers are being invited to submit their software to the store in early November, and it’s going to be available on Snow Leopard within the next 90 days.

The Mac App Store

The Mac App Store

Apple cited their iPhone and iPad App Stores as the “best place to discover and download apps”. They have certainly been very well received by iOS users, and definitely make the process of buying, installing and upgrading your software very straight-forward.

Are they the best place to find new apps? That’s debatable. It’s easy to find popular, high-revenue apps on the App Store, but it can be a real challenge to discover those small-budget indie apps that can be equally delightful.

Regardless, many developers are likely to embrace this new medium through which to sell their software. Unlike on the iOS App Store, there’s no requirement to sell exclusively through Apple (not yet, anyway!), which means that they’ll receive many of the benefits of the App Store without the negative aspects.

Launchpad

If you’ve ever wished for an “Home Screen” on your Mac, akin to that present on your iPhone or iPad, you’re in luck. Launchpad shows a translucent overlay across the whole screen, listing the different applications installed on your Mac.

Launchpad in action

Launchpad in action

You can drag and re-arrange them in exactly the same way as on iOS, create folders, and manage multiple screens. In short, it’s a good way to launch new applications without requiring an over-cluttered Dock. It’s also the perfect use of multi-touch; I imagine that flicking through these screens is a visual and interactive experience.

But is it really necessary? For me, no. The fact is that I don’t use 100 apps every day. I barely even use 10! All the software I actually open every day fits comfortably in my Dock, and anything else is just a few keystrokes away courtesy of Alfred. Launchpad will be great for some users, but I don’t foresee myself using it a great deal.

Full-Screen Apps

If you’ve ever been a little frustrated at the half-assed functionality of the green button on each Mac window, you’ll be pleased to know that it now has a useful function. Clicking it will transform the app you’re currently using into a “Full-Screen App”.

Generally, it seems that this has more of an impact than simply enlarging the window you’re currently viewing. The notion of a full-screen app becomes a core feature of the OS. They’re handled separately from a regular app window, you can swipe quickly between them, and they essentially take on their own state.

A Full-Screen App

A Full-Screen App

Swiping left on your trackpad or mouse will take you to Dashboard, part of OS X that seems to essentially have become a full-screen app itself. Rather than an overlay, Dashboard is an ever-present full screen app that remains easy to access at any time.

I’m actually quite excited about this idea. Although there’s a time and a place for software to run in full-screen mode, I’m glad that developers will need to give this more thought when designing their apps.

I often do want to be immersed completely in any given application, with the distraction of other open software completely removed. This functionality will do just that – hopefully with the added bonus of an interface that has been carefully crafted and optimized by the developer for full-screen use.

Mission Control

Mission Control seems to be a fantastic effort on Apple’s part to trim down the number of window management features that are present in OS X. It presents one unified view of everything that’s running on your Mac. This will include:

  • Expose – all your currently open windows, sorted by app
  • Spaces
  • Dashboard
  • Full-Screen Apps – these are treated differently to regular “windowed” apps, as I mentioned before
Mission Control

Mission Control

The part of me that strives for minimalism really likes this approach. One gesture immediately shows you everything, and lets you hone in on what you’re looking for quickly. It strips out the complexity of requiring a myriad of different shortcuts, and really helps to keep things simple.

Auto-Saving

This was hinted at by Steve during the keynote, but he didn’t elaborate any further on the concept (and nor does the Apple website). It’s clearly going to be present in OS X Lion, though, and it’s another feature that I think will be very well received.

Many people have noted in recent years that the notion of being required to manually save a document is incredibly archaic. We haven’t ever needed to do this on the iPhone, so why should we need to on a Mac?

I suppose the dilemma comes when you consider where a document should be saved at the outset. Auto-saving after you’ve already hit “Save As” is easy, but where is it stored up until that point?

This isn’t an issue on the iPad as there’s no file system (that we can see, at least). It’ll be interesting to see how Apple approaches this problem in OS X Lion.

Multi-Touch Gestures

Apple made a point of discussing how touch surfaces aren’t made to be horizontal, and that multi-touch on a laptop screen simply doesn’t work (hence multi-touch being built into MacBook trackpads, the Magic Mouse, and the Magic Trackpad).

It was said that Multi-Touch is going to play a greater role in OS X Lion, but in what way, we weren’t explicitly told. Swiping between different pages in Launchpad looks great, as does a system-wide gesture for Mission Control.

But what else does Apple have up it’s sleeve?

Pricing and Release Date

If you were hoping to get your hands on OS X Lion today, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. The actual OS release is slated for sometime in Summer 2011, and even developers haven’t yet been given a preview copy to try out.

Snow Leopard was an unusually budget-friendly release, on account of the fact that it was mainly a “tune and tweak” OS upgrade, rather than a feature-packed affair. OS X Lion falls back under the umbrella of a major release, and is likely to be priced as such. Nothing has been announced yet, but I’d expect it to be around $99-$129.

Thrilled or Underwhelmed?

So what do you think of today’s announcement? Has Apple managed to shock and awe you into blind anticipation of their latest OS upgrade, or did you expect something more impressive?

Personally, I’m disappointed that we didn’t hear anything about better “cloud functionality”, or syncing with the internet and iOS. This is really proving to be a long time coming, and I sincerely hope that it’s one of the features that Apple held back to announce nearer the release of the OS.

Have your say in the comments, and let me know whether you’ll be thinking of upgrading next year!


  • http://www.chrisdpratt.com Chris Pratt

    8 months is a really long time. My guess is that Apple headlined the “show-ready” features of Lion, and there’s plenty left to the beast that’ll be revealed closer to launch. The main reason I believe this is that, while nice features definitely, the features Jobs talked about don’t together a “major” release make. If that’s all OS X 10.7 had, I’d pass.

  • http://MacCrapStoreehMacAppStoredotnull sam

    I think the Mac App Store is the next step to clean the Mac from all porn and freedom apps like on all iOS devices. Sharing Music with Android? All Apps are gone. Printing through WLAN? No App present but Apple want your money for AirPrint. Lets hope we can choose our browser if the Mac App Store is available. I hate the idea but it looks like we are very close tobe in golden but very restricted prison if the Mac App Store is successful.

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      I’m sure it won’t be the only way to install software – just an extra option for those that want to use it!

      • http://www.pobox.com/~meta/ mathew

        Yeah, people said the app store wouldn’t be the only way to get apps on the iPhone too.

      • Sean

        Steve Jobs even said in his presentation that you could still install apps the normal way, and the terminal is still available also

      • http://www.beperceived.com Chris Schmitz

        I’m sure they will allow users to install their own software on this release of Lion. However, I’m guessing that in a future keynote they will announce that “people love the app store so much that it is now the only way to install software onto your Mac.”

    • Wasmac

      porn apps for Mac XD ..

    • konrad

      i agree with david, probably not the only way to install.

      plus, i commend apple for working on free from porn, since the porn industry is unfortunately a hotbed and major contributor to the issues our world faces with human trafficking… a multi-billion dollar industry. keeping demand for/access to porn lower helps reduce the demand for enslaved men and women (and sometimes boys and girls… since many of these trafficked into the industry are under 18).

      • http://www.daarkomendeclowns.nl Chriet Titulaer

        I don’t see how Steve’s banning of Pr0n apps helps stop human trafficking…

        I’m afraid the app store WILL be the first step towards a closed mac ecosystem. Even if mac lion will still allow you to download a dmg wherever you want and then install it, will 2012′s snow-lion also allow this?

      • Ricci

        What?

        Let me guess. Religious catholic?

      • Brendan

        I lol’d Ricci lets keep it on track shall we? I actually kinda like the not porn outlook that mac takes on things like apps. Its a clean and fresh approach to things. Unlike so much today.

      • Sean

        @Chriet who cares wait and see, who knows what the next-next version of any OS is going to allow/disallow, i say just jump off that bridge when you get to it

      • http://fairheadcreative.com Adam Fairhead

        I agree with you entirely. While some replies to your comment outline the difference between pornography and trafficking, it remains fact that that industry seers people’s minds and breaks down walls. #justsayin

      • Sergio

        Well, I really hope app store WILL NOT be the ONLY way to have Software Installed on the MACs (iMAC and Macbook). This will be a BAD closed MAC ecosystem. I also think that Apple will lose much (customers) is they close doors for developers to be able to provide their applications without App Store. We need FREEDOM!!!

        About Porn! Well, Is in each person’s conscience whether or not to seek such information and not on the ability of a app or system to block it!

        Again!!! We need FREEDOM!!!

      • Thor

        @ Sergio
        Ha ha, you really THAT naive?
        Man, I wonder how such empties walk this earth still…

  • http://HeikoBehrens.net Heiko Behrens

    I think the Mac App Store will be a game changer. It does not replace existing product websites but will greatly simplify the way customers can pay for software. I am aspecting in-app purchases as well such that Mac-based applications not only are easier to install and update but will offer a common way to sell additional content such as game levels, document templates or even the service as you go (e.g. skype credits or webEx dollars).

    • Andrew

      Not really, I use android and find myself sideloading apps from the web more often than from the app store (unless it is offered for free there). I rarely pay for apps unless the developer does something impressive (see emulators and DAW’s).

      In conclusion, the Mac appstore is a mediocre feature I don’t use.

  • http://www.2dforever.com Tom

    I’m really excited about 10.7 – I just wish they dedicated more of the show to that, rather than iLife! (although I was impressed by some things in that)

    Now it’s one painful wait til next summer…

    On another note, I hope they unify those weird window headers soon… First iTunes now the Mac app store?

  • Dan P

    Definitely underwhelmed.

    iOS is awesome for small devices, and that’s why they’re popular. It doesn’t mean that that will translate to a full computer, plopped into OS X. I don’t care about launchpad, as long as it doesn’t start asserting itself and become a primary navigation tool. I don’t want it. Mac App store? eh. That’s in the hands of the developers how that turns out. It’s only just a provided central area to display products. Bodega does the same thing, but less integrated. Wasn’t revolutionary, never used it, but it was nice to browse if I was bored.

    If the mac app store becomes some sort of required step, I’m jumping ship, though.

  • Robin

    Oh, hey, it’s got an app store! That’s just like Debian… but 6 years later!

    • Sean

      But Debian wasn’t really a store was it? Apple has certain changed the way the commerce of an app “store” works wouldn’t you agree and how to make $$$ from it

  • http://daniel.roeven.com Daniel Roeven

    Interesting. I’m interested to see how an app store for Mac works out. I’ve tried Bodega but that didn’t cut it for me. LaunchPad seems useful, but will it be easier to use than Alfred? I hardly even use my dock anymore. Full Screen apps can be great for games, maybe for writing, but I don’t see it fit in to my daily routine. It’s just not very practical. It effectively removes multi-tasking, the very essence of desktop computing. Mission Control first seemed like just another window management app, but if it combines and replaces exposé, spaces, dashboard etc maybe it will be useful. We’ll have to see. Also, downright HORRIBLE icon design. The App Store Icon is simply the iTunes icon with a different glyph. The Mission Control Icon is very lacking too. Please Apple, do better than this. We know you can.

  • Stuart Myers

    I’m going to admit it, I’m unimpressed with what has been announced for Mac OS 10.7.

    App store = crock of shite.
    Launchpad = Alfred but mouse-based.
    Full Screen Apps = Good idea, but with a multi-monitor setup at my work, I wonder how it will perform.
    Mission Control = Does what you can do in 10.6 anyways!

    • Nathan

      I agree on all of the above except that I really hate the idea of fullscreen apps. It’s fine if it’s optional but knowing Apple they will find a way to force this upon everyone, turning it into a major annoyance for anyone who is NOT their target audience (home users who dont care or fanboys).

      I’m pretty disappointed by what’s being promised.. the only thing I find exciting is the App Store and that’s just cause I’ll have a central place of managing my apps more or less like on Debian and other linux distro’s.

      Also, as has already been said by Dan P, the idea behind iOS is awesome if you have a small finger controlled device.. NOT if you are using a high resolution desktop / laptop with keyboard and mouse. And believe me, keyboard and mouse aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Perhaps for the general public that switches to using the likes of the ipad it will. But for those of us working with computers on a daily basis there simply is no alternative.

      • Alex

        You don’t have to have it in full screen… There is a button you can push…

  • Pingback: Full screen on the Mac, FINALLY « notes of chris

  • http://minimalisten.tumblr.com/ Robin Lundgren

    “Apple made a point of discussing how touch surfaces aren’t made to be horizontal..”

    Correction: “.. touch surfaces aren’t made to be >vertical<.."

  • Joshua Johnson

    1. Thrilled about the Mac App store (it’s about time).
    2. Glad Apple realized the potential for FaceTime on a Mac
    3. Loved the iMovie updates
    4. I think iWeb desperately needs a completely overhaul and was sad to see it ignored (shouldn’t they update ALL the apps when they release a new version?)
    5. Lion is a LOT farther away than I expected

    6. Saying that touch interfaces “want to be horizontal” doesn’t rule out the movable iMac prototype we’ve seen. I can’t help but wonder if Lion could be hiding a lot more multi-touch interaction and they just wanted to show that it works fine on current Macs (wishful thinking, probably way off).

    7. Launchpad is beautiful, but I’ll beat you to any app with Alfred every time.
    8. Mission control looks promising, I still want widgets on my desktop (GeekTool FTW)
    9. Let’s hope Lion has a lot more in store, this is nice, but no where near as big as I was expecting.

  • http://joseairosa.com José P. Airosa

    I was honestly blown away with the new features and the way that I feel more and more in a unified OS.

    Everyone loves iOS, how it works, how efficient it is and how user friendly it is. Having all this on a desktop is simply brilliant!

    App Store is a long time must-a-have on Mac OS X that now we can get our hands on!

    Anyway, all fancy stuff aside, we’re still waiting to see improvements on the UI/UX.

    PS: did anyone else see the slide-bounce when the guy was showing iMovie (i think it was iMovie or Garage Band). It was exactly like iOS when you reach the end of the scroll.

  • http://toastr.net/ Jacob

    Sorry to be negative, but I thought most of the Back to Mac conference was pretty underwhelming and dissapointing (except the new MBA).

    It’s just more proof that Apple are trying to attract new consumers with shiny full screen interfaces, App Stores and multi-touch, while isolating their professional/prosumer audience.

    • Tuomas

      Exactly my thoughts. Things like Mission Control just seem to totally break some great and efficient workflows I’ve used for years.

      • http://www.percussionlab.com Praveen

        Agreed! If I can’t easily go to the top right of my screen to show the desktop and either grab or drop a file there like I do now, I simply won’t upgrade. Their Mission Control seems to add another step to the process – if its even at all possible.

    • glenn

      I totally agree: As long as the MacApp Store is in addition to what we currently can do I think it’s great for newbies. However like many I suspect dat in the successor of Lion it will be the only way to install new apps. Being a developer I read the rules for submitting apps to the Mac App-Store and boy I don’t like them…
      As an Apple user since 1983, a Mac user since 1985 I’m afraid chances are big that I’ll switch over to Linux if that happens.

  • http://www.webkarnage.net WebKarnage

    The MacAppStore won’t be the only way to add an app, as it’s a development platform ie where the development takes place. You need certain things to do that not required on the iPad or iPhone, so I don’t think it means going down that road. Apple need people developing apps for their iOS devices!

  • Tuomas

    I’m a bit worried about Mission Control and particularly its implementation of Exposé and Spaces. Windows are grouped by app, great, but I don’t know what to think about the fact that windows overlap each other. I fear this will make it harder or at least slower to pick the window you want. How does it work when you have lots of apps with lots of windows open, as I frequently do?

    And how does Spaces fit into all of this? Full-screen apps seem to create their own spaces, what about those you have for regular, windowed apps?

  • Erik

    I agree with Chris, if there isn’t more by next summer, it won’t be worth the price.

  • http://onefusedlife.com/ Lasha Krikheli

    Sam, hold your horses. You must realize something. Apple is not making the Mac App Store the only way for you to find and install stuff. You can still do whatever you do however you do it today. The reason why this exists is because people are going to use it make money. And who doesn’t want to make money? Shit, if I knew Objective-C, Cocoa, and all that good stuff, I’d probably be rich, but I don’t, and I’m not rich.

    If Apple gave me a medium for me to EASILY promote and sell my own applications, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but I’m just a designer with not REAL development experience. And I bet that’s what MANY developers are going to be doing – building and selling their products with guaranteed exposure and sales. Did you know Electronic Arts Acquired Chillingo, makers of Angry Birds!? Talk about success!

    Overall, I was quite impressed with what was presented about Lion. Mission Control, Launch Pad, and Full Screen apps presents a whole world of potential in my eyes.

    1) Mission Control is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time! I always have a billion things going on, and this will absolutely make it all breeze to navigate through. I already can’t live without Expose.

    2) Launch Pad came at a bit of a surprise, to be honest. I knew Apple would have some kind of integration of the iOS platform (visually speaking), but not like this. This makes the Dock, obsolete, in a way. It still serves well for having JUST your most used apps, while everything else is neatly tucked away in pages and folders.

    3) Full Screen apps will be loved by MANY people, me included. I can’t recall how many times I wished I was doing just ONE thing. No distractions, no jumping icons and so forth. Now we’ll be able to utilize every pixel of our screens for a single GREAT experience. As a designer, I can’t wait to come up with ideas and concepts for fullscreen applications, as well as what others will come up with.

    Overall, this is why I love Apple so much. They do things that always CHANGE the way we think, the way we do, and the way we perceive ease, good design, and so forth. That’s just my 2 cents.

    • Erica S

      I hope the dock doesn’t become obsolete. I love my pretty dock!

  • oscarrr

    How about that hint of making the scroll bars just the way they look and behave on iOS?? aint that cool

  • http://www.daarkomendeclowns.nl Chriet Titulaer

    I’m quite excited about the streamlining of screens and the fullscreen option. In Snow Leopard there are no fullscreen apps and expose/spaces/show-hide are still a messy affair. If these are the only real improvements I’m not sure if it warrants a $100 price tag. (The app store should be a free addition since it pays for itself).

  • Mashi

    Underwhelmed with Lion overall and particularly paranoid about the new Mac App Store. I know it’s been said over and over again that it’s just another option to download apps, and it’s easier for new Mac users, but I fear there will be a time when it becomes the only option.

  • http://www.btko.ca Brendan O’Brien

    I’m liking the list of features; however, all of this seems more fit for a 10.6.xx than a 10.7

  • http://pinoyteens.net Kevin Paquet

    And I was hoping for resolution independence. :(

    We’ll never know until it’s there, and I fear knowing that the Mac App Store will become the only place/way to install Apps in a not so distant future.

  • http://blog.azizlight.me/ Aziz Light

    I was very disappointed yesterday, the Mac App Store put me in a bad mood too. Don’t ask me I don’t know why.

    The impression that I had about the event yesterday is that Apple didn’t create anything new, it just took solutions that already existed and put their name on it. The Mac App Store can be either catastrophic or, at best, a little bit beneficial. I really didn’t care about all the other “new stuff”. The Launcher seems like a glorified version of the Applications stack on the dock. The FaceTime icon looks like a recycled version of the camera icon on the iPhone: they changed the color of the lens and added a triangle on the right. Really?

    All the new “gestures” are really uninteresting to me; also, the guy who demo-ed it have quite a hard time doing so too. And that should NOT be one of the new highlighted features of the new version of OS X. It’s as if they highlighted the fact that they added new wallpapers and screensavers…

    Finally, about the Mac Book Air, they didn’t solve its problem yet: It’s too expensive. In my opinion, its most expensive version should cost at most $999, but it’s the other way around.

    All in all, I sincerely believe that I’ve wasted almost two hours of my life watching that Apple event yesterday. But as one of the commenters said above, 8 months is a lot of time, and there are hopefully more interesting features coming…

  • bakje friet

    The Mac App Store might well be the Waterloo for Mac.Appstorm

  • http://www.infrasoundkids.com L1

    Anyone noticed that new chrome on the App Store window? Looks cool and much preferred to the current iTunes disaster. However apps with lots of buttons in the toolbar and small screens do not work… This is just going to make it worse.

  • Jenn

    Really hoped for new iwork….. without that I probably will not pick up the new ilife or OS. Oh well, will just have to wait until then.

  • http://www.ronniegrubaugh.com Ronnie Grubaugh

    Some more Apple Bulls Shit, in which they give very little and charge a lot. Apples greed and theatrical marketing are overshadowing their deceptive objectives. They have turned into Big Bad Blue. They haven’t even got Snow Leopard completely functional with no bugs. I’m tired of being forced into handing over my hard-earned money after a very short period of time because my previous very expensive purchases of their iterations are now rendered obsolete or are soon to be. This whole industry is a scam, where one or two years constitutes antique. They don’t want you to ever get off this ride, the Deceivers. Yes I am a iMac, only because they are or were the lesser of the Evils. You know the way, the same way we have been forced to choose our political representation! I am tired of having to choose between Evils. We have lost our way!!!

    • Alex

      No operating system has no bugs. It’s impossible! And there is nobody forcing you to upgrade. It’s not like you are going to die if you don’t…

  • Terence Hoaglund

    I have to agree with most everyone else here, that I didn’t see enough in the new OS to get excited about. Not sure I like full screen apps (unless I choose to do that myself)…I like clicking on the background app to bring them up front. I also am not certain about the swipe…not bad either, but not sure it will be all that useful. I didn’t see anything bad about this, but not enough to make me want to shell out $100 when it comes out. Now if they went for a 64 bit operating system, well then…

    As for Ilife, the only thing I use personally is Iphoto…so no impetus to upgrade there. I agree with Jenn, I was really hoping for a major upgrade to Iworks.

  • http://www.ramp-music.net/ Irfon-Kim Ahmad

    DEFINITELY underwhelmed. I mean, the new functionality is basicaly an incremental improvement on Expose (which I alreay don’t use), yet another app launcher which is more or less exactly equivalent to just sticking a link to the applications folder in your dock, the App Store which could be neat but will be available for Snow Leopard could have just as easily been a website rather than a core OS component and will probably have the same UI limitations as its iOS version (no sorting by price, no useful subcategories, very difficult to find all but the most popular apps), and a working “Maximize” button. That last one, okay, well, it’s nice to FINALLY see Apple admitting that its Maximize is broken, but innovative and exciting? Welcome to the late 80s, Apple!

    In terms of what I foresee myself actually using, I’m basically paying “major OS upgrade” pricing for a maximize button. Whoo hoo! I think I’l drag the little corner out manually, thanks. This is definitely going to be an, “I’ll get it if and only if I buy a new Mac that comes with it,” OS revision for me.

  • http://www.percussionlab.com Praveen

    Sorry for the long post – pretty passionate about this stuff since its the first time in a while I’ve thought Apple has seriously lost its way and I guess this is as good a place as any to rant :)

    Underwhelmed and a bit worried about what is going on behind the scenes at Apple these days. Seems like a hodgepodge of half assed updates muddied by political or engineering disputes.

    iLife: Not pertinent to me except for iPhoto – I’m curious about the Facebook / Flickr integration – would be really cool for iPhoto to be a place to organize all your photos online and off instead of the terrible limited integration currently available.

    Facetime: Not in iChat? Why? The new app is ugly, not very well thought out and cumbersome. I can only hope for two things – either they will bake this into iChat by the time Lion is released or they are planning on also releasing this on Windows which would explain the need for another app. Facetime IS cool though! :)

    Launchpad: Apps like this have existed for the mac for ages. Compared to Quicksilver / Alfred etc this is a joke. Eyecandy for new Mac converts coming from iOS devices?

    Mission Control: Absolutely TERRIFIED of this change to the OS. For years I’ve adjusted my workflow to Expose’s different functions – using only the ones I need to clearly accomplish tasks. With all of them jumbled together, it seems like even the simplest action of “Showing Desktop”, grabbing a file and dragging it onto an open app will be more difficult. Could potentially convince me NOT to upgrade at all… Which is amazing coming from a mac head like me :\

    Multitouch: FARCE – multitouch on the trackpads and magic mice is limited at best. Sensitivity is nowhere near what it is on iOS devices and the motions are all so similar on such a small surface area that they can interfere with day to day computing. Anyone ever accidentally swipe back a page in safari after completing a form when using the magic mouse? I turned that shit off haha. Unless new hardware is introduced – the actual functionality of this will be weak.

    App Store: Could revitalize indi mac development but the restrictions on the store are more draconian than those on the iOS app store – half the indie apps I use wouldn’t make the cut.

    Full Screen Apps: Not really interesting to me. Will be nice for iPhoto.

    WHERE WAS:

    - Changing iTunes from being the center of your Device Management / Media Consumption / App purchasing world. There has got to be a better solution. Chang the name? Break out into different apps?

    - Resolution independence

    - Truly game changing multitouch with iOS apps on the desktop some how?

    - Facetime in ICHAT

    - Cloud Computing / Drop Box Mac Style (Don’t say iDisk – iDisk is slow as molasses – I have both)

    - UI Unification

  • Syntax Error

    I was originally excited about 10.6, then reinstalled 10.5 afer one extremely buggy month. Nothing released for 10.7 is even close to justification for a new OS version. From a company and shareholder perspective, it is shiny and has even better direct marketing potential (which seems to be the core of Apple’s recent development strategy). Other than that… no cloud… no features that can’t be found elsewhere in the market. It’s like “Marketing sent up this flachy new box with a picture of a Lion on it, so we should probably put out something to put in it.”

    • http://www.percussionlab.com Praveen

      I waited a WHILE for 10.6 due to the bugs and incompatibilities. It was definitely worth it big time in the long run tho.

      Agree 100% about 10.7 though – seems absolutely uninspired.

  • mark

    My two cents:
    - iLife wasnt updated enough! Seriously why put it out unless you update all the apps! iWeb badly needs an update that allwos people to control SEO.
    - Get rid of iDVD. DVDs suck.
    - FaceTime should be integrated into iChat!
    - New MBA needs a glossy version. That silver frame is ugly!

  • http://oreius.tumblr.com Tanner

    I thought it was totally awesome Apple is the only company I know that will make an awesome device such as the iPhone and the iPad, take what they have learned and implement that into the mac system. I am really excited and can’t wait to see what else OSX 7 has to offer!

    You really have to be careful, especially when talking about Apple, when you judge a product before it is out or before you have personally touched it. Take the iPad everybody said it was a “big iPod Touch” and look where it is now!

    Anyways… thus are my thoughts on the subject.

  • Vinay Bhat

    I’ve got a question guys, I’m going to buy my new mac soon, so it will come pre installed with OSX Snow Leopard and then during summer 2011 I will upgrade to Lion. Will I miss any features if I buy my mac today (basically will buying a mac in summer 2011 be a huge difference?)

    • http://X111.com XIII

      As you can read from most reactions based on this initial report of Lion there’s absolutely nothing you’ll miss out on with Snow Leopard.

    • Que

      You loose about a hundred bucks. As far as I can tell, it’s all consumer bullshit about Lion. I’m not trilled at all; in fact I quit watching the keynote after the introduction of OSX 7, after the tedious introduction of all the benefits of iLife.

  • Christopher Anderton

    There is one big difference between the OS X App Store and the iOS one.
    When the iOS App Store started, they where in it’s own way unique in the mobile market (User interface, simplicity).

    On OS X, there is nothing new. There have been lot’s of similar apps both for Mac and Linux. Most Linux distros are centered around package managers that works almost the same way as OS X App Store. The difference is a fancy UI and how you pay for comercial apps. Furthermore, iOS was closed from the start. OS X is not closed in the same way. So you cannot take the iOS market plan and force it to OS X for computers.

  • http://X111.com XIII

    Hmm, I can’t think of any reason why I’d want to ‘upgrade’ to Lion based on this. If they’re trying to shove the iOS/Appstore model down our throat to make more money from app sales at least give us the damn OS for free. Functionality wise there’s nothing new or exciting that people haven’t already been using through third party apps.
    This isn’t a major release, it’s the equivalent of Vista.

  • SannyD

    excited about the auto saving and REALLy excited about the app store. i constantly hunt for apps on the apple downloads page especially when im on a gtd kick.

  • A. C.

    “there’s no requirement to sell exclusively through Apple (not yet, anyway!),”
    It’s that “not yet, anyway” that worries me. It would not be that hard to close OS X with an update.

    I’m concerned by the app store, too. There are a number of applications which were ported to OS X which made it, from a developer’s standpoint, absolutely great. I do not believe many of these, especially in their earlier versions, would have survived the application process:

    MySQL
    PostgreSQL
    my favorite programming editor at that time Nedit, and later Jedit.
    OpenOffice.org – especially the early versions, before 2.0
    ManOpen, a not widely known man page reader for people who use the Terminal app
    VirtualBox, especially the early versions.

    A further concern is, will developers of these and other multi-OS applications even bother to jump through the hoops to get them onto the app store if Apple does, in fact, close down other means to install software? I doubt it. We will be losing a large, rich set of capabilities from OS X when, and if, that happens. I hope it doesn’t happen, I won’t be surprised if it does.

  • Alex

    Disappointed. This “Lion” update is not as massive as the name itself. Seems like another 10.6.x update. The features are ok, but I feel they are more cosmetic. Face Time is the feature I liked the most. iLife… well, always has been a “cool toy” and perhaps the weakest software from Apple. Giving this software almost half of the time in keynote was so boring. Maybe (and I mean “maybe”) they are running out of ideas. Don´t get me wrong. I think its quite difficult to reinvent the market with every keynote they announce. Maybe they have just raised the too high.

  • Adam

    If Apple created a closed Mac OS whereby apps could only be installed via the app store, this would mean all backwards compatibility would be lost and all your previous apps would become useless and I highly doubt Apple would want to go and do that…

  • http://develemental.com Casen

    I do agree that the Mac App Store will be an excellent medium for developers to distribute their software, but it is imperative that “the old way” still works. Locking down the distribution of apps much like on the iphone or ipad will be a bit devastating to how I work, but I don’t think it would ruin apples business. Obviously it only served to bolster the business for the iphone.

    I am just worried that as time goes on, the OS will become so simple, that it is no longer powerful. As a scientist, and a developer, that is unacceptable to me. Fingers Crossed!!

  • Colum

    Apple used to be about the power user. People who wanted to get stuff done, and easily. 10.7 is the result of massive secuess is the iOS market. But I think Apple is trying to pull people from their mobile platform to their desktop platform. Yes, everything anounced is just to draw the media towards the look of their new OS. Look! You want the interface of you iPhone on your desktop? Look! We have Lion. Nothing anounced has any effect on current mac users, because the announced products are for people who know Apple only by the iPhone/iPod/iPad. Yes, what was anounced should have been put in 10.6.5, but I have to have some faith that Apple will add more than fancy apps/UI, and actually make the OS better, not looks nicer. I was hopping Apple would anounce something like “We have inproved memory managament of apps”

    Maybe there will be a couple of features that are geared more towards the power user?

    And the Full Screen feature is just stupid. I can make apps go full screen. WriteRoom? Steam games?

    • Alder

      I agree there. We tend to forget just how many people, and I mean MANY, have no idea that Apple, the company that makes iPhones and iPods, also makes computers that run an OS that’s not Windows.
      What we’ve seen on this keynote is just the features targeted to that audience. I seriously don’t think they’ve forgotten the long-time professional users.
      I’m sure Lion will have plenty more stuff to be worth the upgrade.

  • http://www.mikekey.com Mike Key

    Personally I think LaunchPad is a silly idea. I mean really? I know it might seem a better option than the current applications stack, but I often don’t find myself searching through all my apps that often. My most used apps are in the dock. Heck when Windows let you pin things to it’s taskbar I all but stopped using the start menu. Same thing on my Mac, it’s on the dock. Otherwise, I used Spotlight.

    I do like the full screen idea as someone who uses aperture for photo editing.

    The App store makes me nervous for a number of reasons.

    • Martin Krol

      I like the app store for one reason, and dislike the idea for another.

      The reason why I do like it is because it will lock serials to your account and all licensing associated with it. Everything will be kept legal. Imagine a photoshop that wont need the current activation method and you could install on your machines without having to worry about the number of activations.. or having to explain to adobe/ dig up receipts so you can prove that you do have a legal copy that has been activated against their servers before and used to work just fine for the longest time. if they wanted to keep activation limits then maybe give a limitation of how many times per week/month you can activate but not an absolute amount.

      anyway for things like that the app store can be a very positive direction.

      what i dont like about it is that software pricing can be controlled and be made more expensive than need be. ( and as a result of being on the app store, some applications can be made more expensive to compensate.

      Another thing that I feel will suck about this is also the ability to buy older un-supported software. What if I want to buy a cheap copy of shake 4.1 for my mac for under $400 ( I bought it for $250 with original everything ). It’s been proven in the field more than enough so I know that on a specific range of hardware it will do it’s job. better than having to buy nuke for $3500. Thats just an example.

      This part will be to respond to someone else:
      The centralized expose thing is another thing i like. I don’t care about existing workflows, if they can be improved. If someone likes their current workflow, then by all means use what you have. If it ain’t broke why try to fix/ change it… right!?

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  • Saurav Dhungana

    Personally I think this has been the most uninspiring Apple announcement ever. Looks like Apple is putting all its efforts and innovations in the iOS devices and adding a few UI tweaks in the new OSX. Most of the features it announced are totally unnecessary and doesn’t seem like features worthy of a major OS release at all.

    And also where is an upgrade for iWork? Its high time Apple improve their productivity suite. Though it is quite good but it still needs big improvements to become a viable alternative to Microsoft Office. I am really disappointed that it has been ignored so much.

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  • Que

    I’m not trilled about a walled OS; in fact it urges me to abandon Apple and it’s appstore. And why bother about an OS if all the apps go fullscreen? There’s more to Apple’s agenda than meets the eye; off to Linux for me.

  • Justin Bitner

    The one thing people aren’t talking about is how apple is working to make the os more secure from malware and virus’s. For your average user at this point, they will be using the store to purchase and install software. Since all of the software will be reviewed, the user will not be risking accidentally downloading a malicious program. Also, since upgrades/updates to the application will also come through the store, they will be screened for compatibility issues that can affect the os, minimizing adverse effects to the core os. I see apple then instituting a much more stringent inspection of downloadable executable program files to determine if they are hostile or not. Since they are narrowing the pipe for malicious files to come in, its easier to detect those types of files.

    To many of the above comments, the only walled gardens that will be created by the store is for those with nominal computing skills. Which will in effect increase the ease of use and enjoyability for those users. For the rest of us, its still perfectly easy to do as we wish.

    Also, as a business owner that makes both products and services, I know that its a ridiculous task to get your products in front of thousands/millions of people so that they can purchase your app. To make your app succeed you have to have a heavily paid search presence and news coverage (which is very difficult to get) By giving us the app store, any start up can instantly have their product easily accessible to millions of potential customers. Without any advertising/search engine costs. Thats simply fantastic for us business owners and programers.

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  • http://greenapplesales.com Digital Marketing

    I am excited and ove my current MBP w/ Snow Leopard.

    However the App store! Wow that is truly amazing…where did they ever come up with that idea? Oh yeah I remember “Synaptic Package Manager” that has come with every Linux distro for a very long time.

    I dual boot my current Mac just because Linux lets me do anything. I usually use the OSX side though. I want to see what the big “secrets” are….we all know apple will not let them out until close to the actual release.

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  • Spikey8D

    Good so far, but to impress me it will need more features than this.

    1. If they’re adding gestures and layers/window management, they should take it all the way and adopt some of this technology: http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/futuristic-minority-report-computer-interface-makes-a-real-life-debut-20100217/
    http://kottke.org/10/06/real-world-minority-report-computer-interface
    Stuff like the computing system in the movie: ‘Minority Report’ – but adapted for macs. It could use a 3d camera inbuilt in mac screens even.
    This would make the whole desktop environment 3D – windows on different layers etc.

    2. Also, OSX needs to catch up with file handling. They need to incorporate file merging in finder copy/moves. As well as this they should change parallel copying to a queued system when copying from or to the same device in order to maximise file handling efficiency.
    Apple could learn a thing or two from Path Finder: http://www.cocoatech.com/
    ie. column view with cover flow.
    on a side note – the scroll bars are looking a bit dated, they should be changed to the stylish iTunes ones (similar to the 3rd screenshot of this article), or like this article suggests; http://www.macrumors.com/2010/10/25/mac-os-x-lion-notes-ios-scroll-bars-any-corner-resizing-dock-changes/
    scrollbars similar to iOS devices.

    3. Spaces needs to be extended for dual monitor setups. There should be configurations to allow multiple monitors to display adjacent spaces, or each be able to be on any space (with mirroring if on the same space).

    4. Lion needs to have a disk cataloguing system. Something like Disk Catalogue Maker (http://diskcatalogmaker.com/) for CDs, DVDs, HardDrives and cloud file storage like dropbox (catalogue would be offline) – but it would be integrated into Finder, and would be searchable from Spotlight. Essentially this is indexing for offline. results could be highlighted or greyed out to show they are on an offline device.

    I believe these features would help streamline the way we use our computers, and could be pulled off while maintaining apples renowned simplistic style.

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  • J.

    I’m really thrilled and also happy that there isn’t that much cloud stuff included. “The cloud” in Apples terms would mean “Apples datacenter” for sure. Opening up MobileMe for any WebDAV server would make me very happy though.

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