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lion

Apple released their large overhaul to their Mac operating system with Mac OS X Snow Leopard in June of 2009. This update seemed fairly basic to the naked eye as there weren’t many end-user feature updates, but under the hood the OS took strides in performance, efficiency and memory consumption. It was essentially laying the groundwork for the future. While I think Mac OS X users were happy with this update, I can say from personal experience that there was certainly some anticipation for what was next.

Mac OS X Lion launched barely two months ago and I was quick to give this new operating system a try. Developers had been working with versions of the operating system for some time prior and were talking about some of the features that were being played with by the Apple team. It appeared that this would be that major update that we’d been waiting for, bringing along with it many new end-user features.

I’m the type of person that is always looking for ways to be more efficient with my work. This is essentially a never ending journey, but the quest always continues on nonetheless. I grabbed a copy of Lion soon after it was released, anxious to see how the new features I had read about could possibly improve my productivity and efficiency.

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In Lion, the Spaces feature has been replaced by Mission Control, one central location with some major window management capabilities (Exposé shortcuts are still available).

We recently published an article on Making the Most of Mission Control and would love to know how you’re getting along with the new system.

I think the best way to judge your acceptance of Mission Control is by noting how much you actually use it on a day to day basis. Is it a novelty feature that you forget exists (Dashboard anyone?) or is it something that you use constantly and couldn’t live without?

Cast your vote in the poll and then leave a comment below about why you love or hate it and if you miss any functionality from Snow Leopard.

Along with a ton of great new features, OS X Lion brings about at least one fairly controversial change: the default behavior for scrolling has been reversed. It used to the case that if you wanted to scroll down the page, you made a downward swiping gesture, and of course the reverse of that for going back up.

However, the iPhone changed things up a bit. With the direct interaction model, it felt more natural to move the page instead of the scroll position, so to scroll down on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you swipe up.

When you’re directly interacting with a touchscreen, this scrolling model is incredibly intuitive. You reach out and touch the page and move it freely in any direction that you please. Your brain immediately understands what’s happening and there is zero adjustment period.

With Lion, OS X has picked up this system. Now the scroll gesture acts as if you’re reaching out and touching the screen: swipe up to scroll down. Now instead of moving the scroll bars, you must imagine that you’re tossing the page.

For some, the new system immediately made sense and required very little adjustment time. However, many users are complaining that the indirect nature of a mouse or trackpad is in conflict with the direct model of scrolling. Our brains are already so set on the way things have been for years that it’s difficult to reprogram them, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to do so.

Today we want to know what you think. Do you like natural scrolling in Lion? Or do you wish Apple would subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” theory? Have you decided whether or not to adjust to the new system or revert back to the old way? Vote in the poll above and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

It’s been a long two years since the release of Snow Leopard, and with all the fanfare surrounding Apple’s mobile devices recently, many Mac users, myself included, are feeling a little left out. Lion’s much-anticipated release follows Apple’s promise to bring focus “back to the Mac” by integrating advancements from iPhone and iPad development into the Mac platform. In its attempt to bring the best of iOS to the next generation of OSX, Apple has some people worried that Lion will turn their Macs into giant iPads, or introduce iOS-like restrictions to the Mac. Now that this cat is finally out of its cage, let’s dive right in and see what Lion has to offer!

Unlike Snow Leopard, which featured mostly behind-the-scenes improvements and few obvious changes, Lion is a feature-packed major update that will noticeably change the way you use your Mac. Lion comes packed with over 250 new features, so let’s take a look at some of its biggest selling points (in no particular order).

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It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for, OS X Lion is finally available for public download in the Mac App Store.

Apple tossed in a few surprises for the day as well with some welcome hardware updates. Let’s very briefly take a look at what’s going on just to keep you up to date around the Mac user water cooler.

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At this point, you probably know all about the newest update to Apple’s legendary operating system: OS X Lion. It has over 250 new features, including new gestures, full-screen apps, Mission Control, Launchpad and all kinds of other goodies that I just can’t wait to get my hands on.

The demos at WWDC had us all drooling over this new toy and we learned that it will hit the Mac App Store in July for a mere $29.99! This marks a serious shift in the way that Apple does business. Never before have they released a major operating system update as a download-only product. At over 4GB, many are nervous about the logistics of this affair. It’s easy to imagine Apple forums filling up on launch day with stories from frustrated users.

Today we want to know whether or not you will purchase and download Lion right away. Will you hit the Mac App Store as soon as possible on launch day or wait a while to see how things work out for early adopters before jumping on the bandwagon? Vote in the poll and leave a comment below with your thoughts.

In today’s WWDC keynote, Apple shared the usual set of Mac statistics that we now almost take for granted. Notebook and desktop sales are up, the platform continues to outgrow the PC industry as a whole, and everything is going swimmingly. There’s still a major bias toward portable computers – 73% of Macs sold are notebooks.

One of the headline stories centred around what to expect in their next operating system — OS X Lion — due for release in July 2011. Not only did Apple announce that this will be a download-only release through the Mac App Store, but it’s also their lowest priced operating system to date, costing $29.99.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the big cat!

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With Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) coming up on June 6th, forums and message boards across the internet are filling up with speculation about what is going to be announced. Apple are inviting us to “join us for a preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X” and it’s set to be the most popular WWDC yet.

The event was sold out within 12 hours, faster than any other WWDC and tickets for the event were reportedly being sold on sites such as eBay and Craigslist for as high as $4,599, nearly triple the face value of $1,599. This popularity can only mean two things: Apple is planning to release a major new version of Mac OS X and, possibly, a new version of iOS, the sister version of OS X designed for the popular iPhone and iPad.

The new version of Mac OS X, Lion, is set to be a major overhaul of Apple’s default operating system and was announced in October 2010 in a keynote entitled, quite fittingly, “Back to the Mac”.

The last major rework of Mac OS X was seen back in 2007 with the release of Leopard (Snow Leopard, released in August 2009, simply optimized certain areas of the OS), so the OS was in need of some modernization to keep it competitive. Three previews of the new operating system have already been released to developers via private previews and some new features have already been noticed however, in true Apple-style, they will surely save the best bits for the official announcement.

Let’s take a look at what we can expect from Steve Jobs’s keynote on the latest version of Mac OS X.

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When Steve Jobs gave a preview of the new version of OS X, he talked at length about the idea of bringing what they’d learned through iOS “Back to the Mac”. Unsurprisingly, sweating the details of one of the best mobile interfaces in the industry has given Apple a great deal of insight and experience that can be applied to OS X.

This concept excites some people, and disturbs others. Although I love my iPad, do I want the same experience on the desktop? Or is this platform still better suited for more intricate, complex interface design?

Although iPhoto ’11 started to hint at how this transition may play out, it still felt very much like a traditional desktop app. I couldn’t really see how bringing iOS interface elements and functionality to the desktop would lead to an overall better experience.

Until this week.

Having spent two days using the Reeder for Mac beta, I’m completely blown away by how well—when executed to perfection—this amalgamation of iOS and OS X can work.

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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.

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