The main goal of Mac OS 10.7 Lion is to bring iOS-like features—particularly touch-based features—to the desktop. After some time with the upcoming OS, we can verify that it certainly does that, but it also adds a few other neat features—both for beginners and advanced users—to the desktop OS.
Below we’ll walk through the new features and all the iOS-ified interface updates. Click any of the screenshots for a closer look.
Apart from the iOS-style tweaks we knew were included, Lion actually has some pretty great new features coming. Here are a few of our favourites.
Full Disk Encryption
Built-In Version Control
Another really nice feature is session saving. When you shut down your computer, you can choose to save your session, so when you turn your computer back on, it restores all your windows, exactly as they were when you shut down. Of course, if you’re on a MacBook, you can always achieve a very similar result by just closing the lid of your computer, but it’s nice to have this feature for desktops, too. Similarly, when you quit an app, it will resume to the same state you left it when you restart it, which is new (and pretty convenient) for both laptop and desktop users.
Other Neat iOS-Style Elements in the Interface
The other big thing in Lion is the focus on full screen apps. Some of the apps are just maximised versions of the window, while others, act a lot more like an iOS app in full screen mode. In Preview, for example, you can full screen a PDF or group of images and flip through them with multitouch swipe gestures, just like you would on an iPad. It’s pretty neat if you want to give a specific app your full attention, but again, it seems weird for a desktop or laptop computer. It seems to me like if I was reading something in a leisurely enough style that I wasn’t paying attention to anything else, I’d actually be doing it on iOS instead of my computer.
iOS-Style Elements That Are a Little Confusing
By the same token, what we didn’t learn about at Apple’s presentation were the small interface tweaks that, frankly, are a little confusing. For example, the dock doesn’t show any lights under running applications. I have no idea why this was necessary, nor what we gain from it. In iOS, you can only really run one application at a time, but OS X isn’t iOS—so it doesn’t make any sense that it wouldn’t tell you what apps are running alongside one another. Thankfully, if you head into System Preferences, you can put the dock lights back on.
These likely aren’t the only new features coming to Lion, but they were certainly the most prominent we found playing with the beta. Keep in mind all of this is subject to change, since it is still in the development stages, but hopefully this gives you a more in-depth view of what’s in store for this summer. Got any thoughts, rants, loves, or hates about the new OS? Let’s talk about it in the comments.