What To Expect In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Apple didn't reveal too much about the next iteration of their operating system, but from what we learned today, here's a look at what you can expect when Mac OS X Lion is released in mid 2011.

In a nutshell: iOS.

Apple's clearly spent much more time with iOS than the Mac as of late, and they want to take what they've learned with mobile operating systems and apply it to Mac OS X. This means more multitouch gestures, an App Store and iOS-like interface elements.

Mission Control = Exposé + Spaces

Mission Control is basically an upgraded Exposé, adding new views and methods of organisation to make it easier to navigate through all the windows on your Mac. Windows are now grouped into application views and you can peek at each of them easily with the mouse. All these applications views are also organised by your spaces (virtual desktops), and you can now flick through spaces with multitouch gestures. These improvements are pretty minor, but seem like a more intuitive approach to navigating through the inevitable everyday window clutter on your Mac.

The scary part: From the language Apple used to describe it, it looks like Mission Control may do away with Spaces altogether. We love Spaces, so that could be unfortunate.

The (Mac) App Store and LaunchPad

Apple's iOS App Store has clearly made the platform what it is and Apple's decided to bring that to Mac OS X. The Mac App Store runs as its own app and automates both installation and updates for the user. Downloaded apps come with a licence for all your personal Macs. While it sounds like this is a good thing — in the sense that Apple isn't limiting installations — they didn't elaborate on copy-protection and how it'll work with the Mac.

Whether you download an app from the official App Store or you grab it elsewhere, all your apps are now accessible in your LaunchPad. LaunchPad is an application that's very similar to what you'd find on an iOS device homescreen, giving you a springboard for all your apps that can be organised by pages and into folders.

If you've used an iOS device and purchased apps, you'll find familiarity in the App Store-related features in Mac OS X Lion. On the plus side, if the App Store is something you're looking forward to, Apple plans to release a copy for Snow Leopard when launching the store in 90 days.

Other Features

While Apple didn't elaborate too much on the other mentioned features (of which there were few), there are plans to bring fullscreen mode to applications — adding the ability to maximise a window.

Other app-centric features include auto-saving content so you don't have to worry about losing it in a crash and auto-resuming an app when you open it back up so you don't have to waste any time getting back to where you left off.

Presumably these features are simply new APIs for developers, but historically, Apple's made it pretty simple to integrate these sorts of things into apps so developers can add them in time for the new OS' release.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is slated for release in mid-2011 and no developer preview is available yet, so there's likely a bit more coming as we grow closer to that date. Conveniently, Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) will happen right about the same time, so more details and other features may not be divulged until then.


Comments

    Mac OS X has had it far too easy for far too long. I look forward to the day when you can only install approved App store items on your Mac, thereby eliminating such useless programs like "Firefox" and "terminal".

    Lol.

    are you stupid?... for a start terminal is a mac application DEVELOPED by APPLE not only that its used by the system.

    go back to vista loser

      If you want to compare OS.X to Vista then that's probably about right. Both are older OS's with 4 year old UI's and features.

      I'll stick with Win7 thanks... a modern OS with useful UI features built in, not having to be bolted on late via a string of paid programs.

      (Cinch = AeroSnap)
      (MoveAddict = CUT/PASTE)
      (DockView = AeroPeek)
      etc....

      I hope that Apple fixes these basic UI problems with 10.7 Lion... as well as driving everything towards it's Managed Platform Computing model.

      Be nice.

      And don't be a rotten scoundrel to people then stamp your foot as though you're all knowing of the product.

      "Terminal is a mac application", is complete and utter garbarge. The terminal has existed as the primary interface for UNIX, and like variants, for well over 30 years.

      If you'd ever taken the time to learn the underpining structure of OS X you'd be rethinking the statement, "its used by the system", with an embarrassed look.

      "Go back to Vista"? Really? Several years on already? It wasn't too long ago that OS X was suffering the most basic of networking woes-the inability to get an ip address via dhcp.

      If people are acting "stupid" toward you take the time to correct them of their ignorance. But do it without the intent to stroke your own ego.

      I'd reconsider saying this, but I figure - when in Rome.

      ...are YOU stupid?

      Mac user or not, grow up. If you haven't yet worked out that Linux, UNIX (which means Apple through association), and Windows all have their merits you should probably stick to the less complicated world of console GUI's.

    Whoa, that... that's it? Um... wow. They actually managed to make an entire press conference out of those 'features'?

    Of course, apple will count them as '300 features'.

    Wow, didn't realise you couldn't maximise windows already.

    What is wrong with Apple?? And more importantly, their customers? Apple releases things which don't even include the most basic of functions and sell them for much more than they are worth. And people buy them?

    Now if someone GAVE me a Mac, or if it was much less than half price of what it is, I would possibly use a Mac, but still have my OSs that can actually do stuff installed.

      Mac apps already do standardly include a maximise feature, but the developer can set it to maximise to less than the size of the screen (and many do so). From what I've gathered, the full-screen mode differs from an app that can maximise to the full size of the screen by also eliminating the menu bar -- akin to the full-screen view available in most browsers.

    I don't think this operating system looks very impressive...Well I mean OF COURSE it's impressive--It's Mac! Ha ha I'm just saying I don't see many useful additions that they're putting on the operating system. But I can't have a justified opinion 'til I try it out for myself, I guess. And It's not like we're jumping from X to OS 11 or anything so I guess you shouldn't expect a vast amount of UI changes & features etc. Cool though! Wasn't really expecting a new OS this quickly

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