Mac OS X Lion Announced, Review of Top 10 New Features

The WWDC 2011 Keynote has already commenced and the first thing Apple chose to unveil today is the Mac OS X Lion. It’s not just hardware but great software too that makes Macs the most wanted computers around the world. Let’s look at Lion’s top 10 new features.

Mac OS X Lion

The last iteration of Mac OS X was the Snow Leopard. It was great but it surely wasn’t as different from its predecessor as Lion is going to be. Let’s find out why’s that.

1. More MultiTouch Gestures

The Mac OS X has really learnt a lot in this regard from the iOS. Scrolling in Safari or anywhere else is elastic now and very very smooth just like iOS. No more zooming in and out in fixed increments. That felt so analog right! You’ll just love pinching in and out to zoom now.

Also the scrollbars don’t stay around permanently now. They appear only when needed, that is when you are scrolling. Again very iOS.

2. Full Screen Apps

Apple has made it easier for developers now to create a full screen experience for the apps. Every Full Screen application has its own unique space and you can slide them to either side using a two finger swipe. Swipe to scroll through desktop and various apps. Even Photo Booth goes full screen now.

3. Mission Control

Combine Expose and Spaces. The best way to manage multiple windows just got even better in Lion. In Mission control you can drag windows in and out of spaces just like earlier. You can even close a Space and all windows return to main frame. Every fullscreen app has its own space like I said earlier. Use two finger left or right swipe to switch between spaces.

4. Mac App Store

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This has been available to Snow Leopard users too for a while now. Just like the iOS App Store you can download, update and even get in app purchases for Mac Applications.

5. Launchpad

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Our parents are really going to love this. This is an iPhone and iPad style springboard for Mac. All your apps have an icon just like the iOS homescreen. You can launch them, watch them download here. You can even have folders. Very very iOS again. Using a Mac will gradually get as easy as using an iPad.

6. Resume Apps

Now no need to start every app from scratch when you launch them after restarting your computer. The apps start exactly where you left them. Were you editing three documents in Pages? They’ll launch the way they were when you last quit them. Also, the apps that were running launch automatically when you login to your computer again.

7. AutoSave

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If your computer teacher taught you just one thing it would be to constantly keep hitting the Save button. Don’t do it for long and Boom something goes wrong. No more with Mac OS X Lion. It keeps saving your documents automatically. You can always go back to the last saved version or disable autosave once you have completed editing a document.

8. Versions

Autosave leaves cue for Versioning. Imagine Time Machine implemented throughout the Operating System now. You can browse through all the versions of the document Time Machine style and then restore any one you like. The version on the left is the current version, and the one on the right is the collection of all versions you can browse through.

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Another great addition is that you can even copy paste between versions. You don’t always have to restore the whole document if you don’t want to. It’s as if each version in version history is alive and a full document in itself that you can copy from.

9. AirDrop

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I have been using this for a while now and this is my favorite feature. Sharing files with another computer around you is now as easy as dragging and dropping. Forget USB drives or external hard drives. Uses Peer-to-peer wi-fi requiring no setup at all. Remember Apple made this. Simple like FaceTime. It’s almost like sending files over bluetooth. Confirmation is required to both send and receive and your data is encrypted, so no worries.

10. All New Mail app

If I did not say it enough number of times, let me say it again. Mac OS X Lion has learnt a great deal from iOS. This time the iPad is the teacher. The Mail app has been totally revamped and now has two or three column view just like the iPad. The new design is very useful and much more practical. iPad users would already know why. Conversation view helps you keep track of the conversations with a single person just like iPhone SMS.

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So those were Lion’s Top 10 New Features but hey that’s by no means all that Apple’s stuffed into OS X Lion. In fact there are 250 new features in total.

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I have been using the Mac OS X Lion beta for a while now and I’m already familiar with most of these features and I can tell you they really are tons more useful than they sound in here. For example, there is Windows Migration Assistant, FileVault 2, built in FaceTime etc.

How to Upgrade to Mac OS X Lion?

Unlike Snow Leopard, Lion won’t be shipping on discs. Guess where you can get it? The Mac App Store. Obvious right! Just head over to the Mac App Store and download it. It’s a 4GB file according to Apple and doesn’t even require a reboot to install it.

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The upgrade will cost you $29.99 and a single purchase can be used to install on every Mac you own. Lion will be released in July.

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[Images Credit: ThisIsMyNext.com]

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