WWDC 2011: Mac OS X Lion
With many developers already working on Lion applications, most of these features have been talked about already, yet Apple did demo these features, providing a real look into how the OS will feel.
With over 250 features, this promises to be a big change in the OS. Here are the main features highlighted by Apple regarding Mac OS X Lion:
1. Multi-touch gestures
Already seen on any Macbook, the major changes in the multi-touch gestures are iOS-inspired. Bringing the iOS scroll bar and smart zoom to the Mac has Apple trying to make the Mac a more touch-friendly device, as seen though the release of the Magic Trackpad as well. Apple hopes to make Lion as controllable through gestures as possible.
2. Full Screen Apps
With the swipe of a finger, Apps can now become full-screen. More swiping leads to switching between Apps. With Mission Control and Launchpad, this can increase productivity of individual users while working in one app, yet still being able to move around the computer.
3. Mission Control
A cross between Expose and Spaces, Mission Control brings the productivity features of both into an easy to use system. Spaces can be seen on the top of the screen, while Expose is visible through the rest of the screen, with multiple windows of the same app grouped together. The major addition here is adding the ability to create new Spaces on the fly.
4. App Store
The Mac App Store will now be built into Lion. Since this is the distribution service for the new OS, this is clearly a focus for Apple. By adding in-app purchases and push notifications for software updates, the App Store could be a big addition to the current software update model for Apple.
Taking even more cues from iOS, the desktop of the computer will now have iOS-based icons tied to installed applications on the computer. With iOS folder organization and customization, Apple is clearly trying to bridge the gap between their mobile platform and Mac computers.
Apple has provided the ability to remember where you were in an app before closing it. This allows apps to be opened exactly as they were left. This, tied in with Auto Save allows for major version control, similar to Time Machine.
7. Auto Save
Applications will now be automatically saved. Each save highlights only the differences between the last version and the new version, thus eliminating any waste on the hard drive. In addition, versioning allows you to see what the differences are with all previous copies of the same file in a Time Machine-based UI.
8. Air Drop
A P2P WiFi based file transfer protocol, Air Drop allows users to drag and drop files between multiple computers on a shared WiFi connection. It's auto-discover, auto-setup, and it follows Apple's "It just works" mantra.
Completely redesigned to match the iPad Mail app, the major changes here allow for more efficient and planned searching and conversation views. Once again, Apple hopes to bridge the iOS and Mac OS X gap with the app.
Tying all of these changes together with iCloud and iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion hopes to really enhance the Mac OS X platform.
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