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Friday, October 22, 2010

Coming in Summer 2011: Mac OS X Lion

It wasn't only the MacBook Air that Steve Jobs announced in yesterday's Back to the Mac event.  The main subject, in fact, was the next iteration of the Mac OS X operating system, Lion.  If the pundits are to be believed, this will be the last of the big cats and they saved the last for the king of the jungle.

Steve Jobs said that in his keynote address that "Lion brings many of the best ideas from iPad back to the Mac, plus some fresh new ones like Mission Control that Mac users will really like."

Some of the features of the upcoming operating system include:
  • The Mac App Store works the same way as the App Store and you may purchase applications using your iTunes Account.  It promises to revolutionize the way we Mac users install our software and more.  Applications may be installed in every Mac a user owns and then updated regularly.  Jobs announced that the Mac App Store will be available within 90 days.
  • The Launchpad gives instant access to all your apps with just a click on its icon on the dock.  Open windows fade away and apps are displayed in full screen just like in the iPad.  A swipe will show multiple pages of apps and these may be arranged according to the user's preference.
  • The Mission Control gives us a bird's eye view of what is happening in our Mac.  It works almost like the Expose and Dashboard combined with Spaces thrown in.  With a swipe gesture, the user will see all open windows grouped by apps, other full screen apps as well as other Spaces.
Lion will also employ the multi-touch experience of the iPad.  Instead of the screen, however, we will use the trackpad to pinch and swipe.  The applications will also open in full screen, just like in the iPad.  User could pinch to adjust the size of the display.

Indeed, Apple brings back to the Mac the technology it has developed for its iPod, iPhone and iPad through the Mac OS X Lion.  I'll surely upgrade once it is available.

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