The Mac OS X 10.7 release was delivered to the general public in July 2011. What surprised many at the actual press release presentation was the distinct lack of hype surrounding the product. Media outlets had been used to elaborate the language used to describe previous Apply launches, yet Steve Jobs termed this release as a preview to where they’re headed with the Mac OS X. However, do not be fooled by the toned down language approach–Mac OS X 10.7 does anything but disappoint.
When Jobs arrived on stage, the screen positioned behind him simply listed in chronological order all of the previous releases of the Mac OS X– all the way from Cheetah to Snow Leopard. The naming of the platform after various big cats started as what many think was merely a joke type code name for releases within developer circles, but it is now a core, and extremely successful part of Apple’s marketing plan. Those in the room expected nothing more than for this new launch to follow the “big cat” and as such many correctly predicted that this new release was to be entitled “Lion”, which Jobs soon announced that it was.
Mac OS X 10.7 represents what many would term to be a major advance from Snow Leopard which disappointed many with its addition of no new features, but instead Apple concentrated on ironing out the various bugs which were contained in the previous release. Lion can be said to perhaps make up for this drought of new features with OS X Lion since the release contains in excess of 260 additional features and as such leaves one to sometimes wonder where Apple finds all of the new ideas they seem to incorporate with most new chapters in the OS X development story.
So what are these revolutionary features, and what makes Lion roar?
What came as a surprise to many users was what Apple did to scrolling–what some have termed as “re-inventing it.” Up is down, down is up, left is right and unsurprisingly right is left and you will be pleased to hear that this is not a result of an error in the installation process. At first it appears bizarre, however, as you get used to the new navigation setup it does soon appear “natural”, which is after all what Apple advertised it as being. iPhone users will be knowingly or perhaps in the majority of cases unknowingly actually used to this form of screen navigation, the whole idea behind it is that for example if you wanted to see text at the top of the page you would naturally pull the piece of paper down, not up.
Another great feature which Lion boasts is the enhancement of the Spotlight tool. The Spotlight tool now not only searches the system, but can also search the internet, Wikipedia and a dictionary/thesaurus – an incredibly useful upgrade most will agree.
As soon as you turn on your Mac you will be presented with a never before seen program, Mission Control. Mission Control allows you to see all of the windows you currently have open in the center of your screen and these are helpfully grouped into blocks of similar activities allowing you to organize your workflow with ease.
Resume, Autosave and Versions
This addition to the Mac OS X Lion release is perhaps the one which grabs the attention of many, due to the solution it provides to the problems many users of any Mac face: losing your work. Whilst the “resume” feature is present in many browsers such as Firefox and Safari whereby when/if the application crashes it will restore your tabs upon restart, resume goes one better than this. When you flick your device back on after shut down it will actually bring up everything on your Mac exactly as you left it, be that windows in specific places and in specific sizes or documents, everything you had open will be brought back exactly how you left it–another great tool designed to make life on the Mac easier.
The features listed above are obviously just a small selection of the enhanced functionality which Lion provides the user; there are well in excess of 260 of these new features and listing them all would simply not be feasible! In conclusion though, Lion represents the most advanced version of Mac OS X ever released, making up for the lack of progress of Snow Leopard and hopefully paving the way for the next generation of Mac OS X, whatever that may be.