Yesterday at the WWDC keynote event, Apple executives gave the world a preview of what is to come from the newest version of the Macintosh operating system. This new system has been dubbed Lion and will be available for consumers to purchase only via the Mac App Store as it comes as a simple compact 4GB upgrade from Snow Leopard priced at $29.99.
The Mac has outpaced windows and the PC industry every single quarter for the past five years and “running and with OS X Lion we plan to keep extending our lead,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing. Being by far the finest version of OS X yet, Lion is a revolutionized concept and is absolutely jam packed with countless innovative features making the Mac-User interface smoother and with a much more natural feel, such as new Multi-Touch gestures, system-wide support for full screen apps, and Mission Control for instantly accessing everything running on your Mac.
With the well over 250 new features incorporated into Lion only a small handful were highlighted today, several of which Apple has already previewed at different events as well as on Apple’s website. This morning retail sales head Phil Schiller demonstrated the new multi-touch gestures and how they worked, applications in full-screen mode, the new Mission Control application and window management system, and several more new additions to the OS.
One interesting addition is Photo Booth, which will get facial recognition features while the Mac App Store will be built into Lion and in-app purchases, which are already common in iOS apps, will be possible for Mac apps. The Lion’s new Resume feature will allow your Mac to re-open applications to exactly the way they were when last used and Lion will automatically save documents to prevent data loss and actively manage versions to preserve disk space.
Another new feature making communication even easier yet is AirDrop, which is a way to seamlessly and simply share files wirelessly between computers or devices. Macs on the same Wi-Fi network running AirDrop will be visible to each other and files can be dragged and dropped onto the icon for each user to be shared.
All Mail will receive a complete and major overhaul in Lion. The interface will be much like the Mail app on the iPad with a split view showing a message list on the left and individual message details and content on the right. The manner in which the email conversations are displayed also gets an upgrade, as does a user’s searching capability.
Lion will be available be available some time in mid July.