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Mac OS X Lion adds new iOS-like About this Mac app

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
After converted Mac OS X's Apple Menu to link to the new Mac App Store market rather than just linking to its "Mac OS X Software" web page, Apple has now turned its attention to the pedestrian "About This Mac," providing easy access to system details.

The command now launches a simple new app titled System Information, which provides an Overview panel linking to both Software Updates and a hardware System Report (which launches the existing System Profiler for more detailed information).

A Displays panel details the current video interface and settings, providing a link to the Display panel in System Preferences.

The Storage panel provides an iTunes-like overview of how disk space is being used by each attached volume and partition, providing a link to Disk Utility.





Memory and Battery panels detail the status of installed RAM and batteries, linking to an external website of "memory upgrade instructions" and the Energy Saver panel of System Preferences.



The new app also provides links to Support information, including a Mac OS X user manual and link to Apple's OS support pages, as well as a hardware user manual, specifications, and hardware support pages.



Finally, a Service panel provides links to AppleCare for checking warranty coverage status and other options for service and repair, along with a link selling an extended AppleCare agreement.

post #2 of 39
so its just a flashier front end?
post #3 of 39
I'm impressed and would not make fun of this.

This is the attention to detail that sets Apple above the rest. And I mean way above the rest!

There's only one way to do things and that's the right way.

Best
post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperpunx View Post

so its just a flashier front end?

Not exactly. The old System Profiler to get more information about the system is a bit intimidating to users. It's something only a technician or a tech-savvy user would be comfortable in. This app definitely wraps it up in a nice GUI, but it also is more approachable and plus, it has the AppleCare warranty upsell built-in
post #5 of 39
Good idea, but I think they could simplify this up even more.
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post #6 of 39
I'm liking all the UI tweaks (scroll bars, window resizing, etc) but really care a LOT more about the actual OS changes (versions, ASLR, resume, etc).

Could we please get more reporting on the actual OS features? Any signs of a new file system burried in there? Any apps using versions or resume? How well does file vault work qnd does it work with Time Machine and Time Machine Server? A video of air drop working would be great....
post #7 of 39
Cool stuff. It recognizes that I have an SSD and all my RAM slots are filled (16GB total).



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"The descent to hell is easy. The gates stand open day and night. But to reclimb the slope and escape to the upper air: This is labor."--Virgil, Aeneid, Book 6

Rob
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post #8 of 39
Does this only recognize programs from the Mac App Store and everything else goes into "Other"? I can't think of why else the "app" section is 0 bytes.
post #9 of 39
I love shit like this. Getting basic system info from friends/family, etc will be that much easier, in order to give advice. Yeah it's a flashier front end, but its also much more user-friendly. Love that Apple is putting attention to things like this.
post #10 of 39
I'd LOVE to see a button that allowed you to send the profile information as an email. Put it on the first panel and all admins would need to do on the phone is say "Go to About this Mac, and click on the send email button".
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Does this only recognize programs from the Mac App Store and everything else goes into "Other"? I can't think of why else the "app" section is 0 bytes.

A User's documents would easily fit into other, and since there isn't a "System" section, I suppose that could go in there as well.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperpunx View Post

so its just a flashier front end?

You've obviously never had to deal with this aspect of OS-X much at all. This has been needed for many years and it's nice that they finally got to it.

In the old style you had access to just a dribble of information that wasn't very helpful and then had to click a second button to start a second program that was reasonably difficult to read (nothing as bad as Windows Device Manager, but still awkward). For those of us that have to service Macs regularly, this is in fact a big deal and will be a great time saver.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

I'd LOVE to see a button that allowed you to send the profile information as an email. Put it on the first panel and all admins would need to do on the phone is say "Go to About this Mac, and click on the send email button".

Brilliant!
post #14 of 39
I like this but I wish they would change Movies to Videos. In Finder they have a Music folder but list it as Audio because there because there are many different types of audio. The same logic would apply to movies if we consider the term movies has taken on a specific definition beyond the original term to refer to pictures that move.
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post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb510 View Post

I'm liking all the UI tweaks (scroll bars, window resizing, etc) but really care a LOT more about the actual OS changes (versions, ASLR, resume, etc).

Could we please get more reporting on the actual OS features? Any signs of a new file system burried in there? Any apps using versions or resume? How well does file vault work qnd does it work with Time Machine and Time Machine Server? A video of air drop working would be great....

No sign of new FS. Apps have to be updated to work with Versions and Resume (it's working in TextEdit.) 9to5Mac has a video of AirDrop up, if it hasn't been removed by Apple yet...
post #16 of 39
I was excited about ZFS, but I'm thinking that if the file system does everything Apple wants it to do I'm don't see any compelling reason to replace it unless there is something really good to replace it with which actually adds value to end users.

I have never had problems with corruption of performance because of HFS+ (Journaled). It might not be technically perfect, but it is good enough for now.
post #17 of 39
When I would set up computers for family or clients, under a single bookmark, I'd place macupdate.com, apple support forums and other helpful sites to aid in future troubleshooting.

It's a huge relief to see Apple finally put these links in and make it easier for those that help others set up and maintain their computers.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Does this only recognize programs from the Mac App Store and everything else goes into "Other"? I can't think of why else the "app" section is 0 bytes.

It's probably because this is a clean install. Apps that are installed as part of the system might not be included in the "app" category.
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I like this but I wish they would change Movies to Videos. In Finder they have a Music folder but list it as Audio because there because there are many different types of audio. The same logic would apply to movies if we consider the term movies has taken on a specific definition beyond the original term to refer to pictures that move.

"Movies" is more generic than "Films" or "Videos", so I think they are right to keep "Movies". It is still open to debate, however.

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post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"Movies" is more generic than "Films" or "Videos", so I think they are right to keep "Movies". It is still open to debate, however.

Maybe it’s a cultural difference. I see Video as being the most generic, than Movies, TV Shows, Home Movies which I think are all equal in the tier below Videos.

For example, both Blockbuster and Netflix list renting Movies & TV Shows. Netflix also lists for the XBOX 360, “How can I instantly watch right on my TV? […] Simply click on Netflix in the Video Marketplace.” while Blockbuster refers (referred) to itself as "Blockbuster Video”, not "Blockbuster Movie.”

Finally, we call the computer games we play and the HW that allows us to play them “Video cards” not “Movie cards."
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post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

I'd LOVE to see a button that allowed you to send the profile information as an email. Put it on the first panel and all admins would need to do on the phone is say "Go to About this Mac, and click on the send email button".


Tremendous idea!

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post #22 of 39
But is the old System Profiler still there? Or how do I get information such as 'Hardware UUID'? Only via the command line would be a step back in usability.
post #23 of 39
I agree, "Videos" is much better than "Movies." I have a lot of TV shows and videos I took with my camera, and so on. Clearly these are not feature length movies!
post #24 of 39
Great simplification of a confusing amount of information. Easy to find and basically matches the specs the user saw on the box or in the store before purchase. It's wonderful for the user and tech support workers everywhere!

Nit #1: The battery view needs to show the battery vertically. The green "liquid" inside the battery is defying gravity if it's horizontal and still a green cylinder inside the "glass" battery. Yes, the whole thing is a gross abstraction of a battery (the contents don't physically get smaller, like a gas tank), but if it's all an abstraction, at least make it respect gravity.

Nit #2: [Nevermind: the "System Report" button in the opening screen will open "System Profiler". So this simple panel shows the basics like reading specs on the box in the store, but being a way to go deeper when on the phone with a tech support worker.]

Nit #3: [Nevermind: the yellow minimize button won't minimize to be lost among the morass of Finder windows, but to a "System Information" app icon.]

Nit #4: They need to go back to the nostalgic days of System 7, and put an easter egg in as well. My suggestion: Command-Option clicking on the Apple menu changes "About this Mac" to just "About the Mac" and brings up a history of the Mac, or the development teams, or whatever. Artists sign their work, and this easter egg used to be a way to see something about the Blue Meanies or whoever trudged through the never-ending bug fixes. Heck, I'd be happy with just the Ridley Scott commercial if nothing else.

But overall, I love the simplification and attention to detail of this window. Nits aside, it's great stuff!
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Brilliant!

As the tech support guy for my family and friends, I second that!
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

I'd LOVE to see a button that allowed you to send the profile information as an email. Put it on the first panel and all admins would need to do on the phone is say "Go to About this Mac, and click on the send email button".

Good idea because your regular family admin doesn't typically own full ARD.
post #27 of 39
I always liked the system profiler especially compared what you get on the windows end of the world. But this new app is just awsome and it's exactly what I like about apple. They really care about the enduser and effectively try to make life easier for us. Well done!!
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperpunx View Post

so its just a flashier front end?

Its an integrated approach, did you bother reading/understanding the article.
Try finding any information about a windoze pc, bloody impossible.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I'm impressed and would not make fun of this.

This is the attention to detail that sets Apple above the rest. And I mean way above the rest!

There's only one way to do things and that's the right way.

Best

Agree, although not all can fathom such an approach.
They would rather have the m$ way, 10 different ways to arrive at the same answer, but take you hours to find. Try finding information about a windoze pc. Its FU%^%#G impossible.
Thats why I love Apple, they do things properly.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeputyRob View Post

Cool stuff. It recognizes that I have an SSD and all my RAM slots are filled (16GB total).




Thanks for the post, looks great.
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

I'd LOVE to see a button that allowed you to send the profile information as an email. Put it on the first panel and all admins would need to do on the phone is say "Go to About this Mac, and click on the send email button".

Yes, good point. Maybe Apple will do this soon.
post #32 of 39
I like all these simplifications.
post #33 of 39
It looks sleek and well thought out, but I can't shake the feeling that this is another step in dumbing down and bloating the OS.

One thing I like about SL is the smaller footprint compared to Leopard. I hope Lion won't bring that right back up.
post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Not exactly. The old System Profiler to get more information about the system is a bit intimidating to users. It's something only a technician or a tech-savvy user would be comfortable in. This app definitely wraps it up in a nice GUI, but it also is more approachable and plus, it has the AppleCare warranty upsell built-in

It would be even nicer if, upon purchasing AppleCare and registering your details, that page showed you a summary of your coverage, the length of coverage remaining, and a custom link to Apple support based upon which model of computer you have. Hopefully it only shows the up-sell info when you don't have Applecare!

Also, when you go into About this Mac, I'm really surprised that "Documents" isn't one of the specified types of files!
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

But is the old System Profiler still there? Or how do I get information such as 'Hardware UUID'?

I have the same concern.

Although I like the friendlier face of "About This Mac", it seems to lack some of the information that the System Profiler had. Such as an hdd's S.M.A.R.T. status and USB device tree, just to name two.

Hopefully, the GM version of Lion will include all of the System Profiler information in the new graphical interface.
post #36 of 39
Is it too hard for you to read the article???

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... (which launches the existing System Profiler for more detailed information).
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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

I'd LOVE to see a button that allowed you to send the profile information as an email. Put it on the first panel and all admins would need to do on the phone is say "Go to About this Mac, and click on the send email button".

The even easier way is to share the person's screen and see their machine. But did you know there is already a way to do this (but not quite so simple). In System Profiler you can save your computer's profile as a text file. Then you can paste it into an email or just attach the file.
post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

I have the same concern.

Although I like the friendlier face of "About This Mac", it seems to lack some of the information that the System Profiler had. Such as an hdd's S.M.A.R.T. status and USB device tree, just to name two.

Hopefully, the GM version of Lion will include all of the System Profiler information in the new graphical interface.

If you press the system report button you get everything that was available in Snow Leopard.
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by captmark View Post

If you press the system report button you get everything that was available in Snow Leopard.

This was answered months ago in the posts right above yours.

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