Lion boasts more than 250 new features, including new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control to view everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store; Launchpad, an iPad-like home screen for apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.
"Lion is the best version of OS X yet, and were thrilled that users around the world can download it starting today," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Lion makes upgrading a Mac easier than ever before; just launch the Mac App Store, buy Lion with your iTunes account, and the download and install process will begin automatically."
Additional new features in Lion highlighted by Apple include:
Resume: brings apps back exactly how they were left when restarting a Mac or quitting and relaunching an app
Auto Save: automatically and continuously saves documents as you work
Versions: automatically records the history of a document as it is created, and gives an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions;
AirDrop: finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.
Pricing & Availability
Mac OS X Lion is available as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6.6 Snow Leopard from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (US). Apple said Lion is the easiest OS X upgrade and at around 4GB, it is about the size of an HD movie from the iTunes Store.
Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. Lion is an upgrade and can be installed on all your authorized personal Macs. Details regarding Business and Education licensing can be found at apple.com/macosx.
The OS X Lion Up-to-Date upgrade will be available through the Mac App Store at no additional charge to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-to-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchased a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and July 20, 2011 will have until August 19, 2011 to make a request. Additional information can be found at apple.com/macosx/uptodate.