First Look: Apple's new Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
At its "Back to the Mac" event, Apple emphasized the importance of its Mac business, despite the fact that its desktop and notebook computers now represent just 33% of the company's revenues.



State of the Mac



Chief operations officer Tim Cook pointed out that the 13.7 million Macs Apple sold in the last financial year are now a $22 billion operation, having grown dramatically over the past several years even as Apple has itself grown even faster by adding iPods, iPhones and iPads into the product mix.



If Apple's Mac business were spun off, it would stand by itself as number 110 of the Fortune 500, Cook noted, joking "we have no plans to do that!" to laughter of the audience.



Mac sales have tripled in the last five years, with installed base of Macs is now just short of 50 million users. Cook also pointed out that Mac sales grew by 27 percent over the past year, compared to the industry average of just 11 percent. "This didn't just start happening," Cook pointed out. Macs have outpaced the PC industry in each of the last 18 quarters, Cook said.



Cook also cited NPD's August 2010 consumer market share figures for US retail, which gave Apple's Mac brand a whopping 20.7% of PC sales. "With the share rising, and the units rising much faster than the industry, we have a very vibrant developer community," Cook said, pointing out there are now 600,000 registered Mac developers, with 30,000 new applications per month.



Cook singled out Valve's recent deployment of Steam for the Mac, and its efforts to bring simultaneous releases of new games for the Mac and PC; Autodesk's recent release of AutoCAD for Mac (which Cook said Apple has long coveted), and noted Microsoft's new release of Office 2011 for Mac.



Pushing new iOS technology investments back to the Mac



The technology invested in making a mobile version of Mac OS X to power the iPhone, and in adapting that to serve the iPad, is now coming full circle back to the Mac, Steve Jobs said, as the company now works to fold many of its mobile innovations into the next version of Mac OS X 10.7, codenamed Lion.



Among the mobile-optimized features Apple indicated it will bring to the Mac from iOS are:

Expanded multitouch gestures (albeit centered on the trackpad rather than attempting to use a vertical multitouch screen, something the company flatly said it research has colluded "does not work")

An App Store for Mac titles (facilitating easy shopping, software updates, and simple installation)

App Home Screens which appear from a new LaunchPad Dock icon (making it easy to present an iPad-like array of app icons to choose from and organize into iOS-like Folders)

Auto Save features for app documents, so users don't have to worry about manually managing documents, and

Apps that resume when launched, carrying ahead the behaviors of iOS apps.





On page 2 of 3: A Mac App Store



A Mac App Store



The idea of Apple bringing its iOS App Store concept to the Mac has been widely anticipated as a step that would make it easier for users to find and install software, keep their software up to date, greatly reduce software theft (thereby allowing developers to charge less while enjoying higher volumes of sales, just as they have in the iOS App Store) and encourage a rich economy of software development on the Mac in the same way the App Stores for the iPhone and iPad have.



The fear however, voiced by some, is that such a store would prevent Mac users from obtaining software from other sources, prevent the use of older software titles that were not designed to be sold through the store, and perhaps result in new issues over Apple's level of control over Mac software, much as some have worried that Apple is already exercising too much control over its iOS App Store.



To extinguish these fears, Jobs noted that the new Mac App Store won't be the only way to obtain new software; it will only be a new option, "the best," Jobs said. This also means there won't be any issue with running older, existing software that wasn't designed for distribution thorough Apple's store.



While Apple has strict guidelines for App Store titles (in part because it has to preserve its relationships with carriers, and also because it wants to mold and control the initial development of iOS), it appears the company will have a much more liberal approach to approving Mac software titles. Even if it does not, developers will be able to continue to sell their software outside of the Mac App Store, something that's not an option on iOS devices.



Apple surprised the audience by noting that the Mac App Store is such a priority that it won't be waiting for Mac OS X Lion to ship (currently planned for the summer of 2011) before deploying the store; it expects to accept the first Mac App Store titles next month, and have the store operational in 90 days for current Snow Leopard users.



Jobs demonstrated the store behaving very similar to the iOS App Stores embedded into iTunes, although the Mac App Store exists as a standalone program. The library shows top ten lists of Mac apps by popularity and revenue, and presents a familiar listing of the apps' features, screen shots, and users' comments.







When an app is selected for purchase, an animated app icon jumps from the Mac Store into the Dock, where it loads with a progress bar. Once the download is complete, the app is ready to use without any additional installation steps such as entering a license key. The app is automatically licensed for personal use on any of the individual's Macs.



Prices for Mac apps in the new App Store are likely to be higher than simpler iOS apps, but the demo store that Apple showed presented the company's own apps at about the same price they now sell for as part of the iWork and iLife bundles: $19.95 for Pages and $14.99 for iMovie, for example. It also listed a variety of fictitious placeholder apps including "Color Studio" for $29.99, a "Fast Lane" game for $4.99, "Clipboard" for $2.99, "Quantum" for $39.99, and a variety of free apps.



Actual prices will obviously depend on how developers approach the new Mac App Store, but it appears Apple will continue to encourage developers to charge something for their apps but not so much so as to discourage volume sales. Low priced, high volume sales has resulted in great success for the iOS App Store, something other mobile software stores have been unable to match.







On page 3 of 3: LaunchPad, a new Zoom, and Mission Control



LaunchPad



With the number of apps Mac users are likely to download, the conventional Mac OS X Dock needs a replacement. Already, many users have grown past the limited capacity inherent in the Dock, something Apple addressed with Leopard's Dock Folders and enhanced in Snow Leopard with a large-window icon display.



In Lion, Apple is expanding that concept with LaunchPad, which acts as a dedicated Dock icon that expands to present a large array of selected app icons. Like the iOS 4 Home Screen, these apps can be combined to form Folders of related apps. Also like the Home Screen, the page of apps can be flicked forward and back to reveal multiple pages of apps, using multitouch gestures on the trackpad or new Magic Mouse.







A new Zoom to full screen mode



Also new in Lion is expanded use of full screen displays within apps. The green Zoom button on the conventional Mac window title bar is now associated with going full screen; previously, the Zoom button set a Mac window to be as large as it needed to be, either accommodating the current document or taking up most of the screen.



This new behavior is more like that of the comparable button on Windows, albeit rather than only making the window as large as possible, it actually enters a full screen mode where the app takes over the entire screen and loses its window borders, controls and customary scroll bars entirely.



This full screen mode brings Mac apps into the world of the iPad, where there's no menu bar, no windows to manage, controls are simple and sparse, and activity is focused on the task at hand, as demonstrated by the new iPhoto 11, below.







Mission Control: Unified Expose, Dashboard, Spaces, and full screen apps



Another rethinking slated for Lion is a combination of tools Apple has invented to support window and app selection and organization. Expose has evolved as a way to present all the running app's windows in a view that makes it easier to jump between apps and to a specific window in an app.



With Lion's new Mission Control, its easier to move between apps that present individual windows (such as Safari) and apps that present a full screen workspace (such as the new iPhoto 11). When invoked, Mission Control presents a series of the currently running, full screen apps at the top of the window along with the Dashboard and the Desktop, and collections of apps and their windows in the middle.



Individual groups of apps can be highlighted, which spreads out the app's windows for easy viewing.



Similar to the iOS, users can also swipe to the left to bring up Dashboard widgets, a step that more tightly integrates Dashboard into the desktop environment rather than making it a separate world.



Spaces, which was a difficult concept for many uses and didn't always work flawlessly, is now integrated almost transparently, allowing full screen apps to live in their own virtual desktop so that users can switch between windows on the desktop to a full screen app such as Preview or iPhoto, and back without minimizing the full screen app.







Apple said it would continue to unveil new features of Mac OS X Lion as the target release date of summer 2011 nears.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 167
    irelandireland Posts: 17,421member
    That was a good call be my on the zoom-window button becoming a fullscreen button.



    I have to say though, I'm not happy with Mission Control. I find it very confusing compared to the way the Mac is now. I know this is beta software, but I think they need to do some rethinking/re-engineering on that. It's sort of a mess in my opinion. I do however like the Launchpad, but I think the dock should be hidden when Launchpad is open, with arrow-buttons for going through app pages - in addition to those gestures. I don't have a magic-trackpad, and I never will.
  • Reply 2 of 167
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,105member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    That was a good call be my on the zoom-window button becoming a fullscreen button.



    I have to say though, I'm not happy with Mission Control. I find it very confusing compared to the way the Mac is now. I know this is beta software, but I think they need to do some rethinking/re-engineering. It's sort of a mess in my opinion.





    it clearly needs gestures to work. Also - and what SJ didn't note - the difference between the touch on the screen and the touch on the pad is visibility. i can see my fingers on a screen.
  • Reply 3 of 167
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    That was a good call be my on the zoom-window button becoming a fullscreen button.



    I have to say though, I'm not happy with Mission Control. I find it very confusing compared to the way the Mac is now. I know this is beta software, but I think they need to do some rethinking/re-engineering. It's sort of a mess in my opinion. I also like the Launchpad, but I think the dock should be hidden when Launchpad is open, with arrow-buttons for going through app pages - in addition to the gestures.



    every time i see any mention of 'lion' i see you crowing about you and the zoom-window. good job! next time you have lunch with steve tell him thank you.

    too bad you don't work for apple and can just get it all right the first time though?
  • Reply 4 of 167
    irelandireland Posts: 17,421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post


    every time i see any mention of 'lion' i see you crowing about you and the zoom-window. good job! next time you have lunch with steve tell him thank you.

    too bad you don't work for apple and can just get it all right the first time though?



    Our egos would clash, lol.



    I think they could have done more. They managed to give users a way more simple way to find, buy, install and use apps - while at the same time making how you interact with the whole OS more complex, somehow. Mission Control is a disaster in my opinion. I think they could have spent all that time rethinking the dock, and how Launchpad affects the idea of needing a dock at all. Among other things.
  • Reply 5 of 167
    rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member
    I don't think I've ever been this underwhelmed with a Mac OS release.



    For example, I can't believe they're listing "Full Screen Apps" as a feature.



    I've been able to do full screen apps since System 7. It's called the maximize button.



    C'mon Apple!
  • Reply 6 of 167
    I still think Apple will surprise and we'll see a touchscreen Mac. Jobs didn't outright say there won't be a touchscreen Mac. It's just multi-touch will be used more horizontally using trackpads. Or we'll see a convertible Mac much like the ones seen on the patent application.
  • Reply 7 of 167
    I think software developers are going to jump all over this. Their apps will be harder to pirate and their profits will increase too. This will not happen quickly but in the next few years. Just think, you will have to jailbreak your OWN computer to install 3rd party software.
  • Reply 8 of 167
    irelandireland Posts: 17,421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    I still think Apple will surprise and we'll see a touchscreen Mac. Jobs didn't outright say there won't be a touchscreen Mac. It's just multi-touch will be used more horizontally using trackpads. Or we'll see a convertible Mac much like the ones seen on the patent application.



    I think you're wrong. Touch-screen works better on tablets, that's why. Touch-screen devices need to be smaller and lighter than Macs, way smaller than the Air, even. Not merely lighter.
  • Reply 9 of 167
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    I don't think I've ever been this underwhelmed with a Mac OS release.



    For example, I can't believe they're listing "Full Screen Apps" as a feature.



    I've been able to do full screen apps since System 7. It's called the maximize button.



    C'mon Apple!





    No you haven't you have been expanding a window to 99.9% full screen, you sill have the window "box" and the top bar. Try again please.
  • Reply 10 of 167
    rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member
    Same difference. Don't be a douche.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post


    No you haven't you have been expanding a window to 99.9% full screen, you sill have the window "box" and the top bar. Try again please.



  • Reply 11 of 167
    irelandireland Posts: 17,421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    I don't think I've ever been this underwhelmed with a Mac OS release.



    For example, I can't believe they're listing "Full Screen Apps" as a feature.



    I've been able to do full screen apps since System 7. It's called the maximize button.



    C'mon Apple!



    They are doing full-screen a bit different though. I.E. the UI dramatically changes to suit full-screen, on and app-by-app basis. You can't believe it, and I predicted it.
  • Reply 12 of 167
    No Windows... Lets see Windows try to copy this!
  • Reply 13 of 167
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    For example, I can't believe they're listing "Full Screen Apps" as a feature.



    I can't believe you think Apple would go into technical stuff during a PRESS CONFERENCE when they have WWDC to entice the developers who CARE about that.
  • Reply 14 of 167
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    I don't think I've ever been this underwhelmed with a Mac OS release.



    For example, I can't believe they're listing "Full Screen Apps" as a feature.



    I've been able to do full screen apps since System 7. It's called the maximize button.



    C'mon Apple!



    C'mon man that was just a "little" preview of 10.7. We haven't seen the rest. We are yet to see a full demo and it's not releasing for another 8-9 months. Wait til you see the rest before you express your disappointment.
  • Reply 15 of 167
    irelandireland Posts: 17,421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anthonyhnj View Post


    I think software developers are going to jump all over this. Their apps will be harder to pirate and their profits will increase too. This will not happen quickly but in the next few years. Just think, you will have to jailbreak your OWN computer to install 3rd party software.



    You didn't actually watch the video, did you?
  • Reply 16 of 167
    rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


    it clearly needs gestures to work. Also - and what SJ didn't note - the difference between the touch on the screen and the touch on the pad is visibility. i can see my fingers on a screen.



    Sadly, I can still see *my* fingers on the screen after I've removed them. Smudges are *almost* acceptable on my iPhone because placing it in my pocket automatically clears the screen. Not so much on my Mac screens.
  • Reply 17 of 167
    rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member
    I got the impression that's all there was. Is there evidence to the contrary?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    C'mon man that was just a "little" preview of 10.7. We haven't seen the rest. We are yet to see a full demo and it's not releasing for another 8-9 months. Wait til you see the rest before you express your disappointment.



  • Reply 18 of 167
    cbswecbswe Posts: 116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    I don't think I've ever been this underwhelmed with a Mac OS release.



    For example, I can't believe they're listing "Full Screen Apps" as a feature.



    I've been able to do full screen apps since System 7. It's called the maximize button.



    C'mon Apple!



    Although it's technically close to a maximization of a window. It becomes very different experience-wise. It's just like when they say FaceTime brings video chat to mobile devices for the first time. There have been video chat available before. But they're doing it in a completely new way.



    Also, remember Lion is almost a year from release. A lot can change, and Apple wouldn't release a new OS without fundamental improvements.
  • Reply 19 of 167
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    I got the impression that's all there was. Is there evidence to the contrary?



    Uh, yes... During the video SJ said it's a shame they didn't have an hour and a half more to show off all the other great things coming in Lion. OK so it's his RDF but that's what he said.



    Bear in mind, that this was a sneak peak not a launch.
  • Reply 20 of 167
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anthonyhnj View Post


    I think software developers are going to jump all over this. Their apps will be harder to pirate and their profits will increase too. This will not happen quickly but in the next few years. Just think, you will have to jailbreak your OWN computer to install 3rd party software.





    You are very wrong on this because the minute they take away freedom than it is over, Macs will go back to how it was before. The minute they take away freedom I will stop using mac.
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