Review Roundup: Mainstream press calls Mac OS X Lion 'radical,' 'big leap' into iPad era

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
The first mainstream media reviews of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion have praised the upgrade as a "radical" departure that takes a "big leap" into a modern world of tablets and smartphones.



Apple released Mac OS X Lion early Wednesday on the Mac App Store, offering the 3.49GB download for $29.99. Billed as the "best version of OS X yet," Lion includes more than 250 new features, including many brought back to OS X from the iPad, such as full-screen apps; Launchpad, an iPad-like app launcher; and app resumes and autosaves.



The upgrade appears to have quickly gained traction. "People are already downloading like crazy," Apple marketing boss Phil Schiller told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Wednesday.



Reviewers were unanimously enthusiastic about Lion, though they did find a few minor bugs and glitches during their tests. The journalists were also in agreement that Mac OS X 10.7 ushers the operating system into the post-PC iPad era.



The New York Times



Writing for the Times, David Pogue said Lion adheres to Apple's long-standing "shake things up" philosophy. "It follows an old Apple pattern of embracing what?s cool and progressive, and ruthlessly jettisoning what it considers antiquated," he wrote.



For starters, Pogue views Lion's exclusive release on the Mac App Store as "radical." He found the download-only system to have its strengths, such as not having to deal with serial numbers or family plans and not having "discs to store and hunt down later." Though Apple plans to make the OS available on a USB thumb drive in August, the company is clearly pushing the Mac App Store as the preferred method.



"If the Lion upgrade is about any one thing, it?s about the iPad," he continued, noting that the iPad's "mega-hit" status came down to two factors: simplicity and the multitouch screen. "In Lion, Apple has gone as far as it can go to bring those factors to the Mac," Pogue wrote.



The reviewer found that, after adjusting to some of the changes, such as the switch to the iPad's style of inverted scrolling, "the iPadization of the Mac" does work. He did, however, have a few minor quibbles, such as having to manually open Launchpad, but otherwise found the Lion makeover "fluid and satisfying."



But, for Pogue, there's also bad news: "a lot of the promise is Apple?s wishful thinking." According to him, new features like full-screen mode and autosave "generally work only in Apple programs," while other companies' apps will need to be upgraded.



"The final good news, though, is that you can ignore all of this," he wrote. The new iPad-style features are optional on Lion. "Just this once, Apple isn?t dictating the way you have to do things."



Pogue also highlighted several other "nips and tucks" that he found terrific, such as the new AirDrop file transfer process, thoughtful design advances in Apple's Mail application and the new Resume feature.



For all of Lion's plusses, the reviewer pointed out "some good reasons not to rush right away" to upgrade to Lion. For instance, the removal of Rosetta, which allows pre-Intel software to run on newer Macs, may affect some users, especially those who rely on Quicken software. Pogue also encountered "a few bugs" in Lion: "intermittent glitches with the Resume feature, MobileMe syncing alerts, missing menu bars, various Mail features and, on one very special day, dog-slow program opening." However, Apple said the problems were due to a "rare endless-loop iCal upgrade problem" unique to his laptop and promised a fix in an future update.



Pogue concluded that Lion is "classic Apple: innovative to some, gimmicky to others, big leaps forward, a few stumbles back." And, after third-party software makers update their applications to be Lion-compatible and Apple resolves the bugs, "Mac OS X 10.7 might be something even more exotic: a fast, powerful, good-looking, virus-free, thoroughly modern operating system."







Wall Street Journal



In his review for the Journal, Walt Mossberg called Lion a "giant step in the merger of the personal computer and post-PC devices like tablets and smartphones" and a "harbinger of things to come."



Mossberg said he liked the upgrade, after testing it on four Macs, as its new features "make computing easier and more reliable." He had no trouble upgrading, and compatibility with existing apps was "very good," though one app he used will require an update to work in Lion.



The reviewer saw just one crash during his testing. It occurred while using iTunes, but Apple has said that the new iTunes 10.4, which is optimized for Lion, should resolve the issue.



According to Mossberg, the downside to Lion is the "major adjustment" required even for veteran Mac users, though he notes that users of Apple's iPhones or iPads will have an easier time of it. "Just mastering all the new and altered touch-pad gestures?a couple of which are so unnatural I actually had to practice them?will take time," he said.



Tests for the review found Mac App Store download of Lion took under half an hour on a very fast connection and about an hour and a half on a typical one. After downloading, "the rest of the installation took about an hour."



Mossberg also recommended that users download the new Migration Assistant Update, as the older version of Apple's Migration Assistant failed to work when trying to transfer files and settings from a Mac with Snow Leopard to a new Mac with Lion pre-installed. The company also plans to offer a migration feature that will bring data and settings from a Windows PC to a Mac, but the Windows utility wasn't ready in time for the publication's review.



The bottom line for Mossberg is that Lion is a "big leap" that brings the Mac a "much more modern look and feel for a world of tablets and smartphones." For those willing to adjust, "it?s the best computer operating system out there," he concluded.



USA Today



USA Today's Edward Baig called Lion "a beautiful finger-friendly operating system." He found the new multitouch gestures baked into the OS to be "generally intuitive," though he noted that some users may experience "a bit of a learning curve."



Baig found the new Mission Control feature to be particularly useful for the "bird's-eye view" it offered of the system's currently running applications. He also highlighted the new Auto Save and Versions features as modern innovations that will eliminate old habits of having to remember to save files.



The reviewer did encounter some glitches, though, as Lion failed to install on an iMac, which Apple diagnosed as having a "failing hard drive." Also, a MacBook Air that he updated from Snow Leopard "frequently dropped a Wi-Fi connection after the machine was idle for a while." But, according to him, a few snags "are to be expected" during the transition.



"I recommend that most of the Mac faithful feed their computer to the Lions," Baig said, giving the upgrade 3 3/4 stars out of 4.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    crimguycrimguy Posts: 124member
    Don't know if I agree with any of these guys. I've only been using Lion for a couple hours, but for the most part it works just like a mac, i.e. no big changes.



    Launchpad feels like an unfinished product stapled onto the os.



    Mission control is pretty cool, but again nothing earth-shattering.



    I have a magic trackpad, and the sheer number of gestures is mind-boggling. It's going to take me a while to adjust, but the rewards could be nice.



    And I've managed to crash the desktop/screensaver control panel. Made me flush with pride :-D
  • Reply 2 of 52
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,662member
    There are enough things like the gestures, full-screen apps, general speed, ability to resize the windows from any side/corner of a window that I already will be unwilling to go back to Snow Leopard. So far, thankfully, I have found no reason to do so.



    Best version of Mac OSX ever!
  • Reply 3 of 52
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    At least Apple finally accepted that Windows actually did some thing right and borrowed some key features such as resizing the window from anywhere around the edges.



    However, mouse wheel scrolling seems inverted. How do you change it back?



    There are some quirky bugs with the operating system though. You can cause the cursor to display expanding cursor when it shouldn't be when you use the volume slider.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,451member
    For those few PPC apps I need now and then that require Snow Leopard I found a simple solution. I have SL Server running in VMWare in Lion.



    Tip: For those wondering how to see their user Library folders, just use the GoTo menu.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    patsfan83patsfan83 Posts: 156member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    He did, however, have a few minor quibbles, such as having to manually open Launchpad, but otherwise found the Lion makeover "fluid and satisfying."



    So sorry it isn't able to read your mind, Mr. Pogue.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    patsfan83patsfan83 Posts: 156member
    One thing I dislike is the progress bars, the feel very Vista-esque....
  • Reply 7 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,451member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    At least Apple finally accepted that Windows actually did some thing right and borrowed some key features such as resizing the window from anywhere around the edges.



    However, mouse wheel scrolling seems inverted. How do you change it back?



    There are some quirky bugs with the operating system though. You can cause the cursor to display expanding cursor when it shouldn't be when you use the volume slider.



    Trackpad settings in System Prefs has a check box for scroll direction.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    I have been using Lion since it has been a developer release. I find that Lion is much better than Snow Leo. I am now using the Retail version of Lion and I have to say that I am very pleased and have been for some time.



    Wait till you see whats next with 10.8. Lion.... it is a transitional OS X to the next big distro. Can you say 3D. Yes thats right. And integrated devices that allow you to control your mouse or desktop via iPad or iPhone. Networking capabilities that expand to the i device as a simple drop file communication standard. No more syncing via USB. Dual core A6 chips and iPads sharing screens with your desktop. Your desktop or TV will look just like your iPad. You can do presentations via wireless to a wifi TV or Desktop Mac. I have said enough. Lion rules and so does Apple.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The first mainstream media reviews of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion have praised the upgrade as a "radical" departure that takes a "big leap" into a modern world of tablets and smartphones.



    Apple released Mac OS X Lion early Wednesday on the Mac App Store, offering the 3.49GB download for $29.99. Billed as the "best version of OS X yet," Lion includes more than 250 new features, including many brought back to OS X from the iPad, such as full-screen apps; Launchpad, an iPad-like app launcher; and app resumes and autosaves.



    The upgrade appears to have quickly gained traction. "People are already downloading like crazy," Apple marketing boss Phil Schiller told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Wednesday.



    Reviewers were unanimously enthusiastic about Lion, though they did find a few minor bugs and glitches during their tests. The journalists were also in agreement that Mac OS X 10.7 ushers the operating system into the post-PC iPad era.



    The New York Times



    Writing for the Times, David Pogue said Lion adheres to Apple's long-standing "shake things up" philosophy. "It follows an old Apple pattern of embracing what?s cool and progressive, and ruthlessly jettisoning what it considers antiquated," he wrote.



    For starters, Pogue views Lion's exclusive release on the Mac App Store as "radical." He found the download-only system to have its strengths, such as not having to deal with serial numbers or family plans and not having "discs to store and hunt down later." Though Apple plans to make the OS available on a USB thumb drive in August, the company is clearly pushing the Mac App Store as the preferred method.



    "If the Lion upgrade is about any one thing, it?s about the iPad," he continued, noting that the iPad's "mega-hit" status came down to two factors: simplicity and the multitouch screen. "In Lion, Apple has gone as far as it can go to bring those factors to the Mac," Pogue wrote.



    The reviewer found that, after adjusting to some of the changes, such as the switch to the iPad's style of inverted scrolling, "the iPadization of the Mac" does work. He did, however, have a few minor quibbles, such as having to manually open Launchpad, but otherwise found the Lion makeover "fluid and satisfying."



    But, for Pogue, there's also bad news: "a lot of the promise is Apple?s wishful thinking." According to him, new features like full-screen mode and autosave "generally work only in Apple programs," while other companies' apps will need to be upgraded.



    "The final good news, though, is that you can ignore all of this," he wrote. The new iPad-style features are optional on Lion. "Just this once, Apple isn?t dictating the way you have to do things."



    Pogue also highlighted several other "nips and tucks" that he found terrific, such as the new AirDrop file transfer process, thoughtful design advances in Apple's Mail application and the new Resume feature.



    For all of Lion's plusses, the reviewer pointed out "some good reasons not to rush right away" to upgrade to Lion. For instance, the removal of Rosetta, which allows pre-Intel software to run on newer Macs, may affect some users, especially those who rely on Quicken software. Pogue also encountered "a few bugs" in Lion: "intermittent glitches with the Resume feature, MobileMe syncing alerts, missing menu bars, various Mail features and, on one very special day, dog-slow program opening." However, Apple said the problems were due to a "rare endless-loop iCal upgrade problem" unique to his laptop and promised a fix in an future update.



    Pogue concluded that Lion is "classic Apple: innovative to some, gimmicky to others, big leaps forward, a few stumbles back." And, after third-party software makers update their applications to be Lion-compatible and Apple resolves the bugs, "Mac OS X 10.7 might be something even more exotic: a fast, powerful, good-looking, virus-free, thoroughly modern operating system."







    Wall Street Journal



    In his review for the Journal, Walt Mossberg called Lion a "giant step in the merger of the personal computer and post-PC devices like tablets and smartphones" and a "harbinger of things to come."



    Mossberg said he liked the upgrade, after testing it on four Macs, as its new features "make computing easier and more reliable." He had no trouble upgrading, and compatibility with existing apps was "very good," though one app he used will require an update to work in Lion.



    The reviewer saw just one crash during his testing. It occurred while using iTunes, but Apple has said that the new iTunes 10.4, which is optimized for Lion, should resolve the issue.



    According to Mossberg, the downside to Lion is the "major adjustment" required even for veteran Mac users, though he notes that users of Apple's iPhones or iPads will have an easier time of it. "Just mastering all the new and altered touch-pad gestures?a couple of which are so unnatural I actually had to practice them?will take time," he said.



    Tests for the review found Mac App Store download of Lion took under half an hour on a very fast connection and about an hour and a half on a typical one. After downloading, "the rest of the installation took about an hour."



    Mossberg also recommended that users download the new Migration Assistant Update, as the older version of Apple's Migration Assistant failed to work when trying to transfer files and settings from a Mac with Snow Leopard to a new Mac with Lion pre-installed. The company also plans to offer a migration feature that will bring data and settings from a Windows PC to a Mac, but the Windows utility wasn't ready in time for the publication's review.



    The bottom line for Mossberg is that Lion is a "big leap" that brings the Mac a "much more modern look and feel for a world of tablets and smartphones." For those willing to adjust, "it?s the best computer operating system out there," he concluded.



    USA Today



    USA Today's Edward Baig called Lion "a beautiful finger-friendly operating system." He found the new multitouch gestures baked into the OS to be "generally intuitive," though he noted that some users may experience "a bit of a learning curve."



    Baig found the new Mission Control feature to be particularly useful for the "bird's-eye view" it offered of the system's currently running applications. He also highlighted the new Auto Save and Versions features as modern innovations that will eliminate old habits of having to remember to save files.



    The reviewer did encounter some glitches, though, as Lion failed to install on an iMac, which Apple diagnosed as having a "failing hard drive." Also, a MacBook Air that he updated from Snow Leopard "frequently dropped a Wi-Fi connection after the machine was idle for a while." But, according to him, a few snags "are to be expected" during the transition.



    "I recommend that most of the Mac faithful feed their computer to the Lions," Baig said, giving the upgrade 3 3/4 stars out of 4.



  • Reply 9 of 52
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    For those few PPC apps I need now and then that require Snow Leopard I found a simple solution. I have SL Server running in VMWare in Lion.



    Tip: For those wondering how to see their user Library folders, just use the GoTo menu.



    Is it possible to run regular Snow Leopard?



    Snow Leopard Server isn't as cheap as Lion Server. More like $500 for a license.
  • Reply 10 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The first mainstream media reviews of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion have praised the upgrade as a "radical" departure that takes a "big leap" into a modern world of tablets and smartphones. ...



    Not to be too much of a negative nelly, but Lion doesn't impress me very much so far.



    It's slower than Snow Leopard for me by a noticeable amount and I think it's the UI animations that do it. Not that they actually slow things down because of the resources they use as in the old days, but waiting for the transitions to complete is adding all kinds of delays into my regular routine.



    When you open a folder with a double-click, there is now a noticeable half-second before the animation starts. At least there is on my machine. Both together, means that now it takes something just over a second to open a folder when previously the whole process only took a half second.



    Changing between desktops, (which used to be very smooth), is now jerky because the desktop appears first and then almost a full second later, the icons pop in. I find this most disconcerting and very distracting to the eye. Previously, the entire desktop moved as a static image, icons included.



    This, on an 8 core Xeon with 14GB or RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 5770.



    I can only hope that there is some kind of new video card driver in the wings that will return me to the fast lane, but so far Lion is annoyingly slow here.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    I have been using Lion since it has been a developer release. I find that Lion is much better than Snow Leo. I am now using the Retail version of Lion and I have to say that I am very pleased and have been for some time.



    Wait till you see whats next with 10.8. Lion.... it is a transitional OS X to the next big distro. Can you say 3D. Yes thats right. And integrated devices that allow you to control your mouse or desktop via iPad or iPhone. Networking capabilities that expand to the i device as a simple drop file communication standard. No more syncing via USB. Dual core A6 chips and iPads sharing screens with your desktop. Your desktop or TV will look just like your iPad. You can do presentations via wireless to a wifi TV or Desktop Mac. I have said enough. Lion rules and so does Apple.



    Short of 3D, everything you listed as the future you can actually use today. Plenty of apps turn you iOS device into a mouse, several allow you to remotely access your desktop from an iOS device, and I've played around with an app that turns an iOS device into a second display.



    You can also download a third-party AirPlay plugin for the Mac that let's you send video to a Mac... but with iCloud, the only use I see that having is for screen mirroring.



    And iCloud is already killing USB syncing.



    I suppose if you are meaning that soon Apple will integrate these features directly into the OS, then I'd agree. The current third-party solutions are often clunky.



    Also, I doubt 10.8 is around the corner, as it looks like Apple plans to update 10.7 for quite a while. Plus, what cat comes after Lion? They'd need a new naming convention and a move to 11.x.
  • Reply 12 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post


    So sorry it isn't able to read your mind, Mr. Pogue.



    Funny, but my guess is he meant they aren't there constantly like on an iPad or iPhone.
  • Reply 13 of 52
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 932member
    "...having to manually open Launchpad..."



    "..."a lot of the promise is Apple’s wishful thinking."...like full-screen mode and autosave "generally work only in Apple programs," while other companies' apps will need to be upgraded. ..."



    this is just plain stupid:



    1) having to manually open launchpad. really? how disappointing;

    2) works for apple—nothing 'wishful thinking' about it.



    cry me a river, pogue.
  • Reply 14 of 52
    reiferreifer Posts: 25member
    "For instance, the removal of Rosetta, which allows pre-Intel software to run on newer Macs, may affect some users, especially those who rely on Quicken software."



    Screw Quicken. They obviously don't care about Mac Users. I have used it virtually since ver 1 but, switched to my bank's online bill pay which is free and works incredibly well. Should have canned Quicken long ago.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    I have been using Lion since it has been a developer release. .



    And you felt the need to quote the entire story because?
  • Reply 16 of 52
    focherfocher Posts: 687member
    As always, John Siracusa over at ArsTechnica has the best write-up if you want to really see what's new in Lion - especially under the hood.



    The overview of the File Consolidation capabilities is worthwhile just on its own.



    Lion is a significant upgrade, despite those who only know about the surface changes claiming otherwise.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    Oh goody [not!].

    "a 'big leap' into iPad era" -- just what I didn't need, my Mac to be more like an iPad.



    For me, with my computing needs for writing and entering keyboard text data in most of my computer interaction, an iPad analogy is not a selling point. So the articles' excited about how it makes my Mac more like an iPad or iPhone is , well, blechhhhhh.

    And "Launchpad". Didn't we have something like that back in OS 8 and 9? (not to mention I already have both DragThing and OverFlow for my own "launchpads".)

    I am underwhelmed.



    I've leapt onto most of the other Mac OSX releases quickly over the years, but will be spending more time reading, testing, evaluating this one.



    Thanks, Focher, for the Ars Technica link.



    Here's a link to the TidBits front page which has a whole section of Lion article links http://db.tidbits.com/ on the top right.



    Just my thoughts. Now leaving curmudgeon mode.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,331member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bruce Young View Post


    Oh goody [not!].

    "a 'big leap' into iPad era" -- just what I didn't need, my Mac to be more like an iPad.



    For me, with my computing needs for writing and entering keyboard text data in most of my computer interaction, an iPad analogy is not a selling point. So the articles' excited about how it makes my Mac more like an iPad or iPhone is , well, blechhhhhh.

    And "Launchpad". Didn't we have something like that back in OS 8 and 9? (not to mention I already have both DragThing and OverFlow for my own "launchpads".)

    I am underwhelmed.



    I've leapt onto most of the other Mac OSX releases quickly over the years, but will be spending more time reading, testing, evaluating this one.



    Thanks, Focher, for the Ars Technica link.



    Here's a link to the TidBits front page which has a whole section of Lion article links http://db.tidbits.com/ on the top right.



    Just my thoughts. Now leaving curmudgeon mode.



    With all due respect, what the hell could Lion have offered you an on OS level that would have made your computer needs comprised of 'writing and entering keyboard text data'?? Honest question. You bitch about features you don't plan on using, yet don't offer any type of wishlist or something you WOULD have wanted. I'd say the autosave and versioning would benefit you, but then again, your needs would probably have been met just as well in OS8. Also, you're suggesting Apple should never build in any features to its OS if there exists an approximation os said feature by any 3rd party.. quite a ridiculous sentiment. So what exactly could Lion have offered you, in specific features, so that you would have been impressed?
  • Reply 19 of 52
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    You learn more from an enthusiast forum thread, or from Apple support discussions, than you do from a mainstream review.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    I haven't gotten to test out Lion yet because I'm on a small Island in an undisclosed foreign country and I'm on a slow 3g connection at the moment, but I will of course be downloading it as soon as I get back to civilization and my Wifi connection.



    I can't stand mice anymore and I am for anything that leads to the further demise of all mice, trackballs and other primitive input methods. I am glad that there will be plenty of new gestures for me to test out with my Magic Trackpad. Multitouch is the future and I look forward to finally testing out Lion.



    I read that there are some problems with Lion and certain software and third party hardware though, so I won't be installing it on all of my Macs to begin with.
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