Apple has finally launched the newest version of their fabled OS X operating system. Called the Lion it is quite a performer. As expected and predicted by industry insiders, the new OS is going to take the Mac’s the same direction as the Apple iPad.
Desktop computing is stepping aside for Modal computing. With the Lion Apple has successfully taken the better portions of iOS4 which ran on the iPhone and the iPad and merged it to run on the mac.
The App store is now coming to serve the Mac with apps being made available for the devices. This brings a revolutionary change to computing on the Macs with a dedicated app launch s/w called Launchpad also being made available. Launchpad works exactly like the iPad’s home screen providing thumbnails of the applications from where they can be launched. Also new is the Fullscreen mode which makes all apps run utilising the complete screen size.
This doesn’t mean windows will cease to exist, but rather it is a gradual shift away from them. What happens is the running s/w takes over the entire screen size and integrates all the open windows together to form a single user interface. Not only does it reduce clutter due to open windows but also improves usability.
Apple also launches the Mission Control which is a way to handle the new docked windows setup. It helps users manage all types of applications, from full screen to multiple window to widgets. Though the macs aren’t going fully touch which wouldn’t be a smart idea anyways, Apple has promised far more usage of the touch inputs from the Trackpad for Macbooks and the Magic Trackpad for desktops. The usage will be far more than on the previous generation of the OS, the Snow Leopard. The multi touch gestures appear extremely confusing at first but according to Apple just need a little getting used to and will be the standard for all their future endeavors in this field.
Another welcome addition to the desktop and the Macbook range is the inclusion of Facetime, Apple’s recently launched service for video calling. It works exactly like on the iPhone and the iPad and seeing it work on the large screens just makes it all the more appealing. Apps can also auto save work and auto resume to the last used point when relaunched.
So there’s the Lion for one and sundry. It changes traditional aspects of the OS X by adding a dash of iOS 4. Whether a tasty concoction is created, only time will tell.