Today I was given a sneak peak at the current state of OS X Lion. It's now looking smoother, though it's still a work in progress.
A few nifty features have arrived since my first viewing of the nascent operating system. As has been mentioned, Lion borrows a lot from iOS, but don't forget that iOS started out as a whittled down version of Mac OS X, so the tides have turned.
Never-before seen features announced today include AirDrop, a wireless file-sharing utility; a redesigned Mail app; Resume, which presents the OS and Apps in the exact state at shutdown; Versions, which allows app developers to implement a feature that saves multiple snapshots of any document being worked on; and AutoSave, which does what its name suggests, saving documents automatically.
Apple also announced today that FaceTime for Mac is no longer beta, and is available in the Mac App Store for $0.99.
I also got a closer look at some of OS X Lion's major new interface tools: LaunchPad, Mission Control, and multitouch support, which works across the other two. Before delving into the previously unknown features, I'll share some impressions of these, which will change the way we interact with our Macs in significant ways.
Inspired by the success of its iPad tablet, Apple is transferring ideas from that platform to its next full-scale desktop operating system, Mac OS X Lion, where they make sense. Among these are the Launchpad view of all installed app icons, a full-screen view for apps, and multi-touch gesture support. Apple has said that the new OS, which is the eighth major release of OS X, will arrive this summer, but today the company made a preview version available to developers.
The update also introduces some new concepts for navigating applications and OS features. Mission Control is probably the most radical, all-encompassing of these. Combining features of Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and full-screen apps, Mission Control is just what it sounds like, a place to quickly access all running applications, workspaces, and gadgets.
"The iPad has inspired a new generation of innovative features in Lion," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Developers are going to love Mission Control and Launchpad, and can now start adding great new Lion features like full screen, gestures, Versions and Auto Save to their own apps."
Launchpad looks and works very similarly to the iPhone and iPad's home screen—a grid of icons for every app installed. Users will be able to reorder and group the app icons into folders, and multiple pages of icons will be accessible with a swipe, just as on the smaller iDevices.
Yesterday, Apple announced the new features and availability of iLife '11. We were definitely excited about picking it up, even though we noticed that a lot of the features that Apple was showing off in iMovie and iPhoto seemed to be fairly incremental (we aren't big users of GarageBand, so we couldn't tell you if the new features there were awesome or not.) So we figured that one unannounced "feature" would likely be that the iLife suite had been converted to 64 bit. After all, Snow Leopard has had more than enough time to mature out in the wild, and it seems that developers left and right have jumped onto the 64 bit bandwagon. That's why we were sorely disappointed when we launched Activity Monitor and found that, unlike just about every other process and application we are running on the Mac Pro, the iLife apps are still labeled as "Intel" rather than "Intel 64 bit." I guess we will have to wait and see what happens with iLife '12 or '13 at this point.
Apple has been on such a mobile tear lately that many have worried that OS X was being given the shaft. However, Apple’s next press event looks to be all about the Mac hardware and the OS X operating system. The invitation is above, and clearly shows a lion hiding behind that Apple logo. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to put two and two together here—each iteration os OS X has been named after some sort of wild cat, and Lion must be the name of Mac OS X 10.7. News Macs and finally news on Apple’s next major OS? We can’t wait.
Hey, all you iOS devs—Apple just released iOS 4.2 beta 3 8C5115c for testing on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, and it’s available now for download. The iOS SDK 4.2 beta 3 10M2423 is also available, alongside a new Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.5 10H542 beta as well. Let us know if you find any new hotness, will you?
Apple just released Mac OS X 10.6.4 update to the masses, and if you are running Snow Leopard, you can get the update right now by running Software Update. According to Apple:
The 10.6.4 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It includes Safari 5 and general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes that:
- resolve an issue that causes the keyboard or trackpad to become unresponsive
- resolve an issue that may prevent some Adobe Creative Suite 3 applications from opening
- address issues copying, renaming, or deleting files on SMB file servers
- improve reliability of VPN connections
- resolve a playback issue in DVD Player when using Good Quality deinterlacing
- resolve an issue editing photos with iPhoto or Aperture in full screen view
- improve compatibility with some braille displays
For more info on the update, hit the link below.
Read More | Mac OS X 10.6.4 details
Apple finally released Mac OS X 10.6.3 yesterday morning, aimed at providing fixes that enhance the stabilit and security of your Mac, but it seems that a few people are experiencing some major issues after installing. On the bright side, we’ve heard that manually downloading the update, rather than bringing it in using Software Update, results in no problems at all. Here’s the quick list of fixes you’ll find in 10.6.3:
- improve the reliability and compatibility of QuickTime X
- address compatibility issues with OpenGL-based applications
- address an issue that causes background message colors to display incorrectly in Mail
- resolve an issue that prevented files with the # or & characters in their names from opening in Rosetta applications
- resolve an issue that prevented files from copying to Windows file servers
- improve performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 when running in 64-bit mode
- improve sleep and wake reliability when using Bonjour wake on demand
- address a color issue in iMovie with HD content
- improve printing reliability
- resolve issues with recurring events in iCal when connected to an Exchange server
- improve the reliability of 3rd party USB input devices
- fix glowing, stuck, or dark pixels when viewing video from the iMac (Late 2009) built-in iSight camera
You can go ahead and grab it now if you’re running Snow Leopard.
For all of you running the Google Chrome browser on Mac and Linux platforms, you’ll wanna update to the latest version of the beta, which includes support for extensions, as well as bookmark syncing. There are already over 2,200 extensions available in the Chrome Extensions Gallery, so you can get a bunch more functionality in your browser, dare we say, a more Firefox-like experience, just by updating. Seriously, go do it. Oh, and if you need to see how it all works visually, hit the demo video above that Google put together.
Read More | Google Chrome
The Mac Business Unit over at Microsoft is hard at work on Office for Mac 2011, and released some new details about the product, slated to ship in the 2010 holiday season. The biggest change, at least visually, is the inclusion of the ribbon interface, which has been a part of the Windows Office suite since 2007. Microsoft did say that they took great care to make the ribbon on the Mac side of things feel very Mac-like, so that’s a plus, we guess. Another big change/addition here is that Entourage goes away, and gets replaced with Outlook for Mac. You’ll be able to import a PST file and get right to work, and you’ll have Time Machine and Spotlight support as well, which we think is fantastic for those of you who live in Outlook and currently rely on a product like Parallels or Fusion to make that happen.
If you’ve got any Mac users in your life who haven’t upgraded to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, we think it’s time you give them the nudge this holiday season. Snow Leopard is faster, leaner, and more intuitive. It’s also simple to install, and even hits the user back with some freed up hard drive space. The best part, though, is the price. Snow Leopard is just $24.99 at Amazon. Here’s the price breakdown:
- Snow Leopard Upgrade: $24.99 (14% off)
- Snow Leopard 5-User Family Pack: $43.99 (10% off)
- Snow Leopard Mac Box Set: $149.99 (11% off)
- Snow Leopard Mac Box Set Family Pack: $199.99 (13% off)