Mac OS X Lion: Apple unveils a little more
Apple is proposing a pre-release of Mac OS X Lion to developers and has taken the opportunity to unveil its new functions.
The new major Mac OS X operating system is stamped 10.7 (alias Lion). Its release for the end user is planned for next summer while developers today have access to a pre-release.
Apple made the first public presentation with Mac OS X 10.7 in October 2010. This was a good occasion to see that the Mac operating system benefitted from a few ideas picked up from iOS and its use on the iPad.
The Mac App Store will be integrated into Lion, but Snow Leopard users have nevertheless been able to get a taste of this portal since the beginning of the year by installing the app through Mac updates (with the use of an iTunes account).
Among the other new features announced is Mission Control, acting as the centre of the Mac through a mix of Exposé, Spaces, Dashboard and full screen applications. The function provides a glimpse of what will be run on Mac OS X 10.7. Access to a slideshow element can be done with a click, and it will be possible to scroll through the pictures with a movement on the track pad.
Launchpad allows you to find and launch any applications. The presentation is similar to that on iOS, with Apple stating that its use is similar to the iPad. The organisation can be done with a drag and drop with it possible to group folders (like on iOS). The multi-touch action allows you to change from one full screen application to another.
New announcements today
All of this was already known, but Apple has today provided additional details. A new version 5 release of Mail will be made available, and without surprise… this has taken inspiration from the iPad to better use the panoramic screen. An automatic group conversation mode is for message trails is present, with this also taking into consideration messages which have a changed subject through the communication. It has also been announced that a more powerful engine for Mail 5 will be present, bringing with it support for Microsoft Exchange 2010.
AirDrop allows you to share files with a Mac via a wireless connection (or another user who has AirDrop). All of this can be done without any configuration required and can be operated via a dedicated button in the Finder file management tool, with the connection being closed when you shut the program.
In the same way as Time Machine, Versions automatically saves successive versions of documents as you create them (from opening the file and each following hour) with this allowing you to revert to a previous version. To do this, the current version of the file is displayed as a cascade of the previous versions.
After restarting the computer, Reprise allows you to find the exact environment that the user wants to work in (notably all open applications) which have been closed for software updates, etc.
Apple also points out that a new version of FileVault for local or external drive encryption is present, while the operating systems real new feature being that Mac OS X Lion Server is integrated into Mac OS X Lion. Lion Server is therefore part of Mac OS X Lion allowing you to configure the Mac as a server (with support for Mac OS X Lion computers, iPhone devices, iPad and the iPod touch). It shouldn’t be forgotten that Apple no longer provides dedicated servers.
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