OSX 10.7 Lion – Sneak Peak

After a bit of tinkering with the developer build of OS X 10.7 LION, here are my initial thoughts:
New features are as follows:  Facetime, Launchpad, Airdrop, Fullscreen Apps., iPad style Mail and a new look and feel to the Finder.
That appears to be it.
Facetime is self-explanatory. Internet video calls from your mac to other Macs and iPhones/iPads via Wifi. When 4G kicks in and video calls are made available via 4G, then this feature will really come into its own so it’s future-proof in that respect.  It’s also swish, it’s fun and it works if you have a camera on your Mac. I tested it on the new i7 MBP and it was great but our dev. copy of Lion is on a Mac Mini…..hmmmmm….. Anyway, it’s there and it’s a nice standard feature.
Launchpad is the biggest change and, put bluntly is just an extension of iOS 4 as an overlay, just like the dashboard (which remains) in a soft-focused app layout for quick access to all applications as per iPad. this is a huge step for Apple in terms of iPad/iPhone/Mac integration and i can see how it will make the (now millions) of users already familiar with iOS, think about buying a mac if they feel the transition will be seamless. Which it is. damn them.
They are grouping the tactile user-friendly customisation system preferences together into what they call ‘Mission Control’. Just a different menu layout. Another twist towards the consumer niceties. Form over function is evident here again, basically to appeal to all the people who only care about what the damn thing looks like and how the windows are displayed.
AirDrop is a feature which allows wireless file sharing to be made much simpler and requires zero setup. Essentially a built-in, pre-configured Drop Box for sharing around the house/office which utilises the old Bonjour tech to better effect.
Certain apps will run in Full screen which is nice and all but minimal in wow-factor at best.
Mail has been tweaked to look almost exactly like your iPad. which you obviously already have, you rich twat. Apparently it  “automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010” but as we didn’t bother setting it up and having a conversation with someone for the sake if it, we’ll have to take their word for.
The text and style of the Finder is ever so slightly tweaked and there is a scenic background. There are sliders instead of buttons for changing view options and a different desktop background. Minor details
The whole thing feels like Apple have just rounded it all off for this soft, squishy, family friendly, device integrated, Uni-Mac environment. Which is all great but it’s just that on a 2011 2.66Ghz Mac Mini with 2GB RAM, it’s slow. I don’t mean physically clunky but not as lightning sharp as i thought it could be. Admittedly it is still in developer stage but i can’t say i was impressed. I remember when a Mac was a hardcore processing monster, a vast monolith of aluminium running the Starship Enterprise. It feels to me that Apple are now shying away from the Pro market as well as enterprise (after the death of the Xserve) as the unbelievably lucrative pull of consumer popularity has them in its grasp. I can understand that though and it’s a clever approach. I just hope that Processing power and hardware are not going to gradually suffer as they are less-required by the abundance of casual users……
When we get a final copy we will test and update. Watch this space.

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