Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: An Unbiased Review From a Mac Lover!
Unbiased… from a person who LOVES it? haha.. well, I had you going for a second right?
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion has been released to the Mac App Store, and is ready for you as a direct download and install! This release marks the very first time in history that a personal computer’s entire operating system has been downloadable, and completely installable, without the need of a CD or DVD (well, without an actually hard object to stick into your computer). Feel like you’re in the future yet? Sit back, cause I’m about to walk you through this awesome new addition to the Mac OS family!
Apple’s release of Mac OS X Lion is truly a stepping stone on the path to something far bigger. The future of computers is about to change, and Apple has foreseen this change to take a turn toward some rather simple similarities to its mobile operating system, called “iOS.” Many of the features in Lion (in fact, the main ones) are taken specifically from the iOS platform, and those who have used an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad before will feel right at home immediately with this new system.
If you already have a Mac, you fully understand that time-saving simplicity and a great user experience were the main selling points of the platform, and Apple really has done a remarkable job bringing us just that with every new release of Mac. Although many PC users would argue that Macs are just overpriced and underpowered, those who have used the system, and have given it an honest try, have almost always decided to switch. I currently to this day, do not know a single person who has ever tried a Mac, after coming from a PC-only lifestyle, and decided that the Mac wasn’t right for them, and left it alone. It simply doesn’t happen very often, and it’s because of simple innovations, like those found within Mac OS X Lion, that people have loved using their Mac.
Okay, enough of the introductions and praise. It’s time to dig into Lion. First off, you’re going to need to be aware of a few critical details about Lion before continuing on with the installation and walk-through. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you take a moment BEFORE YOU BUY Lion, and check to see if your system can use it or not. Do not make the mistake of purchasing software that you cannot use.
Can you Run Lion? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!
Once you’ve figured out that you’re compatible, you are ready to grab the best Mac OS yet to date! The features will impress you for sure. Let’s get Started!
First…. Download Mac OS X Lion by CLICKING HERE!
(You will need to be running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later in order to do this, as we told you in the compatibility check link above).
As long as your Mac is running OS X 10.6.8, you’re good to go! Notice that this is SNOW LEOPARD, and NOT LEOPARD. If you are running Leopard, you won’t even be able to get it, since you don’t have the Mac App Store, which is required for the update to Lion. Mac OS X Lion is not found on a disc. Instead, you can download and install it directly from the Mac App Store.
NOTE: After purchasing and downloading Lion, you CAN put the thing on a DVD for installation later if you want. CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW. Please note that if you want to have a disk later, you MUST burn your copy BEFORE installation with the downloaded app).
With Lion, You’re going to install your new OS just as you would any application from the App Store. It downloads, it installs, and you’re done. Pretty simple. For the general purpose of understanding this, Lion will not require a disk, and you do not have to go to the store, or wait for shipping, to get it.
What’s really cool, is that Apple has made it extremely easy to recover/re-install later too! Instead of having to use the normal optical media, the OS X Lion installer creates a “Recovery HD” partition on your hard drive that includes a copy of the installer, Disk Utility for disk repair, and a couple other goodies.
[ADVICE] Please backup your current system using Time Machine (or just saving important files on an external disk) just in the case of something going wrong. It’s not likely, but the risk is always there.
Remember Expose, Spaces, and the Dashboard? Of course you do, because you have been using a Mac! – If you still don’t know what these are though, and you are using a newer Mac, take and hit that F3 or F4 key… you’ll be introduced to it. Once you’ve got that out-of-the-way, say your goodbyes to it, because Mission Control has replaced the functionality of those three features.
Spaces, which was introduced in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, are essentially multiple virtual workspaces, which are easily navigated through using the “Spaces” features on your Mac. Now, with Lion, spaces are created and viewed at the top of the screen within Mission Control. You’ll find all of your windows on the screen are grouped by Application, and the Dashboard widgets you are familiar with can be found on the left. Navigation just got a LOT sweeter!
I think you’ll also enjoy the speed improvements (it’s really quite snappy!)
Oh man.. that multi-touch trackpad you have just got a lot sweeter! (oh yeah.. and you people with Magic Mice as well).
Lion is packing over a dozen gestures now, which is more than Snow Leopard. It’s increasing the functionality of your trackpad, and improving your experience through simplicity (once they are taught to you within the settings, of course). There are so many things that can be done with multi-touch now, and the reasons to actually move the cursor are dwindling fast. You can swipe and pinch, slide three fingers, four fingers, you can pinch with three fingers and a thumb, or reverse it for the reverse action. I know.. it’s getting redundant. We all get it, okay cool……… But seriously though, OSX Lion feels so much smoother than other versions in the past, and you won’t be disappointed with the update.
To fully understand the capabilities of your multi-touch trackpad, as well as all the options available (As far as movements and commands go), visit System Preferences in the Apple Menu, located in the top left corner. Users with trackpads will likely feel like they’ve been treated better than those using a mouse, just because of these gestures, and how it feels to use them (natural).
There is, however, one minor downside to this new tracking system that I think a lot of people aren’t going to like, and that’s the “reverse” scrolling that Apple has put into it. We are so used to moving our fingers in a downward motion to move down the page, and in an upward motion to move up the page. Apple has decided that this too needed to be messed with, and has went with the iOS style scrolling in Mac OS X Lion. This means, scrolling should be done as if you were actually touching the paper, meaning scrolling in an upward motion, would actually move the piece of paper in an upward motion, making you look further down the page. In a sense, Lion makes you scroll up to go down, and down to go up.
This works well on a touch screen, but it really sucks on a computer.
If you are like me, and you HATE this, there is a super easy way to fix it. Simple READ THIS for more info.
Apple now has included built-in support for users to make all Applications for full screen with a touch of a button. This isn’t the same as a “maximize” on a Windows computer either. The system pulls you out of where you are, and displays just your Full-screen app with nothing around to distract you. Using the spaces feature, you can move to other desktops while in full screen as well, so you actually never have a need to take an app out of full screen while it’s in use.
This allows users to focus more on their content. Even so, I find that only those who don’t have big screens will find this to be cool. If you have a big 27″ iMac… This is probably not a big deal, because you have a big screen already. Still, the interact does change when you move, so perhaps you’ll like the placement of items better?
To each’s own I suppose… onward!
Versions and AUTO-SAVE!
This is easily my favorite feature in Lion. Kiss the days of forgetting to save your work goodbye! – With Mac OS X Lion, you never have to save anything again… period! Now, the system saves everything for you whenever you make a change, so the days of Apps crashing after writing a four page paper and never saving it once… are over!
On top of that, Lion features something called “Versions” which basically lets you go back in time! No really, you can go back to any of the previously saved points (that the system did for you) and restore to any of them with one click. It’s pretty slick. Best of all, you don’t have to restore the entire file, and are able to choose certain points to restore. For example, if you are doing a Powerpoint presentation, and you decide that an image you had long ago would fit better on a slide, you can go into versions and get it. You don’t have to restore the whole presentation, or even the whole slide itself. Simply drag the image from the old version, onto the new version… Done.
Mac App Store
The Mac App Store is very new, but has already become very popular. It’s so easy to download Apps to use on your system, and there is never any installation hassles. It’s a revolution in “easy.” With Lion, it gets even better. Developers are going to start pushing delta updates to their applications now, so you don’t have to download big files to update apps. Only the small bits of changes are needed, and replaced later. Pretty cool!
There really isn’t much to say about Launchpad if you have already used an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad before (and pretty much all of our readers have). Just think of the typical Home screen interface, and put it on your Mac. There ya go!
Apps downloaded from the Mac App Store can be found in Launchpad, which is accessible with that three-finger and a thumb pinch that I told you about before. It just swoops in and gives you access to all your apps. When you make it go away (pinch outward), they’re all out of your site. Pretty easy.
Picture a world where your computer always remembers what you were doing last. No matter what application, or what document, Lion remembers exactly where you were in your work, and allows you to resume from that exact same spot when you open the app back up. The details are pretty awesome too. If you had text highlighted when you quit, it’s still highlighted when you open it back up (and resume where you were). It’s just another convenient feature found in Mac OS X Lion. Now you don’t have to save, and you don’t have to remember where you were. Computers are getting way too smart… right?
Know anybody else with a Mac? If you do, and you are around them often, there has probably been a time when you wanted to share a file with them as well. Before Lion, this would involve something similar to uploading it to Dropbox and having them download it, or handing them a memory stick with the document on it (if there was room to put it on there).
With Lion, it’s totally different. Macs are automatically connected to each other when on the same WiFi network, and all it takes is a simple drag and drop to their icon in the finder. There is literally no setup to get this to work either.. It just does. Of course, the receiver of the file will need to verify and accept the transfer themselves in order for it to go through, so rest assured, you aren’t going to just be receiving random things without your knowledge. Apple may not have the best security in the world or anything, but they’re aren’t careless…
Why you should get it…
It adds a TON of functionality to your Mac, and it’s only $29.99!! DUH!