Although no official release date has been announced yet, OS X Lion is expected to be very soon.

[UPDATE} Mac OS X is LIVE ON THE APP STORE! [GO GET IT NOW]

You can read more about Lion and what is awesome about it by CLICKING HERE.

Apple seeded the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Gold Master Copy to developers over a week ago. This means the release of the final version is very close. I won’t tell you what day, but it’s really soon, and you should be aware of what needs to be done before Lion can run on your system. The requirements aren’t really all that big, but there may be some that’ll require a little bit of attention on your part. Upgrading your operating system doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck, and can actually be a very pleasant experience. This upgrade may actually be the easiest you’ve ever had… because it downloads, and installs, right from the Mac App Store. Pretty cool right?

Still, you need to know a few things… Here’s a simple guide of what you should know to ensure you’re ready for it!

Lion OS X is priced at an amazing $29USD. If you are still running Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5), it will be a little bit more pricy for you, only because you’ll need Snow Leopard first. You must first upgrade to Snow Leopard (which was also a low $29USD) to gain access to the Mac App Store, which is where Lion can be found.. That means, if you were running Leopard, your total cost is about $60USD. Still half of Windows’s most basic version

(Note: there is only one version of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion for consumers to enjoy. No need to figure out which one is best for you… you get all features for $29USD).

Step 1: Check system requirements

To run Lion, your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor. This will be okay for most people currently using a Mac. If you purchased it (or the computer was made during) late 2006, you’re probably safe to install it.

Be sure you have an Intel Core 2 Duo though… not just a Intel Core Duo.

To discover what your system is having, click the Apple symbol in the top left corner of your screen and select “About This Mac.” The About This Mac window appears, showing your Mac’s processor and Mac OS X version number. Users with older Mac models or those with non-Intel chipset will not be able to upgrade to Lion.

Step 2: Check your RAM

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion needs some power to function to it’s full potential, but you’ll likely be okay with any Mac after 2006 anyways. I recommend that you have at least 2 GB of RAM in your system, although 1GB of RAM can still function with Lion. The ideal number would be 4GB of RAM, and every modern Mac comes with 4GB RAM installed anyways. In the photo above, you can see my processor speed, and installed RAM. My number is 8GB (overkill for a reason), but as long as yours is 2GB or higher, you’ll likely be okay (unless you end up using a lot of apps all the time).

Step 3: Clear up Hard Disk Space

You must free up about 10-12 GB on your Mac before you begin installing Lion OS X. There are various tools that will help you out in doing that (such as “CleanMyMac”), but it’s recommended that you back up media files, such as photos and videos especially, onto another hard drive, and simply remove them while you install. You can likely put them back later, as most of the space Lion was taking up should now be restored to you. It’s probably easiest to delete old documents, school work, presentations, etc. that you still have taking up space, but never really look at anymore. Your computer is about to get a Software makeover… time to do some cleaning!

Step 4: Backup your data

Apple’s Time Machine is awesome, and if you’re like me.. you’ve been using it a lot anyways. Time Machine makes it easy to make continuous backups of your files, folders and applications. The important thing about Time Machine, is that it will allow you to recover and start over later if you mess something up. If something goes wrong while installing Lion, you now have an easy way to get everything back exactly as it was before. Back your system up completely right before installation

Step 5: Prepare For Rosetta Compatibility Problems.

Unfortunately… Lion doesn’t like Rosetta, which is basically what was allowing today’s intel-based Macs run older PowerPC programs from back in the day. After you install Lion… any application that isn’t a version compatible with Intel processors will no longer function.

If you want to find out if any of your currently applications are PowerPC-specific, just do this:

  1. Click “About This Mac” under the Apple menu,
  2. Click the “More info” button at the bottom, which will take you to System Profiler.
  3. Select “Applications” from the “Software” category on the left side of the current window.
  4. Lastly, click the “Kind” column to sort it. When scrolling through this list, you may find apps that show “PowerPC” or “Classic.” If that is the case, just note that these applications will no longer work on Lion. You can simply remove them if you wish

If you absolutely need your PowerPC apps, and need Rosetta for your computer to serve the purpose you need it to serve, perhaps upgrading isn’t right for you. You don’t have to upgrade. Old stuff tends to get faded out over time, because there really is no way to fuel innovation and new versions with advanced computing power AND still support older systems. It just doesn’t work that way.

Step 6: Sign Up/Sign In to an Apple ID

To download Lion from the Mac App Store, you’re going to need an Apple ID. You probably already have one, but if you don’t, you can easily create one in minutes on your computer or iOS device via the store (or iTunes).

There are some really exciting features of OS X Lion, many of which will change the way people use their computers all over again, and how much time it takes to do the simplest of tasks. Apple isn’t in the business of selling products. They are in the business of creating experiences, and ways to easily save them forever.

My favorite feature, for example, is automatic restoration, which allows the users to resume their application exactly as they had left it. Auto-save will be another HUGE plus for me, seeing as though I, like countless others, sometimes forget about that save button.

Through the Multi-Touch trackpad or Magic Mouse, the users can swipe through files and web pages quickly, Mission Control function can help users organize their open windows, full-screen apps, spaces, and Dashboard easily.

OS X Lion also has features like the LaunchPad, which will allow you to quickly access your installed apps. Another feature, the new iCal helps you keep track of your events, edit them and receive notifications.

FileVault 2 feature will encrypt the entire drive to secure data on your Mac while the built-in restore partition allows the user to repair or reinstall Mac OS X Lion without the need for discs.

Like I said before, Mac OS X Lion will be released HAS BEEN RELEASED! as a digital download via the Mac App Store. That’s how you get it, and upgrade your system… with a download. No disc, no hassles. It installs itself just like apps do.

[UPDATE] Mac OS X Lion is out and ready to download RIGHT NOW! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

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