At WWDC 2011 today, Steve Jobs unveiled OS X Lion, which offers over 250 new features. I’ve taken the liberty to highlight several of the key new features below.
Mission Control (top) centralizes Dashboard, Expose and Spaces under one big umbrella that lets you see and have quick access to everything that’s going on in your Mac. Just give it a 3-finger swipe up on the trackpad or click the Mission Control icon in the Dock to get there.
Apple is really pushing gestures with its multi-touch trackpads for both desktops and MacBooks. The multi-touch gestures are a big part of navigating through and between apps in OS X Lion.
Mobile devices and computers are starting to merge and the mouse is starting to die (and maybe shortcut keys as well).
Another big feature found in OS X Lion is systemwide support for full-screen apps. This allows you to use all of your screen real estate to get into and around your apps. Combined with gestured-access between open full screen apps and Mission Control access, it should be a breeze to navigate through your apps – all the while enjoying the increased size of your apps’ interface.
As you can see above, Mail is getting a new look – with a lot more features to boot. The new Mail gives you a compact preview of each message with the first two lines of the email in your inbox list. Clicking an email will display the message to the right, which looks nice for Macs’ widescreen displays.
AirDrop lets you share files via an ad-hoc wireless network; however, there’s no need to configure anything. Just launch AirDrop and your Mac will auto-discover other AirDrop users within 30-feet. Once its open, just drop a file onto the name of the computer you are sharing with and it will transfer to their Downloads folder. Say goodbye to USB thumb drive transfers.
Resumé, Auto Save and Versions combine to let you keep working in the way you were when you last closed your apps or documents. With Resume, your apps open up where you left off, while Auto Save lets you stop worrying about clicking the file menu or clicking Command-S to save your work. Version charts the history of your documents as basically snapshots through your progressive work. You can review past versions and even copy and past among them.
Launchpad is a full-screen view of all your apps. It lets you group apps together in folders or easily delete unwanted apps. Whenever you download apps from the Mac App Store, they will automatically appear in your Launchpad.
Apple found just the right cash cow with its App Store for iOS devices and its recently tested the waters with its Mac App Store. And, its turned out quite well for the Cupertino company – and it looks like Apple may start tightening the reigns on Mac software distribution as well.
Perhaps the biggest news about Lion is how they’re selling – only through the Mac App store. Available in July for $29.99 for all of your authorized Macs.