Desktops and Notebooks: Apple's Mac OS X 'Lion' Prepares for Windows, webOS Competition

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-06-06 Print this article Print
Mac App Store

Mac App Store

Mac OS "Lion" includes a baked-in Mac App Store, which offers access to a wide variety of full-screen applications. It is a spiritual descendent of the App Store long available for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at San Francisco's Moscone Center June 6 to kick off his company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. As expected, Jobs and a host of other Apple executives profiled the company's upcoming operating system offerings, including iOS 5 and Mac OS X "Lion." The latter is a major update to Apple's long-running Mac OS X franchise, with a variety of new features designed to take advantage of the burgeoning interest in applications. To that end, Lion offers full-screen applications, tethered to features like "Resume" that restores an application to the same condition prior to logging out or restarting. Individual windows within applications can be blown up to full screen, and swiping the track pad will allow users to cycle to other windows. On top of that, Apple has tweaked the basic Mac OS X interface, seeking to evolve how users interact with the system. Those tweaks include the scroll bars, which now remain visible only when in use, and an increased range of gesture controls, including page and image zoom and full-screen swiping. On the productivity side of the equation, Lion includes Auto Save, an AirDrop feature that wirelessly shoots files to other users, and a FileVault for keeping information secure with XTS-AES 128 data encryption—for both internal and external drives. In the coming year, Apple will face renewed competition from not only Microsoft, which is gearing up the next version of Windows for release in (probably) late 2012, but also Hewlett-Packard, which plans to load its webOS onto tablets, desktops and laptops.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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