Apple has released a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion, its next PC operating system, which owes much to the company's mobile software.
released a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion, the next version of its PC
operating system. Lion's new features demonstrate the growing influence of
mobile on the company's other product lines, with iPhone- and iPad-like
emphasis on applications and multi-touch gestures.
comparison evidently embraced by Apple. "The iPad has inspirited a new
generation of innovative features in Lion," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior
vice president of worldwide product marketing, wrote in a Feb. 24 statement.
include Mission Control, which Apple touts as giving users "a bird's eye view
of every application and window running on your Mac," with thumbnails of
full-screen applications alongside Dashboard. In a similar vein, Launchpad
displays all Mac applications in a full-screen layout. Lion also offers the
one-click ability to display applications in full-screen mode.
come from the new Mac App Store, and are purchasable via the user's iTunes
account. The Mac App Store launched Jan. 6 with more than 1,000 free and paid
applications, including the always-popular Angry Birds and more
productivity-centric programming along the lines of Autodesk. By porting its
mobile-applications model to the PC, Apple likely hopes to attract users
interested in downloading smaller programs with just one click, as well as
third-party developers looking for a new platform for their products.
features include AirDrop, which lets users copy files wirelessly from one Mac
to another; Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of a
document; Resume, which revives applications in their most recent state after
restarting a Mac or relaunching an application; and Auto Save, which
automatically saves applications while one works.
Apple is offering a revamped FileVault with high-performance full-disk
encryption for local and external drives, as well as the ability to wipe a
Mac's data instantly; and Mac OS X Lion Server, which adds support for
managing, in addition to Mac OS X Lion, iPhones and iPads.
version of Lion will apparently ship to consumers this summer. In the meantime,
Apple is prepping a March 2 event in San Francisco that media and pundits
generally believe will officially introduce the next-generation iPad to the
world. Apple is also expected to introduce the next version of the iPhone by
summer, if it sticks to its traditional smartphone
Program members can find the Lion preview in the Mac App Store.
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.