It’s official. Apple has just announced the next edition of the Mac Operating System – the Lion. Although Apple didn’t reveal everything about the Lion at today’s event, it gave us a sneak peek at what we can expect from the successor to the Snow Leopard.
Over the past several months, it has been all about the iOS. The success of the iOS has helped Apple reach new heights and carve out segments that simply didn’t exist before. And, the same iOS is the main inspiration behind the new OS X. The highlights of today’s presentation were:
- Apple will introduce full multi-touch support in Lion to take advantage of the multi-touch capable trackpads present in MacBooks, as well as Apple’s very own Magic Mouse. In fact, Apple is also going to launch a full-fledged multi-touch capable trackpad for desktop users.
- The Lion will also allow apps to run in full screen mode, similar to the way we are accustomed to using apps on the iPhone and the iPad. This should make reading books or surfing the web a joy.
- As predicted by many, Apple will also launch an App Store for desktop apps. Obviously, the new App Store will be modeled after the highly successful iPhone App Store. There will be both free and paid apps, with Apple taking 30% revenue share. Installation as well as uninstallation of apps will be hassle free and a single click affair. The App Store will automatically ensure that you have the latest version of each app installed on your system.
- Another new feature in Lion is Launchpad, which is simply a home screen for your apps. It will display all the apps installed on your system in a neatly arranged grid, similar to the iPad. In fact, Apple is even dubbing this as an iPad layer.
- Full screen apps, Launchpad, Spaces and Expose are going to be the cornerstone of the Lion user interface. And integrating all of them together will be another nifty feature called Mission Control, which will group apps with multiple instances into stacks.
The Lion will be launching in the summer of 2011. The new set of features are just what we have come to expect from Apple – fresh and exciting. Don’t forget to share with us your initial impression of the Lion.