User Interface: Covered in Linen
As far as the general interface goes in Lion, the major change is the addition of the new linen texture. It seems as though some interface designer fell in love with this odd little piece of graphic, and pasted it everywhere. Its on the log-on screen, in Mission Control (we’ll get to that later), and in Launchpad (there as well). To be honest, I don’t find it that appalling, but I have seen others complain.
Beyond the new linen texture, I haven’t discovered many more changes to the UI with Lion. Before you start screaming at me about full screen apps, thats another section of the review.
Lion is often touted as bringing a number of features that make it more like Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS. This is a truthful statement, and one that Apple is proud to claim. When they announced Lion, they claimed that their ultimate goal was to change the way we think about our computers. They are attempting to blue the line between the mobile device and the traditional computer.
Full Screen Apps: Mobile Style Desktops
Some of Apple’s moves towards a more unified user experience have fallen flat for me, while others have been huge successes. Full screen apps are easily one of my favorite changes in OS X Lion. While that may seem strange at first, it is easy to understand when you look at how well they integrate with both the OS and the new features.
To put an application into full screen mode, you simply click the small button located in the upper right corner of the window. To get back out of fullscreen again, place your mouse at the top of the window until a bar appears. Find the same icon, and click it again. That little addition has changed the way I use my Mac.
Now that full screen apps are part of my everyday workflow, I have trouble adjusting to them not being available everywhere. I use a Windows-based workstation at my day job, and I find myself wishing I could take my email full screen like I can on my MacBook Pro. I think part of my attraction comes from my love of mobile platforms, specifically the iPad.