The next major set of changes in OS X Lion comes from a desire to make the whole experience of using Mac OS X more user friendly. Apple says they were looking to make people forget about the grunge working on a computer. They are looking to make that experience more like what you get when you use an iPad or iPhone. While the understand that some users want power features, they claim that the vast majority do not.
Auto-Save and Versions: Keeping Your Work Intact
We have all had that experience while working that we dread. We were typing away, putting some of our best thoughts into words, and then the power on our computer shuts off. You panic, wondering when you last saved that document. I know I have experienced it while writing posts for various blogs. It seems that Apple thinks that kind of panic is silly, and they have found a way to prevent it form happening.
With Lion, Apple has shipped a feature called Auto Save. In case you couldn’t figure it out, Auto Save automatically saves a document or file while you are working on it. You no longer have to think about saving, or if you are like me, have to hit Command-S every 45 seconds. Its a real load off my fingers, let me tell you.
The next document centered feature that Apple has introduced is another favorite of mine. As a writer, I find that I often go through several versions of a longer article before I get to the one I post. Now, the best version of an article isn’t always the most recent one, and that can be a pain. I hate having to save 30 copies just to use one. Apple has heard my cried (and maybe yours) and has given us Versions.
Versions is reminiscent of Time Machine, only for individual documents. What I mean by that is that you get to keep a whole lot of revisions of a document, all within a simple interface. This is great news, especially since it comes with a keyboard shortcut (I love those.) If you hit Command-S in a Versions compatible app, you will create a new Version in the set. It’s magical.
Resume: It Keeps Your Place
The next feature is one that I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, I love that when I shut my Mac down in between classes, it sets a save state. One the other hand, I don’t want to be looking at the same webpage or set of Apps when I open it at 4 in the morning to check the weather. I’m talking about Resume, and it’s still pretty nice.
Resume is designed to, as I mentioned, create a save state for all your apps when you shut down or restart your Mac. The potential for this being amazing it there. I hate having to restart my Mac when a new patch comes out for some essential OS piece. Then again, sometimes I just want to dump everything from memory and start up fresh. I have mixed feelings about this feature, but it still has its uses.