OS X Lion: A User’s Review

It was certainly a long time in coming. It was hyped to no end by Apple, who heralded it as a rethinking of the operating system. It takes the way we think about interacting with our machines and turns it inside out.Many have called it the death of the traditional computer. Most people just call it OS X Lion.

Lion was first announced to the world at WWDC in 2011. With it came the announcement of iCloud, Apple’s new cloud storage initiative, and iOS 5. While those two things won’t be available to the public until this fall, Lion launched on July 20. I upgraded that very day, and have spent the week exploring the newest version of Mac OS X.

With a piece of software this big, its hard to decide where to start a review. While the major pieces of the OS haven’t changed that much, Lion does introduce a number of new features. I am going to try and keep this review to something user friendly, avoiding most of the technical upgrades and changes. I will try to hit all of the features I think are real game changers.

The features I will be covering are:

  • The User Interface
  • Full Screen Apps
  • Multi-Touch Gestures
  • Launchpad
  • Mission Control
  • Auto-Save and Versions
  • Resume
  • Others, including Air Drop and Mail
  • (The Lack of) Rosetta
To read the review, simply click on the numbers 1-8 at the bottom of this post.

Apple Officially Releases Mac OS X Lion, Available for Download

Apple’s Mac OS X 10.7, codenamed “Lion”, is officially released and is available for purchase at the Mac App Store for $29.99. Apple showcased the new version of OS X at WWDC 2011 in San Fransisco, last month.

OS X Lion has over more than 250 new features,  which include the new multi-touch gestures, full screen apps, Air Drop, and new security features such as hard drive encryption. The OS X Lion will be a 4GB download. Alternatively, users can head to their local Apple Retail Store to download Lion. Later in August, Lion will be made available on a USB thumb drive through Apple Store for $69.

Additional new features in Lion include:

  • Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
  • Auto Save, which automatically and continuously saves your documents as you work;
  • Versions, which automatically records the history of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions; and
  • AirDrop, which finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.
Apple Mac OS X Lion

Before you upgrade, please keep in mind the following configuration to run Lion –

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion and not anything lower than this.
  • RAM: A minimum of 2GB RAM
  • HDD Space: At least 4GB of additional disk space is a must.

If you have purchased your Mac in 2006 or later, then you’re good to go.

In order to upgrade to OS X Lion, make sure that you have Snow Leopard 10.6 or higher version running. You also need to have the Mac App Store app installed in order to take advantage of the built-in App Store. In case you are running Snow Leopard 10.5 or anything less, then you must consider upgrading it to a higher version first (Snow Leopard is available for $29 at the Apple Store).

Also, please make sure that any third-party applications installed on your Mac system, are upgraded to their latest version. Third-party applications may not be compatible with the new version and will require an upgrade.