Mac OS X 10.7 Lion A Guided Tour – Back To The Mac



Apple has invested a considerable amount of time and money on iOS, the mobile version of Mac OS X, that powers the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Apple TV. So it just makes sense that Apple would re-invest iOS technology into the Mac version of OS X. Steve Jobs has pretty much said so himself and we’ll start to see this happen with the release of Mac OS X 10.7 bearing the code name Lion.

First of all it is no secret that Apple plans on bringing a number of features to the Mac from iOS. These features include the following:

Resuming Applications

Mac OS X will allow applications to remember open windows, etc. similar to resuming apps when launched on iOS. Automatically saving application documents will also be an integrated feature similar to what happens on iOS when you suspend or quit an app.

Home Screens

Mac OS X application Home Screens using a new LaunchPad Dock icon will allow you to view and select the applications you want to launch just like on the iPad. You’ll even be able to use folders like the ones  iOS supports to organize your Mac OS X applications within the launcher.

Mac App Store

Another feature in this new version of Mac OS X, which we’ve already been using for months, is the Mac App Store. This version of the App Store gives us convenient access to free and paid apps similar to the iTunes App Store for iOS. Apple is evening using this store to distribute Lion to developers so we can expect to be able to do the same once Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is released. The cool part is it is a one stop shop for buying, installing and later updating your Mac OS X applications. The only awkward problem is that developers don’t necessarily have an easy way to transition existing customers from their current purchases to the Mac App Store.

Multi-touch Gestures

Finally, we’ll see an expansion of multi-touch gesturing on the desktop via the Magic Trackpad on the iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro and on Mac notebooks using their integrated track pad. It’s already noted that in the version of Safari shipping with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion that scrolling works in the opposite direction like on iOS.

What’s Next?

I’ll spend the next few weeks before WWDC taking my own first look at and exploring the features Apple announced about Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. I will also explore other features that people have discovered in the beta releases of Apple’s new OS. I’m excited about Lions eventual release this summer and I think you will be too.

What new Lion feature have you seen that cannot wait to get your hands on? Tell us about it in the comments.

  • Just a Friend

    10.6.7 Lion? :)

  • Arn

    It’s 10.7 not 10.6.7 and it’s not really a first look given that most sites have been writing about this for around 2 months now.

  • Elmo

    Oooops! ;-)

  • rockinrors

    Yeah, that mac app store sure is new…

  • A dude


  • Stefano Fassone

    so what ??

  • Danielsw

    I think the introduction of Lion will be a watershed event in the history of the platform. It will add yet another draw for Windoze users to switch, and it will better unify the overall Apple brand software user interface and user experience. It will further unify and refine Apple’s product ecosystem, which will most likely further confound competitors’ attempts to outdo it or even catch up.

  • Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira

    ? just make iPhoto ( work in the background ) and Safari for low end Macs more efficient.
    That is ALL.

  • Batfink

    Rubbish. Snow Leopard was $29.

    @David, nice article, appreciate the wrap-up. Keep ’em coming.

  • swengoodwood

    It could also be the beginning of the End for Apple / OS X depending on how they force it on us. One problem with Apple is that they tend to force software upgrades on us by using new hardware. I hope we can turn “Autosave” off if we don’t want to use it. Not all developers products will make it through the App Store.

    There is plenty of good programs that would never get approved. You can’t even get the App Store if you don’t upgrade OS X to 10.6.6 I think it was. Maybe some users don’t want to upgrade for one reason or another. It is also the same with iTunes. You need to have an updated version of iTunes in order to support certain features (like maybe a certain IOS update) but in order to have that updated version of iTunes you are forced to have an updated OS X. This is how they obsolete old hardware. It is a fine balancing act and I think if Apple pushes too much, they will see a massive backlash from their techier user base.I hope that they keep this in mind before they start to ram too much down our throat. I for one am quite happy saving my own files and documents, and I don’t really need another app launcher with a screen full of icons.

  • pjs_boston

    Apple’s products work well, in part, because Apple does not extend legacy support back to the beginning of time.

    FYI, Lion will support any Mac with a Core 2 Duo processor or later, a limitation arising out of the fact that Lion is a 64 bit intel only operating system. Apple began selling 64 bit Core 2 Duo machines in fall 2006. So, any Apple machine less than 5 years old is supported. That doesn’t sound so draconian to me.

    If we compare Mac OS X Lion to Windows 7, Windows 7 indeed supports hardware going back a decade or more. The problem is, although Windows 7 will run, it runs like a dog on anything more than 4 years old. Historically, each new Windows release has de facto required a hardware upgrade. Although Windows will run on older hardware, each new release really needs new hardware in order to to run properly. Microsoft is perfectly happy to let the customer put the latest version of windows on old hardware even though it will result in a crappy user experience. After all, if the new version of Windows runs like crap on your old PC, you can just buy a new one right?

    Mac OS X, on the other hand, runs very well on the all of the hardware it supports. In fact, Snow Leopard took up less space and ran faster than Leopard on the same hardware. So, it seems to me, the Apple is just looking out for its customers by making firm hardware requirements for its new OS versions.

    FYI #2, the existence of the Mac App Store does not prevent installing applications the old fashioned way. If a developer doesn’t want to go through the App Store, they don’t have to. So, what’s the problem? Why aren’t you wailing about the app store MS is planning for Windows 8?

  • Guest

    I’ve been running lion for months now, it is by far the best os I have ever experienced! One feature not mentioned here is multitouch gestures via the magic mouse; two fingers swiped left or right scrolls through four parallel desktops, each customizable (expose style), perfect for running vmware fusion on one without cluttering your workspace.
    Mac os x lion is well worth the $125 apple will charge for it, but of course I wouldnt recommend pAying for it if you know anything about torrents:)

  • Dan D’Errico

    Before Snow Leopard, which was not a major upgrade (it was more like a big under-the-hood tweak), all upgrades in OS X have been $129. Snow Leopard was a major exception to the $129 rule. A lot of recent Mac adopters think that the $29 upgrade has been standard procedure because that is all they know. Lion will probably cost more because it promises more visible upgrades and new features. However, I am guessing that Apple will be selling it for less than $129 through the App Store. Apple will sell MORE copies of Lion and make the money back because the App Store is so easy to use and the price will be more appealing. Also – Apple will not have to manufacture & ship millions of physical DVDs to stores and users.

  • swengoodwood

    Actually I have 4 Macs and only one window machine left, which will be retired shortly. I love my MAC’s and also iPad / iPhones. I just hope that Apple does not evolve the MAC platform more towards a closed system as IOS is today. It seems to work relatively well for IOS but on the computer side we still need the freedom to install whatever we want, as you have pointed out, we currently have. All this talk of OS X becoming more integrated with IOS, and that could lead to a closed system eventually. On the plus side, Apple (and MAC developers) price the software so it is affordable for the vast majority of people, as opposed to Microsoft and many of the Windows developers.

    I also hope that Lion will be a Faster / Slimmer OS. Just give us choices as to which parts we want to use. I still use Win7 on my last PC, but I turn off everything. If you looked at it you would think it was XP. Works great for me. I know that some users want all of the Eye candy, so let them have it, but give us choices.

  • prof_peabody

    You are just trying to scare people and have no more information than the rest of us. The last upgrade price was $29 dollars and you have no way of knowing if this was a “major exception” as you say (whatever that is).

    Another factor to consider is that apps sold through the app store are typically much less than the cost of the app that was previously sold on a DVD. If this rule is in force then the $129 would turn into about $79.

    Personally, if I had to guess I would go with something around $70.

  • Dan D’Errico

    That was scary? I am not trying to scare anybody. It is true I have no special information but I watch Apple and I can speculate. By the way, since Snow Leopard was $100 less expensive than the last four OS upgrades, I would say that the price really was a major exception. Is that debatable? Leopard may have set a precedent for future releases but I was referring to recent history.

  • Ale Mello

    How can you be sure about that? I bet something about US$70 or less.

  • Ale Mello

    How can you be sure about that? I bet something about US$70 or less.

  • Kbestle

    I think that future features in both OSX and iOS will depend greatly on people upgrading to Lion. Becuase of this Apple will make the upgrade price very attractive.

  • Robert Mungo

    Snow Leopard was $29.
    Leopard was $129.
    Tiger was $129.
    Panther? $129
    Jaguar… you guessed it! $129
    Puma was surprisingly… FREE, but was basically a bug fix for Cheetah.
    Cheetah started the ball rolling with…. $129

    It’s far more likely that the price will be $129 than not. Out of the seven editions so far (0-7) only two of them have had another price.

    Puma, 10.1, was free on disc as it it was released in 2001 and most people felt that 10.0 was incomplete when released. Example: You couldn’t play a DVD in OS X until Puma was released.

    Another Example of 10.0 being incomplete, despite the $129 price tag? Apple didn’t sell a mac with OS X as the boot OS until 10.1 was released.
    Snow Leopard was $29 as nearly every change was under the hood. Apple knew users wouldn’t pay for something they couldn’t see, but they wanted the changes made to the OS. Lowering the price made for better adoption.

    So, while we’d all like to see a lower price, the average of all the prices for OS X version, including the free version, is still $96.


    I totally agree with you. I love my iPhone, but I want my desktop clean and tidy unlike the way iPhone work with home screen. I am not sure if I want autosave neither. Well, basically I love Snow Leopard. So, I don’t know..

  • Rick Landsman

    Because …?

  • snoop

    We are running out of cat names. What’s next, Liger?

    On a more serious note, I was planning on installing Lion fresh on a Intel SSD in my 2010 mini. Does that mean that I’ll have to opt for the physical media for my install, or does anyone think I’ll be able to download from the App Store, then make an install disc from the purchased file? Maybe they will sell install flash drives instead of dvd’s…

  • nthnm

    I hate the home screen. I currently have one folder on my desktop and have my dock set to hide off the screen. If it’s a folder with restrictions like current iPads and iPhones, I probably won’t use it. If it can hold unlimited items, I might.

  • blueleaves

    I think that Apple will offer Lion at a bargain basement price through the app store to a) get people to upgrade and b) they don’t even have to order a DVD or go out to a real store.

  • mkd

    check out goosesensor’s last post at

  • Robert Pruitt

    Let’s not forget this will be a digital download also. Apple will be able to cut costs on this front and get people used to buying moderate priced software from the Mac store.

  • TylerHoj

    There’s something to be noted here. Snow Leopard was released before the iPad hype. So all the shiny new iPad wielding users look at Apple as it’s current state. What do they see? A VERY low price on a very cheap operating system[if they decide to expand their Apple ecosystem]. Then, within this time Apple lowered costs and released a new MacBook Air and kept the originally low iPad price structure. It’s clear Apple is striving to be aggressively priced here, especially with the abundance of new users. They’re no longer trying to be a “rich” brand and will continue to extend to a larger market. With these factors, I think it’s dead obvious to say Apple is going to price the new OS at…wait for it….$29. But if your complaining about the cost being so low, it’ll probably be $29.99 at Best Buy. So cool your jets.

  • Yuma Maris


  • Marty

    “by far the best os I have ever experienced! … well worth the $125 apple will charge for it, but of course I wouldnt recommend pAying for it if you know anything about torrents:)”

    In other words, the way to support the development of quality software is to steal it. Nice.

  • c0nd3mn3d

    “MAC” is an acronym for “Media Access Control.” Please just stick to the nickname for Macintosh, “Mac” as you did in your first sentence, as “MAC” is simply incorrect. Thanks.

  • Ebr75

    Maybe the right option is stay on Snow Leopard

  • Peter

    The server edition is being merged with the desktop…..

  • dendysutrisna

    I had just buy a MacBook Pro 13inch with 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 inside… and I see the version of its Mac OS X is 10.6.7.
    Is this Mac OS X Lion? Or is Snow Leopard?

  • Mactester

    Snow Leopard. OS X is 10.7 upwards…