First Impressions of the New Wave from Apple
That is what it feels like, this new offering from Apple. It is not about the hardware sales, it is all about the user experience. Although to a large extent we know already that it is the user experience that drives the sales for Apple Products. This new vision as presented to the geekery of the WWDC World Wide Developers Conference is aimed at getting the developers to participate in presenting the way of the future. There is a lot of crossover from iOS into Lion and there some good things and some not so good.
You can keep LaunchPad and stuff it
The weirdest part of Lion for me is the notion that I want to have LaunchPad taking over my desktop. I have got used to having hardly anything on the desktop. I like the neat and tidy uncluttered presentation of my view into the computer. Just because I have been using iOS and have had icons taking up the screen it doesn’t mean that I want the same on my desktop or laptop machine. I even have a Hazel automation that will take anything I put on the desktop and put it away for me. I can tell you now that Launchpad had better be a choice that I can use or not and I will not be using it, even if it is possible to swipe from screen fulls’ of Applications.
You have to hit the LaunchPad icon on the dock to get the apps up on screen – Not so bad then. I like to use Alfred or Spotlight as a launcher, but I suppose I might use Launchpad if I couldn’t remember the name of the application I wanted to use.
Mission Control looks good
I have got to love using Expose and I like that way that I will get something similar and better from the Lion. Using a three finger gesture I will be able to see all the apps running on my computer and a bit more than I get with Expose now. Getting birds eye view that shows all the running apps arranged nicely in the lower part of the screen and in a top row there is Dashboard Desktop, multiple desktops or Spaces.
Gestures of the multitouch variety
Swiping with three fingers left or right takes you between open applications, if you have lots of apps open it could be better to use the three fingers upward to get to mission control instead of going through each one in turn. There is the two finger tap to zoom and a pinch to zoom. It looks like we will be all off to buy a magic trackpad to use with the desktop machines.
Version Control and Auto Save
This will be a big one for many. In the same way that you don’t have to go to a file menu and click save in iOS you will have your files you are working on saved automatically and there will be versions of the file that you can go back to in a Time Machine like interface. So when you quit an application there will be no dialogue boxes asking if you want to save. I wonder how that will work with a file you have not named yet? A version of the document is put into Versions every hour and you can make a snapshot of a document when ever you feel like it too.
Auto Save is Different from Versions
Your work will get saved every five minutes and saves the changes in one working document without making additional copies so that you hard disk is not filled up too rapidly. There will be a Revert To Last Opened option in the menu. We will also be able to lock a document to stop further changes to it.
Resume – This will bring back the app that you closed to the exact point where you left it. Seems like a good time saving feature.
Full Screen Applications
I already have some applications that work full screen for me. Scrivener, iPhoto and Pages. I use Full Screen with Scrivener quite often when I am writing articles. So I can give a thumbs up for that new thing in Lion. I approve.
More than 250 New features
This is just a first impression of the new things and I will be learning more about it as we go. I am looking forward to getting my hands on an iCloud account which is the glue to hold together much of the new features. We can get lion from the App Store in July. Will that only do an upgrade? What about if I want to do a Nuke and Pave , which is what I would prefer to do with a new operating system.I think it is good to get rid of the cruft and crud that sometimes can accumulate over time.
I expect there will be a lot more to say about all of this from now until we have settled down into using all of the new things of Lion, iCloud and iOS 5…