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Apple Releases Developer Preview of Mac OS X Lion

by Sean P. Aune | February 24, 2011February 24, 2011 8:16 am PDT

Mac-OS-X-Lion-Mission-ControlApple has launched a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion through the Mac App Store this morning.

Apparently launching new MacBook Pros and a new version of FaceTime today wasn’t enough for Apple, so they decided to get the first full developer’s preview of Mac OS X Lion out to the App Store for download.

Mac OS X Lion represents the eigth major release of the Apple operating system, and comes with a host of new features.  Apple lists them as:

  • Mission Control is a powerful, entirely new feature that unifies Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and full screen apps to give you a bird’s eye view of every app and window running on your Mac. With a simple swipe, your desktop zooms out to display your open windows grouped by app, thumbnails of your full screen apps as well as your Dashboard, and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere with a click.
  • Launchpad makes it easier than ever to find and launch any app. With a single click, Launchpad displays all your Mac apps in a stunning full screen layout where you can launch, re-order or organize apps into folders. You can also arrange apps into multiple pages and swipe between them.
  • Lion brings the full screen experience that iPad users love to the Mac. With one click, your application window goes full screen, taking advantage of your Mac’s brilliant display. You can swipe from one full screen window to another and even back to your Desktop or Dashboard.
  • New Multi-Touch gestures and fluid animations give you a natural and intuitive way to interact with your Mac. New gestures include pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps and swiping up to enter Mission Control.
  • A new version of Mail, with an elegant, widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010;
  • AirDrop, a remarkably simple way to copy files wirelessly from one Mac to another with no setup;
  • Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, edit and even revert to previous versions;
  • 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 saves your documents as you work;
  • the all new FileVault, that provides high performance full disk encryption for local and external drives, and the ability to wipe data from your Mac instantaneously; and
  • Mac OS X Lion Server, which makes setting up a server easier than ever and adds support for managing Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.

Currently we still don’t know a more definitive release date for Mac OS X Lion other than “summer 2011”, but a developer’s preview is a good indication that things are on track to keep that release date.

What do you think?  Is there any Mac OS X Lion feature that you are just dying to have?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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