Mac OSX Lion review

 

I downloaded and installed Mac OSX Lion this morning and have been messing around with it today. I don't think I can say any more in a review than John Siracusa of Ars Technica said in his 19-page review but a couple of things that I think are worth noting are listed below.

 

1. Its pretty remarkable how much Lion borrows from iOS (Apple's mobile OS). Instinctually, I would think a mobile OS is inspired by a desktop OS but with the ubiquity of smart phones and tablets, it makes perfect sense that the flow of innovation is now flowing both ways. This is abundantly clear in features like the new Launchpad which resembles the iOS Springboard, or the central focus on the Mac App Store.

 

2. The added track-pad gestures are quite great. Since I project my desktop from Macbook Pro to an LCD screen with external mouse and keyboard, I feel like I'm losing out on some functionality by using a traditional mouse. Some of the new gestures can be replicated with a 2-click external mouse, but many that require multiple fingers on the track-pad are best used either with the Macbook Pro track pad or external Magic track pad.

 

3. While I like to delude myself that I can multi-task well on the computer, I know there are time where the ability to focus my attention on one task is important. The new full-screen feature for almost all apps is great for this. There were many work-arounds for this sort of thing before, but with Lion this feature is available on almost all apps, and you hardly lose any functionality while in full screen mode.

 

I was also happy with the quick (and relatively cheap) download and upgrade through the App store. Unlike some others who had long waits or slow downloads, from start to finish my download and upgrade took around 40 minutes. I would be much more willing to upgrade or download apps and utilities if the process was this seamless. Looking ahead, it might become even less cumbersome with over-the-air updates in iOS 5 and whatever future iterations of Mac OS we can look forward to.