So today was WWDC, where they announced new information about Mac OSX Lion, iOS5, and iCloud. So what’s going on with Lion, how can I get it? Let’s go over that, and about iCloud.
First, Mac OSX Lion (10.7) is going to be released sometime in July exclusively on the Mac App Store for $29.99. It will download on your Mac and install around the OS. No disks, no USB stick, all software. What this also means is that Leopard people will have to either buy a new Mac or first upgrade to Snow Leopard in order to get Lion.
No hardware announcements were made (new Macs or requirements to run Lion), but presumably this means if it runs Snow Leopard, it can run Lion. UPDATE: According to Cult of Mac: “Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM.”
Now let’s look at features:
FullScreen: Taking a page from iOS (and arguably Windows) is that almost all the apps on Mac had no way to go fullscreen. Now Mac apps will now have the ability to run fullscreen, many by default (Mail, iPhoto, Photo Booth, to name a few).
Launchpad/Mission Control. Taking another page from the the iOS book, Launchpad presents an iOS like layout of all the apps (no matter where they’re installed) on your Mac, and allows you to quickly launch them, as well as organize them into folders. Launchpad also notifies you of update in the Mac App Store icon. Apps installed from the Mac App Store will also whisked to the Launchpad.
Mission Control (seen to the right) allows you to look at all of your running apps, windows, and Spaces. You can also preview, create, and kill new spaces and windows from within Mission Control
Autosave, Versions, and Resume: These new features are similar, but different. Autosave allows for documents and projects being edited to be constantly saved by the Mac, so that you don’t have to constantly hit the “Save” button. Versions provides a Time Machine-esque like few of previous saved versions of a document. You can then either copy features out of the previous version, or restore the current document to that previous version. Lastly, Resume allows you to quit an app, and the turn it back on and start off where you last left off (kind of like saving in a video game).
Mail: Mail 5 looks a lot like Mail on the iPad. The layout is now oriented vertically (Like most email clients) instead of horizontally. It also has a Conversations view (like Gmail) and has a much better built in search engine for finding specific mail files. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the new design; I think it’s really great.
AirDrop: AirDrop will be a Mac to Mac sharing network. Any Mac open to AirDrop will let you share files directly between them over the same network. For free. It looks like a great idea for looking over files together and collaboration.
One last note is that the Mac App Store will be more heavily integrated with Lion. Now let’s quickly discuss iCloud (even if there is a lot to go over).
iCloud is more heavily tied in with iOS devices than Mac, but here’s the basic rundown. iCloud is Apple’s cloud service that will be tied in with your Apple I.D. Your apps, pictures, and files, can all be backed up and synced between Macs and iOS devices (Apps of course will be specifically tailored to run in their own OS, so no running Chrome on iOS). What it also means is that Apple’s Mail, Address Book/Contacts, and iCal/Calendar will be synchronized so that when you update a contact on ne device all the others will get the same updates. This is all for free, and will have 5 gigs of storage space.
For $24.99, your iTunes library can be scanned and run from the iCloud. Instead of uploading your entire library to their servers, Apple will use high quality versions of their songs streamed to your device. Even songs ripped from CD’s or bought from other sources will be scanned and iTunes versions of the song will be used in your iCloud.
That’s the news about Lion, and it’s relations to iCloud. If you want the full scoop about what went down at WWDC, you can check it out on Apple’s site: http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/11piubpwiqubf06/event/. What do you think? Tweet me on Twitter, or comment below. Thanks!