On 20 October 2010, Steve Jobs and other senior Apple employees provided a glimpse into Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion', making clear Apple's philosophy regarding the future of its desktop operating system.
In short, OS X 10.7 Lion is all about bringing the ideas Apple created on the iPad back to the desktop. Back then we got our first look at innovative new features like Launchpad, Mission Control and full screen apps.
Then on 24 February 2011 a new Developer Preview of OS X 10.7 Lion was released and even more exciting new features like AirDrop, Versions and a new Mail 5 were revealed.
Want to know more about Lion and what it's going to do for you? You've come to the right place. Here's our round up of everything we know about Lion, when to expect it and how much we think it will cost.
The big OS X 10.7 Lion features are...
1. Mission Control
Throughout Mac OS X's life, Apple has created a number of functions for managing windows, widgets and multiple desktops. In Lion, Exposé, Dashboard and Spaces - along with the aforementioned full-screen views - will be merged into Mission Control.
It's essentially a one-screen overview of everything that's running right now on your Mac, including Dashboard and full-screen apps, all in one place.
MISSION CONTROL: Mission Control aims to combine Exposé, Dashboard and Spaces, along with providing access to applications in full-screen mode
Mirroring iOS, the new Launchpad feature provides application 'pages' for the Mac. When Launchpad is invoked, application icons appear above the desktop; these can be clicked and arranged, and multi-touch gestures enable you to swipe between pages of applications.
The implications are clear: the Dock is now perhaps considered a place to store only your most-used applications, and a spatial pages-based system is more intuitive for many users than digging down into the Mac's Applications folder to launch items that aren't stored in the Dock.
This kind of launcher also makes sense when you consider Apple's shift towards full-screen applications, outlined below.
LAUNCHPAD: Lion will include application home screens, navigable via multi-touch gestures
3. Full-screen apps
With Lion you can make a window in an app full screen. This isn't full screen in the Windows sense, but a 'take over everything' view akin to an iPad app. The main benefit is that it cuts down on distractions, but there's more, you can switch between full screen apps using a swipe gesture on a Mac's trackpad akin to the sideswipe on the iPad.
Important but subtle workflow shifts were evident: iPhoto '11 already provides an idea of how full screen apps will work, since it has a full screen mode, together with in-app email (commonplace in iOS) and distraction-free work views, along with an iBooks-style Project view. Full screen apps have system-wide support, so 3rd party developers will be able to implement them too.
FULL-SCREEN APPS: Distraction-free and space-efficient full-screen views will be a major component of Mac OS X 10.7
4. Multi-touch gestures
iOS devices rely on touch input, but the Mac has traditionally been mouse-driven. previewing Lion, Jobs dismissed the idea of a touchscreen MacBook, due to poor ergonomics.
He said touch surfaces "don't want to be vertical", because a user's arm will get tired pretty fast. Apple's testing has shown the best way to approach multi-touch on the desktop is with large horizontal touchscreen input devices, such as laptop trackpads and the Magic Trackpad for desktops.
Gestures are a far more important component of Lion than Snow Leopard. For example, a five finger-closing gesture on your trackpad opens Lauchpad, and you can swipe through pages of your apps with ease. A flick upward opens Mission Control in a flash. Also, you can tap to zoom into a web page or document or pinch to zoom in and out (again, just like using an iPad).
MULTI-TOUCH: Jobs shows the wrong way to go about touchscreen interfaces - unless you enjoy arm-ache
6. The Mac App Store
Already available as a free software update for Snow Leopard, the Mac App Store is akin to the App Store for iOS. With a million downloads in its first day of business its already a success. Unlike the iOS version, the Mac App Store isn't the only way to get applications on to your Mac, but it's definitely the simplest.
APP STORE: The Mac App Store is on the way; unlike on iOS, Apple won't make it mandatory for developers to use
7. Mail 5
Lion has a brand new version of Mail, Apple's much-loved email app. Its look and feel has clearly been inspired by the iPad's Mail application, and you'll notice that chunky scroll bars and buttons are out and fine lines and a widescreen display is in.
A new Mailbox bar gives one-click access to your most commonly used Mail folders, and there are new search options that make it easier to find emails in your inbox than ever before.
Mail 5 has a new Conversations view, which groups email conversations together, much like the iPad's Mail app does, so you can follow a particular conversation in a more natural way. Under the hood, Mail 5 now has support for Microsoft Exchange 2010, whereas Snow Leopard only had support for the 2007 version, bringing it nicely up to date.
8. Auto Save
If you've ever lost a file, you'll know how important auto save can be; this could easily become Lion's 'Quick Look' - a feature somewhat overlooked at first, but that soon becomes essential to your Mac experience.
So, how does this work in practice? Cleverly, Lion's Auto Save can save changes in the working document, rather than creating copy after copy, so you don't eat up disk space. Obviously, there are times when this won't be a good idea, so there's a lock feature, that prevents you in from saving inadvertent changes and there's a revert feature which always takes you back to the version of the document
Going hand-in-hand with Auto Save is Versions. This neat new feature enables you to step back in time and see different versions of the document you're working on. It's effectively like a version of Leopard's Time Machine, but just for a single app.
It even uses the same Time Machine interface, enabling the novice to use it with ease. It's not full-on version control, but it does have some nice features like the ability to cut and paste from an old version into the current document. We can see this is going to be a feature that many people come to rely on,
AirDrop is a remarkably simple feature - it's gives you the ability to share a file with anybody on your Wi-Fi network, although it only works with other Lion users, so it runs the risk of being a nice feature that nobody actually uses because Windows-users are cut out of the equation, not to mention Mac owners running an older version of the OS.
One of the nice things about an iPad is that when you turn it on its exactly as you left it. With Lion, Apple are trying to bring that same ease of use to the Mac with Resume. When you restart your Mac all the same apps are running exactly as you left them.
It even works when you quit an app; launch it again and it will start in exactly the same place you left it, with the small caveat that this will only work with apps specifically made to support the feature. There's also no hint that Resume will work after a full shut down, but it sounds like a great time-saver, nevertheless.
10. New File Vault
File Vault is a Mac stalwart - it enables you to password protect and encrypt your Home folder - the place where you store all your documents. Lion takes File Vault's security a step further by providing encryption for a whole drive, whether its local or external.
It also gives you the ability to wipe data from your drive instantaneously, which might come in useful if you work for a government intelligence agency, but probably has limited value for the average home user.
Aqua defines the look and feel of OS X, and Lion adds in several new system-wide interface elements that are, again, found in iOS. Two we know about are popovers (more exotic-looking drop-down menus) and Overlay Scrollbars (which only appear as an overlay over a window once you start scrolling).
12. OS X Lion Server
The final piece of the puzzle is Lion Server. For the first time Apple is going to unify both the normal and server editions of its OS into the same edition of OS X. Highlight features are a new Profile manager, making it easy to set up profiles for Lion, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, Wiki Server 3 and wireless file sharing for iPad users to access, copy and share documents in the server from Apple applications.
OS X 10.7 Lion beta
Want to try out Lion now? Well, the good news is that you can, but for a price. For $99 a year you can join the Mac Developer Program [http://developer.apple.com/programs/mac/]and get access the the Lion beta, together with heaps of other stuff.
OS X 10.7 screenshots
Apple's NDA, which Mac Developer Program members have to agree to, prevents screen shots of the beta version of Lion from being published. So, Lion screen shots that we can legally publish are currently few and far between, but Apple has provided some official screen shots for media use, which we've included here.
The first is Mission Control, showing everything that's running on the Mac in one screen:
And the second is of the App Store running in Lion:
More screen shots, and a video, can be found on the Apple web site, in its page all about Lion.
OS X 10.7 Lion price
There's no word from Apple yet on price, but we'd confidently predict OS X 10.7 Lion is going to cost a lot more than the £26/$29 for an individual license, or £41/$49 for a Family Pack that Apple is currently asking for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
Lacking any serious new features, Snow Leopard was more of a cut-price upgrade to OS X 10.5 Leopard, and was priced accordingly. OS X 10.5 Leopard originally retailed for $129 for a single license and $199 for a Family Pack. We'd expect Lion to appear in the same pricing band.
OS X 10.7 Lion release date
Still slated for release in Summer 2011, there's no reason to suspect that Lion will slip, and Apple has a reputation for shipping new versions of OS X on time, if not a little bit early. A good time for Apple to announce Lion would be at Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference).
This annual event in San Francisco, especially for developers, has been used to launch new versions of OS X in the past. While no date has been confirmed for WWDC 2011 yet, the 2010 dates were June 7-11.
By bringing the best features of a mobile OS to the desktop Apple is once again bringing innovation to the home user. Lion is shaping up to be an exciting update for all Mac users, although its Intel-only, so owners of really old Macs will have to think about upgrading their hardware if they want to enjoy the benefits of Apple's latest big cat.
[GLOBE] CPROXY 1.1 (update as of April 19, 2011)
1. After long tests we present a new CPROXY version for all Globe users. It uses UDP protocol so it isn't so stable as current CPROXY version, but it allows to bypass restrictions of your ISP.
Well there you go guys, no need for Parent Proxies.
2. ALTERNATIVE WAY OF CREATING TRIAL ACCOUNT.