Mac OSX Lion has been out for a while now, and I thought I would take this opportunity to give you all my thoughts. I found the installation process to be painless and without any problems. Of course, your mac may have to restart a few times, but the installation of OSX Lion was seamless nonetheless.
You will notice that the log-in screen is completely different to Apple’s previous releases of Mac OSX. It is a dark grey background with an Apple logo. The picture that represents your user account is now circle-shaped.
As soon as you hit the desktop, you will notice that you have two new icons on the dock. These are two of the features of OSX Lion. The first of them is launchpad. If you have an iOS device, then you will notice that Launchpad is basically the home screen on your iOS device, but transferred onto a mac. All of the apps you have installed will be in Launchpad as well as the applications folder(which accessible from the dock at the bottom of the screen). It is good to see another way of quickly viewing the applications that you have installed. The only thing that is missing from launchpad is a search feature that would allow you to search the applications that I have. Of course, Mac OSX Lion already has the spotlight feature to quickly search for and launch applications. It would also be useful to have some way of seeing the all the pages of launchpad at-a-glance.
The next thing I want to cover is Mission Control. As you can see, it allows you to see the different windows for each of the applications that you have open. It also allows you to see the workspaces you have open and what is in the other spaces. You can also see the dashboard. Personally, I don’t like Mission control that much. Before Mission Control, you had two features called Expos and spaces, which would allow you to see your open applications and windows, alongside the different workspaces and the applications that are open in the workspaces.
This next feature that I found useful is something called resume. Let’s say you needed to shut down your computer, but you were in the middle of some work. Essentially, resume allows you to pick up everything exactly how you left it. So, if you had some finder windows open, and you had to shut down, then resume would let you keep them on the screen when you shut down. When you power up your computer again, you would see that your finder windows have not moved. I have found this really useful, especially when I had many tabs open on my web browser.
I also have to commend Apple for giving us the ability to go back to a previous version of a document in the event of making a mistake. Personally, I also like having an app go full screen, so I can just focus on what I am doing.
These are just some of the many new features that are in OSX Lion. Of course OSX Lion has its drawbacks. For example, when I put my mac to sleep, I lose the capability to zoom into a certain portion of the screen using my mouse. The other thing is, some of my old applications would not work under OSX Lion. Some of these applications were written using the Rosetta translation process, and OSX Lion does not support this. I would want Apple to fix this and make some kind of patch so I can run these applications. The final of my problems, is the reverse scrolling. In OSX Lion, Apple has changed the way the scrolling works. Personally, I found this to be quite an annoying thing. However, Apple knows that people like having a choice, and you can change the scrolling direction from System Preferences if you want to.
All-in-all, it is not the best upgrade for an operating system that I have seen. However, it not the worst. Believe me, Windows Vista was possibly the worst upgrade yet. There are a lot of good features that Apple have added with OSX Lion, and some shouldn’t have been there in the first place. It also seems like Apple are trying to make OSX more like iOS. OSX Lion is only available from the Mac App Store and from Apple’s retail stores as a USB install disk(which will cost £55 in the UK or $70 in the USA). This upgrade will cost you only £21($30) from the Mac App Store. This makes Lion the cheapest upgrade for any of Apple’s operating systems yet.
So is it worth upgrading? I would say, that if you are happy enough with what you have then don’t upgrade. Otherwise if you want to upgrade, then do. I am not going to stop you from doing so.
If you are going to upgrade, then I suggest taking the following precautions:
- Use roaringapps.com to make sure that your applications are going to work on OSX Lion before upgrading
- Use Time machine or other methods to back up your data
- Please use my tutorial that I posted earlier to create your own USB install disk for OSX Lion, so that you don’t have to download it again(click here for my tutorial).