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Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion, Updates Air 453

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hear-me-roar dept.
steffann was one of several readers to note that Apple has released OS X Lion for $30 available only through the Mac App Store. It's a 4 gig download so you better not be in a hurry. Lots of new stuff both cosmetic and functional. But if you're the sort of person who is going to install it today, then you already know what they are! They also updated the Air lineup, dropping the old white MacBooks entirely.
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Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion, Updates Air

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  • by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:40AM (#36824246)
    Chances are those $329 monitors aren't 2560x1440 IPS panels.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wazzzup (172351) <.astromac. .at. .fastmail.fm.> on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:51AM (#36824394)

    I have cable internet with no download caps. However it's looking like my Lion download will be taking 5-6 hours.

    Why?

    Because Time Warner oversold my node. This became very apparent last week when a thunderstorm briefly knocked out power in my neighborhood my throughput speeds went through the roof - for a little bit. Speeds regularly dip into dialup threshold between 6-8 on weekdays.

    Why don't I switch providers? Because they are my only option for internet access aside from dialup and I suppose satellite. So I would imagine that for a great number of people with cable internet and no caps this upgrade still going to be a multi-hour affair.

    Count yourself lucky.

  • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:56AM (#36824458)
    That's a useful list. There certainly are a lot of improvements in that list. Two that sound bad, however:

    Auto Save: Lock documents You can lock a document at any time to prevent inadvertent changes. Two weeks after the last edit, Lion automatically locks the document for you. When you try to make a change, Lion alerts you and asks if you want to unlock or duplicate the file.

    Having a lock feature is nice. But auto-locking the document seems like a nuisance. There are lots of documents that I edit on-and-off on a monthly or yearly schedule. I don't want to have an extra click just because I haven't touched that file in awhile. In fact, since OS X is pushing more and more for auto-backups and auto-versioning, auto-locking seems unnecessary. If you can always revert changes, then there's no need to give the user an extra 'are you sure you want to change this document' roadblock. To me, it's inconsistent for them to be pushing auto-saving/backup/versioning but also have auto-locking.

    Full-Screen Apps: Go full screen Apps built to take advantage of the entire screen have a new full-screen button in the window title bar. Click it to expand the app window to fill the screen. Exit full-screen viewTo bring an app back to the desktop, move the pointer to the top of the screen to reveal the menu bar and click the “exit full-screen” button on the far right.

    Apple's push towards full-screen apps seems like a small step backwards. They are basically expanding on the successful UI principles from iPhone and iPad and seeing if they work on laptops and desktops. This might be useful for some users, so as an option I think it's fine. I do, in fact, go to full-screen mode in Firefox sometimes, and I can see the benefit for other applications to really 'take over', even replacing the taskbar/etc. But the thing is that it breaks consistency. On iPhone/iPad, all applications behave a certain way, so it all makes sense and you can get used to it. But Apple machines now have too many kinds of applications (widgets, normal applications, maximized applications, these new full-screen applications, plus older 'full-screen apps' like front-row). It's becoming inconsistent, with a mixture of behaviors and UI conventions. This is the opposite of what Apple's nominal interface guidelines recommend. A full-screen UI also seems very inefficient on larger-display computers (desktops). It seems that Apple is optimizing the GUI for small form-factor devices at the expense of full-size computers. Optimizing for consumption over production of content. I worry that this is part of a larger trend to over-simplify desktop computing, making it less open, flexible and powerful.

    Other Features: Overlay scroll bars The new overlay scroll bars appear when you need them and fade away when you don’t, resulting in a more streamlined experience.

    I don't think that's a step in the right direction. Those little 'fade-away lines' make sense on a mobile phone, where space is at a premium. But on a desktop or laptop, I'd rather see the scroll-bars. It gives you something to mouse towards and grab. More importantly, it gives you constant feedback about where you are within a document, as well as information about the size of the document. This is useful information that you intuitively get when reading a book (you can see the thickness of the book and how far into it you are). Removing these subtle clues from applications reduces context and leads to user errors (e.g. thinking you've reached the end of the document when you hit some whitespace). The above complaints may seem nitpicky. Clearly there is a long list of very cool improvements. (Auto-saving and auto-versioning should be standard in any modern OS!) But as with any software/OS 'updrade' there always seem to be some things that get... worse.

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