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Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion, Updates Air 453

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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  • Nah.

    There's still value in solid media.

    • by nettdata ( 88196 )

      That's why OS X Lion will be available on USB thumb drive for $69 next month. []

  • Why? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:25AM (#36823206)

    It's a 4 gig download so you better not be in a hurry.

    Yeah it takes a whopping 30 minutes. That's like...forever and stuff.

    • Yeah it takes a whopping 30 minutes.

      4 GB/dl * 8000 Mbit/GB * 1 dl/30 min * 1 min/60 s = 18 Mbps. Not everybody has access to an affordable 18 Mbps connection at home. Or were you talking about a 10-minute drive to a local Apple authorized retailer, downloading Lion on a 54 Mbps connection (which incidentally requires 802.11n or wired Ethernet because it's past the practical throughput of g), and driving back?

      Furthermore, even if you're willing to let a download run overnight, a lot of areas are still subject to single digit GB per month ca

      • I just have simple cable internet and the 4GB download would take about 30 minutes (from past experience with Apple's downloads).

        What "areas" have single digit GB caps? That would pretty much be only wireless services. You know what, I probably would not downloaded it over a tethered connection...

        • What "areas" have single digit GB caps?

          Places with no cable TV provider and which are too far away from the nearest DSLAM for DSL service.

          That would pretty much be only wireless services.

          Exactly: satellite and 3G.

          • What "areas" have single digit GB caps?

            Places with no cable TV provider and which are too far away from the nearest DSLAM for DSL service.

            That would pretty much be only wireless services.

            Exactly: satellite and 3G.

            So between Apple soon offering a USB installer, and any number of places like Starbucks, McDonalds, Barnes and Noble, and a million Mom and Pop places with public WiFi, there's really NO way to get it? Or your office? Or a friend who can download it to a stick and mail it to you? Or the Apple Store itself which has free WiFi? Are there that many people who live near NO place with public WiFi, and have to have the latest Apple software on the first day of release?

          • by Wovel ( 964431 )

            Get fixed wireless then. Service is usually pretty good until skybeam buys your provider.

          • Places with no cable TV provider and which are too far away from the nearest DSLAM for DSL service.

            I have a friend who lives out in the country, who was able to buy internet service over a direct wireless link until DSL finally arrived...

            Even people in remote areas usually have better options. Yes there will be a handful that do not; trip to the city. You are not unused to having to go into town for some things when you live in a remote area.

        • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:53AM (#36823638)

          From the Ars review [], the license reads:

          (i) to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server ("Mac Computer") that you own or control;

          The installer doesn't check, any system that you "own or control" you have a license for. A company system might be a grey are (you control it but they own it, and also control to some degree) but the installer doesn't check and no-one really cares.

          • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

            For non commercial use... A company system would be used for commercial uses, and thus wouldn't be valid under these terms.

          • by Kjella ( 173770 )

            A company system might be a grey are (you control it but they own it, and also control to some degree) but the installer doesn't check and no-one really cares.

            Since you'd be prohibited from doing work (commercial use) after installing it, I doubt the company would approve. Unless you plan to argue that you don't actually work, you just surf slashdot so it's okay...

          • by jandrese ( 485 )
            Basically, Apple has gone back to being a hardware company. I wish Microsoft would do this too, most people never upgrade Windows except when they buy a new machine because Microsoft charges an arm and a leg for each upgrade. With Apple there is little excuse not to be running the latest version.

            That said, there is one reason not to upgrade to Lion: If you still use PowerPC based applications (like Quicken!), they won't work in Lion. Apple removed the compatibility layer and doesn't even offer a way
        • What "areas" have single digit GB caps?

          A lot of low-price packages in regional australia do. Low price here meaning $30/month or so.

      • Took me about an hour on a cable line.
          And that's with a 80g download going at the same time :)

    • Quick tip people, from the kind folk in #MacOSX on Freenode - after downloading from the Mac App Store, but prior to installing OSX 10.7, take a copy of the app file from /Applications and store it in a safe place because it won't be there after you install.

      You will need to do this if you need access to the dmg for backup purposes.

      • by smash ( 1351 )
        Whilst a good idea - if you lose it you should be able to get it back off the app store from a snow leopard install if it all goes pear shaped.
      • I can confirm this in the GM release, the installer is deleted after a successful reinstall. Make a copy of it, lock the original, and use the copy to install if you have multiple Mac's to put it on.

        If you want to burn the installer to a bootable disk, then open the installer .App, right click it to show the pkg contents, expand the "SharedSupport" folder, and burn the InstallESD.dmg image to DVD.

    • by roothog ( 635998 )

      3 minutes here (college campus).

      • by wed128 ( 722152 )

        Your college campus probably has it cached; that's why you're getting insane (3-digit) download speeds.

    • by sheddd ( 592499 )
      I've never received fast data xfer rates from the appstore; I'm on a 7MB/sec connection right now (really 15 but limited by my wireless connection)... average download speed is .2MB/sec.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wazzzup ( 172351 )

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


      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. S

  • The great thing is that you can download it, put it on a flash drive or burn it to a DVD and install it on all your computers. Apple has its faults but essentially giving Lion away is a nice gesture (Apple's profit margins are certainly high enough to allow Apple to do this). The thing I'm looking forward to is seeing if Lion speeds up my computer; Macs usually run faster after upgrading OS X.
    • So what's going to prevent this appearing on the famous p2p sites in 20 minutes?

      • Well generally, the facts that not only is it cheap enough to be an impulse purchase, but also that the last time a substantial piece of Apple software appeared on a p2p network (iLife, if I remember correctly) it had malware embedded in it.

        For an evening's beer money, it hardly seems worth the risk.
      • So what's going to prevent this appearing on the famous p2p sites in 20 minutes?.

        It'll be there (in fact it's there already since the GM version and this are the same). The only thing stopping you from using it is your personal sense of morals.

        Isn't it better to have things that way than to have to maintain some kind of uber activation system that pirates just work around in 20 minutes ANYWAY, but that at some point mean you have to have a frustrating two-hour long phone chat because your activation is fai

    • Back in the 80s, Apple used to pretty much give all their OSes away for free, I think they started charging around System 7 or so. Later on they had a policy to make old versions available for download so people with old hardware can get their machines running. Once Steve Jobs returned, that policy stopped so the latest you can get on Apple's support site is System 7.5.5.
  • by twocows ( 1216842 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:33AM (#36823312)
    "But if you're the sort of person who is going to install it today, then you already know what they are!"
    I'm not the sort of person who is going to install it today and I would like some actual details in the summary instead of links to a marketing page and a blog post about something unrelated. I do try to keep up to date even with things I have no intention of purchasing; I work in an industry where it is advantageous to do such.

    For those who aren't able to psychicly deduce the details about something that just came out, here's the list of new features [].
    • by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @11:56AM (#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.

  • to pick up an only-slightly-used MacBook Air or Mac Mini on eBay, as some inevitably rush to upgrade...

    • Be careful on the mini purchases. System specs for Lion calls for minimum processor of core 2 duo. Early core solos need not apply. Sadly my poor old mini doesn't make the grade.
  • about time for the mini to get a REAL VIDEO CARD! []

    only one TB port but that ok with HDMI and a HD 6630M in the $800 system.

    But why not have a 7200 RPM hdd? the Server comes with dual 500GB 7200 disks? why just have 1 500 7200 HDD in the base systems?

    and only 2GB in the $600 system? and $100.00 more to get 4 GB? better off paying $200 more to get a 4GB ram faster CPU and video card with it's own ram.

    $150 to go from 500GB to 750GB? You can get a 3TB HDD for $150.

  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:45AM (#36823504)

    (A) For the people moaning about no physical media, they have also announced [] that there will be a physical version available on a USB thumb drive next month (gives them time for the first patches!) albeit for a considerable premium ($70 vs. $30 for download).

    (B) Also interesting is the new 27" Thunderbolt Display [] which includes webcam, microphone, a sound system, gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800 and a thunderbolt daisy-chain port for additional peripherals and monitors - all via a single thunderbolt connection to a Mac (plus a magsafe power output to charge your laptop).

    Its still "reassuringly expensive", and only really makes sense as a "if you need to ask the price..." Macbook Pro companion, but it could represent the first example of the sort of things that Thunderbolt can do that USB3 can't.

    (Yeah, the USB ports are still only USB2, but Mac users are more likely to have an investment in FW800 while they wait for reasonably-priced Thunderbolt drives).

  • They also updated the Air lineup, dropping the old white MacBooks entirely.

    There was a white macbook air?

    • They also updated the Air lineup, dropping the old white MacBooks entirely.

      There was a white macbook air?

      No. They dropped the lower end of the Macbook line (the white ones). Now it is just the air and the pro.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:55AM (#36823660) Homepage

    Many months ago, I found a utility that enabled TRIM in Snow Leopard for my Intel SSD. At the time, I was running 10.6.7. Once 10.6.8 update got installed, Apple overwrote the settings so that TRIM got disabled again. I had to re-enable it with the same utility. It's still enabled btw.

    I'm going to guess that Apple from a support policy, not technical, will refuse to enable TRIM for all non-Apple branded SSD drives. Perhaps they don't want to be blamed from loss of data and corruption, so they take the side of caution with hardware they don't directly control. So that would be my guess anyways. Can anyone confirm is this is still the case with Lion? If so, will Groth's utility still work?

    BTW, here is the direct link to the utility and developer in question. []

  • So... how well do they (the air) run debian?
  • Two major changes on the Mini front, available discreet graphics (at a cost) and no Superdrive.

    If you want to use a DVD you have to buy an external drive now or map to a compatible system. Not a great change in my book and a backhand way of saving money on their side.

  • Is this the same as the GM release?

  • This means the least expensive Macbook is the Air, which comes with SSD only, the $999 model has 64 Gb of storage. And you need a Thunderbolt adapter to connect Ethernet and monitor.
    If you want more expandability (space for a HDD, DVD drive that can be replaced by a second HDD or SSD, ports) you need the Macbook Pro for $1199 or more.

    While Thunderbolt is a nice addition, needing an adapter to do anything is not in favor of the Air. It sucks that the price for a Macbook with specs I can live with has just go

    • Apple has been notorious for coming up with great products, but missing out on hardware usability. There interface usability has always been pretty good, but hardware wise they seem to come up short a lot. The just to drop the Macbook was one so that they can make an extra buck. Others are a little harder to figure out. I, for one hate Apple's mouse, I don't know why they feel they needed to be different and not have separate right and left click buttons (I dual boot my Mac with Windows, why it annoys me).
  • and here's another display that looks fabulous, but will only work with the latest Macs (unless someone comes up with a DVI/DisplayPort to Thunderbolt converter so we can at least use the display).
    I should be used to Apple going whole hog for new standards every couple of years, but it's still annoying.

  • Just in case a device manufacturer is reading /.:

    What we need is a KVM switch that can handle all these display standards. I can hardly find DVI KVM switches, let alone Mini Displayport or Thunderbolt.

  • Is it just me or do the names for Apple's OS versions, hardware sound a lot like the name for sneakers?

    Nike air, Apple, air, etc

  • Thunderbolt is an ideal port for creating a docking station (as the new Thunderbolt display shows). But a docking station needs to be able to power the Mac as well, so it needs a Magsafe connector, and Apple has been a stick-in-the-mud about licensing that. Come on Apple! Don't shoot yourself and your market in the foot on this!

  • by GlobalEcho ( 26240 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @12:39PM (#36825062)

    As pointed out in the Ars Technica review [], the installer creates a small (1GB) new partition on your hard drive without destroying any existing data. It then uses this partition to bootstrap the remainder of the install process.
    (That's just the sort of approach I took with a Linux system years and years ago, though my reward was a whole weekend spent trying to fix a broken system and finally just erasing the HD).

  • Ars Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by BrentH ( 1154987 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @12:40PM (#36825080)
    For a thorough and interesting review see ARS: [] Even I as a non Mac user find the detail Ars always goes into with a new Mac release entertaining.

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.