Improve Your Mac Use
Mac’s OS X Lion is an operating system that aims to bring iOS features back to Mac. This utility software brings several big and small changes to your experience, from the direction of scrolling to the color of buttons. It aims to simplify the computer experience, giving the users more powers by allowing them to focus on their work instead of screwing around with their machine. It has lots of good intentions, but did Apple manage to pull it off?
Change in Direction
As soon as you launch the login screen, it is apparent that OS X Lion serves up a rack full of cosmetic tweaks, as every OS X release does. And as mentioned, this time, it made a nod toward iOS. Some are subtle, while some are somewhat glaring. User account photos are now rendered in bubbles, and there is something kiosk-like about the new visual cues. It feels as though your device looks a little bit less like a computer and more of an appliance.
Once you get past that, you will have another hurdle that needs to be overcome: scrolling. By default, OS X Lion now moves your content in the direction your finger moves on the trackpad or Magic Mouse. So, when you move your fingers upward, your web page also moves upward, as if you are scrolling on your iPhone. It takes some mental adjustment. But give it a few days, and you’ll see that it makes sense. However, if you don’t like this new scrolling mechanics, you can easily change it back to the old behavior.
Find What You’re Looking For
The sidebar in OS X Lion’s Finder windows has also undergone an iTunes-like transformation, showing all icons in grey. Like iTunes, this change is quite questionable as it makes it harder to find specific folders at a glance. But on the bright side, there is now a new document called All My Files. It is a series of CoverFlow-like browsers where you can find all the documents you are looking for, regardless of its location and even if you cannot recall the name.
Searching for files is also improved with the new Search Tokens—available in Mail. As you type a query in your Finder’s search field, the OS will suggest actual search criteria that you can use to broaden or narrow your search scope.
With its aim to improve user experience, OS X Lion offers a few more functions to bring you your needed applications and features. A three-finger swipe up on the touchpad will launch Lion’s brand-new Mission Control. Essentially, this function aims to show you everything that’s happening across all the windows and spaces. However, the integration between them was loose at best and it became a confusing conglomeration of apps, windows, and widget-managing environments and utilities.
If that’s not enough for you, OS X Lion also comes with Launchpad, an iOS home screen interface—but on your Mac. It shows you rows of all your icons, which is freely re-orderable. The launchpad stays in sync with all the apps you add or remove, either manually or via the Mac App Store. It also functions as just like the iOS wherein you can uninstall App Store apps entirely from the launchpad.
Let’s Go Full-Screen
Of course, it is not just gestures and games in OS X Lion. The OS has also made a few changes to how windows look and operate. Among the smaller tweaks is the now-smaller trio of Close, Minimize, and Maximize buttons on the top left of the screen. It also gives users the ability to resize the window from any edge. There is even a new iOS-style scroll bar that shows up when you scroll and you can hide it away when not in use.
The biggest change, however, is the new button on the top-right of most Lion-optimized apps that sends the application to full-screen mode. This function introduces a standard means for apps to support a full-screen mode and native integration with Spaces. The menu bar disappears when you use the full-screen mode but it rolls down into the view if the pointer hovers near the top of the screen.
By installing OS X Lion in your Mac device, you can take advantage of some of the applications that come with it. Among the many apps included in the operating system is the browser app, Safari; Apple’s mail client, Mail; the desktop search feature Spotlight; and the Mac App Store. OS X Lion also borrowed the iPad calendar, iCal, and put it in the system. You can even find the messaging apps iChat and Facetime when you install the OS.
Promising but Needs Improvement
When updating your operating system, everyone is sure to keep an eye out on the performance and the responsiveness of the app. In OS X Lion’s case, it has provided good performance. Overall, it is more responsive and smoother than Snow Leopard. However, not everything is perfect, and sometimes using the app is more confusing than easier. Still, most of the time, the experience has been flawless.