Apple has outlined 10 key features of Lion (out of 250 unique to OS X 10.7) during todays WWDC keynote:
“We now build multi-touch trackpads into all of our notebooks… Lion can count on multi-touch.”
Like it’s predecessor, Lion will feature multitouch gestures, which make navigating and manipulating files much more elegant and intuitive. Tap-to-zoom, two-finger swiping, and more. Apple has done away with ugly scrollbars, which are now invisible until you scroll. iOS-like momentum scrolling is also available.
Lion makes it much easier for developers to utilize every last pixel of screen real estate. A number of existing applications have been updated with full-screen capabilities, and we expect more to pop up in the future.
Both Expose and Spaces are excellent ways to manage windows and make the most out of a single screen, but Lion will introduce a new way to manage applications: Mission Control. Previews of all open application windows are displayed together Expose-style, but now users can switch between available Spaces from within the same Mission Control view.
Photobooth now has “targeted facial enhancements” to head-track users for all sorts of different effects (which will surely end up on Facebook).
Mac App Store:
The Mac App Store is now integrated into the operating system, complete with in-app purchases, push notifications, and a sandboxing option to enhance security.
A single pinch gesture can make all your installed apps fly into view in an iOS-style grid layout.
Traditionally, after quitting an app, you must start from scratch the next time you open it. Lion introduces a system-wide “Resume” feature which is able to fully restore app sessions just the way you left them, including window position, tool selection, hilighted text, etc.
Combined with Resume, users now have zero excuse for not turning in school work. Lion includes an autosave feature which automagically saves documents without any user interaction. You can even “revert to last save” if you feel your revisions aren’t up to par. This is similar to code versioning, so you can have multiple “states” of a document available for recall, but not hundreds of different copies of slightly different files jamming up your hard drive. Files can also be duplicated and locked with a quick titlebar click.
Airdrop is a flashdrive replacement. Users can share files using an encrypted peer-2-peer network without any setup or installation. Just open Airdrop, view a list of users, and plop the file into their “dropbox”. They will be notified instantly and can accept or deny the file.
Mail for Lion has been completely redesigned with multi-column, snippets, and “conversation” inline views and a favorites bar. Messy reply and forwarding address can be hidden for a clutter-free view. The search feature has also been beefed up with powerful new options, including date/time search, and contact suggestion.
Lion will be available in July for just $29.99.