At today’s event, Jobs announced that their desktop OS was going to be ‘iOS-ified’ with the release of OS X 10.7, “Lion”, which will be released next Summer. Luckily, some of the key features will be coming much sooner than that, including a Mac version of the App Store and a beta release of the desktop FaceTime client.
OS X’s App Store will be very similar to the one we are familiar with on iOS. You can sort by ‘Featured’, ‘Top Charts’, or narrow it down by category. Naturally, apps will be more expensive (Pages was $19.99), but will also have more features than their iOS counterparts.
Developers will get the same 70% cut as they do on iOS, and the submitting process will be similar. Since there are alternate means to get applications on OS X, the “Walled Garden” approach won’t affect users at all.
To navigate through installed apps, you can open up “LaunchPad”, which is similar to Dashboard but for apps. Just like Homescreens in iOS, you can flick through your list of apps and sort them into folders. It’s unknown if non-App Store apps will be available through this launcher. (Though, it would be a nice touch, and make it more unified.)
This new App Store will open in “90 Days”.
As expected, Apple also announced a Mac version of FaceTime, which will allow users to video chat from any compatible device. At the moment, there is no Windows version, but considering that FaceTime is an “open standard” it could be coming sometime in the future, either through Apple or a 3rd party.
The beta release of this client is available here.
The additional features that will be coming to Lion can be found on Apple’s website.