Since the Keynote speech, MacBoy has been excited for the release of Mac OS 10.7 known to his friends as Lion. Been doing a little Google Fu and the only reviews I have found thus far have been for lucky buggers who own recent Macs. I however own a late 2009 MacBook, relatively new, but old enough to be worn in and not have a fancy multitouch trackpad. How does that effect the user experience in Lion?
Well.. Lion is touch enabled, borrowing much from the iPad/iPhone operating system iOs. To scroll down a page, any page you hold two fingers on the trackpad and move up, yes Apple moving up to go down. Now my Apple brothers with more recent machines with full multitouch options have the ability to turn this off, and move down to scroll down, as it’s been since god was in short trousers. I however do not, or if I do I have yet to find it. So up to go down is the way forward.
My MacBook has the minimum spec required for Lion. Before install I was worried about this, coming from the Windows side of things I have learnt that minimum specs aren’t to be listened to. On a PC a minimum spec means, can you turn it on and wait until next week to work. Install of Lion took about 40 mins, and I think it’s added a few seconds to boot up but that is the only slow down I’ve noticed. Yes if you filled up all the different desktop spaces with Final Cut re-rendering Titanic there would probably be some beach ball action, but as I don’t intend doing that anytime soon. It’s all good.
Navigation in Lion is all about Space, freedom to set up your work/leisure environment how you want it. Several apps can run in full screen, nothing to distract you, for instance I am writing this in Safari in full screen mode. To go do something else, those with a fancy trackpad can swipe across with 3 fingers and go do whatever, but what can I do. Well Control and a arrow key, not as fancy but it works.
Other gestures I have no access to include, pinch to zoom, LaunchPad and Mission Control. Pinch to zoom whilst nice to have is not essential there are always other ways to zoom. I have plans for Launch Pad and Mission Control:
Yes folks, Hot Corners. bottom left launches Mission Control, bottom right launches LaunchPad. The low tech mouse gesture. With a few moderations Lion can be fully enjoyed without multitouch. Although I’m bordering on Fanboi status, at £20.99 everyone who can should.
Other pluses and minuses can be found elsewhere, but briefly:
- Spell correct, from the iPhone.
- Yahoo integration in iChat.
- Full Screen Apps
- Mouse Gestures and Older Macs
- Airdrop, this is a file transfer system, all users involved have to be in a airdrop window, no notification system, for example “Barry want’s to send you a file” so Barry has to send a email to say he wants to send a file, by which time Barry could have emailed the file.
- Rosetta RIP. No Photoshop CS2 for me!
Takes a little while to get used to, but I am Lion, hear me roar!