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Apple Closes the OS Gap between Mac OS X and iDevices in Lion

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Lion, the seventh major release of Mac OS X in a decade, is due to be released in 2011. Mac expert Yvonne Johnson showcases OS X’s many features that were inspired by the operating system which runs the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Apple demonstrated a few new features — including multi-touch gestures, the Mac App Store, Launchpad, full screen implementation of applications, and Mission Control — at a special event in October 2010. Steve Jobs promised “tons” of other new features would be included in Lion, but only a few of these were mentioned or in evidence.

On October 10, 2010, Apple gave us the first look at the next release of Mac OS X, called Lion, due some time in 2011. During his keynote speech at the special event to unveil the eighth major release of OS X in a decade, Apple CEO Steve Jobs labeled the philosophy behind Lion as “Back to the Mac.”

Jobs explained that Apple had created the operating system for its iPhone (iOS) using some of the best features of Mac OS X. Then Apple perfected the iOS, added some new things, and put the iOS in the iPad. Now, Apple is taking some of the best features it developed in the iOS and putting them back into Mac OS X Lion.

Lion Demonstration

Jobs announced that this sneak peek at Lion would include demonstrations of the feature called Mission Control as well as these “high level, exciting” features inspired by the iOS:

  • Multi-touch gestures
  • Full screen apps
  • Launchpad
  • Mac App Store

Jobs promised that Lion would contain “tons” of other new features, too numerous to demonstrate, including AutoSave and AutoResume—also inspired by the iPad.

I found it interesting that before the actual demonstration, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook gave a “state of the Mac address” explaining, among other things, that Mac is one-third of Apple’s revenue. (If Mac were a stand-alone company, it would be number 110 on the Fortune 500 list.) As a Mackie, I always enjoy hearing that the Mac is doing well, gaining market share, and so on, but I don’t really need to hear this when I’m itching to see the new release. This was probably just Apple’s way of saying, “Mac is important to Apple, and we are investing in it heavily.”

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