June 6, 2011
by Mark Ollig
The conference keynote address begins with a roar, as Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs presents the next major software release for the Mac OS X.
The X is the Roman numeral for 10, which is the current OS (operating system) version level used for the Mac computer.
The current Mac OS X software release is codenamed Snow Leopard.
Apple’s latest codename for their eighth Mac OS X software release is a real animal.
At the start this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple presenting – drum roll please – the Mac OS X Lion.
The new Mac OS X Lion software release will become available to Mac users this summer.
There are noticeable improved features when upgrading to the new Mac OS X Lion.
The new Auto Save feature eliminates having to manual save when creating or working with documents. Lion does not create additional copies, but saves changes within the working document itself, which, according to Apple, makes the best use of available disk space.
The lock feature in Auto Save will avoid unintentional changes from occurring, and automatically locks the document after two weeks.
Auto Save’s revert feature will return the user to the condition a document was in the last time it was opened, which, Apple says, will allow one to “experiment with confidence.”
FileVault’s update includes XTS–AEX 128 full disk data encryption for Mac files stored in its internal and external storage drives. FileVault operates in the background while the Mac user is working.
FileVault also provides the capability for immediate wiping (removal) of all data from the Mac computer.
The Lion Server feature allows configuring of a Mac to be used as a computer server.
Lion Server updated Wiki Server 3 with a new page editor. The Wiki Server 3 allows users to pool collective resources, along with file sharing and exchanging capabilities.
The Lion Server with WebDAV enabled, allows access, copy, and delivery of file documentation to an iPad – wirelessly.
Another wireless feature with the new Mac OS X Lion is called AirDrop.
AirDrop knows which wireless devices around you are also using the AirDrop application.
AirDrop allows you to deliver files from your Mac to these other devices wirelessly as well.
When opening AirDrop, you will see the wireless devices near you. Just drag the file to that device (or person’s name if cross-referenced from your Mac address book) for a file transfer from your Mac to their computing device.
Mail 5 on the Mac OS X Lion presents a new widescreen layout.
A Lion user will now be able to see full-height previews of any message selected. One-click access to favorite folders and a more powerful new search, compliments Mail 5.
Lion allows an iPad-like experience using full-screen apps.
A Mac’s desktop can now use one click to make an application go full-screen, and by swiping the computer’s tracpad, a user can quickly switch to another application without having to exit the full screen. Apple states this will better utilize the full-screen technology, allowing a user to concentrate more on whatever application they are using.
Apple seems to be taking many of the popular features from the iPad and incorporating them into the Mac OS X Lion.
Mission Control is a new feature of the Mac OS X Lion which provides a birdseye view of what is operating on your Mac. This feature allows a user to see Dashboard, and the full-screen applications in one location.
The Mac OS X Lion improves swipe, pinch, and scrolling recognition, similar to the Multi-Touch gestures used on the iPad. Apple says these gestures, used with the Mac, will become more fluid, realistic, and lifelike.
Launchpad, available on the new Mac OS X Lion, provides instant access to applications similar to the iPad.
By clicking the Lanchpad icon, the current open window slowly disappears, being replaced with a full-screen presentation of the applications currently installed on your Mac computer.
Any new apps downloaded from the Mac App Store, will automatically appear in Launchpad.
During this week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, more than 1,000 Apple engineers will be showcasing Apple’s latest and greatest technologies, including, of course, the Mac OS X Lion.
One of the reasons this conference is so popular, is that it allows promising Apple application developers to share their ideas, and participate during Apple’s hands-on lab sessions with Apple engineers.
Discussions this week will also include details about Apple’s new mobile OS; called iOS 5, which will be the new operating system inside iPads, iPhones, and iPods.
Apple will also discuss its own cloud service, which, to no one’s surprise, is called the iCloud.
The website for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is http://developer.apple.com/wwdc.
Live-streaming of this conference (and past Apple presentations) can be seen at http://www.apple.com/apple-events.
Which animal will be codenamed for the next Mac OS X software release?
Well, I learned Tiger was the codename for release number four in 2005, and Kodiak (which is a bear), was released back in 2000 as the codename for the Mac OS X public beta version.
And now we have the Mac OS X Lion.
So, it seems there will be no more lions, tigers, and bears.