Mac OSX Lion

Jul 21, 2011


Max OSX 10.7 “Lion” was released from captivity this morning.

If you are currently running “Snow Leopard”, you can download it from the Mac App Store The Mac App Store is also available from the Apple Menu.

OS X Lion - Apple®

If you are on Leopard, or an even earlier ‘cat’, you will need to wait till the DVD version is released next month.

The cost is $32 and the download is 3.5 Gb – huge!

Note: If you want to install Lion on another of your Macs and want to avoid another huge download, after downloading you can find the app ‘Install Apple Lion’ in your Applications folder and transfer it to the other Mac (across you’re lcoal network, or via a USB drive) You will need to do this before you install Lion, as it is automatically deleted after installation. If it is ‘too late’, you can find Lion in the purchased section of the Mac App Store and download it on the mac (usng the same AppleID) without additional charge.

After downloading, installing is easy. During my install, it seemed to be stuck a number of times (28 mnutes to go for 28 minutes!)- it paid to be patient as eventually all went well.

Lion is not compatible with some old Mac software (that written for PowerPC), so do not upgrade if there are some old programs that you depend upon. (this is our situation at work)

Some of the new features:

  • New ‘Gestures’ on MacBooks – drag two fingers up or down the trackpad to scroll – drag two fingers left or right to go forward or back a page. Drag four finger up to open “Mission Control”. Pinch to zoom in, or tap with two fingers. Note that the scrolling works like the iPad and may be the opposite of what you expect. You can change this setting in System Preferences.
  • New LaunchPad, available from the Dock,  which shows all your apps.
  • New Mission Control, which shows all your open windows, also available from the Dock. You can have multiple virtual desktops that have different applications within them, and scroll from one to the other with a three finger swipe. See
  • A newly designed Mail app, which is much better, particualry for searching.
  • ‘Full Screen Mode’ for most apps, available with Ctl-Cmd-F (I had to change the gloabl search setting in Evernote which also had this shortcut to allow it to work). Press ESC to return to normal view.
  • Auto-save in iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote), which keeps multiple versions of the document youa re working on. A Time Machine like utility allows you to go back to a point in time before you actually wiped out chapters 4- 30 of the book you have spent the last year working on.
  • AirDrop is an easy way to share documents across a local network.

I’ll continue playing with Lion and report back on anything else of interest.

For the record, the Apple OSX Big Cat Series is :

  • 10.0: “Cheetah”
  • 10.1: “Puma”
  • 10.2: “Jaguar”
  • 10.3: “Panther”
  • 10.4: “Tiger”
  • 10.5: “Leopard”
  • 10.6: “Snow Leopard”
  • 10.7: “Lion”

My predictions

  • 10.8:  “Lynx”
  • 10.9:  “Cougar”

You read it here first.