Print 21 comment(s) - last by mjrpes3.. on Feb 26 at 5:29 PM

Microsoft isn't the only one to show developers some love

No other company in the mobile sphere has done quite as good a job of courting mobile app developers as Apple.  While part of the reason iOS has by far the largest library of apps still is due to the inherent ease of Objective-C, a major part is the effort Apple puts into winning over developers.  It still has yet to translate that success to the personal computer side, though, where its software selection is still a little sparse.

On Thursday, Apple released a preview build of its upcoming next-generation personal computer operating system: OS X 10.7, "Lion".  Apple appears very conscious of its greater mobile success, as Lion is very different than its predecessor Snow Leopard.

The new OS reads like an effort to bring iOS to the desktop.  Apple puts it [press release] as taking "some of the best ideas from iPad and brings them back to the Mac."

The result is an OS that's built around the new Mac OS X app store and multi-touch.  A new Launchpad offers the ability for users to arrange and run apps much like they would in iOS.  

A new feature dubbed Mission Control allows users to use multi-touch input to preview and switch between running apps.  Describes Apple:

Mission Control is a powerful, entirely new feature that unifies Exposé®, Dashboard, Spaces, and full screen apps to give you a bird’s eye view of every app and window running on your Mac. With a simple swipe, your desktop zooms out to display your open windows grouped by app, thumbnails of your full screen apps as well as your Dashboard, and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere with a click.

Apple is convinced that developers will love what it's cooking up and will embrace OS X, much as they have iOS.  States Apple, "Developers are going to love Mission Control and Launchpad, and can now start adding great new Lion features like full screen, gestures, Versions and Auto Save to their own apps."

There's already a bit of momentum when it comes to gaming on the Mac.  If Apple can truly convince a large number of iOS developers to make OS X apps that could be very good news indeed for the trendy gadget maker, as a broader app library would help make more a compelling case for prospective customers to buy a Mac.

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That's pretty quick for a new major OS release
By SurreDeth on 2/24/2011 11:18:51 AM , Rating: 5
If they let us poor mac saps resize a window by some other means than dragging the lower right corner I'll buy it with glee.

By Breathless on 2/24/2011 11:34:37 AM , Rating: 2

I'm with you

RE: That's pretty quick for a new major OS release
By Pirks on 2/24/2011 11:44:10 AM , Rating: 3
I'm with you too but such a change will make OS X as comfortable and convenient as Windows, what about Apple's slogan "Think different" then? I don't think Apple will sabotage its own slogan and make OS X as comfortable as Windows. No chance in hell!

By vignyan on 2/24/2011 3:37:29 PM , Rating: 2
But on earth...

By Conficio on 2/24/2011 11:41:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah that would be preferable to a two finger pinch motion ;-)

As I don't have a trackpad on my workstation.

RE: That's pretty quick for a new major OS release
By kleinma on 2/24/2011 11:44:32 AM , Rating: 5
They will only add that feature if they can somehow get a 30% cut of all your window resizes.

By Solandri on 2/24/2011 2:36:14 PM , Rating: 5
Naw, Jobs will decree that a certain window size, and only that window size, will be the right size for everyone. So Mac users won't need to resize their windows anymore.

By amanojaku on 2/24/2011 1:15:17 PM , Rating: 3
That's pretty quick for a new major OS release
Oh really? Let's take a look at what's new:

Mac App Store - Copied from the iOS
Launchpad - Copied from the iOS
Full-screen apps - After 30 years Apple figured out apps should launch full screen
Mission Control - Just consolidates existing Mac technologies like the Dashboard, Expose, Spaces, etc... into a single view (but welcome, nonetheless)
Multi-touch gestures - Not new to Mac OS X; expanded support largely copied from iOS
Auto-save - After 30 years Apple figured out documents should auto-save like other OSes
Autohiding scrollbars - How much coding does this take?
AirDrop - Yet ANOTHER file sharing utility for the Mac?
Redesigned Mail - Copied from iOS (Exchange 2010 support is nice)
Resume - Preserves application state (auto-save on steroids; I hope this can be circumvented in case the application state is corrupted)

Lion isn't commercially available, but I'm not exactly impressed with the listed features. Outside of Resume and Mission Control, I don't see any major development effort. In fact, Apple basically ported half the iOS to the Mac.

RE: That's pretty quick for a new major OS release
By maven81 on 2/24/2011 1:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
"Resume - Preserves application state (auto-save on steroids; I hope this can be circumvented in case the application state is corrupted)"

Also how much memory would this use up? Some of the information about how they implement this seems to say they keep apps permanently running. That worries me since OSX' memory management is already god awful.

By omnicronx on 2/24/2011 2:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
Think of it as hibernate on the application level.

Nothing is left in memory once you close the application.

This would give you the illusion of instant access which for all intents and purposes is a neat idea in the desktop space. Not sure if its feasible for all types of applications, but imagine being able to quit a game and almost instantly be able to resume where you left off.

By Akrovah on 2/24/2011 7:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
If it works as you describe that is actually a pretty cool idea for a desktop environement.

By omnicronx on 2/24/2011 2:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree, the features are quite impressive as it surely makes sense to be cohesive across their mobile and desktop lines. That said, this is hardly a major release.

Not that I disagree with what they are doing, Tick Tock implementations seem like they are becoming the standard across the technology industry. (i.e this case, backend changes of 10.6 and frontend changes of 10.7)

By captainBOB on 2/24/2011 8:08:26 PM , Rating: 3
Full-screen apps - After 30 years Apple figured out apps should launch full screen

Full Screen =/= maximized

Auto-save - After 30 years Apple figured out documents should auto-save like other OSes

I didn't know Microsoft Office was an OS..... and I always thought that auto-saving was something that was implemented by the application.... i could be wrong *shrugs*

By mjrpes3 on 2/26/2011 5:29:11 PM , Rating: 4
Auto-save - After 30 years Apple figured out documents should auto-save like other OSes

If you delved a little deeper into what this feature does you wouldn't come across as such an ass. This feature combines auto-save and versioning as built in to the OS, which is awesome:

If you have a document-based application, Lion offers an efficient, built-in auto save feature that stores changes to the working document instead of creating additional copies on a disk. Versions automatically records a history of changes made to your documents and lets your app display a Time Machine like interface so users can browse through previous versions.

By Shadowself on 2/24/2011 8:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
One of the earlier versions of the Mac OS (don't recall if it was version 8.x or 9.x or even one of the many variants of OS X) had the ability to resize windows by grabbing the edge of the window and dragging. In a subsequent version they went back to the "only use the lower right corner" implementation.

Just another dumb thing Apple did.

When they dropped it I thought it might have been a patent issue and Apple didn't want to pay royalties to someone to keep doing it. I never heard of any such patent dispute or intellectual property dispute, but I could not think of any other reason -- other than just plain stupidity -- for Apple to take that step backward.

Inherent Ease?
By ZachDontScare on 2/24/2011 3:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
inherent ease of Objective-C

Exactly what dope are you smoking? Mac development tools are primitive compared to other platforms. Fanboys love it of course, but otherwise Objective-C doesnt have what you'd call a great reputation among developers.

RE: Inherent Ease?
By IceBreakerG on 2/24/2011 4:02:12 PM , Rating: 3
I strongly agree with that. Between programming in C# all day at work, a small amount of Java here and there (and now learning assembly in my microprocessor class), I can say Objective-C is one of the worst programming languages I've used (mostly just a major pita). It's sad when I'd rather write code in VB than Objective-C.

RE: Inherent Ease?
By MeesterNid on 2/25/2011 10:06:02 AM , Rating: 2
It's definitely ugly (syntax-wise), I'm with you 100% there! But that VB statement is out of line, there is almost nothing I'd like to do less than write some VB.

Maybe it's just me.....
By RjBass on 2/24/2011 3:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
but I have always thought of the Lion as the best cat. It has been nicknamed the King of the Jungle for a reason. So then why would Apple waste the Lion name on such a lackluster upgrade?

RE: Maybe it's just me.....
By cfaalm on 2/25/2011 7:04:28 PM , Rating: 3
Next release is Lion King.

Objective C
By hemmy on 2/25/2011 9:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
Was the comment about objective c a joke? It is beyond horrible.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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