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OSX 10.7 due next summer

by Pete Mason on 21 October 2010, 10:58

Tags: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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As well as launching the new MacBook Air, Steve Jobs took the opportunity to talk about the company's next operating system at last night's 'Back to Mac' event. Bringing OSX to version 10.7, Lion and will be released to the public next summer with a bevy of interesting new features.

As with the new laptops, Lion will be the product of Apple's experiences in crafting a mobile OS. Whereas iOS was created from the foundations of OSX, the process has now come full circle as elements are being reincorporated back into the desktop experience.

Apps, Apps...get your Apps here!

The first of the ideas to make it back will be an App Store for OSX. Just like on the iPhone and iPad, free and paid apps can easily be found, purchased, installed and automatically updated from within the iTunes-like software. Refreshingly, a purchased software licence will be good for all personal Macs, which should come as a relief for anyone with multiple systems around the house.

All of the programs on the App Store will also feature an iOS like fullscreen mode, which will also be a major focus of Lion. One nice inclusion is the ability to switch between fullscreen apps with just a multitouch swipe.

Of course, this will make managing windows a little trickier, so Apple will be incorporating 'Mission Control' to make navigating around different programs a cinch. Looking like a more powerful version of Expose, this mode (pictured) will show the dock, as well as all open programs and fullscreen apps at once. While the new view looks great, it seems like things could get pretty cramped on a smaller laptop screen.

Ready to launch

The final big addition is Launchpad, which is essentially an implementation of iOS's SpringBoard for OSX. Clicking a button in the dock will spawn a customisable app grid - complete with groupable folders - to give easy access to all your programs. There will also be multiple grids that can be cycled between by - you guessed it - a multitouch swipe.

As ever, Apple seems to have some interesting ideas as to how it expects its customers to use its OS, though the fusion of iOS elements and OSX certainly has some potential. The emphasis on multitouch gestures should also create some unique new ways to interact with a computer. Philosophically, we're still undecided on a desktop App Store, though it could be a perfect fit for the Apple ecosystem and will surely be a huge hit with developers.

The next version of OSX should be available some time next summer, though the App Store will be launching for Snow Leopard within the next 90 days.

HEXUS Forums :: 1 Comment

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You forgot to mention that with this new app store for the mac OSX, Apple will split the revenue for the paid apps 30/70. This probably means that larger (premier) software houses will not put their sw on the app store, can you really imagine Adobe giving Apple £193.17 (todays price for CS on Adobe uk store is £643.90) every time they sell CS5, I can't. I can see lots of smaller/1 man band devs using this, just as they do on the other ios devices, for these it is probably a win.