Lion is Apple's latest operating system, set to be released in July of 2011. Lion is not only consistent with the previous operating systems, in that it has a big cat name, but it is also consistently innovative. The technology developed over the years, with the iPhone and iPad, has been integrated into this new operating system. New and improved touchpad gestures, Mission Control, Launchpad, autosave, and many other features are currently in the beta testing phase, and will soon be available to the rest of the world for a mere $29.99.
The gestures Apple users have come to know and love have all been integrated and improved, to provide more control to the user. Using one finger on the touchpad will move the mouse in any direction on the screen. Sliding two fingers vertically on the screen allows the user to scroll through websites, documents, and more. Using two fingers horizontally on the touchpad will flip through web pages, applications, and documents, much like flipping through pages in a book. Zoom in and out of photos and web pages, by moving the thumb and index finger closer or farther apart, in a pinching motion.
A few brand new features have been added to Lion, which also came with new gestures. One of these features is the ability to enjoy applications in full screen mode. Once applications are in full screen, the user can swipe three fingers across the touchpad horizontally to view another full screen application. Sliding three fingers upward on the touchpad will bring up Mission Control.
Mission Control is a new feature that is perfect for multi-taskers. One swift swipe of three fingers on the touchpad opens Mission Control, a birds-eye view of everything running on your computer. It can be frustrating going through dozens of windows trying to find an article or photo you need to reference, not to mention going back through the windows to get to the open word processor you were working on. Navigating through windows is made simple with Mission Control, by allowing the user to easily see any application, document, or other program open on the computer.
Lion's Launchpad feature will look familiar to iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users. Instead of accessing applications through the dock at the bottom of the screen, or in the applications folder, applications are now displayed full-screen, in Launchpad. Ever application installed on the computer is displayed with an icon. If there are more applications than can fit on one screen, users can scroll through screens with two fingers, using the touchpad. Like the iPhone, the applications can be organized and rearranged to the user's liking.
Autosave is just another example of Apple's dedication to product usability. In this modern era, just about every single person has suffered the consequences of neglecting to save a document. It is an incredibly frustrating experience, which can cost people hours of work. Lion's Auto Save feature automatically saves changes to your work during pauses and at five minute intervals. Unlike most autosave services, Auto Save doesn't create a new document to store your changes, the changes are saved within the working document.