Change is a good thing. Technology brings us advances constantly which help make our lives easier. Apple recently released its latest operating system called OS X Lion. Honestly, it was something that I was pretty excited for. After watching the 2011 Keynote which featured exciting additions to the Mac OS as well as additions to iOS 5 for mobile, I have been pretty anxious to get those additions installed on my devices. When July 20th rolled around and Apple updated its website with the release of Mac OS X Lion, I jumped right in and started upgrading.
It has been about two weeks since then. I have had some time to find things that I like, as well as the things that I am not as fond of. Following, I am going to explore a few key points.
In my opinion, making the change on a laptop with a trackpad and inverted scrolling enabled was not so bad. I use an iPad and iPhone constantly which use inverted scrolling, so the change felt natural. However, sitting at a computer with a mouse enabled with inverted scrolling felt foreign. I gave it 24 hours on my machine then disabled the feature. For myself, the disconnect is that I move the mouse upward to get the cursor to move in that direction, so scrolling on the mouse feels backwards. However, since I switch between my desktop and laptop frequently, I am finding myself confused every now and again. I may end up conforming over time.
Resume, Auto Save and Versions
In my opinion, this is probably the best part of the new OS. In our office, we have everything backed up multiple times utilizing Mac Servers, RAID software, Time Machines, etc. to ensure our client files are safe. These new features make things even smarter than they already were.
Sharing files is much easier now utilizing AirDrop. Previously we could either transfer files through Flash Drives or through the computers public drop-box. Now, when multiple computers are connected to one network, they show up within a simple interface so we can quickly drag-and-drop files between computers with ease.
When browsing through the Finder Windows, the experience is similar to the previous OS. One nice addition is that you are able to arrange files with some additional options like Date Last Opened, Date Created, etc. quickly from one icon. My main complaint with the Finder Window is that the sidebar does not feel as organized as it did before. The user is still able to adjust what they see and what they do not; however, as a whole it feels arbitrary.
When clicking on a day to add an event to your calendar in the previous OS, it would automatically make the meeting one hour starting at the next upcoming hour based on your current time. For example, if it is 2:30 right now and you create a new event, it would default the event from 3 - 4. With the new updated iCal, clicking to create a new event defaults to All Day. Further, you then have to double click the event title to enter the information about the event. Unfortunately, none of the preference options allow us to change that.
However, there is a new ‘Quick Create’ button where you can type something like ‘Meeting at 3pm on Wednesday’ which will autofill the upcoming Wednesday with that information as well as give us the popup to fill in the rest of the details. I like the idea of the ‘Quick Create’ option. However, I would rather have the option to change the preferences back to the original way of adding an event while utilizing the ‘Quick Create’ option as an extra method of doing so.
Make Yourself an OS X Lion Installation Disc
OS X Lion is available on the Mac App Store as a download. It is quite convenient to update this way; however, what if you need to restore your system? This is where having a disc is helpful as the system will boot from the backup disc to allow the changes to the hard drive. There is a way to create the backup disc, but you need to do it before installing OS X Lion, as the Mac App Store will not allow you download the item a second time once the OS has been installed on that machine. CNET has a guide on how to do this which you can read here.
I have barely scratched the surface with the updates that are that come with OS X Lion. There are many positive changes along with several that are not as user friendly. It may just take more time to adjust to the latter. See the full feature guide here or get Mac OS X Lion today.
Update - Inverted Scrolling
After needing to use both my Macbook Air and my iMac, I made the switch to use inverted scrolling on both. It just took a little bit to get used to, but it is actually nice having the consistency.