Mac OS X Lion only available over App Store

Macworld Staff
7 June, 2011
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Apple engineers have been hard at work in the eight months since Steve Jobs first previewed Lion at last October’s Back to the Mac event: After a brief recap on Lion’s new features at Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple announced that the new OS would be shipping in July for just $31.99 and available solely from the Mac App Store.

Steve Jobs began today’s proceedings by claiming: “We’re going to talk about three things today. If the hardware is the brain and the sinew of our products, the software is their soul.”

Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi were on-hand at the keynote to speak about and demonstrate ten of Lion’s more than 250 new features. To start, Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, gave an short overview of the first three – Multitouch gestures, fullscreen applications and Mission Control – before turning it over to Federighi, vice president of OS X software, for a quick demonstration.

Federighi showcased several of the new gestures, including a two-finger swipe to move back and forth through Safari Webpages, before moving onto fullscreen applications. iPhoto, Safari and Photo Booth all received quick demonstrations in fullscreen mode. In Lion, Photo Booth has gained several new effects: a new filter called Dizzy will animate a flock of birds circling over your head; you can also target specific facial features to enlarge and exaggerate them.

The Mac App Store – first introduced in Mac OS X 10.6.6 – will also prominently feature in Lion. Schiller rattled off success stories from several prominent developers before moving on to talk about some of the new features coming to the store with Lion. Developers will be able to integrate in-app purchase, similar to applications within the iOS App Store and built-in sandboxing; in addition, the store will offer push notifications and faster software updates, thanks to switching to an incremental update system.

Mission Control, one of Lion’s ten new features demonstrated at the keynote, allows you to instantly manage all your windows and applications on your Mac.
Also demonstrated were Launchpad, the iOS-esque application-management tool; Resume, which saves the states of your windows and work on quit; Auto Save and Versions, which offer easy version management control in a Time Machine-like interface; AirDrop, a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi-based network; and an upgraded version of Mail, featuring a three-column interface, conversation view, search suggestions and colour-coding.

Resume appears to be a particularly intriguing new feature in Lion, which offers Time Machine-like version control of documents. If a user has been working on a file, it can be accessed at a number of points in its history from the menu bar.

For developers, Lion will feature over 3000 new APIs they can incorporate into their applications, including versioning, push notifications, gesture tracking, fullscreen mode and more.

Lion will be available in July for just $31.99, exclusively from the Mac App Store. A new developer preview will be available later in the day on Monday, as well.

We’ll update this story throughout the day with more information, so check back.


7 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Paul says:

    The only question I have with it only being available via the Mac App Store is what happens if you own more than one computer. Do you have to download it again for every computer? Or when you download it, will it give you an installer so you can transfer to your other computers? Downloading a file of around 4Gbs (as Steve Jobs said the size would be) for every computer would eat up a lot of peoples monthly allowance. Also there is a problem for those that don’t have accesses to fast internet. For those that can only get ADSL1 it’s going to take a while to download. This is why this country needed the NBN.

  2. moldor says:

    And the other issue with Lion is in the sub-title – “The power of Mac OS X. The magic of iPad” – Does this mean that Apple will be releasing a touch screen laptop? I can’t imagine using some of those iPad like features with a mouse.

  3. Robert says:

    Lion from the app store is total rubbish I have satellite Internet with a 3gig monthly limit bad move totally pissed me off
    might be fine for some but anyone who lives in rural Australia is disadvantaged I want to buy the os on DVD should be an option
    Apple stop thinking about yourselves and think about your customers
    Ps this also applies icloud option don’t have enough download to justify the use of it rather have it all on my iMac

  4. Bruce Carruthers says:

    Oh dear! Apple has misjudged this very badly I feel. Not being available on a disk will mean people with average Internet will not download it. They will not upgrade! It is too big a download on Australia’s still slow and download limited networks. Plus, what of multiple Macs within a household?
    Unless Apple makes Lion available by disk they will see the uptake will be dismal indeed.
    And what of places like schools with multiple machines?? Does Apple expect 4GB to be downloaded to such intranets? Even if it can be saved as disk image for other machines that is a huge hassle for many people.
    No Apple – RETHINK THIS ONE!!

  5. Craig says:

    I want to know what happens if you need/want to do a clean install and don’t have 10.6 Snow Leopard?

  6. Alan says:

    I think it’s a bit tough 31.99 and you have to download it, there is going to be a big hit on the torrent sites next month

  7. Michael says:

    I also don’t like the idea of being coerced into use of an operating system only available by download and not able to be re-installed from scratch if I bugger it up. There is the lack of secure possession and there is the regimentation.

    But I suppose it is exclusively for the social networking clique, not really for serious computer users, who are too unimportant to be considered.

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