TGIF. It’s Friday. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard spot. My Friday job is to deliver a Mac app review of something new and exciting.
I planned to review a Mac app so cool it’ll set your hair on fire. An app you’ve never heard of, but once you try it you won’t talk about anything else. That’s my rock. My hard spot, hence the place where I’m stuck, is about Mac OS X Lion.
It’s Cool, Cheap, Necessary, Buy It
What can I do? I’m torn between two lovers. I love my Friday app reviews. I love what Apple has planned for Mac OS X Lion. Listen, I am 21st century woman. Hear me roar. I’ll do both.
First, if you’re a Mac user, you have a messy desktop, cluttered with files, folders, and photos.
Second, what you need is a genuine Mac app that cleans the clutter from your desktop with a click.
Third, TidyTop to the rescue. Think of it as a digital sponge with no soap scum. It whisks your Desktop apps into a convenient and nearby archive, and, Voila! Your Mac’s Desktop is clean again.
It will be the best 99-cent app you’ve ever purchased on a Friday that also has two capital T’s in the name. There. Mission accomplished. Obligation complete. On to the fun stuff.
10 Ways Lion Will Change Your Mac
Apple, seldom a harbinger of vaporware, gave us a sneak peak at official vaporware in the form of Mac OS X Lion, the last of the Mac’s big cat names (that’s a big maybe, amigo—maybe there’s a bigger, tougher, stronger cat beyond Lion, but I don’t know what it is, so I’m saying Lion is the last of the breed—before iOS for Mac).
What’s coming in the Lion? Read on.
#10 – Launchpad: The Dock is just so last year. It’s so NeXT. So 20th century. The hot new kid in town is iPhone and iPad-like icons all lined up nice and pretty in rows left to right, top to bottom on your Mac’s screen.
This newfound penchant for emulating iPhone and iPad interface success means you’ll have more ways than ever, albeit familiar ways, to find an app and launch it on a Mac.
#9 – Full Screen Apps: Apple is making a big deal of this, but it’s not. Apps of the future will take over the entire screen, just like iPhoto ‘11 does now.
Macs have bigger screens. Bigger screens mean more buttons to click. More buttons need more screens. Strangely, not all of Apple’s apps will be full screen apps. Now your other apps will really be lost from sight.
#8 – Mission Control: Apple has lost their touch when it comes to naming what’s really boring. Can you say, Bonjour? Mission Control is a way to view everything that’s running on your Mac. Open windows. Thumbnails of apps. All plastered nice and neat on your screen, complete with the app’s icon dangling below.
If you want to know where something went behind all those Full Screen Apps, Mission Control tells all.
#7 – Gestures And Animations: Magic is in. Clicks are out. Mac notebooks have Multi-Touch gestures built in to the Trackpads. The Magic Mouse is all about touch, less about clicks.
If you can’t handle a mouse (please wear gloves; you don’t know where they’ve been), Apple’s Magic Trackpad brings the Multi-Touch experience of touch to zoom, swipe, pinch, scroll to your Mac.
#6 – Auto Save: It’s about frickin’ time, Apple. Unfortunately, our fav Mac maker ran out of clever new-age names for the auto save function that’s been around in various apps since the last century. All they could come up with is ‘Auto Save.’
There’s Auto Lock and Revert in Auto Save. Fortunately, the changes are made within the document so you don’t end up with 127 versions of that simple note-to-self.
#5 – Versions: This is what happens when two digital technologies are left alone in the family room when everyone else went out for a movie. Time Machine and Auto Save got together and beget Versions.
Versions records evolutions of a document each time you open it and saves it every hour. Even the interface to versions is like Time Machine. See what happens when Steve Jobs leaves for a little me time? No one can name anything with a little pizazz. I blame it on Jonathan Ive. The last cool name from a Brit was Jaguar. And Fergie.
#4 – Resume: If ever there was a new Mac OS X function that needed a modern name it would be Resume. What does Resume do. It resumes where you left off.
What’s involved in closing down your Mac for the night? Save your work, close your apps. The next day, you have to open everything up again. Not with Resume. It brings it all back where it was.
When something crashes and a screen freezes I hope Resume doesn’t resume in the same place.
#3 – Mail Facelift: The app everyone uses and everyone hates gets a facelift. Again. Apple calls it a whole new way to look at email. It’s not. It’s the same old way but rearranged differently.
Mail goes all widescreen ala Full Screen apps, gets improved search, some clever threading of email conversations, and looks more like Mail on my iPad.
#2 – AirDrop: Now we’re talking creative naming conventions. Unless you’re thinking of what too much cheese in a burrito does to a lactose intolerant teenager.
AirDrop takes the place of half a dozen Mac apps that make it easy to drop files from your Mac to a nearby Mac but it’s built-in to Mac OS X Lion, thereby putting a number of apps out of business. AirDrop lets you send files to nearby Macs. Wirelessly. Click AirDrop and it finds nearby Macs using AirDrop and the file goes to their Downloads folder.
#1 – Lion Server: Whoa. Where did this come from? Mac OS X Server was always an extra cost, and expensive, package of server apps. Now Lion Server is bundled with OS X Lion.
That means every Mac running OS X Lion can become a full-fledged server on the internet. Or, in a business. Or, at home. All the heavy duty stuff is there. Email. Web. File sharing. Calendaring. VPN. Wiki. Even the ability to setup and manage iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, including Push Notification.
Truly, this is not a cat from Apple’s past. They’re thinking different in Cupertino these days. Apple promises Mac OS X Lion will be available this summer.