The times are changing. No longer will Mac users stand in line at the Apple Store to get the latest OS X upgrade DVDs. With Mac OS X Lion, the Mac App Store takes center stage.
Lion is download only (for now). Are the apps on your Mac ready for Lion? Which apps on your Mac will make the upgrade? Which popular Mac apps will never run on Lion?
Enter The Lion, Dragging
Apple blazes new territory with Mac OS X Lion. Downloadable updates and upgrades are nothing new. Lion marks the first time a completely new Mac OS becomes available to users as download only.
The past week I’ve been checking on the hundreds of apps on my Mac to see what was ready and what won’t make the transfer to the future.
The last apps on my Mac to be declared safe came from Apple, with recent updates to iLife ‘11 apps—iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD, and iWeb.
My oft used Mail Scripts was declared righteous and completely ready for Lion.
If you haven’t tried Mail Scripts, do so. It’s free and adds a number of handy scripts to your daily email work flow. You’ll especially appreciate the Schedule Email option, and the Archive Messages.
What popular Mac apps are not ready for Lion’s prime time?
Quicken For Mac 2007
As ZDNet pointed out in graphic fashion (a photo of a lion chewing on what appears to be a water buffalo), Mac OS X Lion is the future. Rosetta, the add-on to Snow Leopard which enabled creaky antique apps from yesteryear (2007 and beyond) to run on your Mac won’t be on Lion.
That means no Quicken for Mac 2007 for you. Over a dozen of our Mac360 readers have dropped us notes asking for replacement recommendations.
TUAW has 10 money management apps that will run on Lion and can use your old Quicken data (not always an easy conversion) to make the change. For a more in depth look check out the Top 10 Best Mac Money Apps To Replace Quicken.
Microsoft Office for Mac 2004
Surprised? Office 2004 was the last Microsoft product to grace my Mac. As of Lion, that creaky version won’t run on new Macs. What about Office 2011? Yes, no problem.
What about Office for Mac 2008?
Even Microsoft has trouble with a definitive answer. Yes. No. Maybe. We’ll see.
RoaringApps, the wiki which checks apps for Lion compatibility doesn’t say. This is a good resource to check on app compatibility with Lion, but tends to focus attention on recent apps, and doesn’t have a full list of older apps.
How To Upgrade To Lion
Apple has a web page specifically devoted to upgrading to Mac OS X Lion from Snow Leopard. That’s the catch. Your Mac must be running the latest version of Snow Leopard to be able to use the Mac App Store.
For now, the Mac App Store is the only place to get a copy of Lion.