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WWDC: Lion revealed, will ship in July for $30

Serenity Caldwell, | June 7, 2011
Apple engineers have been hard at work in the eight months since Apple CEO Steve Jobs first previewed Lion at last October’s Back to the Mac event, and the next version of Mac OS X got a thirty-minute spotlight—led by Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi—at Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.

A direct homage to iOS’s Home screen, Launchpad offers simple application management for those who wish to avoid digging around in the Finder. You view LaunchPad with a four-finger pinch gesture or by clicking its app in the Dock, and it shows all of your application icons laid out in an iOS-like grid. You can drag applications to organize them, create folders, and add additional screens. When you purchase apps from the Mac App Store, they're automatically added to LaunchPad—you can track the download status of an app via the progress bar its icon within Launchpad.

Resume, Auto Save, and Versions

These three Lion features are designed to work in concert with each other to keep your productivity and uptime high. Resume lets applications freeze in place upon quit; when you re-launch an application, it will remember where everything—open documents, palettes, windows, and the like—was the last time you quit and restore everything precisely. The feature will also work systemwide, allowing you to restart your Mac, or log out, and bring it exactly back to that state the next time you log in.

Auto Save, meanwhile, will automatically save every document periodically as you work, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally losing data. Via a new menu that appears when you click a document's name in its title bar, you can also lock documents you’d rather not automatically save; duplicate documents to work on a copy; or revert to the document's state when you last opened it. (You can also manually save at any time.)

Versions works with the Auto Save feature to let you restore documents, or portions of documents, from earlier saves. You can enter a Time Machine-like interface to browse all saved versions of the current document; you can then cut and copy between an older version and the curent version, or select an older version to restore in full. When you share a document with someone else, however, your revisions stay with you—there's no need to worry about your friends being able to browse the thirty previous revisions on their own computer.


Designed to make it simple to share files with other users on a local network, AirDrop is a fully encrypted, peer-to-peer file-sharing feature that works over Wi-Fi (and, strangely, only over Wi-Fi). When you select the AirDrop item in the Finder's Sources sidebar, you see other AirDrop users on your local network, each represented by an icon. To share a file, simply drop it onto the icon of the person you wish to send the file to. The receiving party will see a notification asking them if they’d like to accept or decline the transfer. (If you think this feature sounds a lot like DropCopy, you're not alone.)



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