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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.

OS X’s e-mail client has gotten a full makeover in Lion, adding a new three-column view, a conversation view, message previews in the message list, search suggestions, color-coded threads, and multiple flags. Conversations allow you to see every e-mail from a thread—sent and received—grouped nicely; within the e-mails themselves, quoted text has been hidden, to allow for more coherent reading. If you start typing words into Mail’s search box, search suggestions will prompt you with ideas for what you were typing—names, subject headers, dates—which you can accept by hitting the return key on your keyboard. You can stack up multiple suggestions to create multi-tiered searches, like searching for one author and a specific subject line, for example. Also new is the Favorites bar, which lets you place frequently used mailboxes above the message list so you can hide the mailbox area.

Features, APIs, and more

Though there was no time to demonstrate them all during Schiller and Federighi’s relatively short session, Lion promises a slew of other new and updated features waiting to be played with, including easier migration from Windows machines; an upgraded version of FileVault; FaceTime; system-wide dictionary lookup; a Finder reorganization and new All My Files section, organized by type; one-click archiving in Mail; Quick Look Spotlight results; iChat service plug-ins; window resizing from any edge; local snapshots in Time Machine; Exchange 2010 support; a character chooser; and more.

Developers will have plenty of new Lion tricks to tinker with, as well: Lion will feature over 3000 new APIs, including versioning, push notifications, gesture tracking, fullscreen mode, and more.

Lion will be available in July for just $30, exclusively from the Mac App Store. Interestingly, as with other Mac App Store-purchased software, you'll be able to install that $30 copy of Lion on any Mac that uses the purchaser's Mac App Store ID. (A new developer preview will be available Monday.)

Lion Server

Though not mentioned during the keynote itself, Apple updated its Website on Monday to reveal more details about Lion Server. Like Lion itself, Lion Server will be available exclusively on the Mac App Store, but will be priced at $50. The Server version will include the Server app for setup and administration; other features include the Profile Manager, for remote management of computers and iOS devices, File Sharing for iPad, push notifications, Wiki Server 3, iCal Server 3, Mail Server 3, and Xsan Admin, for configuring Xsan volumes.


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