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Summary:

Mac OS X Lion, the next version of Apple’s Mac operating system, got a developer preview release today. Alongside the developer preview, Apple gave a little more insight into the upcoming changes Lion ushers in for OS X, including many features borrowed from the iPad.

mac-osx-lion

Update: Check out an official video of new OS X Lion features in action at the bottom of this post.

Mac OS X Lion, the next version of Apple’s Mac operating system, got a developer preview release today alongside the introduction of new MacBook Pros. The OS update was announced in October 2010 at Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event. Expectations of an release grew recently as sites reported seeing increased traffic from users with 10.7 on their machines, meaning Apple had ramped up internal testing.

Lion (version 10.7 of OS X) brings a number of features from the iPad to the Mac, among others. Apple breaks down some of the new features in its press release announcing the new developer preview:

Lion features Mission Control, an innovative new view of everything running on your Mac; Launchpad, a new home for all your Mac apps; full screen apps that use the entire Mac display; and new Multi-Touch™ gestures. Lion also includes the Mac App Store℠, the best place to discover, install and automatically update Mac apps.

Mission Control is like Exposé and Spaces on steroids, giving you tons of control over windows and workspace management. Launchpad basically brings iOS home screens to your Mac, allowing you to quickly organize apps. In addition to full-screen and multi-touch gestures, Lion also introduces support for Auto Save and Resume in Mac apps, which should essentially mirror the way apps can quit and jump back to exactly where they left off using iOS’ multitasking features. And Versions should also be great for productivity, as it allows you to compare your current document to past iterations side-by-side.

Another great new change detailed in Apple’s press release is a brand new version of Mail, which brings “an elegant, widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010.” I never stray far from using Mail in OS X, but these changes sound like they’ll be huge improvements to a product that is admittedly showing its age.

The main new features in OS X Lion were all shown off when Apple first unveiled the new operating system, and you can see our more detailed look at each individual aspect of the new OS in Alex’s article about the 10.7 launch announcement. As users dig into the new developer preview, I’m sure we’ll see many more details emerge regarding Apple’s latest major OS update.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

  1. Can’t wait! Looks great and Snow Leopard runs well. I haven’t had any problems. Good stuff :)

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  2. Did I read the spec page right? OSX server is now baked into OSX

    “Lion Server is now part of Mac OS X Lion. It’s easy to set up your Mac as a server and take advantage of the many services Lion Server has to offer. Here are just a few of the new features that make server deployment faster, easier, and more powerful than ever.”

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  3. Now the only real questions are, can I take my 18 GB Entourage mail store back to Apple Mail and will it do a better job of not choking in the new version? (Not that Entourage is beautiful software by any stretch.)

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  4. Andrew MacDonald Thursday, February 24, 2011

    OS X Lion looks amazing! Seriously cannot wait for it to be released.

    I especially love Mission Control – Excellent feature and one I think I will use a lot.

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  5. Whoopee-doo. How about performance improvements instead of shoving another hard to organize interface down our throats.

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    1. This sounds like some of Microsoft’s bloatware. I don’t think too many will use the server. My ISP specifically bans servers and I would have no use for it, but can i keep it off my hard drive?

      The App store is listed as a feature. Amazing– just like some TV infomercials. Full screen?–I hate it, and you also have to be running the latest Snow Leopard to install it.

      I agree. Stop the eye candy and get down to business.

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  6. In Mail.app today, I have easy access to all my different inboxes and folders (left), and it’s easy to glance through large amounts of folder contents (right or top-right). Will this change in Lion?

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  7. I would really like to see that video!

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  8. [...] across all its devices, and the Mac is no exception to that rule. OS X 10.7, also known as Lion, is already available as a developer preview, so we have a pretty good idea of what we’ll see when the update gets a general release later [...]

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  9. [...] things that WWDC will be worth watching for: OS X Lion, iOS 5 and the iPhone 5. Lion is a lock, as Apple has already previewed the new Mac OS and announced that it was aiming for a WWDC release for OS X 10.7, and it’s almost a [...]

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  10. [...] WWDC in June, we’ll likely see OS X Lion changing status from preview to official public release. That makes May a good time to look at the April report on OS market [...]

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