69 Comments

Summary:

OS X Lion is set to arrive sometime this month, and new reports suggest that it could be here as soon as next Wednesday at 9 AM. Will you be buying when it does arrive, and if not, why are you unsure about upgrading?

lion-features

OS X Lion is set to arrive sometime this month, and new reports suggest that it could be here as soon as next Wednesday at 9 AM. Apple has the advantage of being able to “ship” much more simply this time around, since Lion is only going to be distributed via the Mac App Store, so it makes sense that we’d see a release follow more closely the most recent stable developer build. But now that it’s almost here, do you think you’ll actually buy it?

Lion has some quirks that not everyone will love. Exclusive digital distribution is one, since bandwidth or connection concerns might not sit well with some. Also, Lion doesn’t appear to offer any way for people to do a clean install, unless they use a Snow Leopard disk first and then re-install Lion after that. Finally, the requirements will leave early Intel Mac owners out of the party.

On the other hand, Lion offers some significant improvements to core apps like Mail, Contacts and Calendar, and new features like Resume, Auto Save, Versions and AirDrop show a lot of promise. Plus users who’ve made the jump from iOS to their first Mac will find the operating environment a lot more familiar. And you’d be amazed at what fullscreen apps can do for your ability to focus on the task at hand.

I’ve got all my Macs running Snow Leopard, so I’m definitely going to upgrade, since it’ll only cost me $29 to get each on 10.7. I’ll probably do it on day one, too. But will you be joining me, waiting a while to see how Lion pans out, or skipping this OS altogether?

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  1. This is my first year on a Mac.
    It’s such a wonderful experience, in comparison to Windows, that I could be happy with Snow Leopard for many years. Because of that fact I’m going to wait a bit to upgrade, until all of the reports are in.

  2. Now this is the first time I have myself waiting for a new Mac OS from the shipping (if you can call it shipping) date. Ever since I started using Mac and Apple products I have upgraded or preordered as soon as possible. But I now find myself waiting for both bug reports (not that there will be many, as this is Apple we are talking about!) and in the hope they will bring some copies (even at an extra cost) on DVD (due to my very slow internet connection – not my fault, this is the best I can get (0.5mb/s))!

    1. “But I now find myself waiting for both bug reports (not that there will be many, as this is Apple we are talking about!)”

      Yeah, just like with the latest release of Final Cut Pro. People loved it. ;)

  3. The reasons I’m going to wait a while before upgrading to Lion:
    1. I like Snow Leopard just fine. While the new features in Lion look intriguing, none of them fix a current problem for me.

    2. I prefer to wait at least a few days, until enough people have upgraded that any glaring problems with the upgrade become widespread (and then I wait to upgrade until Apple issues a fix). Yes, I’m using y’all as my guinea pigs–thanks in advance!

  4. i bought a mac because the os x system was something that after playing with, i loved. i have ios devices (a verizon iphone 4 and two 3rd gen ipod touches, an 8gb and 32), my two mbp’s are not ios devices and never should run like one. with lion, thats exactly what theyre aiming for. i get that most people are introduced to apple through ios, and i wasnt one of them. apple is trying to cater to its new users, and forgeting those that helped make it possible. if they keep down this path (fcpx didnt help and im staying with 7), they will lose a large number of consumers.

    1. I fully agree with you there Ryan.
      Lion is basically iOS orientated now, which is not what I want. I need a system that can do proper computing. But Lion is still SL with some features to make it a friendly UI to new users that are primarily Windows Users who have got an iPad (or other such iDevice), I like the way things are in a proper OS like SL! They need to keep their ‘proper’ users and not try and gain users who want a more basic mobile platform.

      1. Having a superfluous application launcher and applications that save their state doesn’t make it “just like iOS.” It’s just as much a real computing experience as Snow Leopard was with additional features, just like every other release of OS X.

      2. konstantino, im not doubting the computing power of lion, im just not liking the ios-ification of osx. if i want ios, ill use an ipod touch or ipad, if i want osx, i use my mbp’s. by dumbing down osx to an ios form by taking away my choices, like ios does, they are downgrading osx. ios works great for mobile computing, and again, i own several ios devices; but essentially merging parts of ios and osx, like lion does, erodes the osx experience.

      3. ryan, you didn’t really read konstantino’s post. he was saying that the new Lion OS does not totally impose iOS experience on the full operating system — it simply puts a couple of new features that are comfortable for iOS people, while the majority of Lion is still a regular computer OS. In other words, it does not “dumb down” the OS by taking away choices. It just adds a couple new layers that look like iOS, which you can ignore. And I am the same as you, by the way. When I go to Lion (a few weeks after launch, to make sure all is OK), I will mainly ignore the iOS-echoing features.

  5. I use Quicken 7, which requires Rosetta. They say there may be a fix in the works, but until then, I won’t be roaring with Lion.

    I had a few challenges with Snow Leopard, which rendered useless my large format photo printer and my multifunction scanner. I got around that with a second boot drive with Leopard 10.5. I don’t want to have three boot drives, especially since I’m using laptops.

    1. Quicken has announced that they will be releasing a version for lion with “embedded Rosetta”

      1. Source? I can’t find anything but speculation.

  6. I’ll probably wait a few weeks and maybe test drive it somewhere other than my own machine first. In a graphics production environment, it is crucial that workflow is not disrupted.

  7. It’s no doubt partly because I came to mac from iOS and gmail, but even before lion was announced, I was irritated by
    – lack of full screen apps
    – finding my windows (I use loads of spaces and expose to achieve an effect similar to mission control, but it requires a double gesture
    – inadequate searching and no flagging or conversation view in mail
    – missing gestures such as pinching and zooming. And despite years on Windows, I have also found myself going the wrong way when two-finger scrolling in Snow Leopard if I’ve been using my phone or iPad.

    Any of those makes it worth the risk of upgrading immediately. I’ll turn off the only feature I don’t like, which is resume.

  8. Voted : not buying Lion at all. Lifelong Mac user (20+ years). Currently 10.5.8.
    I’m not looking forward to an iOS UI, iCloud and App Store restraints. I consider this a serious dumbing down and an unacceptable stranglehold that has me seriously worried about Apple’s good intentions towards its longtime loyal fans. Very disappointed with these developments. Nothing in Lion holds any appeal for me at all and it offers absolutely nothing which empowers me compared to what I’m currently able to do with Leopard. For now I’m only considering Snow Leopard.

    1. Peter, did you mean 10.5.8 or 10.6.8? If you’re on 10.5.8 and you wanted to upgrade to Lion, you would have the fun of upgrading twice (to SL then Lion). I have also been a long-term Mac/Apple user. They really have dumbed down the OS to make it easier for those people who have switched from Windows to an iDevice and that fancied a dip in the pond that is an Apple Mac, haven’t they? But by doing this they have really upset those long-term Mac users. I’m staying at 10.6.8 and really do not like the idea of the App Store – I’d rather have my Boxed software any day!

      1. Sorry, my Winders computer is giving me fits today…

        I am a recent convert to OSX, but live in Unix/Linux and Winders all day/every day at work testing SW. When I get home and use a computer for personal use, the last thing I want to have to do is get under it’s hood. I love the simplicity of the iOS and OSX platforms.

        Are there times I want to get into the deeper parts of it, sure…but Lion leaves the Unix core intact and simply offers user friendly interface for the masses.

        Apple has succeeded since inception on the idea that it should be simple. It holds true for iOS devices (who would have ever thought of a phone with a grand total of 5 buttons!). It has always held true for the Mac OS.

        If everyone flocks to Macs, then our employers will start issuing Macs in place of PCs, and prices will come down due to volume. Plus, Mac users will no longer be treated like the circus sideshow freaks by society.

    2. i updated my first mbp from leopard to snow leopard because i bought it about a month before sl was released and got sl for free. i like sl over leopard. granted this was a few years ago, but a clean install speeded my mbp up and it was a smaller footprint over leopard.

  9. I upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard as soon as it came out. Big mistake – I had more problems than I expected. Unless I see a need, I’ll hold off on Lion until I get a new MacBook Air sometime later this year.

  10. Casper B. Hansen Friday, July 1, 2011

    Why would you wait or skip at that price point ? — The only thing that bothers me, is that I don’t know if it is possible to do a clean install, or if it’s just patching up Snow Leopard.

    1. It appears the install is both. You get your clean install, but you have to do it through Snow Leopard because they aren’t offering downloads or disks. But somebody will probably figure out a way to hack a 100% clean install.

      1. My bet is, they will have a small stock of Lion DVD in the back rooms of Apple retail stores and will either sell it in plain brown paper wrap, or offer to install it for you (for a small fee of course).

    2. you’d wait or skip if you dont want to take a step back from true osx. lion is basically a ramped up ios running over osx. its dumbed down for people who came to apple by way of an ios device.

  11. there are too many questions behind the mechanics of the app store download and i’ve played around with the betas which left me thoroughly unimpressed. I might buy it if it lets me install at my leisure…

  12. Buy it I say it has a lot of features that support the Mac book air

  13. I’m pretty sure I have to wait until there’s a driver update for the Nvidia Quadro 4000. I couldn’t get any clarification from Apple as to whether Lion offers native support for it.

  14. Steven Blackwood Friday, July 1, 2011

    I voted that I will install Lion Immediately BUT I will only do so on one machine (I have 3 Macs) to test it out. The reason is that Snow Leopard was problematic for printing wirelessly until 10.64. I am actually looking forward to the UI changes.

  15. Adam, 10.5.8 currently. I’m a kind of slow adopter, always one full OS release behind the current hype. I’ll probably upgrade to 10.6 in the near future, but definitely not as a prelude (prerequisite) to Lion. Just to be able to run the latest updates of my favourite apps, nothing else.
    I like to be able to try or buy my apps directly from the developer and Apple forcing itself in between makes no sense to me at all. Once you’ve gone the App Store route you’re shackled for ever.

  16. I’ve been getting conflicting information on whether I have enough RAM (1GB) to run Lion. I’ve seen 2GB mentioned as the minimum around the Mac-o-sphere. Apple’s upgrade preview page makes no mention of a minimum RAM. So, I’ll wait until it’s available and see if I can get a definite answer.

  17. Need to wait on Intuit to bring Quicken out of the dark ages or maybe it is time to find a new accounting program.

  18. Freckledbruh Friday, July 1, 2011

    Peter: I’m not sure I get where you’re coming from. You can still buy, download and purchase apps for your mac without the mac app store. As for buying directly from developers, well Apple Inc. IS the developer for lion and they are selling it on the mac app store. Do you have required apps that need Rosetta or won’t work under lion?

  19. I will be upgrading immediately. Been an apple user for 2 years

  20. I voted for the ‘I’m waiting a while’ option but I just wanted to be clear that I don’t currently own a Mac. I’ll buy one as soon as it’s financially practical for me. I had to upgrade to a cheap PC because my previous laptop died out. There are also numerous other financial hurdles for me to overcome small ones at that but now is not a good time to upgrade for me.

  21. The price is heard to ignore, so Apple gets a lot of credit for not Microsofting us here.

    However, this upgrade seems fairly incremental. I bought Snow Leopard and installed it over Tiger, so I don’t mind an upgrade I can appreciate. Snow Leopard runs perfectly fine on my MacBook. When I buy an iMac, Lion or its successor will be on that machine.

    What would make me upgrade? A genuine Safari upgrade. Compared to Chrome and Firefox, Safari is a laggard.

  22. I’m hoping to be able to buy a DVD eventually. I’d like to have something to boot from just in case.

  23. I never upgrade the OS a soon as is out. I think is always better to wait until the brave ones try it in the wild to be sure there isn’t any major undiscovered bug (this isn’t a first).

    So I’ll wait for 10.7.1 : )

  24. Nope, not upgrading soon.
    I bought my first mac a couple of months before Snow Leopard was available, and was elegible for a copy for just USD 10, but waited to upgrade until Microsoft Folder Share released a version for it.
    Today Folder Share is no more and was replaced by Windows Mesh, and I still depend too heavily on it to synchronize all of my computers (two pc desktops, one laptop, an iMac and a MacBookPro) to risk not being able to use it.
    So yes, I’ll wait until Microsoft releases Mesh for Lion, and until I’m sure all other software I regularly use is ready for Lion as well.
    PS: I don’t have any iOS device–my phone is Android and my iPod is a 5th generation one, well before iOS was released–so I have no craving for it on any of my macs.

  25. SL screwed over my MB battery so I’m going to be cautious. Last time I also made the mistake of not doing a clean instal – another mistake I won’t be making again.

  26. Waiting. I want to hear how it’s going to work with Parallels.

  27. I am an AVID user (Pro Tools, Media Composer). I will hold off on installing v10.7 until AVID qualifies it for use with their programs. Then I will think about it.

    Leopard wasn’t worthy until 10.5.4. Snow Leopard wasn’t worthy until 10.6.3. Will Lion be worthy at 10.7.2? I doubt it, though it would be nice for Apple to prove me wrong.

  28. Buy a laptop that comes with it (Macbook Air). Decide later if the rest of the family would enjoy it (or would it just confuse them).

  29. For me, lion is DOA. The improvements to mail, Safari And calender are meaningless sinc I got so disgusted with their current poor behavior they I long since switched to sparrow. Firefox and Google calender.

    As for the 247 other “improvements”, the important ones can be mostly duplicated with independent software and many of them are simply eye candy designed to attract non Mac iPhone users.

    The final blow is the attempt to tie all mac users to the App store by Apple’s fixation on download only, a direct slap in the face to loyal Mac users who don’t have and can’t get hi speed internet.

    Apple no longer cares about Mac users so why why should Mac users spend their money with Apple?

    1. Ed, what I find curious about your comment in particular is this: you mention “Apple’s fixation on download” but have replaced your Apple apps with DOWNLOAD ONLY apps like Sparrow and Firefox and cited that the “247 other improvements can be duped with independent software” most of which is download only as well. Now, I’ve never seen a CD version of Firefox, ANY Google application or independent software, so where are you getting yours?

      1. I have no problem downloading normal Apps, but I draw the line At 4GB Oses. Perhaps you haven’t experienced big problems installing an OS, but I have and believe me it’s no joke even with a disc. Furthermore Sparrow and Firefox are less than 20MB downloads. Lion will take well over an hour for me to download. For others it might take days.

        And Apple doesn’t care!!!

  30. Walter Wright Saturday, July 2, 2011

    I’m thinking about getting a new Mac Air when they are refreshed, and maybe a new iPad as well, so I think I will wait. Will the Mac Air come with Lion, and can it then be “cross loaded” to my imac desk top or my ipad or iphone, for that matter? My questions may reveal my ignorance of computers–a lack of wisdom that may bring me to an Apple Store to ask the folks there to do all the downloading for me, and to help me make sure I don’t lose data in the process. I’d welcome anyone else’s guidance in the meantime.

  31. I always wait a week or 2 to upgrade to make sure all my software is compatible (like the Adobe design software, AND to be certain there’s no surprise bugs (anyone remember how, I think it was 10.3, screwed up all your files on external hard drives in it’s initial release? The details are burry, but I wont take the chance!). Plus, 10.7 has a lot of great features, but I’ve already tried the beta, and I find certain things a little annoying, particularly Expose.

  32. I have used Macs since 1987. I need to know that the OS will work on all my machines, including the oldest Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. I must also be certain that I won’t be having problems with any of my key applications. I think it likely that I will upgrade within the first three months of release, and possibly the first month.

  33. 1) Lion does not require anyone to buy their apps from the App Store. It’s another store but no one is forced to use it.
    2) Lion is not OS X dumbed-down. There are some features in it that, in the near future, will allow iOS and OS X to interoperate on a more friendly basis. That is welcome. As for hiding the library folder, it is what it is but anyone with basic computer knowledge and/or an internet connection can show it again with a simple terminal command. I did.
    3) The first time you install Lion it has to be over a copy of Snow Leopard UNLESS you copy the installer to a DVD, which is simple enough to do. After that, if you ever ever want a clean install of Lion, Apple has conveniently placed a recovery partition on your computer to boot from. The recovery partition is perfect to run Disk Utility from, in case you think there is something up with the boot drive. Plus, if you ever need to download it again, open up the App Store and download it again, free of charge. No more storing and searching for DVDs and CDs (don’t we have enough of them already!) But you shouldn’t need to download it again because, yes, it’s already stored there in the recovery partition.
    I sure wish the bloggers (including this one) would stop claiming that you can’t do a clean install… they should know better. You can do one, it just takes one extra step, a DVD, and all of 15 minutes. Besides, most people don’t do a clean install so it’s sad that the bloggers hang onto this in order to snag readers.
    4) The gestures in Safari using an Apple mouse is well worth the price of admission alone.

  34. steve Bissell Saturday, July 2, 2011

    I’m new to macs, osx…and Steve Jobs. I truly wish the man the very best luck in his corageous battle for his health. I just don’t agree at all with the new direction that Apple seems to be taking. It must be a money one because the purpose of Lion is to announce that Apple is demoting one of the most beautifull and powerfull personal computers the world has ever seen to a facebook traffic cop! The MONEY now is with all the ipods, iphones, ipads, etc. and LION will just be a glorified switching station for all the supersocializing cyberfornication that this new generation is addicted to. Lion starts it’s royal reign of terror by castrating some of leopards valuable ability to use some older, but great hardware, along with some other useful software that Mr. Jobs wants to bury prematurely, for whatever illogical reasons other than monitary. I don’t see much use for a castrated cat, no mater how beautiful it is(was).

  35. Nope – removal of Rosetta support will mean that my Canon d2400u scanner will no longer work. Not specifically Apple’s problem but thanks to Apple’s relentless pruning of support for old architectures and Canon’s woeful attitude to product support a perfectly decent piece of equipment will become useless, so I’m out.

  36. I have to determine what applications will not work without Rosetta.
    The result may keep me in Snow Leopard until my current computers are no longer viable! Full Screen apps? If there is no option to turn that off Lion is not for me.

    1. You will never know the full-screen app option is there unless you deliberately tell the app to go full screen using the View menu. But don’t be so quick to dismiss it. When an app goes full screen, it gets its own desktop. Using your Magic Mouse or Trackpad, you can swipe to flick through the apps like pages in a book. It’s not for everyone but it certainly has its appeal. I find it to be a very cool effect but also reduces clutter on my desktop and keeps distraction to a minimum. This will be especially helpful when, I predict, your iPad will be a remote viewer for your computer. You will be able to work on your computer remotely from your iPad, and this organization will definitely be helpful should you want to take advantage of that feature. (I haven’t seen this announced anywhere, but it only makes sense given these specific features.) If you don’t need full screen apps, no need to be concerned about it.

  37. With older software still requiring Rosetta support, the lack of this support in Lion leaves several applications nonfunctional. I also need to confirm that my older Mac Minis (2008 & 2010) will properly support a Lion install. The current mid-2011 iMac, of course, is a nonissue in terms of a Lion install excluding the older software issues previously noted.

  38. Though Lion is not a full scale overhaul of the Apple’s award winning OS, it is hard to deny its merit when it will cost just $29.99/£20.00 to upgrade. I understand the points that distribution solely via the Mac App Store may put off some people, but I think this is largely due to the fact that people don’t like change more than any of the reasons that are stated for this.

    Give a couple of years and people will not remember what it was like to buy anything on DVD.

  39. I’m not too keen on the direction that the newer OS’s are taking. Relying on the “iCloud” and whatnot after all the hacking and theft there is going on with iTunes and the way the death of Mobile Me (I did care for that transition either) is being handled. What happened to the proud days of Mac.com? Having been a MacFanAddict since the late 80’s, for once I am not excited about a release. Matter of fact am kinda pissed off that a very large part of the community is being left behind because they haven’t run out and bought the latest and greatest. But then I know a lot that have and they are very weary. It not just $30 to upgrade, there will be other costs involved in hardware and software (no more Rosetta) to make this work for some. And have you seen what’s being charged these days?

  40. It’s $30.. It costs more to eat one meal at Red Lobster..

  41. Hamranhansenhansen Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Snow Leopard is just Lion with a Leopard user interface, it is an easy upgrade.

    You can always do a clean install of Lion with any Snow Leopard or Lion Mac:

    1) Restore your Mac using the DVD or USB key that came with it, including running Software Update as a final step
    2) If running Snow Leopard, launch Mac App Store and install Mac OS X Lion

    Once you have Lion installed on one Mac, you can use the remote installer in the Utilities folder to install onto other Macs on your network, no need to download from Mac App Store twice.

    Getting off optical has many advantages.

    1. “Snow Leopard is just Lion with a Leopard user interface…”

      Actually, Lion is just Snow Leopard with an iOS UI.

  42. I have to wait to see if it is compatible with some of my software, including iWeb. I don’t care if Apple is walking away from iWeb, I like it.

  43. I’ll wait to hear how the whole App Store experience works AND how Lion behaves & is liked once installed.

    I have 6 Apple (iMac, 3 MPBs, 2 MBs) in the house, all on SL 10.6.8.

    Very curious about it, but very concerned too about the “dumbing-down” aspect. I think SL is about as fine an OS as there is so I will wait and listen to the feedback.

    Good luck to you early adopters!

  44. Wait & See.

    I have the original Core 2 Duo Mac so I have a pretty good CPU but not a GPU. It would seem that some Lion features will be turned off for me. I may upgrade at some point but I’m not in a rush. Then again, if some of the features I want don’t work I may just skip it.

  45. After testing the first couple releases I’ve been running OS X 10.7 Lion on my main Mac since the third developer edition. I’m now on the latest seed GM (11A511) which has fully addressed the few “issues” I ran into. After having gotten used to the new features and capabilities I couldn’t be happier.

    The learning curve from SL (or even Leopard) to Lion is short and I think folks will be very pleased with the various advances and a lot of the built-in features that either never existed, had to be manually implemented or required an add-on app/program to enjoy.

    Lion is much more than an incremental upgrade and I’m betting most folks will be very pleased with it.

  46. With four Macs, I’m going to wait a bit for initial glitches to be worked out. Every time I buy the brand, spankin’ new stuff, I find it’s not quite ready….

  47. I’m just too dependent on my Mac, and fearful of early bugs, to make the immediate switch. My plan is to upgrade around September, maybe later if there’s a string of early updates.

  48. There are usually hidden costs in upgrading, such as having to upgrade additional applications that may not be compatible. Already I know my Spyder2 color calibration software will have to be replaced. There could be others and until I know the what needs to be updated/replaced, I’ll chug along with Snow Leopard.

  49. I will definitely wait! Last time I upgraded on day one (For snow leopard, from leopard) it was a nightmare, and since I upgraded I always had issues no matter how many times I reinstalled.

  50. I will wait for a couple of weeks—I got burned when I updated iPhoto right away, lost over 2 years of photos and videos

  51. I’m not so sure I’ll ever upgrade to Lion now…

    My friend let me play with the Dev GM build over the weekend. I’d have to say, I’m disappointed. Safari is cool, and there’s some stuff I like about it. However, I absolutely HATE the new way Expose works, the Finder side bar, and there doesn’t seem to be an option to assign Applications to specific spaces anymore.

    Expose: We can’t figure out how to make Expose show you every window at once, F9 invokes Mission Control now, and it only groups windows by applications in that view. Also, F10 will give you the windows for a single application like before, but will only show you a few windows, while sticking the rest along the bottom Cover Flow style, which is VERY disappointing for a graphic designer trying to sort through 15-20 photos in PhotoShop. They’ve really ruined the functionality of Expose, which has always been my favorite thing about Mac OS X since 10.3. I really hope they fix this, but I doubt it.

    As for the Finder: They put the drives on the bottom of the side bar now. I have several drives at home, and at work I mount and unmount drives all the time. So for me, putting drives at the bottom would make them less convenient to get to, and is kind of saying they’re not as important as folders, which in my case isn’t true, because I have to access so many folders that keeping them on the side bar would over-fill it. Also, network drives don’t seem to mount on the side bar, meaning I’d have to navigate to the remote computer each time I needed to access a drive.

    Applications and Spaces: There’s something I’ve always done since Spaces arrived in Mac OS: assigned iTunes to Space 1, Parallels Desktop to Space 2, EyeTV to Space 3, and Screen Scaring to Space 4. In Lion, I couldn’t find an option to do this. Now when I boot, I’d have to move each of those apps to their respective spaces. This is a loss of efficiency and a set backwards in functionality.

    Over all what I’m saying is: Lion is a big step backwards in some areas, and may be the first time I don’t want to upgrade to a new Mac OS (and I’ve been using it since OS 7, and started using OS X at 10.1!). This is a shame. If anyone know how to fix my issues, pals let me know!

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