Blog Post

Apple Has Been Working on OS X 10.7 for At Least a Month

Snow Leopard has barely gotten its paws wet, and now news comes that Apple (s aapl) is already working on its replacement. It’s not really surprising, since Apple is basically always either working on the next iteration of its products or releasing them, but still, it does whet the appetite for the next version of OS X.

The suggestion of the new operating system appeared in an entry posted early this morning in a change database for “launchd,” an open source framework that controls the booting of OS X and administers running processes. The new entry includes an error message with the string “11A47” in it, which is a reference to what version of Mac OS X is being used.

Previous versions of OS X have all followed the same numbering scheme. The number at the start of the string references which version of OS X is being used, with the letter indicated the minor release number and finally another number at the end indicating the development progress of said minor release. So, for example, Snow Leopard at release was represented by the string 10A432, and Leopard was 9A571. 11A47, then, would seem to indicate that an early build of 10.7 was being used.

According to MacRumors, the “47” part of that number would suggest that Apple has already been working on the new version of OS X for at least a couple of months now. It’s still very early days, though, and probably even a long way off from a release to the developer community. We saw a two-year span between 10.4 and 10.5, but only a one year gap between the release of 10.5 and 10.6, because 10.6 represented mainly performance upgrades and refinements. Chances are, 10.7 is at least another year and a half off.

No news yet on what to expect in 10.7, although there is reason to believe that the upcoming iteration of OS X will bring more major changes than the last update. Traditionally, Apple introduces far more GUI and basic functionality changes in major point releases, but Snow Leopard was a special exception to that rule, a fact reflected in the price. It’s possible that Apple will release OS 11 at some point, but as of right now, it seems likely that it will continue with the current numbering scheme.

Anything in particular you’d like to see in 10.7? Maybe something you were disappointed wasn’t there in OS X 10.6? Personally, I still think Finder could use some further fine-tuning, but otherwise I’m at a loss at the moment.

28 Responses to “Apple Has Been Working on OS X 10.7 for At Least a Month”

  1. I want better tagging of any file using the openmeta format. I’m sick of folders ! I still use them, but with Default Folder X you can tag as you save. Spotlight is awesome! I would like to see Apple impliment some kind of tagging in the save dialog and further develop spotlight.

  2. delvettBob

    Bring back the contextual menu plugin ability like they had in Leopard. Namely Abracode’s utilities like Clipmaster CM and Quickaccess CM.
    I use both of these everyday and because of this have not upgraded to Snow Leopard.
    For more info go to

  3. Interface customization is something that has always been lacking. OSX was much “prettier” in its earlier incarnations. To me it seems to be evolving away from the eye candy look it started with. Computers are more powerful and it seems to look more and more dated to me. Honestly, my mac seems to do Windows 7 better than it does OS X.

  4. Some bizzaro wants:

    1. Ability to run Direct x applications (games) somehow. WINE -type wrapper?

    2. 3d filing system so I can fly into and out of rows, columns AND z axis panes for futuristic filing. I have a billion folders in folders in folders. Digging down through the folders in 2d takes ages. A 3d file nav system would be awesome. Scroll gesture deeper in and gesture around for up and down, left and right. Time machine nearly does this.

    3. More GUI customisation – Dock could appear when I press a button on the keyboard instead of mousing over it. Expose has this why not dock? Id like to custom control window transparency and have minimised windows cling to the side like tabs. etc. So much more to do here.

    4. Folders should animate their contents when I mouse over – If I want. Very handy for photo folders. Set the animation real fast and I can get an idea of the folders contents in less than a second.



  5. • Make everything faster
    • A new compiled LLVM-based scripting-like programming language for humans without the freakin’ header files and other headaches of the 80s dinosaur Obj-C
    • Plugins for Safari
    • 4 years of free MobileMe with every new mac
    • More standard fonts (to allow more web designs)
    • iVideo for actually making videos and adding music and sound fx and simple animations etc.
    • A middleware game library (like a scenegraph, networking etc)
    • Fuse Mac OS and Mac OS Server

  6. “Anything in particular you’d like to see in 10.7?”

    While it sounds like it’s never going to happen, I want ZFS. What was the final word on that, licencing issue? Oracle? What? I’m current running a ZFS pool with FreeNAS

  7. I would like to see some improvements made to spaces. 10.6 fixed a lot of issues but I still run into problems with programs like word or even final cut when tabbing between programs. Also I would like some customization ability like being able to turn off spaces on a second monitor.

    Facebook and Twitter integration would be awesome as well!

  8. Mail could/should have a lot improvements. The only reason I use Mail over Entourage is because Entourage is painful to use in many respects, not because Mail has all the features I want.

    Some social networking would be great. Facebook and Twitter have APIs that surely can be leveraged to integrate in to Mail, Address Book. iChat and iCal.

    A Media Centre application would be brilliant, extendable to an Apple TV or similar thing. Media Centre and Xbox integration has been Microsoft’s best idea in a long time.

    Better handling of Scanners, the current system is clumsy and confusing.

    I personally also think, but don’t want, more Windows-ification will be in the next version to make certain things more familiar for windows users.

  9. Kingdaddy

    I just switched to a 2.8 MBP from 20 years of Windows. My biggest complaint thus far is how poor the Mail client is. I’d like to be able to position the preview pane in portrait mode in lieu of below my emails like I could in MS Outlook.

    I’d also like to be able to preview mail in the preview pane without it defaulting to “read”.

    There are quite a few more, but I’m typing this on my iPhone.

  10. Bob Smith

    1. Get rid of .DS_Store files. Finder shouldn’t make them.
    2. Hardware acceleration for FileVault. Sandy Bridge has AES instructions.
    3. Resolution independence.
    4. Public APIs for Safari/WebKit extensions. The current means by which apps like 1Password work is a hack.

  11. Ability to get rid of “improvements” we don’t want, like to-do lists in mail, top sites in safari.

    make the back button in safari work all the time not just when its in the mood.

    Give us an option to open links in a new tab without using a modifier key.

    Have mail follow the rules all the time, not just sometimes.

    Fix Safari so it gets along with Yahoo mail—all the time.

  12. Better network integration of mixed mac and PC (home) networks.
    Not that it isn’t sufficient as it is, but it always could be better. And since Apple wants PC users to convert to the mac community they are most likely to have a couple of desktop PCs at home when buying a Macbook for example.
    The setup of those should be done on the mac of course in a way the PCs have least trouble and least expertise needed to join the network. Same with wireless printers etc. used by multiple computers (be it mac or PC). Make Bonjour even better.
    That will really make new apple users blush.

  13. I’m really looking forward to the next iteration. After using some cool third party apps, I also know what I’m missing in OSX.

    1. The finder. With Path Finder I’m getting everything I’m missing in the finder. Tabbed Browsing, Split Screen, Favorites, Cmd + X to Cut and Paste and sorting options settable for every folder. (And many more but these are the main points).

    2. Easily grouping windows like in Win 7.

    3. Context Menue with build in services.

    4. A new gui design was rumoured for Snow Leopard, but I think it will be part of the next OS. More general customization would be cool.

    5. Small thing, but I’m wishing I would get the possibility back to see all applications in the app folder (opened in the dock) at once. Dumb scrolling.

    And some more points, I’m not aware of in the moment : )

  14. I’d like to see the following:

    1. Ability to *write* to NTFS volumes
    2. Ability to *format* volumes to NTFS
    3. Customized power management options
    (brand new battery lasts 5 hours on 10.5, after upgrading to 10.6,
    same BRAND NEW BATTERY now gets 3 hours, reverting to 10.5
    magically fixes this issue)
    4. Airport tweaks to include options for auto-disconnect or to at least stop it
    from doing it now. Machine will disconnect from wireless despite
    checked options
    5. Update the WWAN device settings to be more reliable/consistent
    6. Finder tweaked a bit more to speed up processes in regards to
    wireless communications
    7. The ability to keep our desktop as the login screen without the need
    for a third party app
    8. The ability to run ipod/iphone applications (not all of them mind you, like
    core applications of the iphone/ipod OS, but at least third party
    applications. Aren’t there times where you wish you could run an app,
    even inside itunes or a ‘closed’ environment before you install it on your
    ipod/iphone? I do. I’d like to run some of my messaging apps and games.
    After all, aren’t the programs just glorified dashboard widgets? Running
    them in the dashboard would be a great addition and give more value to
    the applications they are selling. Natural extension of music and movies
    we already buy on the itunes store?
    9. I love the default look of OSX, but if Apple will not give us an official way
    to change it to what we wish (only with the use of 3rd party apps), at least
    give us two modes of operation with regards to OS general look. Perhaps
    a choice of a ‘dark’ version where the colors are muted and menus are
    darker. Would help with Designers like myself, Video Editors, etc.
    Allowing us to take the focus off the OS and on the work itself
    would be great.
    10. Built-in support for USB keychain or other ‘dongle’ based logins, perhaps
    use part of the engine from iphoto and have facial recognition for logins?
    11. File Vault to work better with disk repair utilities, perhaps the directory
    can be set to ‘ignore’ status for utilities (the files section) or other method?
    12. Since some of the models (primarily MacBooks) lack firewire, make a
    USB target disk mode? Target disk mode is EXTREMELY useful for file
    transfer from a mobile unit to a desktop and also for installations and
    running utilities and recovering files from systems that may not boot up
    on their own. The Apple Store is great, and so is the Genius Bar, but if
    we have USB target disk mode too, then that’s giving all Apple users the
    same OS experience and possibly keeping some people out of the
    Genius Bar, and happier users.
    13. Keep the address book and mail apps separate, but perhaps have a
    quicktime-style pop up for adding people or editing their information. (or
    perhaps the ‘sheet’ method like when a user hits print.)
    14. An actual fully-functioning disk utility anyone? Please fix this.

    I am sure I can come up with more, but these are off the top of my head.
    Please understand that I LOVE my Apple products and am not furious or complaining, there are merely my suggestions/wants.


  15. Paul, the deletion issue was fixed in 10.6.2.

    As for the fact that Apple is working on the next release already… I can hardly believe it! I thought all the engineers would be… wait, what else would they be doing?


    • That’s a little too vague to blast around here. Maybe Windows 7 is a help for you? I’m sure they would love another user like you and we can surely spare one on Mac OS X

  16. Nate Whistler

    They need to integrate some sort Unified Communication in it’s server version. Partner with asterisk or some other open source iteration to add sip call to ichat, voicemail to email, etc. This is what I want to see badly happen.