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OS X Lion is Apple’s next-gen operating system, and all signs point to it landing in the next few days. So what’s it bringing to the party? Well, gesture controls, better apps compatibility, a new way of keeping track of everything running on your Mac, and more.

Read on for all the mane features.

It may have been announced back in October last year, but now Apple is readying OS X Lion for launch later this week. There are over 250 new features, but check out the most exciting below.

1 Multi-touch gestures

At its October outing, Steve Jobs said Lion was “Mac OS X meets the iPad.” And it’s certainly taken inspiration from iOS, with multi-touch gestures being the main one. Sadly we won’t be seeing a Minority Report-style touchscreen desktop, but instead the Magic Mouse and MacBook’s trackpad will gain new abilities, letting you pinch to zoom everything, as well as scroll and swipe. It’s a more intuitive way of navigating your desktop and web pages, not to mention far quicker than finding the correct button to click.

2 App Home screens

Launchpad is essentially a Home screen for your apps – launch it with a gesture, and it’ll show all your apps laid over a slightly blurred desktop. Then you can launch and arrange at will. Farewell, Applications folder.

3 Full screen apps

Yes, you’ll be able to launch apps fullscreen (though without losing the Dock), helping you use them more effectively. Fantastic for games, movies, and reading apps, maybe not so much use if you’re multitasking. But still, bravo Apple for giving us the option.

4 Dip in and out of apps

Apps auto save when you quit them, so whatever you’ve done won’t be lost just because you have to answer an email. Then when you jump back into the app, everything will be exactly as when you left it.

5 AirDrop

You can send files to anyone nearby, no Wi-Fi required, with AirDrop. Just click and it’ll show other users within 30 feet – then drag the file to that person’s name, they accept, and the file appears in their Downloads. Simple.

6 Mail

Mail has been given a makeover too, with conversation threads presented like the iPhone’s messaging system, so you can see the whole discussion, as well as a new simpler way to search. A favourites bar brings your most used folders right to hand, too.

7 Mission Control

Like Cards in HP’s webOS, Mission Control shows you stacks (or ‘piles’, somewhat unfortunately in Apple’s terminology) of windows you have open, as well as any apps running. Very handy for those of us with cluttered desktops.

Out TBC | £20.99 | Apple

  • Anonymous

    Full Screen apps without losing the Dock means they’re not Full Screen ….

  • Anonymous

    and this auto-save sounds dreadful.. looks like it’s going to be a pain :)

  • Anonymous

    No wifi required for AirDrop? What kind of witchcraft is this??

  • Anonymous

    I might just stick with Snow Leopard as long as I can because I don’t like the sound of most of the changes.

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