OSX Lion – Brief Review

I’ve been running OSX Lion for a few weeks now and wanted to do a quick review since I’m really enjoying it.

I’ve installed it on a 2010 iMac and a 1st Gen Macbook Air.  My experience with the latest rendition of the Mac OS has been 99% joy, which I honestly can’t say about any other OS that I’ve started off with right off the bat.  For starters, the OS has been solid on both of the machines that I’m using it on.  To be specific, I’ve had to force quit twice, between both machines, since the GM release, one time Safari was the application and the second time it was Steam, and in each case I was pushing the box hard at the time.  Lots of applications running and lots of processing.  Steam restarted no problem… it’s just Steam.  Safari, when I restarted it, remembered every last window I had open, including tabs, sites, and window positions… as is mentioned in the features.  Force quit cost me about 30 seconds of time, and I had it all back.  Hiccup… no problem.

So before ranting about what I like about the software, I’ll jump right to something that seems to be missing…

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… on my Macbook Air (again, this is 1st gen) Airdrop does not appear in the finder.  After doing a little digging, though nothing verified at this point directly from Apple, Airdrop is supposed to be only supported on later model units.  This may have to do with how they create the Ad Hoc network that it apparently uses.

Scrolling:  After a day of using the new scrolling methodology, push the page in the direction that you want it to move, it feels very natural and quite intuitive.  It actually feels very weird to get on a Mac that is scrolling in the reversed direction now.  I’d advise you to give it a chance… I like it.

Application compatibility:  I have not run across any applications that fail to run under OSX Lion.  The applications that I am running include VMware Fusion, Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac and Communicator, iWorks (of course it works), the Adobe Creative Suite packages (CS 5), Tweetdeck, Sketchbook Pro, Wacom utilities, Teamviewer, Dropbox, Steam, and a few others.  No incompatibility issues whatsoever so far.  My only complaint is no fullscreen Chess… hey it was on the feature list and I was kind of looking forward to it… well maybe not so much. 🙂  Let’s call it 249 new features for the moment.

Mission Control Screenshot
Mission Control Screenshot

I love Mission Control / Expose and the new gestures.  It’s a definite productivity increasing feature set.  3-Finger swiping between desktops is awesome, Expose is good, I’m even using the Launchpad.  I think it beats browsing the Applications folder, though I haven’t gone through to organize it yet.  With the 3-finger swiping between desktops, I don’t actually use Mission Control (4-finger swipe up) all that often but I’m glad it’s there when I need it.

Versions is awesome!  I love it!  I just wish more apps supported it.  Versions requires the vendors of applications to update their software to support it, so don’t expect it to just magically happen in all of your apps after you upgrade.

With all of that said, in my opinion, OSX Lion is an update worth having.  With the low price tag, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with the new features (not just the ones I listed).  Since time is money, the features that increase productivity alone are worth the small investment.  And to be honest, again in my opinion, it’s a damn cool upgrade.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy it if you choose to download it.  If I figure out how to get Airdrop working on my Macbook Air, I’ll definitely create a post about that.

EDIT: Specs required for Airdrop:

AirDrop

supports the following Mac models:

  • MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 or newer)
  • iMac (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010)

Link to more specs: http://www.apple.com/macosx/specs.html

 

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