Mac OS X Lion to be Distributed Through Mac App Store [Updated]

| News

Apple showed off Mac OS X Lion during the company’s World Wide Developers Conference on Monday, highlighting ten features and announcing that new version of Mac OS X will be available only through the online Mac App Store. Lion will be available in July and will sell for US$29.99.

This marks the first time Apple will be distributing Mac OS X without offering a version on optical disc, and the company didn’t address how users that need to perform a clean instal of their operating system will be able to manage that task.

Mac OS X LionMac OS X Lion: Available in July

Along with the announcement that Lion will be available only as a download, the company also highlighted several new features in the operating system. The features Apple highlighted included:

  • System-wide Multi-Touch Support Mac OS X now offers iPad and iPhone-like finger-based gesture support. It includes momentum scrolling, the ability to pinch to zoom Web pages and images, and swipe gestures for turning pages in documents or moving to other apps. It takes advantage of the Multi-Touch trackpad built into newer Macs, as well as Apple’s Magic Trackpad.
  • Full-screen Apps Applications can now be viewed in full-screen mode, hiding the Mac OS X desktop and menu bar. Apple showed off new versions of Safari, Mail, iTunes, and the iWork and iLife applications taking advantage of the new view.
  • Mission Control The Mission Control feature blends together Snow Leopard’s Dashboard, Spaces and Exposé features, and adds the ability to view all open apps that are in Full Screen mode.
  • Mac App Store Unlike Snow Leopard where the Mac App Store is accessed through an application, in Lion users will get at the online store at the system level. Updates to Mac App Store purchases will be delivered as delta updates instead of complete application downloads, which should help save a little bandwidth for users.
  • Launchpad Lion’s Launchpad feature displays applications much like the Home screen does on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. App icons are arranged in a grid, users can organize apps in Launchpad folders, and the feature also supports Multi-Touch gestures, just like iOS.
  • Resume Lion adds the ability to jump back to the same state in an application after it has been quit. Panels, document states and positions, and more are all exactly as they were.
  • Auto Save Lion’s system-wide auto-save feature saves documents as users work, and it saves document histories, much like Snow Leopard’s Time Machine feature keeps older document versions.
  • Versions The Versions feature maintains the history of changes made to a document, lets users access those older versions, and even includes the ability to copy content from older documents and paste it into newer versions.
  • AirDrop Lion’s AirDrop watches your local network for other Macs and lets users share files without worrying about settings.

Mac OS X Lion will also include a new version of the Mail application that offers substantially more robust search features, a redesigned two and three column layout designed for widescreen displays, Microsoft Exchange 2010 support, and more.

Apple says Lion includes more than 250 new features and some 3,000 new APIs developers can use to enhance their applications.

Since Mac OS X Lion will be available only as a download through the Mac App Store, and will be a 4GB file, users will first have to install Mac OS X 10.6, or Snow Leopard, before installing the Lion upgrade. The company’s upgrade instructions hint that the updater will download as an installer that users run, so it looks like it will be possible to save the Lion installer to avoid having to redownload it should they need to re-install their operating system.

[This article has been updated with additional details about Mac OS X Lion]

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

19 Comments Leave Your Own

Lee Dronick

The only thing that sucks about not lining up at an Apple Store for Lion is not getting a free T-shirt. smile

There were things such as Disk First Aid that came on the DVD. I wonder if they will be issuing a disk image. Optical drives seem to be on the way out, maybe something that could be put on a thumb drive.

ibuck

I’m curious about the swiping in Lion, and whether it’s onscreen. The daily cleaning I do on my iPT is not something I want to do on a laptop screen.

Metalizer

I’m on a limited data plan with mobile broadband, it allows me only 5gb data per month; if I go over this, I have to buy another month’ sub, so I can’t afford to install Lion online, straight-off!

FixedOn66

So how does one upgrade from Leopard to Lion? I haven’t missed a thing without Snow Leopard; not even the App Store ... until now.

webjprgm

So how does one upgrade from Leopard to Lion? I haven?t missed a thing without Snow Leopard; not even the App Store ... until now.

I think that’s intentional and the reason for the $29.99 price: you only get upgrade.  That’s the standard upgrade price so you have no other choice for getting to Lion.

(Well, you could copy the contents of the hard drive from someone else’s Lion setup, make a disk image out of it, etc. Sure there are work-arounds.)

Tiger

And just what do educational institutions do about this? It’s bad enough that iPad apps are nearly impossible to purchase. How bad will the app store be for volume buyers??

geoduck

Lion is fine but not really a big deal for me:

System-wide Multi-Touch Support Mac OS X now offers iPad and iPhone-like finger-based gesture support.
This could be handy, but not huge.

Full-screen Apps
Occasionally handy but I can’t think of a time when I wished I could do this.

Mission Control… blends Dashboard, Spaces and Expos?
Three Apps I think I played with once and never had a need for again.

Mac App Store…in Lion users will get at the online store at the system level.
I use the MacAppStore and it works well, but I’m not sure what running this at system level will improve.

Launchpad
Might be useful but the Dock does what I need right now. I like a clean desktop

Resume
Could be cool.

Auto Save
One feature that I am enthusiastic about.

Versions
Ok but I already fill up my HD too fast

AirDrop
This is the other feature I’m very enthusiastic about.

Two out of ten doesn’t rock my boat, so unlike SL I’ll wait to see how this shakes out. I might end up waiting until I update my system. It’s nice enough but more of a bunch of incremental changes rather than anything huge. Now I didn’t see the keynote and the demo might have been more compelling so I might change my mind. But at this point not so much.

FixedOn66

I think that?s intentional and the reason for the $29.99 price: you only get upgrade.? That?s the standard upgrade price so you have no other choice for getting to Lion.

So I have to buy Snow Leopard, install, go to app store and buy Lion? So much for the good user experience.

CityGuide

Phil did say they were showing just ten of 250 improvements in Lion, right? So I’ll have to see what the rest of the line up looks like before making the call - though I’ll likely still wait until the first point update has been released. But something I read elsewhere really intrigued me: that an upgrade to Lion Server will be available for just a little bit more money. Seriously? If that’s the case, my Mac Mini could be in for a series of upgrades.

Lee Dronick

So I have to buy Snow Leopard, install, go to app store and buy Lion? So much for the good user experience.

What Mac or Macs are you running? They not be on the list to run Lion.

Lee Dronick

But something I read elsewhere really intrigued me: that an upgrade to Lion Server will be available for just a little bit more money. Seriously? If that?s the case, my Mac Mini could be in for a series of upgrades.

Yeah a lot of unanswered questions, but the way I am understanding it you buy Lion for $30 and then buy Lion Server for an additional $50. I am thinking that the the Lion Server purchase is for some additional software and not a standalone package.

coffeetime69

From what I could tell, it looks like Macs with the first Intel processors (Core Duos vs. Core 2 Duos) will not be able to run Lion.  Bummer.

Bill Leddy

Maybe you can go to an Apple Store (can the public connect to their LAN?), or a local coffee shop with Wi-Fi and download it there? Just a thought.

d'monder

Maybe you can go to an Apple Store (can the public connect to their LAN?), or a local coffee shop with Wi-Fi and download it there? Just a thought.

How long would it take to pull down a 4GB update over a coffee shop wifi (esp. a crowded one)?

I’d rather drop into an Apple Store and get the update via thumb drive, then spend half a day getting strung out on caffeine. smile

Metalizer

would the battery on a MBP (even the most recent ones) last long enough to get the download from a coffee shop wifi? ;-(

Lee Dronick

would the battery on a MBP (even the most recent ones) last long enough to get the download from a coffee shop wifi? ;-(

I always take along an extension cord that has a few extra outlets smile

I see people sitting outside of our branch library when it is closed to use the free WiFi that runs 7/24, Panera Bakery Restaurant as well.

davidneale

Launchpad
Might be useful but the Dock does what I need right now. I like a clean desktop

No problem. The Launchpad “desktop” is different to your “normal” desktop.

davidneale

Versions
Ok but I already fill up my HD too fast

Again, not really a problem, as only the changes are saved, not the whole documents.

FixedOn66

FixedOn66 said:So I have to buy Snow Leopard, install, go to app store and buy Lion? So much for the good user experience.
What Mac or Macs are you running? They not be on the list to run Lion.

The machine I have running Tiger is a 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4GB 24” iMac so I’m quite the candidate for a Lion upgrade.

I just find it hard to believe that Snow Leopard was touted as a minor update to Leopard which never motivated me to upgrade. Now I MUST have Snow Leopard to upgrade to Lion. Makes no sense!!!

If Microsoft told XP users they’d have to upgrade to Vista before upgrading to Windows 7 there would be hell to pay.

Surely there will be another upgrade path!

Log-in to comment