Apple Releases OS X 10.7

Apple announced the immediate availability of OS X 10.7 Lion on Wednesday. Lion replaces Mac OS X 10.6, or Snow Leopard as Apple’s most current Mac operating system and marks the first time the company has distributed its OS only as a download.

Lion is available only as a download at Apple’s Mac App Store and the company isn’t offering a version on DVD as it has with previous version of OS X.

OS X LionApple’s OS X Lion hits the Mac App Store

The new version of OS X borrows several interface features from iOS on the iPad such as multi-touch gestures for navigation and app selection, an iPad homescreen-like Launchpad for organizing apps, and full screen view for individual apps.

“Lion brings many of the best ideas from iPad back to the Mac, plus some fresh new ones like Mission Control that Mac users will really like,” commented Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

The new OS also takes advantage of Mission Control for quick access to other applications and application windows, includes system-level support for the Mac App Store, includes a redesigned Mail app, offers improved disk encryption option, document auto-saving, document versioning, and more.

OS X Lion is priced at US$29 and is available as an upgrade for Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher at Apple’s Mac App Store.