Lion Looks Lovely

As Apple has brought along new versions of Mac OS X, new UI features like Expose and Spaces were added to create a sense of excitement. However, not every feature was put in the context of a coherent whole. Lion starts to do that, and frankly, it’s about time.

It’s not that the current way of doing things is Snow Leopard is bad. There’s something for everyone, and if it’s not in Snow Leopard, you can go get it. Like HyperSpaces to augment Spaces.

Back to the Mac

Mac OS X “Lion” learns from iOS: The “Virtuous Circle”

The problem is that all these different features, like Expose, Spaces, Dashboard, and full screen mode were never designed to handle the modern workload and the modern capabilities of apps. It’s almost as if the graphics hardware gave the developers so much power, ushered in with Core Graphics, that the old semi-UNIXy-MacOSX-Spaces-kinda ways of doing things got out of hand.

Suddenly Windows 7 and Linux/Gnome look sooo 20th century.

So it’s time for a unification, and what better way to learn how to do that than from the amazing iPad. After all, the way we live now is outrageous. We need all kinds of extras, a larger attached screen, Spaces, DragThing, and all kinds of visual crutches, plus Expose, to help us manage the display. Plus, we have to keep track of, perhaps, hundreds of applications, hope that they have a “check for update feature” and then do them one at a time. And each developer has its own way of charging for the update if necessary.

Life on the iPad has spoiled us.

I suspect that some developers will be a little bit nervous about all this, especially the part about giving 30% to Apple when they gave much less to Kagi. All that remains to be seen, and I’ll certainly want to hear what developers are thinking. I think it’s premature to judge right now.

One thing is clear. We’ve all been pleading with Apple for a beter Finder for years. Some, like me, have gone the geek route with PathFinder. As usual, Apple runs 180 degrees away from such geekiness. It tried several metaphors in the past for a new Finder, but Apple engineers never met Mr Jobs’s standards. Now, the Launch Pad and the full screen grid gives Mac users a great iPad-like way to manage apps.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to start using Lion. I’m a hard core Unix nut case, born on CDE, and I’m luvin’ Lion already.