Mac OS X 10.7 to include Multitouch, App Store [Update]

Apple CEO Steve Jobs offered a preview of Mac OS X 10.7, or Lion, on Wednesday during the company’s “Back to the Mac” media event. The next version of Mac OS X will include multitouch support, an App Store for the Mac, and a combination of Spaces, Exposé and Dashboard called Mission Control.

“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,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. “Lion has a ton of new features, and we hope the few we had time to preview today will give users a good idea of where we are headed.”

Instead of relying on screen taps and gestures, multitouch on the Mac will rely on the company’s new Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse. Steve Jobs made a point that touchscreen interfaces work best on horizontal surfaces, and not vertical ones, suggesting that Macs will not have touchscreens any time soon.

The Mac App Store will work just like the App Store for iOS devices, but customers will still be able to purchase, download, or install software for their Mac just as they always have. Developers that choose to take advantage of the Mac App Store will give Apple a 30 percent cut off their sales, just as they do for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The Mac App Store will launch within 90 days for Snow Leopard, as Apple is not waiting for Lion to release the service. 

Mac OS X 10.7 also sports a new feature called Launchpad that lets users group applications just as they do on the iPhone and iPod touch in iOS 4.

The next version of the Mac operating system will include systemwide support for full screen apps. The feature lets users view individual applications in a full screen mode, and switch between apps with a multitouch gesture. It also takes advantage of Mission Control for quick access to other applications and application windows.

Mac OS X 10.7 is set for a summer 2011 release. Apple hasn’t announced pricing information yet.

Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion"

Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”