I had a little free time so decided to install OSX 10.7 Lion and try it out for myself.
Here are a few of the thinks I am impressed with and things I am not so keen (more description is given to the things I don’t like to clarify where changes have been made)
Disclaimer: The following is based purely on the way I like to work. It is not a concise review of the best features or bugs within the upgrade - don’t be emailing me with your gripes or opinions, I don’t care!
Finder / User Interface
Quick look - auto resize of window, open folder.
About this Mac - nice overhaul of information (more visual).
Overall the UI has been cleaned up in many places, use of a simpler colour scheme, mainly greys is unobtrusive, I prefer this than having lots of coloured icons everywhere. this won’t be to everyones taste.
Smaller window top bar and smaller close, minus and plus buttons.
Ability to resize windows from either side (or bottom corner still) dragon the right of the sidebar to the left will allow it to be removed.
Squarer buttons on windows.
Click and hold on some buttons shows a context menu in some cases, such as the show all button in System Prefs, jump straight tot the item you want.
'zoom in' alerts, yeah OK, fits with the way they work on iOS devices.
Cmd+Alt T (hide / show Toolbar) removes all clutter from finder windows.
Natural scrolling - I’m sticking with it. It is OS wide, so a photoshop document acts in the same way as a long browser page. I makes sense in relation to photoshop as when using the hand tool—the motion is the same to move up and down the document.
Scrollbars are thinner and less noticeable, show only when scrolling is an addition from iOS where pixels are at a premium. I’ts not the case on a desktop, I think the scroll bar being visible is useful as it gives context to the page being viewed. i.e. the position and the total area being viewed.
Update: Spotlight search now has a fly-out preview of the item (image, pdf, font etc) when you mouseover the time in the results list. - time saver!
Quick formatting toolbar added.
Some new features I like such as recognising entries you the address book which can be used for autofill. Nice implementation of Download progress with the main window.
Update: Swipe 1 finger left / right for back and forward pages.
Some articles on webpages now have a quicklook button, probably linked to the reader facility.
Nice additions, such as year view, and create quick event, where you enter a phrase such as Lunch on Friday, iCal will enter an event for that place in the calendar open ready for editing. (similar to how mail sees relative dates)
I don’t wish to have my apps look like the real world items they portray, fake leather with stitching!!! - that goes for you to Address Book!
New UI, all grey, reorganised windows similar to Mail on the iPad. I do prefer ‘classic view mode better, with the message sender and subject line in the top pane so they can be viewed as date received etc and the main message in the pane below. This view gives more width for the actual message to be viewed, which allows to have the left sidebar to view mailboxes and imap folders constantly. Also shows the Mail activity window.
Favourites bar is a nice touch, if the mailbox list is not visible.
Formatting bar in new message window, a much requested feature.
Quicklook URL button inside the message is great, click for a preview of the site, this will become very useful. The ability to view twitter pages or Google+ profiles in Mail is a very nice touch.
Messages are now grouped together, as they should be rather than just highlighted.
Related messages are now grouped together. Colour coded flags for messages could be useful.
Update: Visit your webmail through Safari, such as Gmail, Mail offers a dialogue box to ask if you want to ad an IMAP account to mail, if yes, it automatically sets it up for you.
Only a few apps seem to have versions. Tried a massive photoshop file, just to make sure it wasn’t being saved and stored, filling my hard drive every time I saved.
Finder / User Interface
'All My files' in finder window - not organised in any way other than a list of files on your computer, turned off in finder prefs.
Large text in window sidebar. (can be changed to small in system prefs)
Removed from finder windows, pill button for showing and hiding the sidebar and the icon size slider (essential for me for viewing folders of images) - I don’t care for overflow view as you are not able to view the whole set at once. UPDATE: icon slider is available from view menu > show status bar.
Top most app window has a very large shadow (50px!)
Apps resume where they left off on quit is a document is open. OK for crashes, I like to for instance just quit Safari, when i a done, without having to close (red button) before I quit. I ha my preferences to open with a blank browser window. I expect it to open with a blank browser window, not the last webpage I looked at. Update: In General prefs, uncheck Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps. (apps that have cmd S listed as Save a version… are versions enabled)
Hate it, you cannot delete installed applications (except the ones purchased from the Mac App Store) - on first view my Launchpad is full of Adobe uninstall icons. I’m not going to be using this feature, especially since I would have to place all the unwanted icons in a folder. Seems pointless to me.
As a replacement for spaces and Exposé, which I find essential for keeping applications organised (when Adobe Apps play nice) I use a hot corner (bottom right) to call spaces then click the document I want to see. I have set the same hot corner, the display is different when acivated - Ill have to see how this works in practice. In the old Exposé you could set (lock) an application to a particularlar space, very useful for me for example, all the finder in one space, safari in another, twitter in another and so on. Applications seem to ‘stick’ to the desktops they ave been moved to if you uncheck ‘automatically rearrange spaces based on usage’ in prefs. however, finder windows can be opened in any desktop, = clutter.
2 finger swiping with a Magic mouse will swipe between desktops and full screen apps. Double tap with 2 fingers for Mission control.
Update: double tap to enlarge areas of a page in browser (like iPhone / iPad)
Assigning apps to a particular desktop (space) - right click the icon in the dock and go to options and choose from the Assign to menu.
I use preview to print out a ‘contact sheet of images’ by selecting all the thumbnails in the sidebar and hitting print selected, then in the main print dialogue window select copies per page. This would scale all the images to fit to one or 2 pages. Print selected images has now gone and is now a button to check in the main dialogue. Copies per page now make repeat images rather than smaller versions of all selected (maybe this is a correction to Snow Leopard)
The images can be printed on the same sheet, by selecting how many images you want in the [layout] section of the print dialogue box.
Swipe vertically or horizontally between large preview of images is a nice touch
The Macbook I have installed Lion on does not recognise multi-gestures, only 1 and 2 finger swipes. So no 3 finger up for mission control or ‘sliding’ from one fullscreen app to the other. One to think about if you are hooked by this seeming large selling point. (maybe I’ll buy a Magic trackpad… Don’t thinks so)
Like iOS devices, words are suggested as you type, not sure this works for non-touch devices. I’m quite happy to have my bad spelling underlined so I can right click and pick a suggested word from the dictionary. Auto correction can be turned off in the Text and Languges preference.
The addition of British English as a dictionary is a welcome change to International english.
I hope you find this useful, I will add updates to this post as and when I discover more, bugs fixed or if I find a workaround for any issues I come across.
I will be testing on a laptop with work-like situations, before I commit to installing on my main computer. (Safari has quit out a couple of times so far while writing this post!)