Thursday, July 21, 2011

OS X Lion

Well, after playing around with OS X Lion for a day or so now, I'm liking (not loving) it. I'm not itching to go back, but it's really not all that different from Snow Leopard. Worth the $30, but probably not much more than that for me.

Feature that is great and should have been in there before:
- Resizing windows from any side/corner. How did that take this long?

Features I really like:
- Mission Control. Cool to have spaces and expose integrated like that.
- Airdrop, though I haven't tried it out yet.
- Full screen apps. My day-to-day workflow right now doesn't really require them, but it's nice to have that option, and as more apps get that functionality it should be more and more useful.

Gripes:
- Why did installing Lion mess up my gcc stuff? Had to reinstall Xcode to get that working again.
- Why don't the spaces loop? If I get to the last space and try to keep going, I should be able to go back to the first space.
- I shouldn't have to go all Terminal on my apps folder to rearrange things. I want to move System Settings into a folder, why am I not allowed to do this without resorting to mv-ing?
- This is admittedly minor, but I don't love the look of the new finder. The sidebar looks like it was designed for a kids toy.

Other thoughts:
I don't think I'll really use Launchpad, even though that's one of the biggest "draws" for Lion. My apps are already organized in my Applications folder, which I've already got on my dock, so I don't have much need for it. With Launchpad, Apple is really pushing the mobile feel, which makes sense. If they can hook people into their UI ecosystem, it's just that much easier to take some of their money later on. I actually like the desktop/laptop OS environment as it is (fundamentally... obviously there's always room for improvement), and I don't think it's going away as quickly as Apple might think. Until people can put massive screens and their favorite peripherals in their pocket, there will be room in the market for desktops and laptops, and the fact is that interacting with these types of devices is different than interacting with a phone or tablet. Maybe they'll change my mind eventually, but for now I like it that way.

Other than that, the UI is still very clean as expected. I like the changes to the scrollbars, which are now less eye catching. iCal and Mail both look great, and seem to sync with Gmail and Google Calendar well enough for me to give them another shot. I'm on the internet almost all the time, and when I'm not I can't get new email, so using a mail app instead of Gmail doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but we'll see. It is nice to have a local copy of all my mail, and since Gmail offline doesn't work in Chrome on Macs, this is the next best thing.

I'll update this if I think of anything else, but I think that covers my feelings for now. Things are done compiling here, so I've got work to do!

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