Apple today released it next version of its Mac OS X operating system, 10.7, which it also calls Lion.
Rather than distributing on a disc, Lion bypasses traditional distribution and is sold through the Mac App Store for $29.99. Some of the new features in Lion include: new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, a new view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.
"Lion is the best version of OS X yet, and we're thrilled that users around the world can download it starting today," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Lion makes upgrading a Mac easier than ever before; just launch the Mac App Store, buy Lion with your iTunes account, and the download and install process will begin automatically."
Additional new features in Lion include: Resume, which brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app; Auto Save, which automatically and continuously saves your documents as you work; Versions, which automatically records the history of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions; and AirDrop, which finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.
Mac OS X Lion is available as a 4GB upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6.6 Snow Leopard from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (US). Users who do not have broadband access at home, work or school can download Lion at Apple retail stores.
For those who don't want anything to do with the Mac App Store upgrade, Lion will be made available later this August on a USB thumb drive through the Apple Store for $69 (US). Mac OS X Lion Server requires Lion and is available from the Mac App Store for $49.99 (US).
Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. Lion is an upgrade and can be installed on all your authorized personal Macs.
The OS X Lion Up-to-Date upgrade will be available through the Mac App Store at no additional charge to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-to-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchased a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and July 20, 2011 will have until August 19, 2011 to make a request.