Sunday, October 9, 2011

What's new and great about OS X Lion

There are hundreds of new features.  The features below are the ones that immediately hit home for me:
  • Full page apps (3 finger swipe left/right) - they aren't for every app or every instance, but having mail and safari full-screen in an even more-than-ever full-screen mode has been great so far.  It puts it into another space into effect (I hear you can have up to 18 spaces/desktops).   Here's a place to learn more about how to use spaces.  
  • Mission control (four finger swipe up) - it lets you see all of your spaces and running apps.  It is the new form of exposé.  You can bind apps to specific spaces to keep a permanent layout that works for you.
  • Hold a key for alternative characters.  àáâęö -- I didn't have to hunt to type that accent grave, aigu, circonflexe, cédille, and umlaut.  OK I don't use them all the time but that is the point; I can use them on the rare occasions I want to because I can find them.
  • Launchpad (4 fingers crunch towards middle) - it makes an interface much like IOS for running apps.  It has been lambasted because it puts all apps the OS finds into the interface, and you cannot remove apps except by uninstalling them.  I put in the time to organize my apps into groups and pages, and hid all the apps I do not want to delete but do not want to see far to the right, and it is now very very useful.  I used to put apps I frequently wanted to run in my dock to stay.  I now have a clean mostly empty dock that only fills when I run apps.  That little dot under an app in the doc is much less important - if an app is there it is running.
  • Filevault 2 - I have an encrypted hard drive and encrypted time machine backup drive!  It is simple.

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