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Apple's WWDC 2011: Mac OS X Lion

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Here are some of the Mac OS X Lion features presented at WWDC 2011.

Multi-Touch Gestures
With full multi-touch capabilities implemented into every MacBook model, Mac OS X Lion takes advantage of this new way of controlling the platform. Tap-to-zoom, pinching, two-finger swiping, etc. Scrollbars disappear until you start scrolling. SVP of Product Marketing Phil Schiller boasted the controls come with "an incredible, physical realism that's never been possible in a PC operating system before."

Full Screen Applications
Until now, Mac OS X programs wouldn't run in full screen. But reflecting the comfort and familiarity users have with full screen smartphone apps, Lion now enables full screen app usage. Safari, iMovie, iCal, Preview, and many other Mac programs will be able to run in full screen.

Mission Control
Joining Expose and Spaces, Mission Control creates an array of your open windows and is operated through multi-touch gestures. Zoom in on windows, and control the others as if they were a deck of cards. When the windows become too plentiful, create a Space and drag your apps into a single collection.

Mac App Store
The Mac App Store has surpassed Best Buy and Office Depot to become the number one PC channel for buying software. Built into Lion, the App Store will offer in-app purchases, push notifications, sand boxing, and delta updates for easier and quicker patching.

Similar to iOS, Launchpad allows for multiple screens of icons to access your apps as if you were using an iPhone.

Most apps must be start again once a user exits out and restarts the program. With Resume -- and a quick "Revert to Last Opened" menu item -- Lion remembers where the user left off and "resumes" the application right where you ended it. No need to manually save! Along with the apps, windows, selections, tools, and highlighted text return exactly how they were left. An automatic history of your documents as well as manual snapshots are also saved, allowing you to revert to any version of your files as they are updated.

Lion's peer-to-peer sharing system over Wi-Fi, AirDrop is basically Apple's take on Dropbox. Files can be dropped into a shared folder, another user receives a notification, and the file is shared. Transfers are fully encrypted and confirmed, and auto discovery can be enabled with AirDrop.

Search is improved with user or subject-based results. Real-time results appear as you type in the search box, revealing matching words sorted under different categories. Like in Gmail, emails can also be sorted in a threaded conversation view.

Other Features
Windows Migration, Safari Reading List, FaceTime, FileVault 2, Dictionary Lookup, Resizing from Any Edge, Lion Server Add-On, Push Notifications.

Cost: $29.

Mac OS X Lion will only be available in July from the Mac App Store in a 4GB download size. Apple has decided to scrap the DVDs.

(See also: Apple's WWDC 2011: iOS 5 and Apple's WWDC 2011: iCloud)

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