We all knew iOS would appear more in OS X at some point, but little did we know that the ‘Back to the Mac’ slogan would indicate features coming right back from iOS which took them all those years ago.
So what exactly is coming ‘Back to the Mac’? Steve Jobs out on stage at this point going over and over what the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad have taken from OS X, before elaborating on how they can play a big part in the next edition of OS X.
Firstly is the App Store. Over 7 billion have been downloaded from the App Store so why not bring it the Mac said Steve, and as part of OS X Lion the App Store will provide 1-click downloads and automatic installation on the Mac. Automatic app updates will be available from the app store and all of these apps will be available from a ‘Launchpad’, an iOS style app launcher for the Mac desktop.
The Mac App Store is available as its own application from the dock if you choose, and the interface of the App Store, I guess, is comparable to that on iOS or even the iTunes store, with categories, ‘what’s hot?’ and so on… Buying and downloading apps is the most simple way to download apps on the desktop and keep them up to date.
Just like iOS you can simply find the right apps, view screenshots, reviews etc. and just one click on the ‘buy now’ and download and installation happens extremely quickly. You can view the download and install progress on the dock in a similar way to iOS again.
Going back to LaunchPad, you can launch a full screen view of all your applications in pages and use multi-touch gestures to move between screens of applications.
Furthermore OS X will have an update to Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces as well as a new feature, full screen apps, similar to iOS (again). ‘Mission Control’ will be integrated into Lion and will be a fusion of the afore-mentioned features of OS X.
Full screen applications is a little more than just viewing them in full screen, too, particularly with PDF’s and documents, allowing you to move between pages with gestures as per usual, but what’s interesting is the fact you don’t have to leave full screen to get on with something else. With a simple multi-touch gesture you can get back to your desktop and flit back and forward. You can also access your dashboard via gestures.
On to ‘Mission Control’. With a simple gesture on the trackpad you can get into Mission Control, taking you to a screen similar to the old style dashboard, but also the inclusion of open full-screen applications, launch pad the dashboard and exposé. It really is an all-in-one solution to navigating your machine and organising your windows with style. Exposé in itself has improved, with window clusters allowing you to group and peek at individual windows from each app.
For those of you already to get your grubby hands on a copy of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, you will have to wait until this coming summer unfortunately, but hey, it’s not too long.