Review: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – Part 2: The Built In Apps

The Lion OS brings a number of heavily revised built in applications. I’ll start with Mail. On the left side of the screen is a list of messages with two-line previews, while the right the emails themselves are grouped together in conversations. The search function in Mail has been improved as it lets you search attachments and filter results according to sender and subject. The Address Book looks just like a book and ties into FaceTime. iCal, has some tweaks. One of which makes it easier to add contacts with the Quick Add feature. Safari gains gesture support like pinch-to-zoom and the ability to navigate back and forth between websites by flicking the trackpad with two fingers. Finally QuickTime adds rudimentary video editing functions.

I should also mention that there are four features that you should be aware of in Lion. The first is Resume which saves apps automatically. Even when you restart the entire system, the apps that were open at the time the restart happened will open back up. Then there’s Resume which remembers not only what you were last doing with an application, but also the size of windows and their place on the screen. There’s AutoSave which saves documents automatically at the OS level. Versions will save different versions of a document automatically. Those two features will save a lot of people’s posteriors. That is when applications fully support them. MS Office 2011 didn’t when I tested it, but Apple’s iWork 09 did. Finally there’s AirDrop which is an incredibly simple drag-and -drop file sharing system that allows you to swap files with other Macs over WiFi. A cool feature that it’s point to point protocol. You don’t have to route anything thorough a router, it goes direct from Mac to Mac without one. Plus it’s permission based and has a significant amount of security.

My next report will cover the performance of Lion and wrap up some loose ends.


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