Apple is preparing for Lion in a couple of new ways today.

First, the company released updates to iLife ’11 applications today that bring compatibility with Lion and numerous bug fixes:

These updates can be found in the Mac App Store (for the first three apps — iWeb and iDVD aren’t for sale anymore) or via Software Update.

As pointed out by TUAW, iPhoto’s sidebar has been reworked, to better match Lion’s more muted interface:

This photo shows the changes. Finder, Mail and other apps with sidebars have all received this muted look in Lion, following Apple’s UI change made in iTunes last year.

In addition to these updates, Apple has opened the door for developers to submit Lion-ready apps to the Mac App Store, according to Mac Rumors. Third-party developers have had access to Lion and Xcode 4 betas for months, so hopefully many apps will take advantage of things like fullscreen mode, Versions and more.

Apple is expected to release OS X Lion sometime in July. Rumors peg this date currently to be three days away, on July 14.

Sources: TUAW & Mac Rumors

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