WWDC2011: Mac OS X Lion features

Apple’s Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi have unveiled some features of Mac OS X Lion today. But first, they started off the keynote with some statistics.

The Mac has 54 million users, and the growth of Mac industry has gone up 28% year over year while the PC industry has shrunk just under 1%. Most people — 73% to be exact — who own a Mac seem to own a Notebook, while the remaining 27% own a desktops.


There are 250 new features within Lion, 10 of which were highlighted by Apple in the keynote. The first feature is mutli-touch gestures. If you swipe three fingers left or right, you can swap between spaces. If you swipe left, you’ll go to the Dashboard. Two-finger swipes will allow you to navigate within Safari so you no longer need to use the back and forward buttons, if you don’t want to.

Scrolls bars have been removed from the User Interface, until you need them, and then they re-appear. You can use multi-touch gestures in order to navigate throughout the operating system, and from one application to another.

Full Screen Apps

Full screen apps like Safari, Mail, and iTunes were also demonstrated. Apple’s productivity suite iWork as well as iLife will all have full-screen applications. Developers can also create full-screen applications that create a single-task look and feel. This may increase productivity for some users who prefer to focus on a single task as opposed to the myriad of tasks that are typically visible on a given computer screen.

For Safari you can go to View -> Enter Full Screen and you will be put entirely into full-screen view for that application. In order to access the menus while in full-screen, you only need to move the mouse towards the top of the screen and the Menu bar will appear automatically. It works by expanding your current application to the full resolution of your monitor.

Mission Control

The third feature is Mission control. Within Mission control you can view all of your applications in one view. This combines the two previous features of Expose and Spaces into one view. Mission control will make it easier for users to see exactly what is running so they can find the thing they are looking for much quicker than having to search individual space.

Mission Control is a separate application and once you open it you get a screen that shows all of your applications and you can click on whichever application you want to view. After clicking, it will bring that application forward. If you wish to move it into a new desktop you just need to click and drag the application to the top and it will automatically create a new desktop.

Photo Booth

Photo Booth can do facial tracking which allows real-time following of a user while creating or streaming video. This is a huge advancement that will allow better user-generated content. Prepare to see a bunch of videos from people in the Apple Store posted on YouTube.



You can create new spaces, within Mission Control, by just previewing an application, and it will bring all of the windows with that application along to the new space. This will make it easier for users to keep items organized instead of having to drag 100 different text edit documents individually.

These are just a few of the new features within Mac OS X Lion. If you don’t have a trackpad or a Magic mouse, you may want to grab one in order to take full advantage of the Mac OS X Lion features.

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