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First Look: Mac OS X Lion
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First Look: Mac OS X Lion

4:43 /

Apple has finally unleashed Mac OS X Lion, offering more than 250 new features, and it's available today at the Mac App Store. Check out Jason Parker's rundown of the major new features in this First Look video.

Hello, everyone. Apple has finally unleashed the lion. That's Mac OS X Lion and it's available today at the Mac App Store. But, is it worth the upgrade for everyone? I'm Jason Parker from CNET and this is a first look at Apple's newest operating system Mac OS X Lion. We had the chance to sit down and check out many of the new features. And, we're impressed with what we've seen so far. To get started, Multi-Touch gestures figure prominently in Mac OS X Lion, letting you swipe, pinch and tap your way through many of the operating system's news features. For example, a 3-finger swipe upwards brings up the new mission control where you can see everything that's currently running along with associated windows that have the running apps icon at the button. Simply click on any window to bring it to the front. As another example, and so far you will now be able to go back or forward through your history on a browser tab with a 2-finger swipe. All the Multi-Touch gestures feel very natural and, Apple says it's because they've added new, more responsive animations. Notice how you can swipe the Safari page exactly as much or as little as you want. Mac OS X Lion, now offers full screen apps that feature many windows users have seen as a major disappointment in the Mac OS over the years. Now, you can click on the diagonal arrows icon in the upper right corner of a window to quickly switch to full-screen. Once, in full-screen your 3-finger horizontal swipe switches between full-screen apps and desktops. Speaking of desktops, the spaces feature has been elegantly worked into mission control as well. If you wanna create a second desktop just click and drag a window or set of windows to the icon at the upper right. Now, with a 3-finger horizontal swipe you will be able to switch between open apps and newly created desktops. Oh, and also new to Lion, one further 3-finger swipe to the right now gets you to the widget dashboard. It's no secret that iOS devices have been a huge success for Apple and along with touch screen features, some iOS interface elements snuck into Lion as well. Launchpad gives you another option for quickly showing all your apps and it looks just like the way apps were laid out in the iOS. Bring up Launchpad by hitting the icon in the Dock or by doing a 3-finger and thumb pinch motion. Just like the iPhone, you can click and hold an app to get into jiggle mode then either move apps around or create folders by dropping an app on another apps icon. You still have the option to search for apps in the finder and still can create an application folder in the Dock, but if you like that iOS look, Launchpad is the way to go. One of the biggest upgrades for Lion is one of the most important apps of all - Mail, Apple's e-mail app. Now, the layout closely resembles the e-mail experience on the iPad with your message list on the left and message content on the right. The new Mail app now has a Favorites bar for one click access to your most used folders. You can still do it the old way if you want, however by hitting the Show button in the upper left to bring up the standard folder structure. Also, just like iOS devices, you'll now be able to view message through excess conversations. And numbered next to the message shows how many messages have been sent in a conversation. Once clicked, each conversation shows separate boxes for each supply that's both nice-looking and makes it less confusing to quickly read through. Searching e-mail got a huge upgrade as well. Now, when you type in a name for example Mail offers suggestions based on what's in your inbox. But, even better they create search tokens. When you click a suggestion it creates a token. This way, you can refine your search by first creating a token of the name then add a month say, then a subject and get only the mail that came from that person in that month and with that subject. This will make searching for that mystery e-mail much easier than before. Apple also made it easier to share files with those nearby. Where once you needed to e-mail or send a file via check line you'll now be able to use AirDrop. Simply choose AirDrop from the Finder and you'll be able to see nearby users where you can drag and drop a file to their avatar. We have one word for this, finally. Even though the Mac App Store was introduced as an update in Snow Leopard, it's important to talk about here because it's the only place you can buy and download Lion for 29.99. Unfortunately, this means that if you skip over Snow Leopard, you'll still have to buy it for $29 in order to get the Mac App Store to download Lion. We can see why Apple did it this way, but frankly it doesn't seem fair to those who chose not to buy Snow Leopard. Overall, Mac OS X Lion is a solid upgrade that comes with more than 250 new features. We can't list them all here. But, be sure to check out our full review at download.com. This is Jason Parker for CNET. Thanks for watching our first look at Mac OS X Lion. See you next time.

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