Apple today released a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion and also updated the MacBook Pro family with next generation processors and graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera.
Lion features Mission Control, a new view of everything running on your Mac; Launchpad, a new home for all your Mac apps; full screen apps that use the entire Mac display; and new Multi-Touch gestures. Lion also includes the Mac App Store. The Lion preview is available to Mac Developer Program members through the Mac App Store today, and the final version of Lion will ship to Apple's customers this summer.
Mission Control is a new feature that unifies Expos?, Dashboard, Spaces, and full screen apps to give you a bird?s eye view of every app and window running on your Mac. With a simple swipe, your desktop zooms out to display your open windows grouped by app, thumbnails of your full screen apps as well as your Dashboard, and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere with a click.
Launchpad makes it easier to find and launch any app. With a single click, Launchpad displays all your Mac apps in a full screen layout where you can launch, re-order or organize apps into folders. You can also arrange apps into multiple pages and swipe between them.
Lion brings the full screen experience that iPad users love to the Mac. With one click, your application window goes full screen, taking advantage of your Mac?s display. You can swipe from one full screen window to another and even back to your Desktop or Dashboard.
New Multi-Touch gestures and fluid animations give you a natural way to interact with your Mac. New gestures include pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps and swiping up to enter Mission Control.
Lion also includes the Mac App Store, where you can find new apps, buy them with your iTunes account, and download and install them in just one step. Apps purchased from the Mac App Store are installed directly into Launchpad.
Additional features in Lion include:
- A new version of Mail, with a widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010;
AirDrop, a remarkably simple way to copy files wirelessly from one Mac to another with no setup;
- Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, edit and even revert to previous versions;
- Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
- Auto Save, which automatically saves your documents as you work;
- the all new FileVault, that provides high performance full disk encryption for local and external drives, and the ability to wipe data from your Mac instantaneously; and
Mac OS X Lion Server, which makes setting up a server easier than ever and adds support for managing Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.
New Mac Book Pro
Apple also today updated the MacBook Pro family with next generation processors and graphics, Intel's Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera. Featuring the very latest dual-core and quad-core Intel Core processors, the entire MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation, according to Apple.
Starting at $1,199 the new 13-inch MacBook Pro features Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors up to 2.7 GHz and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature quad-core Core i7 processors up to 2.3 GHz and AMD Radeon HD graphics processors with up to 1GB of video memory for high performance gaming, pro video editing and graphics intensive applications.
MacBook Pro is the first computer on the market to include the Thunderbolt I/O technology. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt enables expandability never before possible on a notebook computer. Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to an amazing 10Gbps each, Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.
The MacBook Pro now includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera with triple the resolution of the previous generation. With Apple?s FaceTime video calling software, the new camera allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, 4 and the current generation iPod touch. FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac App Store for 99 cents. The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature its aluminum unibody enclosure, glass Multi-Touch trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery.
Every Mac comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and iLife suite of applications.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro and 17-inch MacBook Pro are available through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple?s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive starting at $1,199; and one with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,499. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,799 and one with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive starting at $2,199. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive and is priced at $2,499.
Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.3 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 750GB, solid state storage up to 512GB, more memory up to 8GB DDR3, antiglare and high-resolution display options and AppleCare Protection Plan.
iPad 2 To Debut in March?
Apple is expected to release its next-gen iPad tablet in March. The company on Wednesday sent out email invitations to a March 2 press event in San Francisco that hinted at the debut of a new version of its hot-selling iPad tablet computer.
The new iPad is reportedly thinner and more powerful than the currently available iPad, while it will also have more memory and a front-facing camera for capabilities such as a FaceTime video-conferencing feature on Apple iPhone 4 smartphones.
Verizon on Thursday will begin selling Motorola Mobility's hotly awaited "Xoom" tablet computer at a price close to that of a top-of-the-line iPad. Xoom will be sold for $800, but the price will be trimmed to $600 for those who opt for two-year service contracts with Verizon.