Apple is pulling back the curtain on Lion, the next incremental update to its Mac OS. It has all the "power of Mac OS X," with all the "magic of iPad." Oh brother — didn't the Ghostbuster teach us not to cross the streams long, long ago?
The Mac App Store is the big push being made by Lion, which was integrated into its predecessor, Snow Leopard, but not as thoroughly as it will be come Lion's release this summer. In fact, Lion won't be for sale on optical disc, being sold solely through the Mac App Store as a $30 download.
So, what can you expect? Up front, an experience comparable to the iPhone or iPad, from the looks of it. We're all familiar with the idea of buying software, downloading it and installing it without having to go to the store and buy a CD, but Apple wants you to do all that through the App Store.
You'll be able to interact with your purchased apps using Launchpad, which essentially just turns your MacBook's screen into a giant iPhone, and Mission Control, which'll help you swap between your apps and other open windows, such as a word doc or a video you're playing or a Web browser.
Other than that, Apple is also touting improved gesturing controls (including multi-finger, multi-touch gestures), the ability for apps to pick up where you left off even after a restart, and Lion continually saving what you're doing — without you having to save yourself. Each time you open and close a document, Lion will save it, as well as every hour.
In short, it sounds like Lion will play well to something like a MacBook Air, where you're always starting and stopping whatever you're doing while on the go. On a desktop or a work-heavy MacBook Pro, however, we'll have to wait to see if any of these UI upgrades actually factor into the workflow.
You can read a full list of feature promised by Lion over on Apple's website.
I have to say, all that sounds handy and dandy, but nothing here had me reaching for the phone to call up everyone I know and tell them to get ready for Lion. Maybe I'm still not sold on apps on a desktop. How about you?