Stumbling upon a download for Mac OS X 10.7 Developer Preview, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to give install it on my MacBook and see how things went.
So far it seems that OS X 10.7 has several tweaks and added bells and whistles, but LaunchPad is the only significant difference that I’ve found.
After the upgrade completes and your computer is restarted, you’re presented with a typical OS X intro video with some music that turns into the “Thank You” that you see above.
Quick look at About This Mac.
With LaunchPad, you’re presented with a “Home” screen similar to what you might find on an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad. This screen lists your default apps first as you would see on your i-device and other applications on subsequent pages.
The old style Dashboard is no longer lowered in and floating above your desktop or workspace, but instead slides in from the left where it occupies its own workspace area.
I don’t see a real advantage to this over the previous style Dashboard and it feels like a change for the sake of change, but I’m sure there is a better reason behind this UI change.
The Mail app has been updated, cleaned up and rearranged. I find the new layout to be nicer overall and easy to get used it. Hotmail has used a similar design for a while now, but its never felt as user friendly as this.
Spot Light also got a few updates. Tooltips appear for some files and resources with more details without having to click anything. For instance, definitions that are listed in the results now display a tooltip with everything you need.
Several of the mouse gestures have changed by default and the up/down scrolling motion has been reversed by default to mimic a touch device such as your iPhone. This is the only thing that I’ve switched back thus far as I couldn’t stand the scrolling working opposite of what I’m used to.
Looking through my Sharing settings I noticed that FTP is no longer listed. I’m hoping its only been moved and has not been removed, but time will tell.
AirDrop looks to be promising, though I have no one to test it with just yet. Also, FaceTime is now installed by default.
Windows are now resizeable from all sides and corners. Windows are now animated to when clicking the plus button to enlarge or shrink a window.
There are many more changes in OS X 10.7, most of them are simple visual tweaks. The window controls for close/minimize/maximize have been slightly updated, however the controls displayed in iTunes have yet to be updated and still use the styling from OS X 10.6.6.
Mac OS X 10.7 Developer Preview is turning out to be a pretty stable and promising update so far. Some features show since of performance problems, but I’m sure many of the remaining issues will be resolved in time for its official release.
Crossing my fingers that more new features find there way into OS X 10.7 before its released, but its probably not very likely at this point.