Top 10 Features of Mac OS X Lion, Available in July for Just $29

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Mac OS X launched 10 years ago, and today Apple took its desktop OS to the next level with Mac OS X Lion, which borrows a lot of the mojo of iOS. Lion will be available only in the Mac App Store for just $29. The developer preview will be available today, but the consumer version will launch in July.

Here's a quick look at the top 10 features, which we think will get a lot of Windows users to switch. Plus check out the gallery below for even more images from today's Lion announcement.

1. New multitouch gestures

New multitouch gestures are built throughout the system. No more scroll bars (unless you want them) because you can two-finger scroll smoothly. You can also fluidly zoom, complete with a nice little bounce. When you're browsing you can swipe through your browsing history. Pretty nifty. You can use three fingers to swipe to the left to open recent apps.

2. Full-screen applications

Full-screen applications are now more native. iPhoto is just one example. If you want to get at your bookmarks, they slide right in on the left. Photo Booth, Apple says, was born to run in full screen. This app has face tracking as well.

3. Mission Control

Mission Control gives you a bird's eye view of everything that's going on with your system. You just use a three finger upward gesture to access it. Up above are all of your Spaces. And there's a special space just for your dashboard. You can also take a quick look at any of the apps here. You can create a new space easily and just drag and drop apps into it right from withing Mission Control. Pretty sweet.

4. Mac App Store

In just a short period of time, the Mac App Store has become the No. 1 place to get Mac Apps. The Mac App Store lets you re-download at no additional charge if you're purchased an app, and it offers automatic updates. When you download an app it flies into the Dashboard, ready to use.

5. Launchpad

With Launchpad all of your applications fly on your screen with a pinch gesture. This looks very much like iOS, which gives Mac OS X Lion all the more appeal. As with iOS you can easily move apps around in the Dashboard and create folders by dragging and dropping apps on top of one another.

6. Resume

Resume adds a unique new function to Max OS X. When you launch an application in Lion it remembers where you were, even if you were in the middle of selecting text. This includes not just documents but all of your applications in all of your Spaces.

7. Auto Save

With Auto Save, as you create a document or work in an app Lion saves it in the background, along with all of the settings in the program-- such as where you placed a window or palette. You don't have to worry about losing work--or about getting pop-up messages reminding you to save work before you quit. It just does it. You can also revert to last opened or lock your work in case you don't want it to be written over.

8. Versions

With Version, Lion automatically saves versions of your documents, though you can also take manual snapshots. All the past versions of your work show up in a slick Time Machine-like interface. The current version is displayed on the left and the past versions are on the right in a timeline. If you want to harvest an image or a particular slide you can cut and paste certain elements you'd like to bring over to the latest version of your document.

9. AirDrop

AirDrop lets you easily share files with other people who are on the same network. It's a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi based network. There's auto discovery and setup, and you'll see a confirmation for security. Sharing is also encrypted.

10. Mail

In the new version of Mail, message snippets (summaries) make it easy to find messages you're looking for, similar to iOS. You also get full height images within messages. There are new search suggestions that try to narrow your search as you type. These suggestions could include specifics such as dates. To narrow your search further, you can combine subjects, dates, names, and other keywords, too. It also features a great new conversation view that's much easier to follow than Gmail, with the messages nicely separated. You can easily reply to specific messages in a conversation, which pop out with a cool animation.

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Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
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