Apple's OS X Lion brings with it a variety of new features that app developers are quickly implementing. Full-screen apps, multitouch gesturing, and resume are just a few of the features software makers are using to improve their creations. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't make it easy to find Lion-ready apps in the Mac App Store--at least not yet. That's where we come in. We searched the App Store up and down to bring you 10 of the best Lion-ready apps currently available.
iWork ($19.99 for each app)
Apple’s iWork productivity suite, Cupertino’s answer to Microsoft Office, takes full advantage of several of Lion’s new features. The "Pages" word processor, Numbers spreadsheet software, and Keynote presentation program all support full-screen mode and autosave, which stores a copy of your work every five minutes or during pauses.
Each component also supports Versions, which automatically creates a new version of a document each time it is accessed and every hour (so you can easily compare changes). Then there's the very useful resume, which restarts a closed app wherever you left off. Autosave is especially welcome, because it will eliminate those panicked 1 a.m. searches for documents that you forgot to save before your laptop’s battery finally gave out.
BusyMac’s BusyCal is a desktop-based calendar that offers users the ability to share their calendars across small workgroups. Calendars can be synced between a user’s iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Google Calendar, or iCal.
Calendar sharing provides multiple users with access to and the ability to edit a single calendar, while Sticky Notes add notes to calendars that users can share with others on their network. The app has been around for a while, but this latest release offers a host of Lion enhancements, including full-screen mode, trackpad gesture support, and Lion’s new scrollbars.
Algoriddm’s djay app lets you live out your fantasy of scratching on the ones and twos in a packed club. It integrates directly with iTunes letting users mash up their favorite songs or create entirely new ones. In addition to support for full-screen mode, the app takes full advantage of Lion’s multi-touch gesture support, letting users scratch and mix their favorite records by moving their fingers across their notebook’s trackpad. Algoriddm also included support for Lion’s rubber-band scrolling in djay’s table views.
Cruz Browser ($2.99)
The Cruz browser by Celestial Teapot Software is an OS X browser alternative to Apple’s Safari. The software features a slew of unique features, including built-in tiny URL creation, while the available Browsa plug-in allows you to view several web pages at the same time in split views. The browser also offers visual tab thumbnails, similar to Windows 7’s multi-window thumbnails. Version 1.1 of the browser brings Lion compatibility and support for Lion’s full-screen mode.
Tutor for Lion ($4.99)
Although Lion is, at its heart, an iteration of OS X, users may still need some help figuring out how all of the operating system’s new features work. That’s where Tutor for Lion comes in. The app offers video tutorials on the new features available through Lion including Mission Control and Spaces, Launchpad, and Airdrop, as well as the new features available in Mail, in addition to the basics of OS X. Tutor for Lion should prove helpful for first-time OS X users and Windows converts.
Sparrow is a Mac mail client that offers near native support for Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or any custom IMAP server. Facebook integration allows users to see their friends profile pictures in Sparrow and add friends through the app. Quicklook lets you preview all of your attachments, while inline attachments lets you drag and drop documents and photos directly into your messages.
Lion users can take advantage of multitouch gesture support and full-screen mode. The app also supports Lion’s bounce feature, which will automatically bounce emails back to senders you don’t want contacting you, making it appear as if your email address doesn’t exist.
OS X Lion Server ($49.99)
Small and medium business users may be excited to hear that Apple has updated its server software with OS X Lion support. OS X Lion Server allows users to share files across Macs and PCs, sync contacts, host websites, and remotely access their network. Its iCal Server helps users schedule meetings, view other users’ availability, and email meeting invitations and notifications. Other features include a wiki server, podcasting capabilities, profile manager, mail services, and an address book server.
WordCrasher is a cross between Tetris and Scrabble that forces users to create words out of random letters as they fall down the playing field. Holding off and using several letters to form a long word will score you more points, but if you let the letters reach the top of the screen it’s game over.
You can use either your mouse or keyboard to make the words, but using a keyboard is your best bet. Lion support for WordCrasher comes in the form of full-screen mode and resume, which can prove quite useful when you're in the middle of an intense game and the boss swings by your desk.
Pocket Yoga ($4.99)
Pocket Yoga gives yoga practitioners the chance to practice and schedule their own sessions in their own homes. The app offers a total of 27 sessions, with multiple time durations, styles, and difficulty levels. Users follow along with the app’s 145 illustrated poses to ensure that they have the correct posture and positioning. Included music is meant to help you relax as you move through your exercises. Although the only Lion feature the app takes advantage of is its full-screen mode, it should help users better see the poses from further away.
Pixelmator offers users many of the photo editing tools available in Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 9 Editor at a much lower price. The app, which is now Lion compatible, features 20 different tools--from cropping and painting to retouching and measuring photos-- as well as 15 color correction tools and 130 filters. Subtract and Divide blending tools help users blend image layers, while Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa integration allows users to upload their work to their favorite social networking sites.
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