Apple’s latest revision to its world class operating system, likely nicknamed “Lion” in a series of big cat nicknames, has some amazing features that will likely move it even further beyond Microsoft Windows and other desktop operating systems.
There’s a Desktop App for That
The App Store paradigm has been a big hit for Apple. With users and developers hooked on iPhone/iTouch/iPad apps, Apple will likely bring an App Store variant to desktop users. Strict oversight from Apple’s approval process would make users more comfortable adopting new applications. For developers, it would create a new distribution scheme for applications, with Apple managing all payments and all delivery systems. Watch for a likely adoption of existing iPhone/iPad apps to also be available to desktop users, either outright on the screen or on the Mac’s Dashboard interface. The recent data center in North Carolina may or may not be involved with these initiatives.
Synced Web Storage
Apple’s Mobile.me and competing platforms, such as DropBox, are already great ways to store data. With OS 10.7, Apple will likely provide greater behind-the-scenes caching and syncing of offline data. Some users have reported that compared with Mobile.me, other systems operate much more rapidly, so it is likely that Apple will adopt some of the file sharding technology that is used to perform faster saves and refreshes.
iOS vs Mac OS
Apple will likely keep the “Mac” on the new OS moniker. It will not likely be renamed iOS despite commonalities in code bases.
Xcode: Programmers Rejoice
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A spruced up version of Xcode will likely morph into a “one window to rule them all” design that will simplify aspects of Mac and iPhone/iPad development. Interface Builder will likely become part and parcel of the IDE along with split screen file viewers. This will be a welcomed change, as over time more and more open windows have slowed the pace of development for some programmers.
New Cocoa frameworks will also likely appear to allow developers to use new OS features such as Face Time, Game Center, Air Play offline sync, etc.
FaceTime gets Big Time along with GameCenter and AirPlay
FaceTime on a big iMac and MacBook screen will likely appear with 10.7 Lion. iChat will likely be modified to incorprate FaceTime and be used simultaneously with iPhone and iPod Touch clients on the other end. Game Center will likely be adapted for Mac desktop gamers. Likewise, Air Play from or to iPad/iPhone/iTouch devices will likely be available to make Macs either media hubs or widescreen displays for mass media.
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