Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Predictions, Ideas, & What We Know

Oct 14, 2010 - 29 Comments


Update: Apple provided a sneak peak and release date for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. It’ll be available Summer 2011, and many of the predictions below proved accurate. You can see screenshots and features of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or read on for our pre-preview speculation.

The tech world is abuzz about the “Back to the Mac” Apple event scheduled for next week. Apple’s lips are tight as usual, and all we know is that Apple will give us a look at the new version of Mac OS X.

11 Possibilities for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

In no particular order, here are a few ideas that are possible for Mac OS X 10.7:

  • Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – the name is still pure speculation, but based on the Lion face peaking out from behind the logo, this is somewhat obvious. Plus, it has a better ring to it than Mac OS X Ceiling Cat.
  • iChat + FaceTime – this is a no brainer update, since you can now use FaceTime on an iPod touch via email addresses to initiate a FaceTime call, it’s inevitable it will come to Mac OS X
  • Mac App Store – with the success of the iOS App Store, why not bring one to Mac OS X apps? It would be a mistake to make the App Store the only way to install apps on a Mac, but having a central shopping and download location for all Mac software would be a big hit.
  • Stronger Multi-Touch Integration – Between the Magic Trackpad and Apple’s wild success with the touch based iOS, we’ll likely get stronger multi-touch support in upcoming versions of Mac OS X. Whether or not this is full on iOS integration, who knows – but probably not yet.
  • iOS replaces Dashboard – Dashboard is fun to check your local weather, but beyond that it doesn’t get a lot of use. Apple already filed for patents to incorporate iOS into Mac OS X in an iMac Touch, and replacing Dashboard with an iOS layer makes a lot of sense. It’s likely inevitable, but will we see it in the next version of Mac OS X?
  • Cloud Support – whether this is storing media in the cloud, syncing data between your Mac and iOS device from anywhere, the aforementioned Mac App Store, or something entirely different, who knows. Based on the job listing posted earlier in the year about a ‘revolutionary feature’ though, Apple is almost certainly looking at incorporating cloud computing and storage into an upcoming Mac OS X version. Will it be in 10.7? Who knows.
  • Updated Finder – perhaps we’ll see tabbed Finder windows, icons built for high resolution (retina for Mac?) displays, automatic file tagging and sorting, and other advanced file management features.
  • Updated Dock – the Dock is a great feature of Mac OS X but it could use improvement, with things like Stacks Fan view becoming scrollable, and maybe better window management and previews.
  • New GUI – we’ll likely see an updated (or at least unified) GUI, to what extent it will be different is anyones guess. My assumption is that it will be refinements but we’ll be keeping close to the existing Mac OS X interface
  • Real NTFS Support – Yes, Snow Leopard can mount NTFS volumes with read/write support but it’s not enabled by default and not officially supported. Because of this, NTFS support in Mac OS X is relegated to third party developers and the open source community. True native NTFS read and write support is essential to Mac OS X behaving well in a Windows world, so this is pretty likely feature.
  • Advanced AirPlay Support – AirPlay looks to have a very promising future for all of Apple’s products, it would make a lot of sense for stronger AirPlay support to exist in Mac OS X. Why limit the protocol to music and video? Why not let your Mac applications export to things like a projector, TV, or iOS device via AirPlay too

What we know about Mac OS X 10.7

So speculation is fine and dandy, but what do we know about Mac OS X 10.7 Lion? Update: Check out Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Features and Screenshots. Well, nothing really. It’s been showing up in server logs for well over a year, but beyond John Gruber saying the release was delayed, nobody knows anything. Anyone that tells you otherwise is full of it, Apple has an amazingly tight shroud of secrecy around the Mac OS update and virtually nothing has been leaked.

Stay tuned, we’ll know much more next week.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS


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  1. Lia Odegaard says:

    Hello Chris, I agree with you, mozy is good, and much better than other backup products in the market like carbonite, we all do remember carbonite lost their customers data in 2009!! and they blamed it on hardware, but I still prefer a real online backup using pure cloud, like Amazon, it’s much better and I know my data secured and replicated (Risk is there but lesser than proprietary storage), I don’t like the idea of storing my data with a proprietary online backup like mozy, I wanted to backup my office, mozy is good, but not real business solution, it’s very expensive when it comes to business ($0.50 per GB), and the cloud management is fine, but still lacks some stuff, the other solutions (like Carbonite, Durva, crashplan) are big joke for a real business solution, no real cloud console, they are not business solutions at all, I found a good cloud solution it’s called Timeline Cloud, still testing it, but seems business oriented, complete cloud Disaster recovery which is cool and complete mobile access, I think it’s worth reviewing

  2. anthonettex says:

    AirPlay support for OS X Lion? Think of the possibilities… Starcraft 2. Safari. Quicktime. iMovie. Apple, THIS will be a huge selling point towards OS X Lion.

  3. evan says:

    This software has a GREAT interface, and the dock is genius!
    I would recommend this to ANYONE wanting a Mac theme.
    I heard you should do a backup on your PC before starting the theme, because this is one of those programs that’s hard to uninstall/deactivate…

  4. […] have long been rumors and predictions that the new version of Mac OS X will use the ZFS file system, but with each new OS release the […]

  5. […] interest to corporate customers. One of my favorite rumors comes from OS X Daily, which thinks an app store for Mac OS X is in the […]

  6. Neil says:

    So… we know nothing whatsoever.
    Ok, got it!

    To be frank I was disappointed in SL, which actually took a few steps backwards in usability. I can’t be the only one who is tired of looking at grey windows that you have to resize using a tiny triangle at the bottom right corner.

    The first commenter Samson has it spot on, Micros**t at least took the effort to give their OS a modern look (even if it is interminably hideous). Meanwhile Apple’s UI is stuck in 2001.

    If ‘Lion’ is Snow Leopard with some iOS elements I’m going to puke.

    I hope Steve has his RDF turned up to 11 on Wednesday.

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  8. jimothy says:

    While I doubt we’ll see Retina displays for the Mac any time soon, the Finder already supports 512×512 icons, which would give nearly 1.6″ square icons on at the same 326dpi as the iPhone 4. This is likely larger than most users have their icon size set to now.

    (That’s just for file, folder, and application icons, however. I don’t know the resolution of the sidebar and toolbar icons.)

  9. crobi says:

    I think front row will be replaces by iOS on the mac, not dashboard.

    • Lee says:

      Frontrow will stay in a similar form to the newly released Apple TV, I love the idea of Dashboard being replaced by ios… Makes perfect sense, otherwise there is a clear conflict of functionality.

  10. based2 says:

    +services for maps for ar. apple.neogis ?

  11. Jack says:

    BTW, I’d doubt Retina for Mac. At the current scale of Retina, it’d be 10,240 x 5760… maybe scaling it up by 1.15 — 2944 x 1656. More reasonable.

  12. […] با مقداری تغییر از اینجا […]

  13. Hayden says:

    I’d love to see 10.7 have better iPhone integration. Apple has really dropped the ball on this one. They’ve always been all about seamless integration, and yet I can’t answer iPhone calls on my mac. This seems like a ridiculous oversight to me. When paired together via Bluetooth or any other protocol, my mac should act as an extension to my iPhone. It’s as simple as that.

    • Lee says:

      Couldn’t agree more, i used to be able to dial an outgoing call via Mac Address book around 4 years ago with my pre-iPhone Sony mobile. No ability to talk via the mac, but needless to say it was a handy feature.
      Until you mentioned this Id forgotten that.

  14. Niel says:

    In regards to Cloud Computing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an option for Time Machine to back up to the cloud, in addition to a local hard drive. Seems like a good use for the data center they’ve built in North Carolina. The big question is if this is would be a free service, or become part of MobileMe. (It would certainly give me a reason to justify signing up).

  15. Arnan de Gans says:

    Although very likely its not confirmed 10.7 is coming just yet… But again its very likely..

  16. dream on says:

    there is no way iOS is coming to Mac OS X

  17. Ammon says:

    ZFS would be nice, too.

  18. David says:

    + Wireless syncing between iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

    + Native 3G support

    Both are so overdue it’s like we’re in the stone age still.

  19. samson says:

    I’m going to be disappointed if we don’t get a major UI rehaul. Mac OS X looks dated and flat now compared to Windows 7.

    • Peter says:

      Really? Windows 7 looks tacky to me. I think OSX is much more elegant looking. I’d hate to have Apple tart up the UI just for the hell of it.

    • Darwin says:

      Windows 7 looks like a UI and color nightmare. The Start menu alone is one of the worst UI disasters in the history of computing. Bleth. Nothing I want there.

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