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1 Day OS X Lion Test: Three Favorite Things and One Small Problem.

Today I downloaded OSX Lion from the Mac OS App Store. The entire installation went flawlessly: the system upgraded and booted up as expected. I wanted to share the things I noticed as a person who does business communication and software development. For those of you who do not want to read the entire post I have to say that there are good reasons to upgrade, but you have to watch out for a couple of quirks.

Number one most favorite upgrade is the Mail App. It got a complete makeover. Conversation threading really works now. It’s a pleasure to use.
Mac OS X Lion Mail App

The app also seems to be a little faster to start up and that’s always a good thing.

My second most favorite improvement is the way multiple desktops work. Sliding desktops side to side feels more intuitive. The dashboard as a desktop of its own seemed like a brilliant idea as well. I seldom remembered to use my dashboard before but now I pop into it frequently.

Another productivity tool that I very much appreciate is iCal. I connect to multiple calendars and iCal is one of my most used applications. I have it linked to Meetup.com, Microsoft Exchange, Google Calendar and Facebook. In the new iCal I found a nice surprise a port of iPad Day view:
Mac OS X Lion iCal - Day View


It shows the full day agenda and also gives you a way to scroll through the appointment timeline on the left hand side.

All my applications that were installed on the Snow Leopard continued to work with the exception of NetBeans. NetBeans silently stopped launching. I had to go look at the logs to find out that Java runtime has been uninstalled. Issuing java from the shell prompt started an installation and addressed the problem, but I guarantee that if I wasn’t in the tech field I’d never figure this out. Once I have got the Java runtime everything worked as expected.

In Summary I believe Lion is a worthy upgrade. None of the features were particularly breakthrough but Apple showed continuous innovation and polish in a lot of places where it mattered.
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