Mac OS X Lion roars into Mac App Store, onto flash drives (updated)

Mac OS X Lion roars into Mac App Store, onto flash drives (updated)

Summary: Lion is available today in Mac App Store for $29 with over 250 new features including multi-touch gestures, Mission Control, LaunchPad, full-screen apps and a redesigned Mail app.

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Apple announced during its Q3 2011 earnings conference call yesterday that it would begin shipping Mac OS 10.7 (a.k.a. Lion) today via the Mac App Store. True to its word, Lion is available today in Mac App Store for $29.

Lion contains over 250 new features including multi-touch gestures, Mission Control, LaunchPad, full-screen apps and a completely redesigned Mail app. Additional new features include:

  • Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
  • Auto Save, which automatically and continuously saves your documents as you work;
  • Versions, which automatically records the history of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions; and
  • AirDrop, which finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.

Lion marks the first time that Apple has distributed a whole number OS upgrade exclusively online. That's right, Lion isn't available on optical media, you can only get it from the Mac App Store as a 4GB digital download -- at least today.

If you don't have broadband access you can download Lion at Apple retail stores. If you administer a lot of Macs Apple will offer Lion on a USB flash drive through the Apple Store for $69 (US) in August. The third-generation MacBook Air and new Mac mini will both ship with Lion pre-installed and on a USB flash drive.

If you plan on upgrading to Lion, stop. Take a deep breath and do a little preparation before making the move. If you're using custom, vertical or other special software to make a living, be sure to check that all of your apps are Lion compatible with their developers. And definitely make a full, bootable backup of your Mac to an external drive and verify that it boots and that all your data is there.

Mashable's Lion prep guide has some other useful tips for preparing for the big cat, including tips on how to clear off disk space (I've been using Disk Radar) and how to find PowerPC apps that are no longer compatible with Lion since Apple officially dropped support for Rosetta.

RoaringApps.com is maintaining a list of Lion compatible apps that is extremely helpful for those planning on upgrading. For example, Verizon's VZAccess Manager software for its USB modems isn't Lion compatible.

Update: MacRumors notes that Apple's new hardware (today's new Airs and minis) support Lion's Internet Recovery feature which allows users to install Lion onto blank/new hard drives in the event of hard drive upgrade or replacement.

If your Mac problem is a little less common — your hard drive has failed or you’ve installed a hard drive without OS X, for example — Internet Recovery takes over automatically. It downloads and starts Lion Recovery directly from Apple servers over a broadband Internet connection. And your Mac has access to the same Lion Recovery features online. Internet Recovery is built into every newly-released Mac starting with the Mac mini and MacBook Air.

Are you going to upgrade to Lion?

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software

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9 comments
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  • RE: Mac OS X Lion roars into the Mac App Store

    Apple will offer Lion on a USB thumb drive through the Apple Store for $69 (US) in August. FINALLY we can put spinning media like Blu Ray to rest!! This is great and even at $69 so much cheaper than Win 7.
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Mac OS X Lion roars into the Mac App Store

      @Hasam1991 ZZZzzz.... wrong forum Windows is down the hall
      ItsTheBottomLine
  • RE: Mac OS X Lion roars into the Mac App Store

    You have to give it to Apple they do know how to make an upgrade work. Two reboots and about 5 mouse clicks. Now if only the windows team could learn a few tricks so a windows 8 upgrade is as smooth.

    Redmond needs to know having to run pre script to transfer users info and reading lots of dire warnings about throwing files or applications in the bin unless I buy Windows ultimate plus luxury platinum edition is not going to make me a happy user.
    martin23
  • RE: Mac OS X Lion roars into the Mac App Store

    Up and running so far no issues (except with my AT&T connection card)
    matt@...
    • RE: Mac OS X Lion roars into the Mac App Store

      @matt@...

      same here i am running it n my mac its perfect and it is actually using even less resources then the previous snow leopard :)
      Viper589
  • Apple is no longer a Global Company

    Someone in the Apple organization must have gone completely insane by offering a new OS only through the App store. They might not have realized that their largest prospective markets in Asia will be cut off this way for the overwhelming majority of customers. In countries from China to Thailand and from India to Indonesia people do hardly use any credit cards and although each and every bank customer is running around with one or more Visa or Master Cards that come with every ATM card they get, the App Store does not like them at all and does not accept them as legal tender. Not only do these markets have to overcome the fact that it might take many days to download a OS of over 3GB Apple simply say to them that their real money is not good enough it must be borrowed money. Ah well on every street corner you can get the OS for free and God only knows if it is manipulated. I sincerely hope it backfires to Apple big time. There was after all nothing wrong with selling OS's in a real brick store.
    rhon@...
    • RE: Mac OS X Lion roars into the Mac App Store

      @rhon@... <br><br>I will be buying Lion without using a credit card.<br><br><br><br>I will not even be using my debit card (real money).<br><br>I can pay using cash if I wish as there are many ways to pay for iTunes & App Store purchases.<br><br>Lack of internet access is more of an issue.<br><br>I think there will be some people in some areas who may have to wait a month to go to the store and buy the USB stick - but then they probably would have had to wait that long anyway.<br><br>Before declaring something crazy it may be worth finding out what the real situation is - Apple does not require the use of borrowed money.

      Surely it must be obvious that electronic download is quicker to distribute than physical product???

      How fast do you think MS would get genuine windows boxes to remote parts of Indonesia?

      If you are in one of these areas and cannot purchase for some reason then ask a friend to gift you the product on the store - or maybe to ship you a USB stick next month.
      richardw66
    • RE: Mac OS X Lion roars into the Mac App Store

      @rhon@... Perhaps this is Apple's way of slowing-down the counterfeiting of software...
      Gr8Music
  • Very Disappointed

    This is the second straight OS from Apple that I have upgraded to and been disappointed with. Launchpad is ok, but Orbiter (which I was using) was much more customizable and easy to use. Mission control is an absolute mess, spaces was much better. Unless I am missing something (and I could be); in order to change the background on all of your desktops, you have to drag System Preferences to each individual Window and change it manually. Like Snow Leopard did before, Lion has slightly increased my boot time and shut down while still quick is a little quirky. Leopard was by far the fastest booting up and shutting down and did not have that annoying grey screen before shutdown like Snow Leopard did. Lion give you the grey screen, plus some weird dimmer greyish screen. Lion feels "too" much like iOS and not enough like Mac. Hopefully Apple will fix some of these bugs or I can always go back to Leopard. I won't even get into the scrolling and horrible look of the new Finder.
    MichaelWells