Apple Lion OS X: 5 features to expect

With the announcement literally just hours away we've compiled all the last-minute information there is to have on Apple's latest incarnation of Mac OS X Lion.

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Launchpad
One of the most noticeable changes in OS X Lion is Launchpad, the iOS style app-launcher. Placing your apps in a tile-style layout you can easily find your most used apps and then place them in folders just in the same way that you would on an iPhone or iPad. We're not sure whether it'll truly become an alternative to Finder but it's certainly a nifty feature to have.

iCloud free to Mac OS X Lion users
Probably the only story here that hasn't yet been confirmed, the news that Apple will be offering the iCloud storage service to OS X Lion users for free. While this probably won't extend to the degree that music-streaming will be free, it's almost certain that they'll be providing the cloud storage option as part of the OS X Lion package in an effort to sweeten the deal.

Mission Control
Unfortunately this doesn't mean you'll be able to control and direct complex space missions from your Mac. Instead it's a merging of the Dashboard, Expose and Spaces, allowing you to effectively see literally everything that's open or available on your Mac in one place. It's certainly a neat idea and will no doubt encorporate the increased multi-touch features that have been touted as appearing in Lion.

Multi-touch/iOS style-interface
These two features have been grouped as they essentially will come hand-in-hand with the other. With full screen apps such a iBooks, multi-touch will then allow you to two-finger swipe through the pages. just like on the iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch. Multi-touch will also be playing a big role in OS X's bread and butter applications such as Mail, iCalender and Contacts, all receiving hefty overhauls and utilising the increased functionality of the trackpad.

AirDrop
Have we left the best till last? We'll let you decide. AirDrop is a drag-and-drop file sharing feature that utilises a Macs Wi-Fi signal. By turning on your Wi-Fi you can swap over to AirDrop, find the Mac you're looking for and after confirmation literally drop the files over to the other computer. It's essentially a much speedier replacement for Bluetooth and it's a feature that we think will be a real game-changer when you need a quick alternative to file-sharing with no internet in sight.

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