Apple didn’t just use last night’s Back to the Mac bash to out FaceTime for Mac and a pair of stunning new MacBook Airs. There was a sneak peek at OS X Lion too, which Apple says will be landing on Macs from next summer.
The Snow Leopard successor takes its cue from the iPad, bringing over a slew of features inspired by iOS and the best-selling slate. The biggest story is undoubtedly the Mac App Store, with Apple attempting to bring some of its App Store wow factor to its desktop offering.
Just as on the iPhone and iPad, you’ll use your Apple User ID to download and install apps with one click. Tap the one you want and once it’s downloaded, it’ll pop up in your dock. Apple also says it’ll make keeping apps up-to-date easier, with reminders just like the ones your find on iOS.
The Mac App Store is set to ship as part of OS X Lion, but you’ll be able to give it a whirl on Snow Leopard within 90 days too.
Elsewhere, the new Launchpad feature takes its design lead from the iPad, offering a tablet-style view of all your apps just by hitting a button in your dock. You can group apps into folders, bringing one of iOS’s sharpest new features to OS X.
Mission Control pulls together the Expose, Dashboard and Spaces features, letting you see everything that’s running on your Mac at any one time, so you can navigate to whatever you need swiftly. Windows are all grouped by app, so you don’t get confused when you’ve opened up myriad files.
Lion is also set to include full-screen support for apps too, using multitouch gestures to swipe through a full-screen view of different pages in a single app. Perfect for flicking through eBooks or docs on-the-go.