A Few Points on the New Cat

Lion, the new Mac OS X operating system is available for download today. Hooray for us nerds! For the authoritative review, take a look at John Siracusa’s Tome.

Having used Lion for several months, here are some of my favorite parts.

FileVault X

Until today, FileVault was the ugly stepsister of the Mac OS X operating system. Nobody liked it and anybody with serious security concerns used other disk encryption options. I would have given it a different name since FileVault was such slug. Regardless, Mac OS X now ships with some real security teeth. It includes whole disk encryption, Time Machine disk encryption, remote wipe of your Mac, and sandboxing. So long PGP.

Better Laptop Backup

If you are using an external Time Machine disk with your laptop, the laptop now keeps track and local copies of Time Machine snapshots.

When you plug into the external drive, the laptop offloads the saved snapshot data. This way, if several days pass between backups, you don’t have gaps in your Time Machine data. Nifty.

Mission Control

Since I’m already a trackpad gesture convert, I was all over Mission Control. At this point it is second nature to me. I do wish there was a way to reorganize the order of the full-screen apps in Mission Control. I’ve tried every key combination I can think of and had no luck.

Also, I’ve developed a workflow for how I use non full-screen apps. I keep two desktop screens. The first one stays empty and all the remaining apps reside in screen 2. Flicking up with three fingers in screen 2 provides all of the apps in screen 2 along with all of the full-screen apps. Moreover, if I need to do some file management, screen 1 is always open. See the below screenshot.

There is a lot to like about Lion and a $30, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to install it. If you’re going to make the upgrade, check out the Mac Power Users Ready for Lion podcast.