I’ve been a Mac user since my experience with Windows Vista left me seeking a more reliable primary operating system to run on. After discovering OS X and experiencing how intuitive and easy so many things were, I was convinced that making the switch was the right move. Don’t get me wrong, I still use Windows every day on numerous computers around the house and enjoy my experience with Windows 7.
When Apple announced the newest edition of OS X (Lion), I became intrigued as to whether or not they would be able to deliver on the promises made during the keynote and maintain the overall user experience I have become accustomed to over the past few years.
Once Lion came out, I immediately upgraded and began working through the various changes that were made and took note of some of the ones I liked (or disliked). While many of these adjustments are under the hood and unnoticeable by anyone that isn’t seriously paying attention, some of them are more obvious. Over-the-top animations and reversed scrolling didn’t make my top ten list, but here are a few features I enjoy quite a bit:
- Autocorrect Blue – Typos and misspellings are the bane of any writer’s existence. This feature corrects misspelled words as you type and marks the corrected word with little blue dots.
- Rounded Window Corners – In a move that makes windows look cleaner, rounded corners have been added to each application window.
- Emoji – Bringing tons of fun graphics to your OS X experience is a fun addition that allows you to be a little more creative. Currently, only applications native to the OS or designed with the Emoji character set in mind will work with them.
- About This Mac – The system profile area of About This Mac has improved drastically. I’m able to pull up important information and take a quick screenshot faster and easier than before. Data is accompanied with graphic charts that make learning about the system easier.
- WebKit 2 – Page rendering is noticeably faster through Safari on Lion.
- Border Animations when Overscrolling – In much the same way that the window appears to bounce as you reach the bottom of a web page on iOS, Lion now supports this functionality natively. One can hope software makers (like Google) begin supporting this feature as future versions of their software begin to surface.
- Invisible Scrollbars – I love invisible scrollbars. Having them invisible just makes windows look better. This is my personal preference, but it’s a feature I really like.
- Resize a Window from Any Side – Having to grab a window from a specific corner is annoying, and being able to do so from any side is a welcome change.
- “Keep Both Files” when Copying / Moving – Moving a file from one place to another when it shares the same name as one already present in the destination now prompts the Mac to ask you if you’d like to keep both files, allowing you to have them both in the same directory. This is a feature that has been present on Windows for some time, and it’s good to finally see it on the Mac.
- Better Memory Management - By default, if you have an application open and you’re not using it for an extended period of time, it will actually take steps to free up the memory. This is visually represented by the little glowing blue dot under the app in your dock disappearing once the memory has been freed and it no longer acts as a significant burden on your system.
Those are my top ten Lion features, what are yours? Please leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite features of Lion are.