osX 10.7 Lion review, what I think of it after 7 days.

Downloaded Lion the first evening it can out, I have been messing about with it for a while now and I’m not as overwhelmed as I thought I’d be. I  am it installed on a late ’09 Mini and do not have a trackpad so haven’t experienced gestures. I’ll start with the negatives, it’s more fun to bitch.

Don’t like

Download only distribution (yeah I know they are going to sell it on a thumb drive but that is next month at 165% more the cost).
• The official way that you have to download it again for each computer, as the installer auto deletes itself after you complete the installation. I nabbed the .dmg after downloaded completed (after 9hrs) and before I installed it. 

If you want the .dmg to use later plus how to create a bootable DVD, read this: http://www.macworld.com/article/161069/2011/07/make_a_bootable_lion_installer.html

• Grey grey grey, all too grey. Sidebar icons too grey in Finder/Mail/iTunes. Scrollbars flat and grey and don’t really match the GUI style of the rest of the window. In fact the whole GUI is very very flat and grey, did I mention grey.
Reverse scrolling, on a touch interface yes (feel completely natural on my iPad), but with a mouse not so sure. Easily solved in System Prefs.
Launchpad – something I was looking forward to on paper but it looks ridiculous on a 20″ screen, scale the icons down by half (only shows 40 apps per home screen) – I’ll stick with using ‘Overflow‘ to manage all my apps (subdivided by tabs, shows 221 apps per tab (on my 20″ at my resolution)). Plus you can’t delete apps from the homescreens (only ones from MAS, and even then it actually trashing the app and not just remove it from the homepage) – I have 5 screens out of 8 that are all WinXP apps from Parallels. UPDATE: Take control of Launchpad with this free app, it makes it more useful but still note as good as ‘OverFlow’ which has a far more compact UI, thus quicker to use and navigate around.
• When sliding between spaces the wallpaper (because each space can have different wallpaper) and menu bar all slide too plus the desktop icons have to redraw themselves, even though they all do not change from space to space.
• Spaces is now doesn’t loop back to the first space when you are at the last space. You also have lost the menu bar item that tell you which space you are in. You can also turn off having dashboard as a space in Sys Pref > MC
• Why change ‘Save as’ to ‘Duplicate‘ – I don’t want to another version of the file, I just want to save the original file as a different filename.
• Can’t have custom icons in the sidebar just grey grey and more grey generic folders
User library folder hidden, in terminal type: chflags nohidden /Users/<Username>/Library
• Auto-correct very annoying—fine on my iPhone but just annoying on my mac. Sys Prefs > Lang & Text > Text > uncheck ‘Correct spelling automatically’
New Address book, new design is clunky to use. The book metaphor really doesn’t work, constantly flicking back and forth as you move between groups and specific contact details.
• Image Capture not longer put a green tick on the photos one they have been downloaded to you mac.
Finder Preview, in SL and earlier, next to the preview image in the preview column in a finder window was a little arrow that you could click to close the preview image, this was useful when accessing large files over the network and the preview image would take a age to display.
• View ‘All windows’ across all apps in expose is gone, you can still view ‘all windows’ by app in Lion.
Start-up time, I have noticed that start up is soooo slow. I timed it, and it takes 54 seconds for the cursor to appear on a lite black screen (up until this point it is as if I haven’t turned it on), then another 9 seconds to see the Apple logo, then 5 sec to see desktop and after 1:22 start up is complete. Even disabling indexing makes no difference.
Shut down, When I restart/Shut down I want a fresh restart so why do I have to uncheck “Reopen windows when logging back in” every time. There is no way to have this stay unchecked. Combined with the above I will be leaving the mac on always. You can render this button useless with the following: 

To Disable The Checkbox:
curl http://goo.gl/Z4EFC -L -s -o ~/fixlogin.sh && chmod +x ~/fixlogin.sh && sudo ~/fixlogin.sh ; rm ~/fixlogin.sh

To Enable The Checkbox:
sudo defaults delete com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook

Link to tip on TUAW

Automatic Termination, I have noticed (only in Text Edit so far) that sometimes when you close the last window the app will auto close. Luckily Text Edit takes but a second to restart. This feature would really become annoying when it starts doing it with CS5 apps. I am perfectly  capable of dealing with app management without the OS making the decision for me. Just because the app is not being uses for a minute or so and has no windows open does not mean that I have finished with it.

*Notes: LionTweaks is a useful little app for changing some of the default Lion settings, for example, replacing the leather look in iCal and AddressBook to a platinum look, if you don’t like it, or removes some of the extra animations Lion has.

Not the end of the world, just need to get used to

• Keyboard shortcuts on dialogue boxes. In SL it was ‘Save’ Return key. ‘Cancel’ Esc key, or Cmd-Period. ‘Don’t Save’ Cmd-D. NOW in Lion Save’ Return key or Cmd-S. ‘Cancel’ Esc key, or Cmd-Period. ‘Don’t Save’ Cmd-Del
• Zooming windows, try apple-n in text edit, unnecessary effects. You can turn it off in Terminal: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO
• Can’t drag icons out of the sidebar to delete, have to now Right Click or cmd & drag.
• No scroll bar arrows – not so important vertically as the scroll wheel deals with that but horizontally useful in certain apps (when zoomed right in in Photoshop/Illustrator).

 

Do like

Re-size windows from any side/corner. Although I have on occasion stated to resize instead of moving a window my accident.
• The new ‘Arrange by” in the finder windows toolbar.
• System Prefs > General > Sidebar icon size setting.
Quick view on URL shortcut files now shows live online content.
• ‘Group as folder‘ feature – select multiple file in finder, right click – first item in contextual menu is ‘new folder with selection (X items)
• Dragging multiple files group together, and show an iOS type indicator number showing how many files you are moving.
• Versions
• Keep both files – When you attempt to add a file to a folder that contains a file of the same name, the Finder now offers to keep both files, appending the word “copy” to the name of the new file
• Heat map in yearly view in the new iCal
Mission Control – nicely integrated exposé and spaces, a lot less clunky than the SL Spaces system preference.
• Accessing networked drives seems quicker, I I click on an unmounted drive, the contents appear quicker than in SL.
Rotate video in QT – I have a lot of portrait video from my camera – but limited save formats.
Merge clips in QT
• New System Information App, shows only the basics by default but you can still see the full info if required.
Time Machine local snapshots, Keeps a basic backup when ™ drive not attached, then when it it adds this snapshot to it.
• You can customise the icons that appear in System Preferences — to hide icons, System Preferences > View menu > Customise.
• Copy & move files in the finder. Cmd-C then Cmd-alt-V to copy & move.
• Look Up a Word in the Dictionary. In TextEdit highlight a word, right click and select “Look up [word]“.
• Digitally sign a document in Preview. Sign a piece of paper, hold it up to your web camera while Preview snaps a photo. It’ll then detect the signature and allow you to add it to your document. Open PDF document, click “Annotate” in the toolbar and then click the Signature drop-down menu.

The future

• I hope the updates will be downloadable .dmg that I can keep and the OS doesn’t just update in the background.

Do you like to new features, should I get a Magic Trackpad – am I missing a trick?

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