I absolutely love my Mac. With the MacBook Pro, along with products such as the iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro, Apple has seriously raised the bar with the quality and grade of materials and components that go into their computers. The aluminum body, backlit keyboard, large glass trackpad, and beautiful display on my MacBook Pro easily surpasses the quality of any other notebook that I’ve ever seen. And the sleek design is really the icing on the cake. But as much as I love the design and physical aspects of my Mac, the thing that drew me into Apple’s product line and amazed me the most has been the operating system; Mac OS X. Having had used Linux for a while before buying my Mac, I was honestly a tad concerned about the move to OS X, as many critics are quick attribute the simplicity of the operating system as a flaw. However I have, in the past few months, developed the opinion that OS X is the most versatile operating system on the market right now, conforming to the needs of novices and power-users alike.
Needless to say, as a new Mac user I was seriously looking forward to the official unveiling of Lion a few weeks back at Apple’s highly covered Worldwide Developers Conference. I didn’t really know what I was expecting to come out of it, but I naturally figured that the next generation operating system would sport various improvements and perhaps a handful of handy features. But after everything set in after the event, I must say that I am a bit wary about Lion to the point that I honestly do not want to upgrade right away.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Lion looks to be a great improvement for most users, and I honestly do believe that it will help the Macintosh product line to grow. And for $30 – the same price that the Snow Leopard update shipped for – Lion really is a steal considering all of the new features that it sports. That said, though, many of the improvements presented in Lion just don’t seem like things I myself would use.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference in Lion is the implementation of auto-hiding iOS style scroll bars. While I can respect the fact that this change helps to better preserve and utilize screen real-estate, I think that in a full-blown desktop operating system it’s flat-out silly to do something like this. I for one like to be able to look at a scroll bar to see where I am positioned on a page, document, or website, and the new scroll bars simply won’t do that for me.
Now, when I bought my Mac and was looking at OS X, one of the things that I fell in love with was the Aqua user interface (UI). The well-rounded blue scroll bars really do flow well throughout various applications and throughout the operating system. But the hidden scroll bars just seem bland and unlively to me, especially after having fallen in love with Aqua.
On top of this, while the implementation of multiple workspaces within the operating system do seem very convenient for your average muti-tasker, I as a minimalist think that this presents way too much clutter. Moreover, the workspaces seem to encourage the design and use of full-screen applications, which have always seemed to go against the design of OS X. At the same time, though, I’m up at arms about this concept because while it does go against what OS X has been like thus far, it does open the doors for much better organization and grouping of windows. Needless to say, this would clean up the appearance of the desktop a bit and restore the minimalist appearance that I enjoy.
The concept of application states being saved and restored when I launch an application also gets at me a bit. When I close a window, page, or document I do so because I am done with it and don’t want to be bombarded with the same thing when I re-launch the application. In the rare occasions that do want to save my window states and whatnot, I simply close the lid on my MacBook to go into sleep mode. Honestly, though, there are going to be cases where I’ll likely enjoy saved application states. But for the most part, I think that the feature will present more of an annoyance than anything else.
Last but not least, the fact that the upgrade will be done online only without the option to purchase or order physical DVD installation media makes upgrading a rather large inconvenience as my region doesn’t offer very high download speeds at all. Really, the 4gb download will probably take me an entire day to complete, during which time my other Internet activities will be brought to a halt. Sure, this isn’t Apple’s fault, but I for one feel that the lack of DVD media helps to push their App Store yet is very inconsiderate of the needs of some Apple customers.
All this said, I’m sure I’ll upgrade to Lion. It may not be on day one. It may not even be the first month. But eventually I’ll end up upgrading to the new operating system, because for each reason I’ve presented against the upgrade I have at least two or three reasons that I’m actually looking forward to the new release. Sure, my views may sound critical, but it’s not because I dislike Mac OS X. I love OS X. I just don’t have a personal need (or want) for some of the features it offers.