What’s New in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Mac App Store, Launchpad, Mission Control and More

Alongside many other items shown off at the Back to the Mac event Apple announced Mac OS X Lion, otherwise known as Mac OS X 10.7, which will be available in Summer of 2011. Mac OS X Lion has a few cool new features built-in that Apple hopes will make using your new Mac even more enjoyable including, a Mac App Store, LaunchPad, Mission Control and enhanced full screen support.

Mac App Store: Perhaps the biggest news of the day is that Apple is bringing the App Store experience that has served the company and users well on mobile platforms to Mac. The Mac App Store will launch ahead of Lion, but it will be built right into the next OS X. The Mac App store will allow users to have a trusted centralized place to buy apps and will provide developers with a similar split of profits.

Just like the App Store experience on the iPhone and iPad, the Mac App Store will also provide users with a simple way to make sure that all of their apps are up to date. The apps will be licensed for use on all the Macs in your household with one purchase. It is important to note that it you won’t need to jailbreak your Mac to install other apps or software.

LaunchPad: Launchpad takes a cue from the iPad and provides a homescreen for you to keep your apps. The LaunchPad will sit in the dock, and when clicked fold out to show the apps you have installed. Like on the mobile platforms you can organize apps and group them into folders for faster access.

Mission Control: Mission Control is the new go to place to keep track of everything happening on your Mac in one location. Featuring the next version of Expose, Mission Control provides a, “unified view of every app and window running on your Mac, so you can instantly navigate anywhere.”

Mission Control will show you the windows running on your Mac in groups with full screen apps on the top, open windows and docs — allowing you one click access to anything running on your Mac.

Enhanced full screen support with Gesture Switching: In Mac OS X Lion there is “system-wide” support for full screen applications. With one click you’ll be able to make any app full screen and switch to another full screen app with a gesture on the mousepad. Instead of minimizing or switching, you can just swipe to the left or right on your mouse and you will change applications.

These are just a few of the biggest Mac OS X Lion features shown off today at the Back to the Mac event and highlight many of the iPad style features being brought back to the Mac.

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