Apple today released new versions of its Mac computers as well as the system software that powers them.
At first blush, today's changes would seem to be business as usual for the technology giant, which has built massive success off cyclical updates to its products. But behind the scenes the changes represent a carefully crafted strategy in how the company presents its products to customers, as well as getting its machines more tightly connected to its various digital storefronts. Read on to find out what's new.
New operating system First things first, there's Lion, the latest version of Apple's Mac OS. The new software is the seventh major revision of Mac OS X, and an upgrade to Apple's Snow Leopard OS which came out in late 2009.
Apple is advertising Lion as having more than 250 new features, with some of the biggest ones being touches brought over from iOS, the system software that powers Apple's iPhone, iPod and iPad. That includes things like an icon-based application launcher, and multitouch gestures that make the OS feel more like an iPhone or iPad when interacting with onscreen content using a multitouch trackpad.
There are also full-screen applications--something Microsoft's Windows has had for years, but Apple's taken a slightly different approach with--making use of the multitouch trackpad to let users switch back and forth between full-screen apps, almost like pages of a magazine. Apple plans to bring identical behavior to iPad apps with a software update in the fall. … Read more