Following the release of the second Developer Preview of OS X Lion two days ago, several blogs have posted details and screenshots of what’s new, improved and changed in this build and, overall, Mac OS 10.7 itself. Together with the new features we covered in the past, Lion introduces a brand new multi-user screensharing system that will allow users to remotely log into their own computer even while it’s being used (locally) with another account. This is a major change that turns Mac OS’ Screen Sharing tool into a powerful remote computing solution with fast users switching options.
AppleInsider has posted details and screenshots of the new feature. A user has the possibility to log into a computer with his own account while another account is currently managing and using the machine; the “remote user” will still see his desktop environment, all his files and applications. In previous versions of OS X, when a user tried to connect remotely and share the screen, the “local user” would have to give up on the possibility of controlling the screen – or otherwise find a way to communicate in real-time with the remote user to decide who should move the mouse and control the computer. We’ve all been in this situation: when a friend asks us to control his machine for troubleshooting purposes, we have to make sure he doesn’t do anything while we’re controlling his desktop UI. Or, we tried to remotely log into our home computer only to find out a family member was using it and we had no way to independently access to our apps, files and folders. Lion will change this, and we believe it’s quite possibly one of the most interesting features unveiled so far, as it opens to a lot of possibilities for remote access, troubleshooting and, overall, effortless management of a machine not in our local network. Read more
Following the OS X Lion Developer Preview 2, Apple also posted a new version of Xcode for developers on the Mac Dev Center. Changes in this new build include project and workspace windows that now support fullscreen mode, enhancements in the Core Data editor and compiler.
The first preview of Xcode 4.1 was seeded on February 24th.
Following a brief fix in Software Update, here comes a new build of OS X Lion. It’s available now in the Mac Dev Center. Build number is 11A419. Once again, the new Developer Preview must be downloaded through the Mac App Store via a redeem code. It’s worth noting that OS X Lion Server has been posted as a separate build this time:
To install the Lion Developer Preview, you’ll need 10.6.7 or the previous developer preview which, again, needs to be updated in Software Update. For those who will need to pause their download from the Mac App Store and resume it, Apple says in the FAQ section:
If you need to interrupt your download for any reason, including changing the network you are connected to or traveling to a new location, ensure that you first Pause your download under the Purchases tab in Mac App Store. After you re-establish your connection, you may Resume your download under the Purchases tab.
While TechCrunch reported a few days ago that Apple would soon release a “GM” version of Lion to developers, it clearly appears that Lion still needs a few more updates before being ready for the golden master status. Several bloggers are speculating that a GM version will actually be released at the WWDC, which will kick off in San Francisco on June 6th.
Changes in the Lion Developer Preview 2 are still unknown. We’ll update this post as we gather more details.
TechCrunch now follows up to their previous report with details on today’s build:
More importantly, this is the build that Apple is considering to be a “GM1″ revision internally, we hear. And yes, it’s said to be much more stable and complete than the previous build.
Having said that, it’s unlikely that this will be the actual “Golden Master” copy. We’re still a solid two months away from Apple’s WWDC event where Lion will be a key area of focus. Apple may attempt to launch Lion there, but more likely is that the release candidates is handed out to developers there.
Following the speculation that Apple might soon seed a GM build of OS X Lion to developers, TechCrunch now reports the long-awaited major revamp of iOS, dubbed iOS 5, has been pushed back to fall, with a possible WWDC preview in June. The rumor is interesting because it breaks Apple’s usual release cycle and media event pattern: in the past years, Apple previewed a new version of iPhone OS (and then iOS) with a media event in March / April, and then released it by the WWDC, or soon after that together with the availability of a new iPhone model. And in the past years, this plan has worked quite well for Apple: developers had time to test the OS in the months leading up to the WWDC, whilst everyone else was getting ready for a new iPhone in June / July. According to TechCrunch, this is about to change.
Citing “two solid sources”, MG Siegler reports this year’s plan involves a preview of the new OS at the WWDC, and a public release “this fall”. Putting the pieces together, as TechCrunch also notes, pushing iOS 5 back to fall would play well with Apple’s usual music event in September. But why would Apple use the music event to do some major iOS-related announcement? TechCrunch speculates it’s all about the cloud: the rumored “music locker” service will be ready this fall, and being a major new feature of iOS 5 Apple might as well wait until September to unveil it. iOS 5 is also rumored to introduce a new UI, a new notification system, direct OS X integration. Read more
After the release of the first Lion developer preview last week, we have seen Apple is bringing several aspects of iOS to the desktop: the Launchpad mimics iOS’ Springboard and folders, gestures allow you to move between apps like in the iOS 4.3 beta, Resume lets Mac OS save the state of apps (window, position, content) even after a logout or restart. We did a little bit of digging in the Lion preview, and we found some files in the Finder’s resources that suggest a direct connection between iOS devices and Lion’s Finder could be coming in the future.
The files, located in the System folder, clearly show iPhone, iPad and iPod touch icons at three different sizes, likely to be used in the Finder’s sidebar. Other icons currently not used by Lion like “Mobile Documents” (first spotted by 9to5mac) are in there as well. While the presence of mobile documents suggests a Dropbox-like functionality for the Finder is coming with MobileMe / iWork.com, we speculate these iOS device icons might be for a future direct connection between iPhones, iPads, iPod touches and the Finder itself.
Basing on pure speculation, we wouldn’t mind seeing Apple implementing the AirDrop functionality (which lets you share files between Macs running Lion with a single drag&drop) for iOS devices as well. Users with a Mac and a nearby iPhone or iPad could drop files into the Finder and instantly share them. A direct iOS-Finder connection opens to many possibilities, though: what about PDFs, photos, mobile downloads, documents coming from apps? Currently, these things are all handled by iTunes. While many users appreciate the comfort of a single application to manage all kinds of media ending up on their iOS devices, there’s no doubt having an iPad accessible in the Finder would be much more convenient for certain tasks like document sorting or sharing. Perhaps with a little bit of cloud integration.
Again, we’re just speculating here – but the icons are there and ready to be implemented in some way through the Lion Finder. There’s an Apple event tomorrow, iOS 5 is rumored to be previewed alongside the iPad 2 – maybe we’ll see what this connection between iOS and the Mac could be about.
Philip Dow, unhappy with the current offerings of journaling applications (including his own Journler) for OS X, has opened up the popular diary app over at Sprouted as a complete Xcode project. Journler was closed over a year ago, leaving many dissatisfied customers in its wake. Looking to finally put Journler to a good end, Philip has reluctantly opened up the source code to the public in an effort to rekindle development company Sprouted.
With this rekindling comes a new and improved journaling application dubbed Per Se, which looks stunning if not bold from this first sneak peek. The end goal is to create a realistic journaling experience on the desktop, literally recreating the page metaphor as you write in an open book. Shown in the screen grab above, Per Se includes super fast calendaring, bookmarking, searching, and a tags feature so your records are never lost. We like the developer’s approach in creating an untraditional experience for desktop users, but we have to ask our readers: would you trade a text editor or alternative journaling application for Per Se’s beautiful paper interface?
[via Journler Blog]
We’ve already covered the plans of the Omni Group for 2011: a huge update to OmniFocus and OmniPlan, deeper cloud integration with the deployment of the Omni Sync Server in multiple applications and the arrival of outlining and text editing app OmniOutliner on the iPad. A few minutes ago, the Omni Group updated its official Vimeo channel to give a sneak peek of the work-in-progress build of OmniOutliner for iOS, which was demoed at Macworld a few weeks ago.
OmniOutliner for iPad, just like the Mac version, will make it easy to capture ideas and structure them hierarchically with drag & drop, multitouch integration and the possibility to nest as many levels as you need with gestures. Users will be able to apply custom styles to text through a popover menu, or styles to entire rows and multiple rows at the once. It sounds very intriguing. OmniOutliner for iPad, according to the Omni Group, will bridge the gap between a word processor and a spreadsheet app.
Frankly, we can’t wait to try out the app and see if the Omni Group manages to pull out a complete reinvention of OmniOutliner like they did with OmniFocus on the iPad. Check out the video below in its HD glory. Read more
In the past months, Google has been very busy improving the experience of iOS users on products like Gmail, Google Docs and the Google homepage: Google Docs editing came to Mobile Safari, then Google launched Instant for Mobile, which similarly to the desktop lets you see search results as you type. Most recently, Google has enabled Cloud Print support for Gmail in iOS Safari and improved the mobile weather widget on its homepage.
As noted by 9to5mac, Google has also begun testing a new feature for iOS browsers (and Android as well, we guess) which hasn’t been officially announced yet but was spotted by some users. Google “Instant Previews” will let you have a quick preview of a website by tapping on the magnifying glass icon – again, just like on desktop browsers you get a preview inside a popup menu on google.com. On iOS though, it looks like the feature will really be redesigned to sport a much better touch interaction: previews will open in a dedicated window that reminds of Safari’s tabs and you can flick through them to quickly preview search results.
It is unclear at this moment whether the feature is being tested among some users in the United States or worldwide, and when Google plans to launch it or at least announce it.
A few minutes ago Apple seeded a new Xcode 4 preview build to developers, which is available in the Mac and iOS Dev Centers. The new version , labelled Developer Preview 6, adds a number of features and enhancements over the previous preview build, which was released in November. Xcode 4 is a major new version of Apple’s development suite which sports lots of new features and a new single-windowed UI. The first version of Xcode 4 preview was released during the WWDC in June, the second build was seeded in late July, Preview 3 was made available on September 2, Preview 4 was released in October.
Check out the release notes below. Read more