Posted by Greg Mills

The reviews all seem very positive about Apple’s new Lion OS. Pouge, Mossberg and other luminary tech writers all seem to have just about nothing but praise for Lion and Apple having the guts to innovate. Dvorak, so far seems to have nothing evil to say about Lion, which speaks wonders about it.

A number of reviewers were temporarily frustrated over the reversal of directions in the user interface where swiping a window up and down works differently. In Snow leopard two fingers swiped down the touch pad caused the window to go up not down as in Lion.

The reversal of that most common gesture speaks to the merging of the iOS and Mac OS X systems culture. Apple sees the future and it is mobile computing. Having been trained for a couple of years to swipe up the touch pad to go down the screen, it is taking a while to remember the new user interface. If you imagine your entire laptop as a touch screen the iPad way of scrolling is also the Lion approach.

This feature is a user preference and can be changed back to the older function. Apple logo>System Preferences>mouse or track pad>scroll & zoom>Scroll direction: natural, unclick to restore prior swipe action.

The doing away with scroll bars is also an iOS feature. Note that if you click near the right edge and move up and down the iOS like scroll bars show up and sure enough, work like the ones in Snow Leopard.

Safari and Mail are far and away the two apps I use the most and both of them got major revisions. Mail in particular got both an updated interface and new features. My brother, a college professor, was forced to use MS Office Entourage since Apple’s Mail didn’t support his school’s exchange servers. Being a Mac guy at heart, he is glad to now use Mail.

I added an email account to Mail that is web based, myself. GMail and countless other web based email services can now be added to Mail, which allows you to manage your entire email situation with one app. This was a long time coming.

The only bug I have noticed in the Lion package so far, is a Safari window freeze condition that happened once yesterday and once today. Yesterday, I was winning a chess game on Yahoo games and suddenly, when I was graduating a pawn into a queen to win the game, the screen froze and I was left watching the final minute of time on my clock run out and the other guy won.

I blamed the new Java runtime used in the new Safari browser. I now think the problem is really in Safari, as it happened again writing this very article which isn’t a Java driven page. The screen froze, the cursor was stuck and the window wouldn’t scroll. I saved the file, quit and restarted my MacBook Pro. After digging around in the Safari menu I found the frozen file in the File>Open File menu and amazingly the bulk of what I had written was there. I reloaded the file and it was no longer frozen.

I had to reload the Mac OS X Lion artwork and some text boxes, but the bulk of what I had written was saved. Lion automatically saves our work for us. How many times have you lost a written file due to failure to save and name the effort? Apple cleverly fixes the most irritating things about using a computer and losing time rewriting things is very high on that list.