updated 09:05 am EST, Thu February 24, 2011
Company holds to 'summer' date for final OS
Confirming earlier rumors, Apple has launched the first developer preview of Mac OS X Lion. Access is limited to people participating in the Mac Developer Program, which costs $99 per year. A release date for the final OS remains phrased in a broad "summer" timeframe.
The preview is meant to get developers started on Lion-specific features such as Versions, Auto Save and the new fullscreen mode. It will also give most developers their first try at features built into to the OS, such as the Launchpad app interface, which replicates the homescreen in iOS. Another Lion component, Mission Control, merges Expose, Dashboard and Spaces.
Some other changes include an upgraded Mail client borrowing cues from the iPad app, and within which conversations are now grouped automatically. AirDrop allows wireless file copying between Macs, while FileVault performs full-disk encryption on any drive and can even do a complete wipe. A Resume option lets people bring apps back to their last state after restarting a Mac or relaunching programs.