updated 09:00 pm EDT, Thu March 31, 2011
Concurrent remote users with their own sessions
Screen Sharing in the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" has been considerably beefed up, now allowing multiple remote users to log into accounts that are not currently active, and allowing for concurrent users working independently of each other -- much closer to Apple Remote Desktop's ability or Microsoft's Terminal Services, according to an investigation by AppleInsider. The app has been updated from v1.1 to v1.3, and now allows completely separate sessions from any other locally- or remotely-logged in user.
When OS X was originally released, it could support multiple users -- but only one at a time, requiring a full logout before another user could log on. Fast User Switching was introduced with OS X 10.3 (Panther), which allowed one account to stay logged in (or even keep programs running) while another account was being used locally. Screen Sharing arrived with Leopard and has been little-changed since up until now.
The change could prove extremely useful for remote use of the Mac while a local user is still using it, for doing remote troubleshooting or upgrades without disturbing other users, or even for mobile devices using VNC to connect and use a Lion-running Mac among other possibilities. The Screen Sharing now includes an Observe (view only) mode as well as a Control mode, along with a screen-capture button all borrowed from Apple Remote Desktop. Other changes include a new keyboard shortcut for switching between Observe and Control modes when logged in.
Developers have cautioned that the new feature is not yet stable and not currently compatible with Apple Remote Desktop. [via AppleInsider]