My main reply to this review is that Mr. Diaz doesn’t get it: Lion is designed to be the final piece of the iOS-ification puzzle of the new Apple era. Without iOS 5, the operating system’s main feature — deep iCloud integration — may seem quite pointless.
Lion has a few new features which I may never use — Launchpad, Mission Control — so I agree with Jesus’ gripes about them:
But when you add Desktop Spaces and the Dashboard Space, it all becomes a mêlée of windows, desktops, squares, Dashboard widgets and icons. When you get into Mission Control by swiping three fingers up, you get a new clusterfuck that is added to the traditional windowed clusterfuck we have now. Click on one of the windows or spaces or whatever to go to it. Does it work? Yes. Is it more confusing for consumers than Exposé or Spaces? Yes. It’s more complicated because it tries to mix control of all these different entities in one single place. The mix doesn’t work.
I don’t see the point of the Launchpad, and even now I don’t really step back to view all my spaces. I have a set organization for what my spaces are:
I usually never deviate from this organization, and I have set system preferences to launch those apps in the respected spaces above. Compartmentalization is key to my workflow, and I think this is common to many 10.6 power users. Another power user concept is Spotlight, or using another 3rd party app like Alfred. So, the issues with Launchpad and Mission Control are moot since that is my primary method of using applications. If I want to switch applications, I use ⌘+tab. If I want to switch places, I use ⌘+left/right/up/down.
The heart of Jesus’ point is that Mac OS 10.7 is incomplete because of the improper mish-mash of iOS features, and that the end consumer won’t really see that merger in the way Apple intended:
I love Mac OS X. I’ve used it since the very first and painful developer preview, back in September 2000. I love iOS too, because its modal nature simplifies powerful computing, and, at the same time, empowers normal people. I hoped Mac OS X Lion was going to merge both perfectly. Sadly, from a user interface point of view, it has failed to achieve that. And by failing at this task, it has made a mess of what was previously totally acceptable.
Lion is meant to merge the two concepts perfectly, but only when iOS 5 is in the hands of consumers. The simplicity of AirDrop, the deep integration with iCloud, the familiarity with the gestures — all of this comes together in the Lion package only when a consumer is using the iPhone or iPad. Much of Apple’s success has been due to the iOS platform, and this the original reason why 10.7 is making the design leap in that direction.
The abandonment that Jesus feels is not unique to him — many power users will be dismayed and annoyed by the lack of “OCD control”. But Apple has made it clear with Final Cut Pro X — there is a larger market audience they want to please. So, on the surface the OS is going to provide the features the large audience will want to see, because they will be familiar with it. For the power users like myself and Jesus, we may not see the real power of the OS until iOS 5 is fully developed and we have time to tweak 10.7 more to a point of familiarity.
Lion will only be seen as a triumph when the entire Apple ecosystem is taken into consideration, and this cannot be done until Fall (the public iOS 5 release). So, in many cases, the upgrade may not be worth it until that time.