[image via Apple.com]
As any Mac enthusiast is aware, Apple released the latest version of its operating system yesterday, OS X Lion. There are several reviews on various tech blogs, including the seminal 19-page review in Ars Technica by John Siracusa. In some ways, it is a much bigger upgrade than its predecessors, Snow Leopard which made no bones about having no new features. Mission Control and Launchpad, two new features are mostly for people buying Macs for the first time. The Mail app has a new look and usability changes. Apart from being touchpad friendly, there are several little tweaks that make it a worthwhile upgrade for a measly $29.
However, for me, the following is one killer tweak that I have struggled with on several ocassions:
With the laptop lid closed and the computer asleep: Plug an external display in, wake the computer, and the external display will be the only working display. If you were to then open your laptop lid, the laptop’s screen would turn on and you have two working monitors.
With the laptop lid open and the computer awake: Plug an external display in and you have two working screens. If you were to then close your laptop lid, the laptop’s screen turns off and the external monitor becomes the only working monitor.
In short, opening and closing your laptop’s lid is like adding or removing a second display, and does not affect putting the computer to sleep.
I almost always hook my laptop to a 22″ external monitor when I’m at home and I’m lucky enough to be able to get my Mac to office and hook it to a an external monitor for my personal stuff. With Snow Leopard, the behavior was always unpredictable when you closed the lid and turned on the monitor. Sometimes it worked but at other times, you had to open the lid and wake the computer up again. Or plug in a USB device to wake it up once the lid was closed. It didn’t help that I was using a bluetooth wireless keyboard and a trackpad because tapping wouldn’t always wake it up. With this tweak, the behavior is intuitive. If the laptop is open, it can be used as an external monitor and doesn’t just stay open with a dark screen and if you close it, it doesn’t put the computer to sleep.
Apart from this change, Scrolling, strangely called Natural, is reversed so that can mess with your head a little. You can change it back or try it for a while. It can be extremely frustrating and I can see why it is making people mad. I’m trying to stick with it for a while though.
Have you upgraded to Lion yet? What is the biggest change you have seen and what feature do you hate the most?