Three quick tips for a smooth transition to OS X Lion
The official release of
Mac OS X Lion (10.7) is just around the corner (AppleInsider reports that it might be launched tomorrow Wednesday together with the new Macbook Air) and I thought I’d share three very quick tips that could help you get around Apple’s new system once you’ll hit the “buy” button on the Mac App Store.
- The first major change is the “Natural scroll direction”. In an attempt to homogenize the user experience on a Mac with the one on an iOS device (iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone), Apple has now inverted the direction of the scroll. If you’re used to swipe your two fingers down on the trackpad to move to the bottom of the page, you’ll now need to move them upwards. It is a very disruptive change at the beginning and the Trackpad preferences pane allows you to disable it should you wish to stick to a gesture you’ve now been used for decade(s). I have now been using OS X Lion developer releases for more than 2 months and I have to admit that after being very confused for a few days, this new and inverted gesture now makes complete sense. You already push the page up on your iPad when you need to read further towards the bottom. Just think of your trackpad as an iPad touchscreen and you should be good. And by the way, that inversion also applies to the Magic Mouse and all other mouses as well (yep, you’ll need to roll that click-wheel upwards).
- Spaces, Dashboard and Expose have now been merged in one single screen called “Mission Control” and which you can access by swiping four fingers up on your trackpad. Don’t hesitate to abuse it as it quickly becomes a great way to switch between applications and organize your too many open windows across various desktops. Your Dashboard and multiple desktops are shown on top of the Mission Control screen and swiping your very same four fingers left and right will allow you to switch among them (that even works outside of Mission Control). You can even go back to your Trackpad System Preferences to enable the App Expose: swipe your four fingers down and get a quick overlook of all the windows and documents open by the application you’re currently working on (perfect when you’re looking for that lost popup window in Safari or Chrome).
- Those of you familiar with the user’s Library folder might be frustrated to see that Finder no longer allows you to access that precious directory where various application preferences and settings are stored. The folder still exists but it has now been hidden (which probably makes sense to avoid accidental file deletions) and you can still access it from Terminal (“cd Library” from your home directory) or by typing the following two lines/commands in Terminal in order to tell Finder to show all hidden files on your Mac (just be careful):
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
(Do that again by replacing TRUE with FALSE once you’re ready to hide those files and folders again. )