When the iPad was first released I wrote a short piece pointing out what I thought was the real game-changing thing about it, that was being ignored. A few days away from releasing iPad 2, Apple have unveiled more details of the next Mac operating system, known as Lion. This is what their laptops and desktop PCs (not the iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches which use iOS) can be running come the summer. And it seems that it has a few features that continue their trend towards making systems more and more easy to use, and avoid those moments that come to everyone sooner or later, when they yell at their computer "noooooo — why have you just done that?!" or "what the **** have you done with the latest version of that document I promised my boss in 5 minutes?" It doesn't go as far as on the iPad where you now can't see files or directories. But it's making interacting with their 'computers' much more like using their mobile devices ...
Here are the three I think will most help the computer users, of whatever level of experience:
Say good-bye to manual saving. Auto Save in Mac OS X Lion automatically saves your work — while you work — so you don’t have to. Lion saves changes in the working document instead of creating additional copies, making the best use of available disk space. The lock feature prevents inadvertent changes from being saved and automatically locks documents after two weeks. And the revert feature returns you to the state the document was in when you last opened it, so you can feel free to experiment with confidence.
Versions records the evolution of a document as you create it. Mac OS X Lion automatically creates a version of the document each time you open it and every hour while you’re working on it. If you need to revert to an older version or retrieve part of a document, Versions shows you the current document next to a cascade of previous versions — in an interface similar to that of Time Machine — so you can see how your work looked at any given time. You can revert with a click, or quickly copy and paste work from a previous version into the current version.
If you’ve ever restarted your Mac, you know what’s involved. First you save your work, then close all your apps, then spend valuable time setting everything up again. With Resume, that time-consuming process is a thing of the past. Resume lets you restart your Mac — after a software update, for example — and return to what you were doing. With all your apps back in the exact places you left them. In fact, whenever you quit and relaunch an app, Resume opens it precisely the way you left it. So you never have to start from scratch again.
If you want something more obviously 'cool' then do look at their video demonstrating the new gestures to their laptops. Nifty!