Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lion without Java and Flash

Two weeks ago Apple presented the new Lion OS on the WWDC. If you watched the keynote you might have noticed thar on some webpages shown, when the presenter flipped through the presentation, had small blue Lego blocks on it. The reason is that Lion comes out of the box without Flash. You still can download flash for Safari but will not be included with Safari and OS. Apple will as well not deliver the OS with Java, but can be downloaded from the web if needed.

The OS will be only available as download, you can't buy it on a DVD, this means you don't have an optical disc to boot from in case the OS is failing when booting. However Lion does install a clean 600MB boot version which can be accesses when booting the computer.
This 600MB 'Restore HD'partition is accessed when you depress the option key while booting your machine. It then shows up beside your other partitions, select it and you'll be straight into recovery mode, which lets you restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup, reinstall Mac OS X, run Disk Utility or use Safari. If this new system works, it looks like Mac repair could be made a little easier.
Some more of the functions for the upcoming Lion OS.

Macs run Safari, no log-in required

Lion lets guest users launch Safari even when they are not logged into the system, reports claim. In the most recent beta, OS X's login screen began offering the option to "Restart to Safari" rather than logging in.

This means anyone should be able to use any Mac to access browser-based services, such as Web apps, online services -- -- or email.

We keep hearing that iCloud won't offer Web-based access to previously available services such as Bookmarks, Contacts or Mail. This seems strange, as offering access to some iCloud services via a browser on a Mac would (theoretically) mean any users could use any Mac to get to their online lives.

This also trounces Google's Chrome, by making any Mac an Internet-connected device, which, given the move to make things such as Pages documents available in their most recent form to multiple products via iCloud makes for a more compelling connected computing experience.

Instant wipe

Some very interesting data within Apple's online description of FileVault 2. For a start, FileVault 2 now supports encryption of external USB and FireWire drives; beyond this, Apple's notes state:

"With FileVault 2, instant wipe removes the encryption key from your Mac instantaneously, making the data completely inaccessible. Then your Mac performs an entire wipe of the data from the disk."

In conjunction with the Find My Mac feature I'm expecting, the Mac will become one of the world's more data secure platforms -- straight out of the box!

Screen sharing

Screen sharing in Lion is much more useful than before. You can now log into a remote Mac user account even while someone on that remote machine is logged into a different user account. You can also log in with your Apple ID, the person on the other end can authorize you for access, and you'll be able to connect to that remote machine just as if using a local user account. Then there's an observation mode. This will be highly useful in many ways. Particularly if you get to use this feature from a mobile device (iPhone, iPad).

Apple melts Rosetta

No big surprise really, but Rosetta support will not feature within Lion. Already an optional install in Snow Leopard, Rosetta lets Mac users access PowerPC apps on their Intel machines. The Intel transition was five years ago so a move to abandon PowerPC completely seems appropriate enough. Built-in Java and Flash support also disappear in Lion, though you'll be able to install the most up-to-date Mac versions from their respective developers, if you need them.

A reader noted that Quicken requires Rosetta, a MacObserver report tells us that while this may be a problem at first, an unusual solution is planned.

Looking ahead, July's Apple news focuses on the Mac: MacBook Air, Mac Pro and Mac mini upgrades are all being discussed (some say new Mac launches are delayed until Lion ships), Final Cut Pro X is also expected to hit the Mac App Store as soon as next week.

One thing is to mention that upgrading to Lion works the best with the MacBook Air because it has a SSD drive. Normal hard drives might be sometimes too slow to take advantage of the new cool features from Apple like instant opening apps in last used state.

We tested Lion on my wife's old MacBook Pro. It is 4 years old and Lion seems sometimes a little bit slow but it might be because it is the developer version. We will see when the final version is out.

So far I have to admit that Lion is a big improvement of Snow Leopard. The low price of the OS should be a no brainer for people to update their computer but older systems might not take full advantage of the new OS.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

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