Lion: First Impressions

I finally got Lion downloaded, and it's installed on my MacBook Pro. The upgrade was as simple as Apple said it would be, and there doesn't seem to be anything major broken — although I have yet to take some of my most important Apps for a test drive.

Launchpad

Upon restarting after the upgrade was complete, I noticed the new "Launchpad" and "Mission Control" in my dock. I had been wondering how those would work in practice, so I clicked on Launchpad. It turns out, Launchpad is well-nigh unusable. Launchpad apparently grabs every single thing it can find anywhere on your computer that has a .app or .exe extension, and displays every one of them.

Here is a screenshot of the fifth screen of Launchpad. For some reason, I have about 30 instances of Google Chrome in there. I rarely even use Google Chrome. I do have it installed in, I think, 2 places: On my Mac, in Applications, and in a virtual Windows 7 running under Parallels. Okay, so that's 2. Why 30? Apple? Steve? Bueller? Anyone?

<img class="size-medium wp-image-66 " title="Launchpad is virtually unusable" src="http://www.sustainedpanic.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad-640x400.jpg" alt="Launchpad is virtually unusable" width="640" height="400" srcset="https://www.sustainedpanic.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad-640x400.jpg 640w, https://www.sustainedpanic.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad-250x156.jpg 250w, https://www.sustainedpanic.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad-400x250.jpg 400w, https://www.sustainedpanic.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad-120x75.jpg 120w, https://www.sustainedpanic Check Out Your URL.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad-80x50.jpg 80w, https://www.sustainedpanic.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad-202x126.jpg 202w, https://www.sustainedpanic.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad-75x46.jpg 75w, https://www.sustainedpanic.com/wp-content/uploadspanic/2011/07/Launchpad.jpg 1000w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" />

Launchpad is virtually unusable. Seeing all those Google Chrome .exe files in Launchpad is enough to make me panic!

The worst aspect is that it appears Launchpad includes every single .exe file from the 3 instances of virtual Windows that I have on my machine (Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7). I have something called "Microsoft...ragmenter." A "Microsoft...onent" and a "Microsoft...ponent." Something called "UNINST_U...A74_1.exe." And a few dozen other uncomprehensible .exe files, obviously pulled from my virtual Windows installations.

There doesn't seem to be any way to exclude specific apps from appearing in Launchpad. Even the Mac apps on my computer, there are a lot of programs that I would prefer do not appear in Launchpad. Facetime, for example. I don't use Facetime. I've never used Facetime. I may never use Facetime. But apparently it will always take up space in my Launchpad, whether I use it or not. Chess. Garageband. Photobooth. DVD Player. Many others. Either I never use them, or I may use them once every couple of years. I do not need them in Launchpad.

This is a major flaw in Launchpad, and I will be removing Launchpad from my Dock permanently. Unless I can find a way to designate only the apps that I want in there.

Mission Control

Meh. I already had Expose. <shrug> I may eventually come to like Mission Control. At least it's not as screwed up as Launchpad.

Restore (Resume?)

I was really looking forward to the Resume feature in Lion. It seems to be called Restore in Lion, although Apple was calling it Resume in all the pre-release marketing hype. Unless maybe Restore and Resume are two different but similar things.

I haven't actually had occasion to use Resume or Restore yet. At least, not on purpose. When I launched System Preferences for the first time after the upgrade, SysPrefs hung up and I had to force-quit. Then, when I relaunched it, it popped up the following dialog box:

System Preferences is a single-window application that's not resizable. Why am I getting this dialog box?

System Preferences is a single-window application that's not resizable. Why am I getting this dialog box?

I'm not clear on whether this "Restore Windows" option is the same thing as the feature Apple has been calling "Resume," or if it's something different. Does anyone know?

Natural Scrolling

Eventually, I launched my browser (Firefox). Of course, I instantly noticed the new scrolling approach that Apple implemented. Instead of swiping down to go down, and up to go up, it's now reversed: Swipe down to go up, and up to go down. Apple calls it "natural scrolling." Imagine a piece of paper lying on the table in front of you. You "push" the piece of paper up to bring the lower portion of the paper into your viewport, and you "push" the piece of paper down to bring the upper portion into your viewport.

I'm not sure I like it. I decided that for now, it's easier to go back to scrolling the normal way. I had read that's a user-selectable option in System Preferences. So off I headed to System Preferences — that was when I got the "Restore/Don't Restore" dialog box above. Once I got past the inanity of that dialog box, unchecking the "Natural Scrolling" option was easy and quick.

I may go back and re-enable the new way of scrolling. When I used it briefly before disabling it, I found myself quickly getting used to it. But I think going back and forth between my Mac Pro (using mouse with scrollwheel) and MacBook Pro (using trackpad), it would get too confusing to have to keep switching mental gears. Perhaps if I get myself one of those awesome Magic Trackpads, so I can "swipe" on my desktop machine, I'll re-enable Natural Scrolling.

While I was in SysPrefs, I also selected the option to display scrollbars always. The little scrollbar lozenge provides useful information to me at a glance: How much of the document is the window currently displaying? And approximately where within the document am I? I don't want to have to actually scroll to see that; I just want to see it with a quick glance. I have a 27" monitor and a 22" monitor; I don't need to scrimp on screen real estate badly enough to lose my scrollbars.

Resizable Windows

Nah, resizable windows isn't new. But what's new to Mac is the ability to resize windows from any corner or edge. That ability is one of the few features — actually, probably the only feature — that I've always thought Windows did better than Mac. We could only resize our windows from the lower right corner. Finally, Apple brings that capability to its faithful Mac users.

My everlasting gratitude goes out to Steve Jobs and the awesome developers at Apple. I would have shelled out the $30 for Lion for this feature alone.

There's Plenty More... But I'm Not There Yet

After I've used Lion for a bit, and perhaps get up the moxie to install it on my Mac Pro, I'll write more about the changes. These are just my initial impressions and reactions to the most obvious differences that cropped up when I first installed Lion.

Meanwhile, here's a handy little checklist from Cody Fink detailing "The First Five Things I Do When I Set Up Lion."

Comments

  1. Almost every new release of a major softwear its having some bugs. Just wait a little longer and they will be fixed.
    I will wait for your opinion in a few weeks to see if its so revolutionary as they say will be.

    ps: now I noticed that you are the same webmaster over the http://www.tropicalwebworks.org.

Trackbacks

  1. […] my account of my initial Lion impressions. Share […]

Speak Your Mind

*

%d bloggers like this:
64.64.0.9 - 107.20.10.203