October 19, 2010, 8:54 PM — On Wednesday, when Apple holds a Mac-focused event--you remember, those machines that Apple made before iPhones, iPods, and iPads took over?--it promises a look at the upcoming Mac OS X 10.7. Although this release hasn't been named, the invitation clearly shows a lion peeking out from behind a rotated Apple logo... so I'm guessing that Mac OS X 10.7 will be named Lynx. OK, just kidding on that one; clearly it's going to be Lion.
If you like word games, try this one...who's the king of the jungle? Yes, that's right--the lion. Despite having a few more cat names available, Apple chose to name the upcoming Mac OS X release after the big cheese, the top of the heap... so does that mean that this release is the one to top all others, the king of the OS X jungle, as it were? I'm not sure, but Apple tends not to do anything by chance, so I'd wager that Mac OS X 10.7 is going to be more feature-laden and drool-inducing than many past Mac OS X releases.
But exactly which features will be included in Mac OS X Lion? Unlike years past, where developers usually saw a preview of the upcoming Mac OS X release, nobody outside of Apple (at least, not that I've read about) has seen anything of Mac OS X Lion. So really, anyone claiming to know anything at all about what's going to be in there--unless they've verified the contact is Steve Jobs himself--is probably just making stuff up.
That's why I'm not going to talk about what's going to be in 10.7, because I don't have the slightest idea. (Steve apparently has lost my phone number, because he hasn't returned any of the messages I've left asking for details on the new release.) Instead, I'd like to focus on rumors that have been floating around for the last few months, along with a look at some of my desired features and fixes. I'll start with the rumors, because those are always way more fun.
Rumor: Mac OS X 10.7 will be a "closed" environment, just like the iPhone and iPad. Developers will only be able to have apps released for the 10.7 with Apple's prior approval.
Reality: This has about as much chance of happening as does Apple building the mythical midrange Mac minitower. Thankfully, after this rumor gained some traction, Steve Jobs reportedly replied to a "Will there be a Mac OS X app store?" e-mail with a simple "nope." I hope that was an actual reply from Steve Jobs, because developers (myself included, now) would never put up with such control over the main Mac OS.
Rumor: Touch interface