Personal Thought – Don’t upgrade to Lion

English: The icon of Mac OS X Lion

As a developer I had to upgrade to Lion right when it was released so I could test my Software on it. I’m sure there are lots of people who have not upgraded yet and besides all the technical reviews you can get on arstechnicaand other blogs I would like to give you my personal impression on Lion.

My first impression is: Lion is a step backward. And after having used it for weeks now my impression lasts. There are several issues that are really annoying:

Lion will delete your Windows partition. I did not know this and the installer does not warn you. Installing Lion will create a recovery partition and this recovery partition takes it space from the windows partition (if there is any). So your Windows partition will be totally destroyed. If you have Windows installed your really should make a backup or even better: don’t install Lion.

Rosetta is gone. Lion no longer supports Classic (Mac OS 9) applications. You might think: who cares – and so thought I until is noticed that several of my App no longer work on Lion. Especially lots of old games are still classic and don’t work anymore (that includes: Civilization, Sim City and several shareware games)

Gestures suck. Right Lion comes with lots of gestures but I bet you can’t remember them. Scrolling with two fingers is intuitive but the 4-5 finger gestures are not and I don’t find dragging windows with three fingers useful

Auto open is just stupid. Lion will automatically open all Apps and windows you had open whenever your restart your Mac or when your Mac crashes. The same goes with all Apple Applications like Pages that will automatically open your last used documents. Therefore starting takes much longer and whenever you want to write a letter you first have to close the invoice you typed 2 weeks ago. This is very annoying. To be fair this feature can be disabled in the General Preferences.

Versions. All Apple Apps in Lion now automatically save so you don’t have to take care for it. And you can browse all saved versions like in Time Machine. I actually have not made use of this feature but when you are writing your Master Thesis this might be a good safety net. Lion also locks all documents older than 14 days which is annoying again because I know what I do and don’t need an alert whenever I change an older file.

Too much AppStore.  I see that a lot of people find the AppStore very handy and convenient. But I really hate it. You cannot search it conveniently (no filter), you cannot open tabs, there are no short descriptions of Apps (only icons) and obviously independend Apps that are not feature picked by Apple have no chance to get any attention because updates won’t bring your App up in the rankings. This also has the effect that Apps now are not updated as often as before because Apple does not honor this. After all this leads to a decrease in software quality and diversity. Plus there are no demos allowed (why not 60 minutes demos of all Apps??!!) so often you don’t know what you are buying.

Technically. Lion does not bring huge technological improvements. Security is now better and it’s not all 64 bit but you probably won’t notice. But still there is no Open GL 4, no official BluRay support, no NTFS or ZFS support and Bootcamp is still the same.

Resumé. I think it is a mistake to bring iOS and Mac OS together. A desktop computer is for working and an iPhone is for gaming. This does not fit and if Apple makes Mac OS more iOS like this will draw away professional users and developers to Windows. I fear that in some years Mac OS will be not more than an entertainment system just like iOS or the Playstation.

Listen up Microsoft: make Windows 8 just a bit more user friendly and you could win back a lot of developers and pros…

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    • Winfried Maus
    • November 23rd, 2011

    Rosetta has nothing to do with Mac OS Classic, it was used to run PowerPC applications. The support for classic Mac OS was already completely removed in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.

    Lion is just the beginning of the “iOSification” of Mac OS X. My prognosis is that Apple will announce on next year’s WWDC that OS X Lion will be the LAST version of ‘classic’ OS X and that they will release a ‘new’ operating system which will merge OS X and iOS — with a clear emphasis on iOS and the option to run OS X apps in a sandbox. Apple will champion the Walled Garden approach over an open platform, so they will rather turn iOS into something that can also run OS X apps instead of enabling OS X to also run iOS software. It sounds crazy, but it would suit their business model.

    Windows 8 won’t attract anybody to switch back. Judging from the current Developer Preview, Windows 8 repeats the all the mistakes that Apple made with Lion and that Canonical is making with Unity. Notebooks and desktops are no tablet computers, but apparently the entire software industry is ignoring this not so little fact and has gone totally nuts over the tablet paradigm.

    Greetings from Germany,
    W.

  1. Do you still feel the same after a few months with Lion? I like it more each day and I think Mail.App is a great improvement.

  2. you dont need a new operating system for a brilliant new mail app try “sparrow” if the next version of Mac OS becomes worse than lion I will be switching to PC again or just using snow leopard forever !!!!!!! tried to cope with lion for 6 months..finally had enough of all its inconstancies, and crazy grey interface…now back in Snow leopard…love the coloured buttons coloured icons nice easy to read font, speed, spaces (yes) and expose (yes) and the combination of the 2 where you can move and windows to any other desktop and place it exactly where you want it

    shame apple has lost its mission to give people simple, easy to use systems, while having a core base of professionals…..now we are deduced to features for blondes and builders RIP mac OS….

  3. lets hope there is somebody at Apple that can see sense and has vision again….I dont think Steve Jobs had much input to Lion….i think he was too ill and understandably took his eye of the ball !!!!!!! lion would never have been released if he had been 100 %

  4. what I dont understand is why not just have a big option in preferences,,,, toggle simple / advanced interface job done !

  5. I totally agree with Simon. And I just don’t get used to Lion. I even find more things I don’t like. For instance I forgot to mention the totally screwed Exposé. It already was perfect in Snow Leopard. Why change it to THIS?!
    And I really hate versions. I want control about what changes to save. Often I do some experiments on my documents but versions immediately saves these. This is destroying my workflow. I can understand that there are people who like the new features – especially newbies but the worst thing on Lion is that you cannot turn off all these features.
    Apple has always pushed their ideas and technologies into the market with force. But it is a new dimension when technologies make working more cumbersome and there is no possibility to disable them.

    • Robert Beech
    • January 19th, 2012

    I am a technocretn and don’t understand the ins and outs of computers. I just want the thing to work. I am ‘running’ Lion.

    I purchased a Mac just before Christmas and it has been nothing but a pain in the ass. I have returned it to the store once, had a Mac specialist (GoMac) come to my home for $130 and just last night, a friend who writes applications for the App Store had a try and even he couldn’t get the damn thing to work.

    Mac is full of little secrets and it appears that it is the customer’s challenge to winnow them out, sans manual (we bought three different manuals), sans help menu, and sans common sense. I have gotten to the point that I am considering sacrificing a goat in front of the machine in the hopes that Apple gods may smile upon me and give me a vision as to how the damned thing is supposed to work.

    Seriously, I bought a Mac to do things, not spend days trying to figure the machine out. Each manual is different and none match what the computer actually does. The folks at Mac Store look at me sadly as I try to explain what isn’t working – obviously my fault. GoMac doesn’t solve the problem, and as I said, a programmer who writes for Mac is stymied.

    So what the hell am I supposed to do? At this stage, I am seriously considering writing off the $2300 I spent on the Mac, buy a PC, and then upload to Face Book or You Tube a video of me taking a baseball bat to the Mac. I’m serious!

    The current problem is that I can’t email photos even though Mail works for regular email. This is different than a previous challenge that Mac wouldn’t accept the installation of Painter 12. GoMac took 45 minutes to sort that one out. Anyway, there seems to be a password that is different than any other password I have used. And, because I don’t recognize it, I can’t share the photos and Mac is not going to give me a hint as to what that password might be. In the manuals, share is “click on the photo, click on share, and then write the address of the recipient”. Not! We get “click on the photo, click on Share then be confronted with a server question that requires a secret and hitherto unknown password”. GoMac got us past that little hurdle and now we are confronted with a new box that asks for yet another secret password, says ‘done’ and then refuses to actually send the photo. Instead of a tool and an adjunct to my life, Mac has now become a vexation to the spirit, a time wasting labyrinth of arcane processes not vouchsafed to mortal men, and generally, a piece of high tech crap!

    • Moxy
    • March 16th, 2012

    I have run Macs since I started my business 15 years ago. They were intuitive and a bit zany. I mainly need them for internet access, word processing, basic tech drawings and of course my music store and fiddling about with photos etc.
    To upgrade to Lion means I lose Appleworks- the best and simplest WP programme for a non tech like me- it just does what you want it to do unlike Word and Pages which have perverse minds of their own. All my docs are written in this and I feel as though Apple have just shafted me.
    I want a work horse simple friendly computer with gorgeous graphics not a bloody toy tablet

  1. September 30th, 2011
  2. June 17th, 2012
    Trackback from : I hate Lion. (Mac OS X)

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