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From the author of Examining the iOS Influence

Examining the iOS Influence

After you have Lion, you'll find that in addition to being feature-rich, Lion lives up to Apple's promise to adapt a look and feel that is more like iOS, making your Apple experience across multiple types of devices more uniform. Apple iPads, iPods, and iPhones all use the operating system referred to as iOS, and Apple used many features from this operating system in Mac OS X Lion.

One of the iOS features that Lion adapted is the grouping of app icons on a centralized screen that is easy to get to and can be expanded to include additional screens. The feature is called Launchpad. If you have an i-device, you see this type of screen when you turn on your device. On a Mac, you still see the desktop when you turn on the computer, but you can get to the Launchpad screens by clicking the Launchpad icon in the Dock.

After you have the Launchpad screen open, you can use all the techniques you are familiar with on your i-device. You can swipe right or left to see the next or previous page, you can drag icons on top of each other to create folders, you can make the icons wiggle when you want to edit them, and so on.

The multi-touch gestures in Lion are a carryover from iOS, too. You swipe, pinch, tap, and double tap on a Mac in the same way you do on i-devices. The only difference is that you don't touch the Mac screen with these gestures. Instead you use the Trackpad or the surface of the Magic Mouse[1]. Since a Mac's screen is not hand-held like the i-devices' are, using gestures on a Trackpad or mouse is infinitely more convenient and less tiring than touching the screen would be.

These multi-touch gestures in themselves are great, but you can tell that Lion has been super-tuned to respond to them. Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of the Mac division, said it best when he said, "The page feels really alive beneath your fingers."

This is due to the responsive scrolling in all directions and the rubber band bounce of the page on the screen. A simple vertical swipe on the Trackpad makes the pages in a long document fly up or down on the screen. A simple touch on the Trackpad stops the scrolling dead. It has the same feel as when I scroll through the hundreds of contacts on my iPhone. Just what Apple intended!

[1] If you have a Magic Mouse, you can employ only some of the multi-touch gestures on its surface.

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