Apple will be releasing the much-anticipated OS X Lion this month. In fact probably in the next week or so. Here are some things you need to know about Lion:
- Lion requires a Mac that's based on the Intel Core Duo processor. You can check via About this Mac in the Apple menu; electing "About This Mac." Under the Processor heading, look for Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon; those should all mean you're good to go for Lion.
- Lion will only be available via download from Apple's own App store. That means you have to have OS Snow Leopard in order to download Lion. Lion will cost $29.99.
- You have to be running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 in order to install Lion.
- You need to have at least 8 gigs free on your System drive.
- You need to have at least 2 gigs of RAM; more is better. I'd suggest upgrading to 4 if you can.
- You won't be able to run older software that's PowerPC based. So you need to find replacements for those apps. Yes, you've been able to run older apps like Quicken 2007 on Snow Leopard via Apple's Rosetta application, but Rosetta is going away.
Reasons to Upgrade to Lion include:
- Lion offers some interesting improvements to standard apps like Mail, as well as the ability to use more gestures, like swiping, on trackpads. You might want to watch this video; it explains a lot about why you want Lion. Lion offers a number of ways to work more efficiently and use your screen real estate effectively.
- Apple is touting 250 new features in Lion; there are a lot of new features, but some, like FaceTme, are a year or so old.
- Lion introduces Auto Save—the OS automatically saves files for you, and a new app called Versions let's you rollback to a previously saved state (Auto Save and Versions improve and replace Time Machine).
- AirDrop makes it very easy to transfer files wirelessly.
You can find out what apps you have currently that are PowerPC native, and work on upgrading or replacing them via the Software panel of About This Mac. Universal apps are fine; it's the PowerPC ones that won't run.