Mac OS X Lion 10.7 – The Lion roars before you’re raped and then eaten

 In Brain Fart

I write this as I wait blankly-eyed as the latest version of OS X seeps into my work system like a relentless STD spread from the phallus that is the Mac App Store. This post in the beginning is being crafted slowly on the virtual Swype keyboard of my Samsung Android phone.

OS X Lion 10.7 Installing

OS X Lion 10.7 worries me. And here’s the random brain ejaculation on the subject.

Yesterday, the Evening Standard kept up with their new trend of half-arsely reporting on technology news they only half understand. Their story went on the angle of the massive triumph Apple has made with the release of Lion. They say it’s a step closer to the iPad, and because of this it will benefit all users.

I say that this is its biggest detriment.

When they originally launched the App Store on Snow Leopard I got nervous. This is because it was a nod to a more iOS orientated future for the desktop.

Now, there’s a reason I am posting this from an Android device. This is due to the strangulatory nature of iOS.

When I got my first iPhone back in 2008 I knew in my head I had to sacrifice certain liberties I had previously enjoyed on my plethora of Nokia phones. Freedoms such as installing apps from wherever I liked, being able to browse a phone like a portable hard drive, and having increased freedom on customisation. Yet I took the plunge and tried it out anyway.

2 iPhones in and I jumped ship. The maturity of Android allowed me back into an ecosystem that would get me past that barrier of functionality I kept repeatedly hitting with iPhone. I now have the freedom to tether my phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot wherever I wish at the click of a button. I can change default applications like the music player to a different one and make all music open in there; listening to FLAC if I choose or streaming from the cloud. Thanks Google Music.

Beyond the facts, there’s also the suspicious niggling with iOS. Like when a new software version comes out just before a new model of device hits. Suddenly your phone/tablet goes from being lightning fast to a sluggish piece of faecal matter. Mentally, you now need to upgrade. Ride it out an increment or 2 a few months down the line and amazingly the performance comes back because they “worked out the bugs”.

The obvious undertones of a massive cynic are shining through here. The reason I speak out is because when I see thick plastic-rimmed glasses wearing bellends giving it “well Steve obviously knows what’s best for us so reversing the mouse scroll wheel is a good idea” it makes me want to scream. YOU DICK.

A move to a more iOS-like environment is a tightening of the black turtleneck around the Apple consumer. This is one step closer to a closed environment on the desktop. More restriction, less freedom.

I think the name is massively poignant in this too.

The big cat family is where Apple have been drawing their nomenclature from since the inception of version 10 of its OS. In the big cat world, who is the king of the family? The way I see it is that Lion had to be the pinnacle of this line of software. Have Apple finally decided that this is the way forward for the foreseeable future and have sealed that with a massive, Mufasa-based rubber stamp?

More restrictions mean less freedoms for the consumer. It also would mean less money in the developers’ pockets. If software was only distributed through the Mac App Store with Apple taking a tidy slice of each sale they would be laughing all the way to bank, with the developers losing that little bit more than previously each time a sale is made.

Bad times.

Beyond the “You’re taking our freedoms” argument is also the form-factor issue.

I’m now in Firefox writing this from within Lion and I’m already frustrated with some of the changes.

Okay, so a trackpad might translate nicely onto the reverse scrollwheel method of thinking, but a scrollwheel doesn’t. Why just switch that out from under me like that? Can you not see I have a wheel on my mouse?

The Magic Mouse now makes sense though. They designed that completely in mind of how they wanted this OS to work.

It’s still a massive “fuck you” to the legacy Mac users who are expected to fork out cash once again. No trackpad or magic mouse on your desktop? You’re fucked. No multitouch on your laptop? Fucked again. Thanks Apple. I’ll go re-mortgage so I can buy some new peripherals.

Using the new App Launcher with a wheel-based mouse is just utter dogshit. I’ll have to stay away from it for now.

It just doesn’t translate seamlessly.

Another thing that annoys the shit out of me is the “revolution” of full screen apps. ARRRGGHHHH. I can’t think of anything worse. I may be in the minority here, but I work with windows. I hate it when someone else takes control of my browser and hits ‘maximise’, just to make sure there’s plenty of whitespace over my giant monitor and so we can’t easily see what else is going on in the background. Great.

When Windows 95 first introduced full screen apps 17 years ago (revolutionary much?) this used to make me scream. I now can’t easily switch between what I’m doing. Why is that good?! I’m sure Apple’s user experience is past what Microsoft was doing in its pre-school years, but the principle is still the same. So once again, thanks Apple for painting that like you just invented the new wheel.

You have to give it to them for their genius way of forcing their followers into the new way of thinking. Making the App Store the only way to download Lion is brilliance. Now everyone has had to have used it at least once. I can’t fault their marketing. But I can still hate them for it.

So where am I going with this?

OS XI or OS 11 or OS X Surrey Puma whatever it will be called is the step to watch. Because I have a feeling you could end up in an OS prison, requiring a jailbreak. What if you lost things like the terminal, activity monitor, and other beautiful insights into the backend workings of the OS?

I’ll admit, saying it out loud even sounds crazy. But it could still happen, “and we think you’re gonna love it.”

So what’s the next OS?

I’d like to highlight the recent version of Ubuntu. Linux is a very scary word to a lot of people, but Ubuntu is one that you should have been watching for a while.

The latest version – 11.04 – has had a massive GUI overhaul and now includes a Mac Doc-like launcher and a Spotlight-esque way of browsing apps.

Couple this with ease of install for most products and a great community behind it and you’ve got a great OS that will satisfy most users doing easy to intermediate tasks such as image manipulation, word processing and spreadsheeting.

It’s worth checking out on a Live CD if you have some spare time.

Why did I upgrade to Lion if I hate the concept and Ubuntu is so great? I didn’t want to be left behind.

So open the App Store, lube up, add salt, and prepare to be raped and eaten.

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