Now that we've talked a bit about how things look in general, let's talk a bit more about the Finder specifically.

My first impression of the Finder was that it had lost some weight - Finder windows, in general, can now show the same amount or more using the same number of pixels, though that does come at the expense of some functionality. The arrangement and spacing of the left sidebar has been adjusted to take up less space than before, which is especially welcome on 11” and 13” Macs. Note that the Devices field now shows up at the bottom of the list instead of the top, another small step toward obscuring the filesystem (and, as well, steering newbie users away from just dumping everything on the desktop or the root of their drive).

Finder windows also shed some pixels (and, yes, I’m going to harp on this some more, downplay the notion of “files” and “disk space”) by removing the bottom toolbar by default - the one that shows the number of items in a given folder and the amount of disk space remaining on the volume, along with the slider that allows users to easily change the size of the icons. Thankfully, those who miss these features can switch them back on by opting to “Show Toolbar” up in the View menu.

Also missing is the button in the upper right-hand corner that would invoke icon-only view - those of you who use it will have to become acquainted with Alt+Command+T, a keyboard shortcut that toggles this change.

The default view when you open up a new Finder window now is called “All My Files,” which uses Spotlight’s file indexing to show you all files of a certain type no matter where they are on your hard drive - this is similar to Windows 7’s Libraries in that it groups your files together in one place without actually altering the fundamental directory structure (i.e., documents show up in All My Files, but they're still physically stored in the Documents folder).

 

All My Files is organized by rows, and by default, you’ll be shown just the first few files of a given type in each row - clicking on the left and right-hand side of the row will allow you to navigate through the files, and you can also click “show all” to see your icons tiled in a more traditional Finder view.

Snow Leopard introduced the ability to thumb through multi-page documents, PDFs, and presentations, and Lion further enhances that functionality by adding a full screen mode to Quick Look (which is still invoked by selecting a file and hitting the spacebar).

Finally, Finder gains some abilities that Windows Explorer has had, like, forever: the ability to merge two folders of the same name, and the ability to keep two files of the same name during a copy operation by renaming one of them. It's boring stuff and Windows has done it for years, but that doesn't make me appreciate it less now that Apple has finally implemented it.

General OS Appearance System Information
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  • parlour - Monday, July 25, 2011 - link

    The revenue includes all the money that is payed to developers, music labels and media companies. Apple keeps no more than 30% (probably quite a bit less) of it. Reply
  • bwmccann - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Just started playing it a month ago and my entire family is hooked! Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I don't suppose you could compare OpenCL performance between Snow Leopard, Lion, and Windows 7? Given the increasing emphasis Apple is putting in OpenCL and the requirement for it in Final Cut Pro X and no doubt future iLife and pro apps, it'll be good to see how their latest implementation stacks up in performance rather than just feature-set (Lion bumps things to OpenCL 1.1 from 1.0 in Snow Leopard.) Reply
  • jensend - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    The claim that GPL3 "prohibits inclusion in retail products" is an outright lie. It's not just an inaccuracy- there's no way anybody who was even slightly informed about these things would think that; the ability to sell the software is one of the basic freedoms the GPL has always been about protecting.

    It is true that Apple refuses to use GPL3 software. The only reason I can think of for this is that the GPL3 says that if you distribute software under the GPL3 you implicitly grant patent licenses to everybody for any patents you may have which cover the software. Apple's wish to use its portfolio of obvious and non-innovative patents as a weapon to destroy its competitors conflicts with this.
    Reply
  • Confusador - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Came here to say this and you've got it covered. This is an unusual case of blatantly false information on AT, you guys are usually much better informed than this. Reply
  • batmang - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I'm a little surprised that Anand didn't include any gaming benchmarks in this OS review just for simple comparison. Overall though, fantastic review and I'll certainly be upgrading to Lion in a week or so. I'm waiting to see if any oddball bugs arise before taking the plunge. Thanks for the review Anand. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I think he was going to but didn't have time (we wanted to get this out right when Lion went live). I don't know about his plans but maybe he will update this with GPU performance or do a separate article about that. Reply
  • Gigantopithecus - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    "Business customers can get Lion for $29.99 per copy in units of 20 or more, and educational institutions can buy it along with the latest iLife and iWork upgrades for $39 in quantities of 25 or higher. Especially when compared to Microsoft's complicated and expensive Windows licensing, these simple, low and clearly defined upgrade prices are extremely welcome."

    I can't speak for business customers, but pricing for higher ed institutions is extremely variable for MS software.

    To wit, at the University of Wisconsin, our tech store offers zero discounts compared to retail on all Apple software, whereas both W7 Pro & Enterprise are $10 for one license and $25 for a fiver. At the University of Michigan, Apple OS software is similarly sold at retail with no discount, while W7 Pro is $19. Michigan State offers no discounts on both OS X and W7 vs retail. Indiana University sells OS X for retail & W7 for $20.

    I'm not familiar with direct-from-Apple educational pricing, but if you go to actual universities' actual computer stores, MS software is sold at enormous discounts at 3 of the 4 Big Ten campuses I'm familiar with. Saying Apple offers lower OS pricing than MS to higher ed customers is flat out inaccurate.
    Reply
  • mrd0 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Same at Washburn University's School of Law...I purchased the full enterprise Office 7 and then 10 for $9.95, and Windows 7 for $29.95. Apple software is not discounted. Reply
  • SmCaudata - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Minnesota is Free to download or the cost of printed media ($8). This was when I was there at least.

    At Colorado both Windows and Office are also free to download. Before that (last year) they participated in the $29 usage option for office.

    The fact is Windows/Office is really only expensive if you are building your own computers and installing your own OS. Even then you can get it rather cheap and the money you save more than makes up for the extra $50 Windows 7 runs over this. Also this only updates on SnowLeopard. If you didn't have that upgrade it will cost you more. Win7 upgrades back to XP, correct?
    Reply

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