Lion is, as has been well-publicized, not being offered in stores on any install media – to emphasize all of the shiny new imported-from-iOS features, users have to download and install it from the Mac App Store. That said, Lion will be eventually also be available on a USB drive for $69 if you still want a physical copy or don't want to back the installer image up to one yourself.

We’ll talk about the installer itself more below, but the main wildcard in the Lion install process is the roughly 4 GB download from Apple, which takes quite a bit of time over a fast connection (and will take the better part of a day on a slower DSL connection). I’m writing this before the fact, but I’m willing to bet that the load on Apple’s servers is making the wait even more irksome for Apple’s early adopters.

A 3.49 GB download is a big one, but it’s slimmed down significantly from the Snow Leopard installer (my standard 10.6.3 Snow Leopard DVD is about 7.3 GB in size). This isn’t the product of optimization on Apple’s part, but rather the effect that the download-only decision has had on the rest of the OS: many components that were previously bundled (whether by default or optionally), including print drivers and the Java runtime environment, are now downloaded on-demand. Whenever you install a program or device that needs to make use of one of these elements, Software Update pops up and prompts you to download and install it. This can be annoying (what do you mean I need to wait for a separate download before I can play Minecraft?!), but it seems reliable enough, and it does ensure that you’re using the most recent version of whatever component it is that you’re downloading. Other disk space savers include the removal of many older OS X wallpapers (some of which have been with the OS since its inception) and the decision to make the Windows support files for Bootcamp a separate download (as they already are for Macs without optical drives).
 



Annoyances aside, I do think the move away from physical media is the right one for Apple to make – it reduces cost, it enables them to drop optical disk drives from more of their computers going forward, and it brings greater parity to the OS X and iOS install processes, one of many steps that Lion takes toward the potential merging of the two operating systems.

For those of you who are attached to an install disk for one reason or another, accessing the .DMG file within the Lion installer and burning your own DVD is fairly trivial for even a moderately technical user. The installer, like other App Store downloads, is dropped in your Applications folder. Right-click (or CTRL-clicking, depending on your setup) the installer, click Show Package Contents, go into the Contents folder, then the SharedSupport folder, and burn the .dmg file you find here to a DVD (or copy it to a USB stick) with Disk Utility.
 
It’s not something every user will want to do, but advanced users or people who reinstall their OS often may want to take advantage of it (especially since Apple's official line, in the event that you need to reinstall OS X to a brand-new hard drive, is to first install Snow Leopard, and then install Lion). It should be noted that this is also the easiest, most convenient way to do a clean install of Lion, which is not offered as an option in the standard installer.
 



Once launched, the Lion installer will ask you some questions about setup, spend some time unpacking files to your hard drive, restart your computer, and then do the rest on its own - OS X’s in-place OS upgrades are usually a bit smoother and a bit easier to recommend than Windows’, though that can vary based on the amount and type of files on your hard disk and your specific configuration. I never ran into issues throughout my testing, but your mileage may vary.
Introduction Recovery partition
POST A COMMENT

112 Comments

View All Comments

  • rs2 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Okay, it makes sense on a touch device where your finger is actually making contact with the thing you are scrolling. But a mouse cursor is *not* a finger. It is not an analog for a finger. It is a different input paradigm entirely, and trying to make it behave as if the mouse cursor is your finger by making scrolling go backwards is stupid.

    It's good that they put in an option to disable the nonsense that is "natural" scrolling.
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Not at all. The issue is simple : what is the metaphor?
    When I move my finger, am I moving
    - the window container? OR
    - the content?

    Claiming that one is more "natural" than the other is as stupid as claiming that English is more natural than Chinese. It's simply that you are used to one and, like a good American, you simply cannot imagine that the world could possibly be different --- after all, Jesus spoke English.
    Reply
  • rs2 - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Not at all. There is no "finger" when using a mouse. Touch and mouse-driven are distinct input paradigms. If a touch-based interface ever scrolled content in the opposite direction that the user moved their finger, then people would say that it was broken. And rightly so. Moving content in the same direction as the touch is the intuitive operating mode of a touch interface.

    And similarly, moving content in the opposite direction of the scroll (or more accurately, moving the scrollbar in the same direction of the scroll) is the intuitive operating mode for a mouse-driven interface. By your logic scrollbars themselves should also be inverted.

    As a side-note, a direct analog to touch style scrolling does exist in the mouse-driven paradigm, it is the drag operation. It is available in some things like Adobe PDF documents, and also work on any scrollbar. In this operation you choose an anchor-point, and then that anchor point moves in the same direction that you move, and it all makes sense. The problem with scrolling is that it has no anchor point, it is a distinct operation from a drag operation, and by conflating the two Apple has broken their interface. At least until they start incorporating touch into every computer they sell.

    Mouse-driven and touch interfaces are not the same thing, and just because a metaphor makes sense in one does not mean that it also makes sense in the other.
    Reply
  • Uritziel - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    Agreed. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    On page 23 "Performance: Similar to Snow Leopard", you have a couple bar graphs comparing Snow Leopard to Lion performance. Unfortunately, you use a generic "compared to before as 1.0" metric, with no indication on a per-test basis whether higher or lower is better. In the Core 2 Duo graph, you talk about boot time skyrocketing, and the boot time graph for Lion shows Lion as "about 1.4" of Snow Leopard, yet you also talk about iPhoto having a "greater than 10% increase in performance", where the graph shows "about 1.1" of Snow Leopard. So in one line in the graph, higher is worse, in the other line, higher is better.

    You either need a per-test identifier (Higher is better / Lower is better) or you need to to standardize them all (so 'benchmark' ones would stand as-is, while 'timing' ones would use the inverse, so that both would be 'higher is better', or example.)
    Reply
  • Deaffy - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Did anyone check to see whether Apple has included a UI element to enable IPv6 privacy extensions for statelest address autoconfiguration?
    And did DHCPv6 to get IPv6 addresses from your ISP's cable via IPv6 finally make it's entry?
    Reply
  • Deaffy - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Oh yeah, and maybe the ability to query a name server via IPv6? Reply
  • kevith - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    they are more and more returning to the Linux it came from. Who knows, they might even go bact to open source:-) Reply
  • Omid.M - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Anand/Andrew/Christian,

    If you right click on a YouTube video, does it say the rendering AND decoding is "accelerated" ? I thought Lion was supposed to bring that.

    If this is now the case, it'd be enough reason for me to buy Lion and a new MBP 15". I can't stand the fans on my 2008 MBP 15 going nuts every time I watch a 30 second YouTube clip. The laptop gets unreasonably hot right now.

    @moids

    P.S. I'm not a fan of the way buttons appear on the upper borders of windows. There's no typical button "design" to signify that the text is clickable, at least not from the screen shots I saw in the article.
    Reply
  • Omid.M - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    I guess it's disabled:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/07/21/adobe-suggests...
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now