A Day with Lion – Use Lion as main OS

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I installed Lion Developer Preview 4 yesterday as part of the Mac Developer Program.

Let me get one thing straight, it doesn’t make your coffee or do your laundry.

I’ve installed Lion as my main OS, it seems to be absolutely fine to do this with the Developer Preview 4.*

*at your own risk

I only found a couple of weird things like with the Sparrow UI or the File list in the sidebar of Espresso being a strange colour but nothing that stopped me being able to use any apps.

I think many people are so anxious to get the latest things (including me) that they get so excited, install it and then are like OK yeah better get on with work now then….

I can’t say I’ve found anything that I said WOW to yet.


I use AlfredApp and I honestly can’t see why people would use Launchpad, setting up folders and drilling down to find what you want instead of using a ‘Launcher’, is there a reason? or just to aid the transition to a unified OS with MAC OS & iOS as one at the end?

Mission Control

Day with Lion Use Lion as main OS

I used Spaces before, I had certain apps in certain Spaces and would flip easily between using a gesture on my magicmouse (I sent my MagicTrackpad back and got a Bamboo Pen & Touch instead).

Mission Control doesn’t seem to remember or be able to set my Apps to only stay on one ‘Desktop’ (the new word for Space).

You can set a hot corner to activate Mission Control, swipe with a 3 fingered gesture or hit F3 as with Spaces. And you can scroll thourgh the different ‘Desktops’ using a two fingered left or right swipe.

Mail 5

I’ve never been a big desktop email client user in fact I would go so far as to say I’m not really sure why I’m using one, I guess I caved in to the Sparrow hype and that’s why I’m using a client.

The Sparrow UI seems to be a little off at the moment on Lion, the pane where messages come in and you can see their labels can’t be adjusted to the correct width so you can’t see the far right 20px or so of the previews, this prompted to think that it would be a good time to look at Mail 5.

Nothing fantastic, it does your mail! Less cluttered than the previous version and I like that but nothing fancy that I wouldn’t give up a desktop client and move back to Gmail web interface in a heartbeat.

Update: Went back to Sparrow, Mail 5 was giving some really weird results for related messages and making some strange conversation threads that made no sense so I ditched it.


After the WWDC keynote I switched to Safari, not sure why but I did, I loved Chrome but had this urge to go ‘Back to Apple’.

All I can say about Safari so far and I’m not even sure if the app itself is different from the SnowLeopard version running before but it does seem snappier.

OK well the one fingered swipe back and forward is quite nice as it also refreshes the page, I use twitter.com instead of a Twitter client so this is useful as going back and forth also refreshes the page with new tweets…

I would insert a quick movie here but it appears that Lion doesn’t like Jing…

Update: so far none of the screen recording apps I’ve tried are working with Lion, Camtasia, Screenr, Jing, Screenflow…

OK so 24 hours later and the Techsmith guys hooked me up with a

Lion beta of Camtasia which works great!

Reading List

I used Readitlater previously, Reading List is simple enough, Shift + click a link and it gets saved to your list which you can see in your Safari sidebar at the click of an icon (also shift + cmd +D will add to the list and shift + cmd + L will toggle the list in and out), looking forward to see how this integrates with iOS.


Up is down and down is up, well they reversed the scrolling direction to match up with iOS which you can uncheck in the Mouse prefs, which I did.

And now scrolling down on a web page and going too far shows you a grey bar, I guess there is a drag to refresh feature coming soon?


I haven’t tried yet but I guess it will be handy…


Most stuff I work on tends to already be in Dropbox and I save quite regularly I guess this feature will be more useful to some than me.

And is it even in Lion yet? I can’t find it in the Developer Preview…


I guess apart from a power cut which I haven’t had to worry about or mobile computing (I don’t have a laptop) I’m not sure this feature is any use to me, if I want to Resume I’ll leave my computer on and actually like that when I start up that things are blank…

Mac App Store

‘Is now built in’



Quite handy for me but there seems to be a new iOS like spellcheck feature, which unfortunately doesn’t work in iA Writer but seems to work in most places.

Have you installed Lion? What do you think so far?

I’m going to update this post as I find more interesting points or negatives, or my opinion on a feature changes…

Some apps not quite working with Lion at the moment:

-Sparrow, small UI error in messages pane.

-Espresso, all seems OK just the sidebar file list is Black so very difficult to see the filenames.

-Coda, multiple Errors when saving a document, causing the app to be unresponsive and needs to be Force quit.

-Camtasia, Screenflow – presumably because of the new Mission Control no screen casting apps seems to be working, just recording a black screen.

-Xmarks for Safari, works but keeps quitting every now and then and asking me to update.

-Alfredapp, small bug that doubles up your characters entered, i.e. typing A will actually produce AA, apparently a restart of Alfred will fix it but it comes back on restart.

by Roger Byrne

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