We discuss the big news that Apple is releasing a new desktop OS this year.
Most of us did not expect to see a successor to OS 10.7 Lion for several years. To our surprise we’ll be seeing OS 10.8 Mountain Lion a year after Lion debut. The big news is that Apple is going to a yearly release cycle.
There are several features that we are excited about, most notably AirPlay streaming, which allows users to wirelessly stream their computer’s screen to their TVs.
We have concerns, however. Releasing an OS a year is a lot of work. Will more bugs creep into OS X? People are still complaining about Lion’s bugginess, and it usually takes several patches to get a new OS to be really stable.
We talk about this and much more.
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There are a lot of reasons to upgrade to OS X Lion, and Jeremy and I do believe it’s the right choice for most of you, but Lion’s better security should be at the top of anyone’s list.
The new security enhancements are something that all computer users will appreciate and, frankly, need. Sandboxing in particular is big — BIG:
Running an application inside a sandbox is meant to minimize the damage that could be caused if that application is compromised by a piece of malware. A sandboxed application voluntarily surrenders the ability to do many things that a normal process run by the same user could do. For example, a normal application run by a user has the ability to delete every single file owned by that user. Obviously, a well-behaved application will not do this. But if an application becomes compromised, it may be coerced into doing something destructive.
In Lion, the sandbox security model has been greatly enhanced, and Apple is finally promoting it for use by third-party applications.
iOS and ChromeOS are both sandboxed OSes, which is major reason they are so secure. Essentially a sandbox keeps an application in its own little playground where it can’t hurt anything outside of itself. Apple is ramping up its sandboxing efforts in a major way, and by this Novemeber, all apps sold in the Mac App Store will have to be support sandboxing.
It’s not hard to imagine a future where Apple has a toggle switch that allows users to prevent non-Mac App Store apps from being installed on their machines. I can’t wait until everything I run on OS X is sandboxed.
Companies such as Adobe and Microsoft may be slow to move to sandboxing, which is one reason I’m switching away from their products. Apple updated its iWork suite to support all of the new features of OS X Lion, and it should be updated this fall to support iCloud. So while Word and Excel may have more features than Documents and Numbers, I prefer the modern features, security and syncing that I can enjoy with iWork (autosave versions and resume are huge features that every user will love and in a year will wonder how they ever lived without).
We’ll be talking and writing more about security and some of the other new features of Lion this week and next.
Could we kick off this week’s show by talking about anything other than OS X Lion? 10.7 is a worthy update, and we give some initial impressions and who will and won’t like some of the updates.
I wrote another love letter to Spotify today, while Jeremy tried to understand what I was talking about.
Then we get into books, libraries and our love for things that other people may not love as much. It’s a great show. I promise.
Listen to this week’s podcast:
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