Gasp! A negative Apple review!

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Jesus Diaz over at Gizmodo has written the first real OS X Lion review to make it online. Never mind that the software hasn’t been released so he’s technically still under NDA – Apple and Gizmodo have such a good relationship that I’m sure they’ll let it slide.

His impression is surprisingly negative. Instead of improving and simplifying the OS, the multitude of interface tweaks and gestures make it seem patchy and disorganized. I can see what he means from screenshots, and I tend to agree. I’ve thought all along that Lion wouldn’t make anything easier for those who want a simpler computer. Take the new system-wide autosave. If it works like iMovie and Final Cut Pro X’s autosave, it’ll fail every so often. Not to mention the multitude of users who will search in vain for a save button. What about Mission Control? I can’t think of a more complex and confusing feature for most people. Virtual desktops, normal and full-screen apps, and Dashboard all on the same screen is a sure way to confuse the hell out of even a mildly proficient user. Now throw in unlimited file versions (which you find by obscurely clicking the window title in whatever program you’re using) and multiple-finger gestures. No one I know can even handle the Snow Leopard gestures beyond two-finger scrolling. It all sounds like a power-user’s paradise and a basic user’s nightmare. Sadly, power users are offended at the perceived “dumbing down” and regular users don’t even know it exists yet.

Many other bloggers have nothing but praise for Lion, but I’ll wait for the perennial Siracusa review and my own experiences before making any concrete judgements.

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