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Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: New window controls & gestures

Enhanced Finder features

Specific to the Finder, Lion gets a revised source list, with simple monochromatic icons that look borrowed from the iPad. Also, rather than using triangle disclosure controls to hide item lists, the revised source list simply offers a "hide" button that appears when the pointer is nearby.

The Finder's "Places" is also replaced with "Favorites," and "Search For" is removed, with search queries now added as a gear icon under the Favorites list. Icons in the source list no longer disappear in a poof of smoke; they now require a right click to open a contextual menu that offers to remove the item, a more deliberate action that is harder to enact by mistake.

Finder views are presented with a new virtual physical slider control reminiscent of the iOS, and more items are presented as Cover Flow listings that can be flicked through by the user, indicating a shift toward intuitive, "hands on" multitouch navigation items.

A new Quick View panel presents previews within a light grey window rather than the translucent black "heads up display" of the existing Mac OS X, providing both a new full screen icon in the top right (rather than at the bottom, as it is currently). This control is now standard on many windows, providing a way to make an individual window a full screen view that gets rid of both the window controls and the system's menu bar, while still easy to escape from using the reappearing menu bar that drops down from the top. Again, more iOS simplicity that focuses on content rather than a complex user interface.

QuickView windows also present a button that can open the item being viewed, such as a Preview link for graphics (as depicted in the video) or an option to open a volume or folder in its own window. The green Zoom button now works consistently as a control to optimize the size of the window to fit its contents, leaving the full screen button to do a separate task.

Enhanced Gestures

Apple has also demonstrated a series of gestures that can be used to open Launchpad, invoke Mission Control for moving between full screen apps (which are each located in their own virtual desktop via Spaces), Dashboard, and other open programs and their applications, as well as navigating between web pages and within pages using new Double Tap to Pinch to Zoom features borrowed from iOS.