Apple has been passing out media invitations for an October 20th “Back to the Mac” event. The invite, featuring a picture of a Lion hiding behind the Apple logo, implies that we will be seeing a new OS X release. After all, each release of OS X (from 10.0 to 10.6) has been nicknamed after a large feline.
The question is: what are the big features going to be? 10.6 was named Snow Leopard because it was mainly under-the-hood improvements, lacking many big flashy new features. A new cat entirely should mean we’ll be seeing some major changes.
The overly-popular tech blogs are all hyping-up their uncreative touchscreen angle, predicting everything from a smaller MacBook Air that exists in the space between a notebook an iPad to the unification of iOS and OS X.
I don’t particularly care for that rumor. I like mine better. There isn’t much evidence to support it, but it’s the perfect next step for Apple.
I think Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” will have built-in cloud syncing. Leveraging their new North Carolina datacenter, Apple will integrate Dropbox-like functionality into the Finder itself. They already have MobileMe, why not take it to the next step? Your data would be accessible on any device, and you would no longer have to worry about backing it up.
It makes perfect sense. Nobody ever backs up their data, so Apple does it for them. Everyone with an iPhone or iPad wants to be able to access and edit their files on it, so you make it easy for them.
The OS X interface is fine the way it is. It doesn’t need to be touch-enabled. It might be nice if app developers could build-in (non-touch) Mac interfaces so a universal app could run on OS X and the various iOS devices, but cloud syncing would probably be more beneficial to users overall.