The Mac OS X Lion operating system was released in July 2011. Following its launch, Macworld readers encountered many problems with the update which meant Lion related stories were among the most read this year. It's hard to fathom how the operating system which Apple itself describes as, 'the world's most advanced', can have had so many problems.
Apple was kind enough to share quite a few details of the operating system before its release – a rare occurrence - and that meant that there was a chance for the system to be explained and time allowed for potential customers to hear about what Lion needed to run and what it could do: essentially everything they needed to know.
Firstly, Apple only made the system available to download from the Mac App Store. While it seems like a simple and effective idea, some like the traditional way and prefer to buy a disk, and what about mass users such as schools and businesses? And let's not forget those who didn't even have the latest operating system; Snow Leopard, or the App Store and seemingly had no way of getting Lion at all.
Many experienced complications from the onset, and problems reported shortly after Lion was made available included: difficulty to establish WiFi connections, not being able to log in, losing apps due to the software vendors not updating their coding to make it suitable for Lion and all-round slowness, which was reported more frequently with users of older Macs which do not possess the higher power CPUs and minimum RAM which Lion needs to function.
It wasn't only apps which refused to function, also some older Adobe software wasn't compatible with Lion. Similarly, QuarkXPress 9, Maya 2012 3D suite and Cinema 4D R12 didn't work immediately with the Lion operating system. Microsoft Office for Mac didn't work at all and experienced problems with multiple bugs. Lion did not and will not support Rosetta, Apple's software that translated old PowerPC applications to run on the newer Intel processors found in Macs since 2006.
On the positive side, AirDrop, the short-distance file-sharing feature proved useful in the workplace as well as Resume and Version, which irradiate the need to Save.
In the simplest terms, Lion was rather lacklustre, there were a few changes here and there with things like Mail, Safari, even adjustments to Dictionary, and multi-touch commands were a nice edit, but it seemed like change for the sake of change. While any development is an advance and therefore valuable, perhaps a larger upgrade would've been more worthwhile for Apple. Apple is always cited for its simplicity, minimalism and ease of use. For more than a few of its customers, Lion was the complete opposite of all of these attributes, seeming to focus on change in tiny details without taking the bigger picture into account. It's not that Lion was bad. It just wasn't up to the high quality levels from the start that Apple normally exudes and have become considered as standard from the company.