Lion roars at last

After months of (over)excited speculation, Apple has finally delivered its big software announcement-packed keynote address at this year's Worldwide Developer Conference. And the centerpiece was the demonstration of the new version of Mac OS X, Lion.

First announced last autumn, Lion is the tenth version of Apple's Mac OS X (which is itself the tenth version of Mac OS). As billed, it contains a bunch of nifty features which have carried over from the iPad. There's a bunch of new touch gestures, including the ultra-useful ability to double-tap on a web page to zoom in. And the new 'launchpad' mode lets you bring up a nice grid of apps, just like on the iPad and iPhone.

Most exciting, though, are the less obvious innovations that seek to bring the iOS experience of instant app-start to Mac. Lion contains tools to ensure programs open up your work exactly as you left it when you open them, and to even automatically save repeated versions of your work as you go. We're not totally sure how these features will work with third-party apps - our guess is that software makers will need to programme them into their apps - but they look ultra-useful.

Another pleasant surprise about Lion was the price: just $29.99, which should translate to £25 or less. It'll be out in July, and, interestingly enough, only on sale through the Mac App Store.

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