New in OS X Lion is the build-in support for Emoji characters. Feeling moody or a little playful? You can now add smiley faces and cute animals to your email, chat or the monthly report. In TextEdit, Pages. iChat or any apps that support this system feature, select from menu File > Special Characters… or press Command-Option-T. A “Characters” window will popup. Select Emoji from the sidebar. Choose the category such as “People” or Nature”, and double-click on a character to place it into your document or chat window.
As you may have discovered by now, OS X Lion has killed the “File > Save As…” command. The change has taken effect in apps such as TextEdit, Preview and Pages. More apps are expected to follow suite when they update to support OS X Lion.
The “File > Save As…” function is now sorted of being replaced by the new “File > Duplicate” command. But there are differences. This is a big deal if you rely heavily on “Save As…” in your document workflow, as the new “File > Duplicate” command double the steps required.
In the old way using “File > Save As…”, you simply enter a new document name, click the Save button, and you can start working on the new document.
When you issue “File > Duplicate” command, a new document window will appear with a copy of the same document content. You then have to issue “File > Save…” to actually save the new document as file.
This changes might appear more consumer friendly, but it is a pain to adjust to for many who are used to the long time computing “File > Save As…” workflow.
iCal the calendar app in Mac OS X Lion has a new trick. You can create calendar events using plain English. Click on the icon with a plus sign or press Command-N to activate the Quick Event pop-up. Enter your calendar event in plain English, for example “Dinner with Sarah Friday at 7pm”. Press Enter and the event will be created for you on the calendar.
You can create multi days event by keying the start and end date. For example “Year end holidays from Nov 22 to Nov 28”. For one thing, you can’t specify “next weekday/week/month” with Quick Event such as “Movie with Sam next Saturday 8pm”. Let’s hope iCal will improve on this feature for future release. But for now, using plain English is a better way than entering the event date/time manually.
New in OS X Lion’s Finder is the ability to quickly group items into a folder. You can select multiple items (file or folder) under a Finder window or on the Desktop, right click for the menu and select “New Folder with Selection”. This saves the one step of creating a folder first and dragging the items into it.
Apps that are installed into the system folder “Applications” will appear in Launchpad. This include apps from the Mac App Store.
To remove the apps from appearing in Launchpad, you have to remove the app. There is no way to hide an app installed into “Applications” from appearing in Launchpad.
To remove the app, simply remove it from the “Applications” folder. To remove the app from within Launchpad, click and hold on the app icon until you see all icons jiggle. The click on the “x” button on the app icon to delete the app. Mac App Store apps that are deleted can be easily reinstall from Mac App Store under the “Purchases” tab.
If you have too many apps, one way to organize the Launchpad is to make use of folder. For example, create a folder to keep apps that you seldom use. To create a folder in Launchpad, simply drag an app icon into another app icon. A folder will then be created that houses the two apps.
OS X Lion has absorbed some user interface idea from iOS. Disk storage info is one example. In OS X Lion, the system info for storage now lists usage grouped by Audio, Movies, Photos, Apps, Backups and Other. To access this info, from the system menu, select “About This Mac”. Click on the button “More Info…” and select the tab “Storage”.
The four corners of screen in OS X can be setup to be active “Hot Corners”, which will carry out defined task when the cursor is moved into a corner. To configure Hot Corners, open System Preferences and look under Mission Control.
Click on the button “Hot Corners…” at left-bottom of window, which will bring up the setup pane for the four active screen corners.
Select the task you would like to be activated when the cursor is moved into a particular corner. Click “Ok” button to save the settings. As an example, in the above screenshot, the left-top corner is defined for “Mission Control”. When you move the cursor to the left-top corner of the screen, Mission Control will be run. Test it out. You might prefer this way of activating Mission Control or Launchpad instead of using keyboard shortcut or the trackpad.
Reminders is a useful new todo app in iOS 5 with its location aware alerts and iCloud support. You can view your reminders on all iOS devices and on Mac OS X Lion.
There is no Reminders app for OS X Lion. Instead Apple has taken the todo lists found inside the old iCal and change it to be Reminders. It is not so obvious at first as Reminders by default is not shown on iCal’s main window.
In order to view the same Reminders as in your iOS devices, you need to enable iCloud on OS X Lion. This feature is not available on OS X Snow Leopard as OS X Lion is the minimum OS X for iCloud.
Next, under System Preferences->iCloud, check the “Calendars” to enable iCloud sync. And wait for a moment for the sync to complete.
To view Reminders on iCal, select from menu View->View Reminders or toggle Reminders on/off using Option Command T. Reminders will appear as a right side pane on the main iCal window.
To create a reminder, right click on the Reminders pane for a popup menu and select “New Reminder”. Or press the Command-K key. Check off reminder by clicking on the checkbox. Command-Delete to remove reminder. And double click on a reminder to bring up the edit window.