Mac OS X Lion is coming this summer with some intriguing new features, and most of them seem pretty cool. Mission control looks like a clever evolution of exposé, and I really dig the iOS-style scrollbars. Launchpad, however, leaves me a little perplexed.
One of the big pushes with Lion is bringing in useful iOS elements, presumably for future touch screen implementation. Ok, that’s nice. iOS does a lot of things really well, and integrating some stuff that could be useful in the desktop world couldn’t hurt. But overlaying a grid of icons across your desktop like you just laid an iPad on it? What? Why?
There are already several nice ways to launch your apps. The dock works great, Spotlight is baked right in and can do it with a few keystrokes, and Quicksilver is phenomenal and free. Finding clever and innovative ways to bring the iOS features over is well and good, but Launchpad is neither. Jamming part of the interface in and saying “Hey, you remember this from your iPhone, right?!” is pretty lame and shouldn’t be touted as a major feature. It’s a novelty at best, and I’m willing to bet that most of us will never use it.
I held out after seeing it for the first time at the Back to the Mac event that it would be cooler than it initially looked, but after spending some time playing with it, I have to say it isn’t. Comon Apple, I know you can do better than this.