Feb 27, 2011
MacRumors reports that Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will finally bring long-awaited support for the TRIM command to Macs. For those unfamiliar with solid-state drives (SSDs), TRIM is essentially a maintenance command that keeps the speed of an SSD high by deleting the data in the drive’s unused blocks. Normally, when the user “deletes” data on an SSD, the drive controller merely marks the corresponding blocks as deleted, making the process of deleting the data nearly instant. However, when the SSD needs to use those blocks again for new data, it must delete the old data first, which can slow down the write operation. This leads to degraded performance over time, once every block on an SSD has been written on at least once. TRIM tells an SSD “delete all unused blocks now,” keeping the performance of the drive as high as when it was new. Windows has had TRIM support for a while, but Mac users are still waiting for it. It looks like that wait will end soon. For more information about SSD performance, take a look at this lengthy but excellent article on AnandTech.
Each new version of OS X tends to include several cool new features, and Lion is no exception. In the “why haven’t computers always had this?” department, applications written for OS X Lion will now have the ability to auto-save and auto-resume. Close an application and re-open it, and it resumes where you left off. Users will no longer need to save their documents manually, as Lion will automatically save all changes within the working file. Using the new Versions feature, you will be able to flip back and forth between different document revisions. This feature should add greatly to the user-friendliness aspect of Macs. With any luck, it will save browser form data as well.
Ever wish that getting around your Mac could be more like it is on your iPad? Apple is betting that you do, and will introduce new features in OS X Lion to give users the option of making the computer behave more like a tablet. One of these is Launchpad, which fades all active applications into the background and displays icons in a grid for all of the software installed on the computer. Using the trackpad, users will be able to swipe to display multiple screens of icons. This may even pave the way for future Macs to include touch screen interfaces. Applications written for OS X Lion will now also include the feature to enter a full-screen display mode, maximizing screen real estate and removing other distractions from view.
Apple is expected to release OS X Lion this Summer.