Apple's latest Mac OS X Lion upgrade is forcing software vendors, including Adobe Systems, Google and Microsoft, to revamp their Mac software to ensure compatibility with the 250 new features added to Lion, including multi-touch gestures. One of the problems is that Apple changed the way Lion interprets gestures, which means third-party software developers are scrambling to make changes before Lion usage reaches critical mass.
According to Apple, more than one million Mac users downloaded and installed the new Mac operating system on its first day of availability last week. With Mac users snapping up Lion faster than any other OS release in Apple's history, Google's next browser upgrade for Macs is important.
"Chrome usage across all Macs is at 9.64 percent," said Net Applications Vice President Vince Vizzaccaro on Wednesday. By contrast, Chrome's share of the global browser market stands at 13.1 percent.
Chrome's Multi-Gesture Changes
With Mac OS X Snow Leopard, a three-finger swipe, left and right, was used to navigate between pages. In Lion, the same function is now performed by a two-finger swipe, while the three-finger swipe is used to navigate through desktop work spaces.
Google's current focus is on adding "two-finger gesture support for Lion [as well as] multi-profile user-interface improvements," wrote Google Chrome blogger Jason Kersey. With two-finger gestures enabled, users will be able to swipe left or right with to move a page backward or forward. However, it will be several weeks before the changes become available in an upgrade for Mac users.
The user-interface changes include adding a profile choice to the menu bar and updating the profile avatar and menu when the information changes. Additionally, Google Native Client has been disabled for Mac OS X 10.6.7 and earlier using a 64-bit kernel.
Office for Mac Issues
Although Microsoft worked with closely with Apple to ensure its Office for Mac 2011 productivity suite would be compatible with Mac OS X Lion, it has cautioned Mac users about issues with Communicator, Outlook and some minor features. "Rest assured we will have updates available through our Automatic Updates channel in the near future," Microsoft's Office for Mac team wrote in a blog.
Communicator for Mac crashes when a user sends an instant message or starts an audio/visual call. "We will fix this issue in an upcoming update to Communicator for Mac," the team promised.
Microsoft Outlook is unable to import from Apple Mail on Lion. "We're reviewing this and don't yet have a plan to fix it," the team wrote. "However, if your mail is already in Outlook, then this issue won't affect you."
Office for Mac 2011 fails to take full advantage of many of the latest features added to Lion, and minor compatibility issues remain to be addressed. "The smaller Office issues are fairly minor or cosmetic, things like windows that might not align as they did in Snow Leopard, and we will continue to work together with Apple to fix these in our next regular updates," the team wrote.
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