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Rumor: Scrolling, QuickLook and Spotlight updated for 10.7

Aron Trimble

Apple's next big event is less than 24 hours away and the rumor mill is still running full force. We've already seen a lot of speculation about the upcoming MacBook Air revision. This latest batch of rumors is about some of the interface changes that we might see for Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion." suggests that scrolling is likely to get a major update in both form and function; likely as not the scroll bars are going to disappear. Presumably, they will be similar to the iOS scroll bars that are only visible when you're using them. This will be a welcome change to the bubbly bars from the Aqua interface which have not changed in a long time.

Additionally, inertial scrolling is up for implementation system-wide. This means that on compatible input devices, a flick of the finger will result in a fast-paced scrolling extravaganza. The rubbery quality in scrolled lists is also supposed to make an appearance in 10.7. So when you pull down at the top of a list, it will snap back to place.

Both of these changes seem to be part of the (assumed) ongoing effort within Apple to bring Mac OS and iOS closer together. As Apple's focus on touch-based input increases, these rumored changes in UI navigation can only be seen as a good thing.

QuickLook is also going to be updated for 10.7 and is slated to feature a new, lighter appearance. Currently QuickLook features a dark, translucent black appearance. This change will be an interesting one, but I don't use QuickLook very often, so it will likely not affect my daily workflow.

In 10.7 Spotlight is rumored to get a nod as well and will include new integration with QuickLook. Spotlight is a compelling feature and the recent speed improvements from the original implementation are welcome. Integration with QuickLook could finally be the killer feature that entices me to start using Spotlight as it will provide additional context to the list of results that are returned.

For the most part I think these hypothetical changes would be positive. I'm not in love with the new QuickLook appearance, but I will withhold judgment until the turtlenecked-one demos it on-stage tomorrow. Inertial scrolling will be an interesting feature but I question its utility without a touchscreen Mac in the product line.

What are your thoughts on the possible changes coming in 10.7? Any other features you would like to see added or updated? The countdown has definitely begun and I can't wait to see Steve showing a little love to the Macs in my life.

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