On July 20, 2011, Apple released Lion, their newest version of Mac OS X. One should plan their upgrade to Lion and not rush into it. Lion, Mac OS X 10.7, costs less than many previous updates to Mac OS X. If you purchase Lion from the Mac App Store it costs only $30. Apple doesn’t sell it on disc any longer, but they indicated that they’ll make it available on USB flash drives in mid-August for $69.
Lion introduces a number of new features and changes, some of which are confusing when you first encounter them. Thus, the first step in planing the upgrade is to read about these new features either on Apple’s web site or in this excellent PDF-book Take Control of Using Lion ($15).
Next, wait for Mac OS X 10.7.1 or 10.7.2. Inevitably, all new products contain bugs. Some minor, some major. If your Mac is currently pretty stable then I would hate to see you lose productivity by upgrading to Lion and then encountering bugs, so let Apple release one or two minor releases which’ll address the most significant bugs. If the past is any indicator of the future, I would expect 10.7.1 to be released about a month after 10.7.0 was released.
Before upgrading your Mac it’s typically best to do some research to make sure that all of the applications and peripherals you use throughout the week are compatible with Lion.
Roaring Apps is building a list of application compatibility information based on submissions from users like you and me. Apple has an article listing printer and scanner compatibility information. Additional research for applications or peripherals can be conducted at the manufacturer’s web site.
Once you’ve read about Lion’s new features, waited for Apple to release some bug fixes and determined that all of your applications and peripherals are compatible then you’re ready to upgrade to Lion.