Apple begins selling Mac OS X ‘Lion’ thumb drives

16 Aug 2011

Mac users either not connected to broadband or who choose not to download the new OS can now buy a thumb drive containing the new OS X Lion. The US online Apple store has begun selling the drives with a three-day delivery cycle.

When Apple launched its Mac OS X ‘Lion’ operating system last month, it said that special thumb drives containing the OS will become available in late August.

The US Apple store is now selling the devices with a global rollout likely to swiftly follow. A quick perusal of the Apple online store for Ireland showed the devices have yet to go on sale at the time of writing.

The thumb drive costs US$69 to buy, compared to US$29.99 by download from the Mac App Store, obviously taking into account the hardware aspect of the transaction.

But there is a caveat, according to the information about the thumb drive on Apple’s web store: “When you install OS X Lion using the USB thumb drive, you will not be able to reinstall OS X Lion from Lion Recovery. You will need to use the USB thumb drive to reinstall OS X Lion.” In other words, don’t lose the drive.

Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM.

Additional new features in Lion include:

• Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back to exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunched an app
• Auto Save, which automatically and continuously saves your documents as you work
• Versions, which automatically records the history of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions
• AirDrop, which finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years