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Mac OS X Lion Can Run in Chrome OS-Like Browser Only Mode


While all the focus has been the many new features found in iOS 5 Beta, Apple also released a new developer beta of Mac OS X Lion last week.

Many of Mac OS X Lion's features have been known for months, but Apple has snuck in at least one interesting new feature called "Restart to Safari". On Mac OS X Lion's user lock screen, you are given the option to "Restart to Safari" rather than logging in. This allows you to boot the computer into just the web browser and nothing else. This browser only mode allows unauthorized users to simply browse the web through Safari rather than having access to any personal files or other applications on the machine. Of course with Lion's new auto-save and application restore feature, returning users will find themselves back at the same place they were before the restart. This browser-only mode is reminiscent of Google's lightweight Chrome OS which is designed to offer the user a web-only based operating system.

Apple's motivations for offering such a browser-only mode differs from Google's. Google is partnering with manufacturers in order to build Chrome OS only laptops that offer cheap browser-only machines. Apple's not likely to be going that route with Mac OS X Lion but is instead offering a nice sandboxed mode so Lion can easily act as a secure and anonymous web kiosk.

Mac OS X Lion will become available for $29.99 on the Mac App Store in July.

Update: This feature seems to be part of the "Find My Mac" feature set which allows users to get access to the internet. Though the premise appears to be to give your Mac a chance to phone home, the feature seems very useful for day to day use.

Top Rated Comments

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46 months ago
This would be great for iOS too. If you want to allow people to use your iPad or iPhone but dont want them to go to your email this would be quite handy.
Rating: 9 Votes
46 months ago
I wonder if a Mac running this browser only mode would have better battery life than running OSX?
Rating: 9 Votes
46 months ago
THIS > Chrome book
Rating: 8 Votes
46 months ago
What's even better is that Safari Only mode runs not from the primary partition but from the recovery partition. This means that you can use Safari even if your entire system crashes or anything happens to it. That's very useful to get help or do emergency communication.

So unless you have a hardware failure, you will ALWAYS have access to the net.
Rating: 8 Votes
46 months ago

@MacRumors: The official name for this new operating system is now "OS X Lion" and NOT "Mac OS X Lion". Apple dropped the "Mac" in front of it.


No, sorry. Try again next time.

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/06/06lion.html
Rating: 7 Votes
46 months ago
You need to have the iCloud beta software installed and Find My Mac enabled before the Safari-only mode appears.
Rating: 7 Votes
46 months ago

And yeah, features usually become better when they make it into OS X or iOS. Another plus.


Spare your deluded waffle for elsewhere please. Claiming that just because a certain feature is now in an Apple product, it is much better, is utter nonsense. Not saying it can't be, and it has been in the past.;) But there has also been times when Apple's version of a certain feature has been trash.
Rating: 6 Votes
46 months ago

Great!
So when Apple will close the system completely, and we could install App Store Apps only, we could use the Browser only mode for Jailbreakme.com . YAY!



Think before you post. Why would Apple almost certainly alienate the bulk of a 50 millon+ user base just as it starts to experience its best growth, and risk throwing users to their competitors? With the improvements that Windows 7 brought to the Windows PC, and the introduction of the Chrome OS, they would be idiots to do this. Just more FUD.

Please stop your whining drivel, make rational decisions on what you ACTUALLY experience based on what Apple ACTUALLY does, and move to another OS if their business model doesn't suit your needs as a computer user.
Rating: 4 Votes
46 months ago

What's ASUS got to do with OS X?

ASUS ExpressGate - whatever the hell it is - sounds like a Wintel feature. No sale.

No OS X, no sale.


You're such a fanboy. I've used Asus boards in the past and I must say those features are quite good. Don't troll like this without knowing anything about it. Apple is not the only computer manufacturer in the world.
Rating: 3 Votes
46 months ago
I'm just glad Apple isn't building browser only machines like google. Those things are basically the same price as PC laptops. Why would you pay the same for less? Plus SSDs boot up so fast, I don't need a trimmed down machine.
Rating: 3 Votes

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