With the next version of Mac OS X Lion just around the corner, developers are getting a sneak peek at what we can expect when the final version launches this summer.

Apple released a new update to developers last week, and after some digging, a bunch of new features Apple hasn’t mentioned yet were discovered.
What we’re most excited about are hints at “iCloud,” what many believe Apple’s next digital music and file storage service will be called. (And an upgrade to the current MobileMe.)
We took a look at all of Lion’s rumored and hidden features to date and came up with the ones to get excited about.

1) Find My Mac is coming to your computer too:
There’s not much information about this feature, other than a few mentions in OS X’s code. But we assume “Find My Mac” is just another iOS-like feature Apple is adding. You’ll likely be able to track, send messages to, and remote wipe your lost or stolen computer.

2) iCloud, a new digital music storage service
Just like Amazon’s Cloud Player, there are hints OS X Lion at a similar service that will let users store their music online and stream it anywhere. Many speculate the service will be called “iCloud,” since Apple recently bought the domain name icloud.com.

3) Is “Castle” an upgrade from MobileMe?
There are some mentions in Lion’s code about upgrading an account to something called “Castle.” Many are now speculating that this is an update to Apple’s MobileMe file storage and syncing service. If so, this is good news. MobileMe is in need of an overhaul, considering you can get the same thing from other services for free or much cheaper.

 4) Safari will get a “Reading List” which lets you read articles offline, just like Instapaper
MacRumors found this nifty feature tucked away in Lion’s version of Safari. Users can save articles and read them offline later, just like Instapaper. It’s not clear if “Reading List” will sync with other devices like iPhones and iPads, but that would be a must-have if Apple hopes to compete with Instapaper.

5) Will the dashboard get killed?
When Dashboard was first introduced in 2005, it seemed revolutionary. Now with the rise of the iOS and Mac App store, it seems like people are using Dashboard less and less. TUAW speculates that the Dashboard may be axed in favor of Launchpad, Lion’s organizer for apps downloaded from the App Store. It has been a long time since Apple made any improvements to Dashboard, so it’s very possible.

6) Use Time Machine without external hard drive
Time Machine is a great tool for automatic backups to your external hard drive. But if you don’t have one on hand, Lion will let you make note of your file changes with a “Local Snapshot.” That’s a good temporary solution, but it’s still best to get an external backup drive just in case.

7) Log in remotely using Apple ID
It used to be that you had to pay $99 for MobileMe in order to access your Mac remotely. Now it looks like Lion will let you do this for free just by logging in with your Apple ID, 9 To 5 Mac found. (The same one you use to purchase music and apps from iTunes or the App Store.) That’s a much better deal.

8) Migration Assistant supports PC’s
Migration Assistant is the built-in tool that lets you transfer data, files, settings, bookmarks, apps, etc. from your old Mac to your new one via a firewire cable. For former PC users, this will be even easier since Migration Assistant will work with Windows too.

9) See document previews from spotlight
Gigaom discovered that Spotlight search will have some nice tweaks in Lion, allowing you to preview documents before opening them.

10) Apps will be stored in the iPhone-like “Launchpad”
Apple is attempting to marry the best parts of iOS with OS X. That means apps. We’ve already seen a preview of Launchpad when Lion was first announced in October, but now we know all downloaded apps will automatically be placed there. (As if it were your iPad’s screen.)

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