will my old apps work with Lion?

Thinking of upgrading but not so sure? There’s a lot of conflicting opinion out there about Apple’s latest Mac OS iteration. One of the key factors has got to be how much you rely on particular apps you currently use and whether they will still be compatible when you upgrade. Unlike other OS X upgrades, Lion certainly has backwards-compatibility issues (prompting some to wonder why they didn’t call this OS XI…). As has been well-publicized, Lion does not support PowerPC apps (though see my update here), and other issues concern the viability of third-party software. Here’s how to address your worries about compatibility for both issues:

PowerPC Apps:
If you want to know how many PowerPC apps you have on your current system and whether any of them include things you don’t want to live without, go to the Apple logo at the top right of your screen and click the first item in the menu, ‘About this Mac’.

Click the button ‘More info’ and select ‘Applications’ in the left hand column. In the right-hand panel, there is a list of all your apps and whether they are Intel or PowerPC (you may have to expand the window to see this column). The PowerPC apps will not run on Lion at all.

Third-party Apps:
The world is full of truly good people, and if I was giving out awards for services to the Mac community, I’d definitely have the folks over at RoaringApps high on my list. Go check out their wiki and search for any program you’re worried about. They’ve got a list of every (yes, every!) piece of software that runs on Mac and an easy visual guide as to whether it’ll work on Lion or not. Thanks guys!

X11 and open source apps:
For anything related to open source software, see my post on getting Lion ready for open source.

Related information:
See Apple’s support doc for incompatible software

About philastokes

Independent Software Developer, Technical Writer and Researcher at SentinelOne. Explaining the unexplainable with images, video and text. Scripting anything imaginable in AppleScript, Bash, Python and Swift.

Posted on July 24, 2011, in OS X Lion and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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