Enjoying Lion are you? Enjoying apps that take advantage of autosave and versions capabilities (iWork, TextEdit and Byword for example)? Me too, totally. I prefer Pages to Word (for a ton of reasons like it starts up before I forget what I was going to write about and it doesn’t corrupt files seemingly randomly) in general, but not having to remember to save once I save the file the first time (or at all opening an existing file) is … yeah “magical”. I’m using Byword to write this post (you know I’m a huge fan of writing in plain text and talked about this on Google+ today as well) and like Pages, it supports autosave and versions, but have you ever wondered how this cool new technology works? Well I’ve got the answers for you, with visual aids.
First thing to read and check out is TUAW’s explanation of how autosave and versions works. The coolest thing is how easy it is. Just click the menu bar and you can Lock, Duplicate, Revert to last saved version, or browse all versions. Looking at all the versions should be rather familiar to most Mac users because it uses essentially the save interface as TimeMachine.
Okay this is all well and good, but is this really that different? Come on, apps like Scrivener and nvALT have autosave too. Yeah, but this is different, regular autosave is great for those infallible writers among us for whom words just appear in perfect form on the screen. Idea to fingers to keyboard to screen. No editing, no second thoughts, no “oops, that first go was better”. Yeah regular autosave does protect your from writing something brilliant then closing the window and losing it, but it doesn’t protect us from needing to go back and fix things. It’s autosave and versions that makes this feature. I can delete a whole chunk of text, then realize a day or two later that I had it right the first time and go back and get it.
Again, TUAW comes to the rescue to explain in handy graphics how the process works:
Simple and elegant.
Because, really, having to remember to save is so 20th century.
Originally posted on the Future Shop Tech Blog.