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Apple's new Lion beta bakes in iCloud

Reg crosses fingers for bugs fixes

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Apple's iCloud has floated a bit closer with the release of a new beta of Mac OS X Lion version 10.7.2 that integrates the cloudy services package into the OS itself.

It's been a busy few days for Apple's beta-shippers. Last Friday, they released the latest betas of iTunes 10.5 (beta 8) and iWork for iOS (beta 3), and on Sunday they reased the new 10.7.2 beta.

This beta, build 11C55, includes iCloud integration that previously needed to be installed separately by devs who wanted to work with the service. Now all devs have access once the OS is installed.

According to a MacRumors report, beta testers were asked to also focus on AddressBook, GraphicsDrivers, iCal, iChat, Mac App Store, Mail, MobileMe, Safari, Spotlight, and Time Machine – although the embryonic iCloud, which was revealed on June 6 at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conferrence by then–Apple CEO Steve Jobs, is attracting the most attention.

We're hoping, however, that when 10.7.2 is released into the wild – likely next month – it brings with it not only access to iCloud, but also bug fixes for the many and varied niggles that are annoying Lion users.

Version 10.7.1, which was popped out less than a month after Lion's July 20 debut, only brought Wi-Fi, HDMI, and admin-account fixes, and did nothing to solve such problems as random crashes of both the OS and apps, MacBook Pro battery-life suckage, video freezes, app-window disappearances, odd cursor replacements, Windows file-sharing problems, apps disappearing from Mission Control spaces, reduced functionality of Dictionary.app, and more.

Some of those problems are undoubtedly due to third-party apps not working seamlessly with Lion, and it's likely that those developers are waiting for the big cat to settle down before updating their apps.

Here's hoping that the shipping version of 10.7.2 – in addition to bringing iCloud to the masses – includes enough bug fixes to inspire third-party devs to release a wave of their own updates. ®

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