Apple developers got a present from Cupertino last night in the form of an updated developer preview of Mac OS 10.7 Lion. The previous build, which we reviewed about a month ago, contained significant issues that developers complained made their Lion systems next to impossible to use for development. This new build, however, claims to fix many of the issues present in the original release and is down to about 12 known bugs.

Could Apple be getting close to a release candidate / gold master? It would seem that way, with the planned release of Lion set for this summer. It seems likely that Apple is planning on releasing the gold master to developers during its June WWDC event, which would put the public release a few weeks later, right on schedule.

If you’re a registered Apple developer, look for the update to appear in the Mac App Store. If you don’t see it, make sure that you’ve installed the update 1 for the original preview build through Software Update. This new preview build feels faster and more responsive, is definitely more stable, and is clearly much closer to being ready for prime time than the last one was — impressive for only an additional month of development. There are no new features here, but it seems likely that Apple has a few things up its sleeve that it might be holding back until WWDC’s keynote event.

Here are the major bugs remaining in this release:

  • If running Developer Preview 1, please make sure to install “Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview Update 1” from Software Update (available under the Apple menu) prior to downloading Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview 2. If you do not perform this update, your download will not begin when you redeem the code and the code will no longer function.
  • The Recovery HD may not be created when installing Lion on a drive with an unsupported partition scheme.1
  • Installation of Mac OS X Lion onto a software RAID volume, or while booted from a software RAID volume, is not currently supported. Attempting to do so may render the volume non-bootable. Software RAIDs can still be used as data volumes.
  • Network migrations are only supported from Mac OS X v10.6.6 with the Migration Assistant compatibility update installed.
  • If you intend to migrate a user with FileVault enabled from another system, make sure the user is logged out on the source system before you begin.
  • Thunderbolt devices are not fully supported.
  • Videos purchased from the iTunes Store will not play on Early 2011 MacBook Pro models.
  • Screenshots may be black on Macs with integrated graphics.
  • If you get a warning that ‘FaceTime does not support video calls’ when using FaceTime, please quit and re-open the application.
  • iPhoto 9 crashes when trying to create a book, card, or calendar from an event or album, and when clicking a photo’s info button.
  • Users with NTFS volumes (such as BootCamp) may experience a panic when rebooting or shutting down. To work around the issue, unmount the volume before rebooting or shutting down.