As part of our reveal of FindMyMac last week, we detailed the browser-only mode that Lion can boot into as a security precaution

…Interestingly, when Find My Mac is enabled, Apple lets “Guest” users use Safari and nothing else on the machine.  That is a trick to help the Mac figure out where it is (IP address) and let you connect to it.

Macrumors expands on this by saying that the Safari-only mode could be used in Kiosk-only mode.

This browser-only mode is reminiscent of Google’s lightweight Chrome OS which is designed to offer the user a web-only based operating system.

Apple’s motivations for offering such a browser-only mode differs from Google’s. Google is partnering with manufacturers in order to build Chrome OS only laptops that offer cheap browser-only machines. Apple’s not likely to be going that route with Mac OS X Lion but is instead offering a nice sandboxed mode so Lion can easily act as a secure and anonymous web kiosk.

It isn’t likely that Apple is positioning Safari-only as a competitor to Google’s ChromeOS (Apple’s hardware starts at more than double of where Chrome is priced).  But for both of the above reasons, it makes sense to include a browser-only mode.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites.

Seth Weintraub's favorite gear