Leopard tour [Update]

25Oct07

Only twenty-hour hours to go and Mac fans will be able to get their hands on the newest version of the Mac operating system, Leopard. To get a rundown on the new features of Mac OS 10.5, go to Apple’s Mac OS X webpage. You can also go to AppleInsider where Prince McLean discusses the specifics as well as the history behind each feature.

Below is a summary of each of the features McLean discussed.

  • Time Machine: This new addition to Leopard will try to make backing up as simple and as easy as possible for the average Mac user. Time Machine does differential and incremental backups. The difference between the two is “differential backups capture everything that has changed since the last full backup, while incremental backups only copy what’s changed since the last partial backup.” Restoring files gives the user a beautiful eye candy which makes retrieving a deleted file fun and easy. It is recommended to have an external hard drive with disk space equal or more than that of your Mac’s. For screenshots of Time Machine, go to Apple’s webpage.
  • Dock: The Dock gets an upgrade in both appearance and function. The icons look three-dimensional on a glass shelf and Stacks will help de-clutter both desktop and Dock.
  • Finder: Finder’s sidebar has been changed to look like the sidebar in iTunes. It groups items into Devices, Shared, Places, and Search For. It’s not the only thing that Finder has borrowed from iTunes. The new Finder now has Cover Flow. Browsing through your files is like browsing through your songs or albums in iTunes. The last addition to Finder is Quick Look. With Quick Look, you can browse your documents, view images and watch movies without having to open an application.
  • Spaces: Virtual desktops allows you to have more than one desktop to work with. Spaces lets you put the spreadsheet you’re updating, the email and surfing you’re doing, and photo you’re editing in their own desktops. Spaces also allows you to drag one window or app from one space to another. It has an Exposé-like feel when viewing of all your Spaces.
  • Safari: Safari 3.0 offers better search in webpages, drag and drop tabs, and the ability to merge all windows into one. Safari also has Webclip which lets you select an area in a webpage and then makes it a widget in Dashboard.
  • Spotlight can now be used as a calculator and as an application launcher. I’ll see if Leopard’s Spotlight can replace Quicksilver as THE application launcher of choice. Developers will find it much easier to make Dashboard widgets with DashCode. Desktop improvements are more visual than functional.
  • System Preferences: The System Preferences icon is now identical with that of the iPhone. New icons for Display, Desktop & Screen Saver, Dock, and Exposé & Spaces. Added new icons for Parental Controls and Time Machine.
  • iChat 4.0: iChat now allows screen and document sharing. A boon and a bane for Mac users because it makes it easier for their friends and relatives to ask for help with their Macs. Probably the most fun feature iChat AV 4.0 is its green screen-like effect. Backdrop replaces your cluttered room with any picture. You can now be chatting from the Bahamas, the Great Wall of China, even from the surface of the moon.
  • Mail 3.0: Two features users have been clamoring for have been added: To Do and Notes. Also added are Stationery and an RSS reader.
  • iCal: Much, much faster. Creating and editing appointments are quicker.

[Update]
Prince McLean has posted another “Road to Mac OS X Leopard” AppleInsider Feature which deals with Quicktime, iTunes and other Media Features. I also missed the topic about Parental Controls. I highly recommend that you go over to AppleInsider by following the links. They are good read.

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