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Open Thread: Leopard Preview

Apple - Apple - Mac OS X - Leopard Sneak Peek

Like most of you, I'm keeping an eye on today's previewed features of the upcoming "Leopard" (OS X 10.5) release.

Looks like some interesting ideas -- many of which, as usual, seem inspired by existing third-party products.

I think I'm most intrigued so far by the idea of "to-do" functionality from within Mail.app (thanks for the tip, Matt); let's hope that also means I can deep link to a given email from my iCal task list. I also welcome the concept of built-in email templates -- although I'm kind of bummed that they seem more focused on execrable 1999-style HTML emails than on the kind of functional time-savers found in the peerless MailTemplate.

To be honest, on first blush -- and I'm sure there's much more to come by the time of release -- this feels a bit cute and a little light on really revolutionary stuff (the long overdue promise of something like Time Machine notwithstanding). Stuff like (yet. more.) iLife integration is handy enough for the notional Swithcher and Grandpa Joe, but in general I guess I'm hoping for some serious power-user improvements to the core functionality. Maybe that's just me.

What do you think? What's "Yeah!" and what's "Meh?" Anybody else holding out hope for some really deep Finder rewriting and more functional iCal updates?

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Mistercharlie's picture

The reason we got eye...

The reason we got eye candy instead of functional stuff is twofold: What we saw today is a preview of the new under-the-hood stuff coming in Leopard: Core Animation, system wide integrations of ToDo lists, possibly revolutionary system wide backup (Time machine will be hopeless unless it works with ALL apps. All, not just most), Virtual workspaces, an what most people seem to be missing, 3D interfaces.

A new Finder will not affect any developers. Apple can redesign the whole thing (and probably already has) but that's an Apple application, not a new technology. That kind of stuff is for MacWorld in January, because a) the software will be finished and b) it's a consumer event. Oh, and c) Microsoft will have less of a heads up :-)

New iChat eye-candy shows off some nice dev stuff, too. It shows how Core Animation can be put to use, and also how this stuff can be put to use in an enterprise environment. Remote Keynotes? Awesome. Not for me, but if you hook a Mac up to a projector you can pretty much beam in a presentation from anywhere. And it's 2-way (or more, I guess). That's big stuff for office types. Apple are chasing the business market now.

I really think what we have seen is a taster of the new nuts and bolts. The UI and app innovations will show up much nearer release. Really, guys. Apart from a few new Dock and Toolbar icons, this looks exactly the same as Tiger.

Think about it. The stuff we didn't get to see is likely what will be changing the most. Why laugh at MS's attempt at a Spotlight ripoff and not show anything?

The second reason for the eye candy is that it wouldn't be a Stevenote without it. Although I'd bet that the starfield behind Time Machine will be toned down a little. It's another bait and switch for the "rivals" ;-)

Oh. Nobody mentioned that Mail will now suck down RSS feeds. That's cool. Bye Bye PulpFiction.




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