As far as predictions go I’m pretty pleased with how mine went on the first day of Apple’s WWDC: no iPods, no iPhone, new Macs and, of course, the first public preview of Leopard. From a selfish point of view that means it has pretty much sucked though…
Anyways onto Leopard, the sixth major version of Mac OS X. It follows the cat theme employed by the Feline Obsessed White Fetishist, is the follow up to the much heralded Tiger and is scheduled to ship in spring next year.
“Groundbreaking new features” as detailed by Jobsy himself - who spent a great deal of time lambasting Vista as a pale Tiger imitation - will include backup software called ‘Time Machine’ (ironically very similar to Windows ‘System Restore’) and application switcher ‘Spaces’. The former lets users restore deleted files, applications, photos and other digital media. It works by automatically backing up everything on the Mac to an external hard drive or Mac OS X Server. Should a file be lost simply use a time-based visual display to find and restore it.
As for Spaces it attempts to reinvent the way we move between different tools and programmes by letting us group specific software for any given task. Consequently a single click can bring up all work applications or graphics suites, even leisure programmes. Users can also get what Apple is describing as ‘a bird’s eye view’ of all their Spaces and choose where they want to go next with just a single keystroke or click.
Further improvements centre around upgrades to the likes of iChat (where effects can be added to video conferencing and slides shows, movies and keynote presentations can be shared), Mail (increased stationary designs, integrated RSS feeds) and boosted hardware compatibility with native 64bit support and a final version of Boot Camp. Front Row is now available with all new Macs and an enhanced version of Spotlight allows searching across a network while there’s a Movies Dashboard widget and more extensive parental controls, not to mention the usual raft of security fixes.
From what I’ve seen so far Leopard does look good but whether it makes such a large leap as Tiger remains to be seen. Besides, I’ve always believed tigers are cooler than leopards. Now if only they'd called it 'Tigger' on the other hand that would be an entirely different ball game...