Leopard: The Wow Really Starts Now

This page outlines 300+ new features in Mac OS X (Leopard), but I wanted to call your attention to just a few of the changes that made me leap out of my seat and scream “WOW!”

  • Address Book: View a detailed map of any address in Address Book. Just hold down the Control key while clicking any address and select “Map of” and Safari will show you its location in Google Maps.
  • Automator: Add even more capabilities to your workflows. Use a new action called Watch Me Do that lets you record a user action (like pressing a button or controlling an application without built-in Automator support) and replay as an action in a workflow.
  • Boot Camp: Enjoy the unique hardware features of your Mac including the iSight camera, trackpad scrolling, keyboard backlighting, and volume keys using fully compatible Windows drivers.
  • Dashboard: Clip out any portion of a web page and turn it into a Dashboard widget.
  • Dashcode: Drag and drop components from an included library of GUI controls to assemble a working widget that looks the same during design and runtime. No artistic ability required.
  • Desktop: Make your Dock look the same on all the Macs you use. Change the Dock on one and it will automatically be updated on the others.
  • Dictionary: Harness the power of Wikipedia when you’re connected to the Internet — built right into it’s Dictionary. You get a great Mac OS X user interface with super-fast searching and beautifully laid out-results.
  • DVD Player: Smoothly play back even DVDs that may be damaged. New technology in Leopard can locate and avoid scratched areas of the disc.
  • Finder: Start an interactive screen sharing session with other Macs on your network. Just select the Mac from your sidebar and (if authorized) you can see and control the Mac as if you were right in front of it. [My addendum: supports the VNC protocol as well.]
  • Fonts: Automatically activate fonts as you need them. When an application requests an installed font that’s currently disabled, Leopard activates that font and keeps it active until the requesting application quits.
  • Front Row: Watch previews of Hollywood blockbusters directly from Front Row.
  • Graphics & Media: Enjoy improved color reproduction of digital photos, as ColorSync automatically takes advantage of the EXIF sRGB information embedded in image files by many popular digital cameras.
  • iCal: Effortlessly add attendees or change an event’s time directly on the event itself. The new Inline Inspector window appears when you double-click any event, making it faster and easier to change details on the fly.
  • iChat: Save your audio and video chats for posterity with iChat recording. iChat asks your buddies for recording permission before the chat starts, then stores completed audio chats as AAC files and video chats as MPEF-4 files — so you can share with others or sync to your iPod. [My addendum: HOLY SH*T, this is awesome!]
  • Imaging: Wirelessly import images from many 802.11-enabled digital cameras and Bluetooth devices. [My addendum: I smell an iPhone firmware update in the near future.]
  • Imaging: Take advantage of new Bonjour-based network scanners, Leopard leads the way with the technology required to allow scanning over a network.
  • Instruments: Improve the performance of your applications by viewing the relationships between UI events and performance metrics such as CPU load, network and file activity, and memory usage. [My addendum: So, you can expect that savvy app developers will be making your favorite programs perform better with less guesswork. Genius.]
  • Networking: Let Leopard adjust TCP buffer size automatically. Get optimum application performance, especially in high-bandwidth/high-latency environments.
  • Photo Booth: Use Photo Booth to make movie clips. Capture those precious moments and send them to your friends in an email message. You can even choose a frame from your movie to use as your account picture or iChat buddy icon.
  • Preview: Easily remove the background from an image, leaving just the subject. Simply select Instant Alpha from the Tool Select button on the toolbar and click and drag in the area of the background you wish to remove. You can also use the Extract Shape tool to select a specific area of the image to keep, automatically excluding the rest.
  • Preview: Get real information from your photos. If your image has embedded GPS metadata, Preview will show you exactly where that perfect photo was taken. Open the Image inspector and select GPS. Preview pinpoints the location where you took the photo on a world map. From there you can even open the GPS location in Google Maps.
  • Printing: Make sure you always have the latest printer drivers. Download directly to your system using the familiar capabilities of Software Update.
  • Security: Protect yourself from potential threats. Any application downloaded to your Mac is tagged. Before it runs for the first time, the system asks for your consent — telling you when it was downloaded, what application was used to download it, and, if applicable, what URL it came from. [My addendum: This is not like Vista’s UAC in the slightest. Instead of warning you every time, it does it once – and unlike Windows, Leopard will tell you where the file was downloaded from for an additional layer of relevant information. If you want to say that Apple stole this feature from Microsoft, be my guest – but their implementation appears to be 110% better.]
  • Spaces: Move a window to another space by dragging it to the edge of your screen. Spaces will switch to the new space and take your window with it.
  • Spotlight: Find answers fast. Just activate Spotlight and type in a simple or sophisticated equation, and Spotlight will instantly show you the result. Enjoy support for over 40 functions ranging from simple math to logarithms to trigonometry. [My addendum: Intelligent addition, becoming the most convenient calculator for OS X.]
  • System: You may be able to gain disk space without losing data. If a volume is running out of space, simply delete the volume that comes after it on the disk and move the volume’s end point into the freed space.
  • System Preferences: Get yourself a .Mac account and your System Preferences can stay in sync across all your Macs. No matter what Mac you use, you’ll feel right at home.
  • TextEdit: Take advantage of TextEdit support for the Word 2007 and OpenDocument formats for reading and writing.
  • UNIX: Automatically mount and dismount network filesystems on separate threads to improve responsiveness and reliability.

If you read the entire page and still don’t want Leopard, there’s something seriously wrong with you. And don’t let me catch you claiming that you can install third-party apps (for any OS) to achieve the same level of features, because the entire point is that all of the above (and then some) ship with the OS.

Even at twice the price, Leopard appears to be thrice nice as Windows Vista.

38 thoughts on “Leopard: The Wow Really Starts Now”

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  5. I am gonna go with Leopard the moment it is released in Ireland, but I am STILL gonna wait for SP2 for Vista before I even think of deploying it 😉

  6. Definitely some intriguing features. Why do they tease us a week ahead. It’s not fair! 🙂

    “Even at twice the price, Leopard appears to be thrice nice as Windows Vista.”

    LOL, that ain’t saying too much Chris about disaVistapointing .

  7. all i can say is, wow! all those features are actually worth giving up all the games that windows has! (of course i could just run games in bootcamp now couldn’t i? :P)

  8. This Feature made you leap out of my seat and scream “WOW!”?

    Security: Protect yourself from potential threats. Any application downloaded to your Mac is tagged. Before it runs for the first time, the system asks for your consent — telling you when it was downloaded, what application was used to download it, and, if applicable, what URL it came from.
    Sounds like something people bitch about in Vista. Since apple does it it is all the sudden a “Feature”

    How can you say it is better than Vista without even using it yet……At least use it than you can write how great it is….but even if it isn’t you know you wont say it.. Jobs can do no wrong with all you apple fanboys….Let the pre-praising begin

  9. I also love that if you purchase any of the Macs in the Online Apple store or at the Apple Retail stores from now till December 29’th, 2007, you can buy a copy of Leopard for only $10! I am for sure buying a MacBook Pro right now! I can’t wait till the 26th.

  10. If Jobs would just open this up to run on homebrew systems instead of keeping so locked down, he’d blow microsoft out of the water. He really should open it up. We’d finally get full blown competition and maybe, just maybe, microsoft would respond and make a great OS.

  11. Nice list I’ll give you that. The iPhone has a nice list too. Look at it now. Yes, its beyond Vista. But will it REALLY work the way you want?

  12. I’ve had Vista on my new laptop since I got it from HP. Vista is shiny. Vista is colorful. Vista could be operated by a 2-year-old…

    … which is not helpful for me, when I already know how to open a freaking file folder. And -reload- -Windows-. And put together an entire computer. I am not a dumbutt, you colorful, shiny Vista!!

    Also, yes, I really wanna open that file. Yes, I’m really sure. No, I wouldn’t prefer to play solitaire. Yes, I really wanna open that particular file, dagnabbit!

    I miss XP. *sniffle*

  13. a number of the features have been in existance within the windows world for ages.
    The only difference is that, instead of requiring a server and active directory to allow for a roaming profile they have moved the service to a web based one.

    automatically messing about with your network settings, I do hope that is something you can disable cause I can foresee some problems with that – I don’t like operating systems assuming it knows better than I do, if I set it so something that’s how I wanted it.

    the disk space feature sounds similar to dynamic disks to me.

    bootcamp allowing you to use “unique” features such as.. um, a built in webcam *cough*asus*cough*, a backlit keyboard (gee, now I can waste energy in windows too!), trackpad (most people I know bitch about those things and swap to a full on mouse.. tho, the multitouch one might change that and something I would be excited about) and volume keys (what, like nearly every laptop with windows right now and nearly every keyboard on desktops that tack on “multimedia” to its name).

    spaces, while windows is yet to catch up to this idea, linux has had it for a long time.

    most of this is just fluff and filler with the occasional “that’s a nice shortcut/smooth way” but nothing in that list makes me go “omg, how cool”… and certainly a lot of them are nothing new.

  14. forgot to mention, the sharing of desktop sessions… remote desktop – tho, the biggest PITA with RD on an xp/vista machine is how it will lock the person in front of the machine out of their computer while you mess about with it safe from their eyes.
    The person at microsoft who decided that needs to be taken out and shot, the mac version certainly does it better because of not locking the user out of their own pc, but again it’s hardly anything new and nothing to be wow’d about.

  15. and even further thinking brings me to the “keep your printer drivers up to date youing system update”… erm, windows update, I wanna be like you-Ooo-Ooo 😉
    tho, seriously I would never EVER trust an autoupdate from anyone other than the manufacturer because 9 times out of 10 if I compare the latest driver the OS maker offers me, it’s out of date compared to the manufacturers latest version.

    another non-wow for me 😛

  16. Lots of great features, but i still don’t want it. What can i say i am a minimalist, let the OS handle just what it needs to instead of needing a gig or more of system memory for functions i might not use for weeks at a time. I wish Apple and Microsoft would realize KISS doesn’t mean make it look easier to operate, but to keep it easy to use by not having 10 million things to choose from. Just my two cents.

  17. My MacBook Pro has an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2gig RAM. I am running MacOS 10.4.10 AND Windows Vista Business via Parallels Desktop. I call that “BobW” (Best of both Worlds). Using Parallels enables me to run Vista and MacOS X at the same time, copy/paste or copy files between them, etc.

    I will immediately upgrade to Leopard for $129 or whatever it costs because, as the old adage says, time is money. I am a consultant and I don’t have room for debugging, virus removal, registries or generally having to think like a Microsoft support engineer.

    While everyone else argues over “which is better” and “how much the hardware costs,” and “gee I can get a Gateway for $650,” I’m getting my work done on my Mac.

    Then, there are the simple yet superior applications. For another $79, I bought iLife 2008, which includes the best wysiwyg Web editor I have yet seen (iWeb), plus excellent sound editing (GarageBand), non-linear video editing (iMovie), photo browsing (iPhoto) and music player (iTunes) tools – all for $79. The PC equivalents of only one of them is anywhere near as good as the Mac offering, and that is Apple’s iTunes for the PC.

    Human factors and usability are Apple’s advantage. You pay more for the well-integrated hardware/software environment and Apple’s software is truly a bargain. A good Web editor alone, for the PC, is way more than $79. In fact, after >12 years hand-coding my Web site in html, I now trust that task to iWeb and the results are not consumer-ish at all: professional all the way.

  18. after being a windows groupie for many years I have finally swapped to a mac, I am on Tiger and it is the best thing I have ever done. I run vmware fusion and xp pro for the odd application I still need in windows (access and publisher for helping people who use that software) everything else on the mac is compatible. I don’t miss windows one little bit…

  19. Chris, I am pleased that you are moving to the Mac.

    I have learned much from you about Windows and now that I am also a switcher I am looking forward to learning much from you about the Mac operating system and software for it.

  20. Security? You mean the OS tags your downloads? Yay!..not like XP SP2 has a feature exactly like that! No, not at all.

  21. “You may be able to gain disk space without losing data. If a volume is running out of space, simply delete the volume that comes after it on the disk and move the volume’s end point into the freed space.”

    Um..wow. ‘Simply’ -delete- your volume without losing data? This sounds like something I could do in Windows 2000! I’d call it temporary backup until I could expand the volume. Whoopee.

  22. 1. Tell me you are giving up all of your Windows apps and files and history when you are finished.

    2. Tell me how much time and effort it took to make this complete conversion.

    3. Then, after you are fully functional again, tell me how glad you are you finished making the change.

    Hearing that you are excited and are leaping to make the change is not empirical evidence that the change is good. I want to know about your results after-the-fact, not your enthusiasm going in.

    Finally, it sounds like Mac is doing what Apple folks complained about Windows all the time: making the OS more visible and in your face than the applications your are trying to run.

  23. How long can Apple keep going with it’s OS, until someone takes them to court on anti-trust issues? I mean if Microsoft did add all of this to Vista – it would never be able to be sold! While Apple are doing a great job with OS X and Leopard and certainly taking it to Microsoft, I wonder how long it can continue. How long before they have the a$#es sued by someone for taking patent ideas, software ideas, etc. Remember Konfabulator? It seems to me that all of the software that people write for the Mac eventually get’s added by Apple to the OS. If Microsoft did this, then they would be sued and in court with antitrust. Look at the issue they had with putting PDF support in Office – now it’s a download that most people don’t even realise exists. Look at the search options in Vista – going to be changed too keep Google happy. But somehow, it’s alright for Leopard to have Spotlight and PDF support. How is that fair?
    Good luck to Apple – I think they are doing a wonderful job. How long before someone sues them though? Maybe if no-one would stop Microsoft, then Vista would be this OS – oh, how I dream about that!

  24. I’m sure (in fact about 99% sure) that Apple Legal has their torpedoes loaded for the next 5 days until Leopard’s released. Afterwards they’ll raise shields and THEN prepare for combat.

    I know this probably has no real bearing on reality, but I had to include the Star Trek analogy.

    Tom Anderson

  25. Dashboard, Dashcode and Dictionary are the only things that Vista doesn’t have and they (side from the Dictionary which I believe there are website for) sound truly pointless. Yet another shiny dog turd of a OS from Apple. 3 months ago I was forced to use a 2.2Ghz MacBookPro at work, even with 4Gb of RAM it can’t load Safari and allow me to start surfing faster than IE7 on my 3+ year only ex-finance desktop PC with 2Gb RAM that I forced Vista onto. Want GPS support for your Mac? Good luck, no such thing. Mac users don’t move about it seems. Basic art program for drawing notes on screenshots like Paint has been doing to 10+ years!! Nope. Man, I hate this Mac. What I hate more, is the fact that for a while they suckered me into believing they’d stopped making computers for Art Students, WRONG!

    Oh yeah and while I’m pissed, “No blue screen of death” well, yeah. Well done Apple no blue screen of death. Dirty gray one I see all the time, along with my marble of doom… ;p

  26. Bought Leopard and had Apple deliver it to me the day it was released. I installed it, and within 3 hours had TIGER back on my MacBook Pro. Leopard is just way too annoying for me, and I see no reason to search all over the net to find fixes for the somewhat stupid things that Apple did to the OS in this release. I also did a little experiment. I wiped the hard drive, and installed WinXP Pro. The new Intel-Macs are PC CLONES. WinXP ran fine, and it ran well enough to be considered as a full time replacement to OS X. So rather than buy a new notebook from Apple again, any PC Notebook with simular specs will do. May not be able to run OS X on it (Thank You Steve ) but I won’t over pay for hardware again… I’m a little cranky too.

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