Reviewing Leopard Features

By Daniel Drew Turner  |  Posted 2007-06-11 Print this article Print

Next, Jobs said Leopard will feature a "new Finder"—a statement which met with a great deal of applause. Although it hasnt undergone a radical overhaul, the Leopard Finder will offer a more unified look, doing away with a mix of brushed metal, Aqua and other user interface paradigms in favor of windows that look more like the Mail application in the current version of Mac OS X.
Finder windows in Leopard will also feature what Jobs called a "much cleaner" Sidebar window component. It will gain the ability to open and close groups of items with turn arrows and will support "smart search" folders, he said.
Click here to read about the release of the first Mac native version of OpenOffice suite. These windows will also add a new view option, called Cover Flow after a similar feature in recent versions of iTunes. With this, users will be able to visually scan the files in a folder, scrolling back and forth between visual representations. Using Quick Look, users will also be able to view each item, full-size, without moving to another application. The new Finder will also update Spotlight, Mac OS Xs search utility, giving it the ability to search other Macs and servers on a local network, and users will be able to share files with other computers on a network; the public areas of other computers on the network will appear in Finder windows Sidebars, much as shared iTunes libraries do in local versions of iTunes. Jobs also demonstrated a "Back to My Mac" feature, which uses Apples .Mac online service—which currently costs $99.95 per year—to allow users easy access to their own computers, even remotely. Jobs poked fun at Microsoft, telling the audience that Apple will offer Home, Business, Ultimate and other versions of Leopard in October—but all will be the same in content and all will be priced at $129. After the event, developers expressed some concerns and disappointment over the mornings announcements, though all asked that their statements not be attributed. Many said they were well aware that the "top-secret" Leopard features shown today were far from news. Some had hoped for more news about technical innovations such as the relation of Leopard to the ZFS file system, while others wanted news about Xcode, Apples development environment. However, they added, such technical features may be addressed in the remaining WWDC sessions, which are for developers only and are under strict nondisclosure agreements. Overall, the developers who spoke to eWEEK were more upset about how Apple decided to handle development for the iPhone. One developer said that forcing any applications they create to work solely within a Web browser (Web 2.0 hype aside) gives their work second-class citizenship. This means iPhone users will not see their applications in the devices main menu, but will instead have to open a browser bookmark. And, one developer added, theres still the question of how such Web-based tools will work when a user is not online. "Were very disappointed," said the developer. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.


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