Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Leopard Sneak Peek

Apple have released a sneek peek at their upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 release, codenamed Leopard.

As part of their seemingly annual goal of lightening our wallets, this system upgrade adds a few new features and revamps a few older ones. Here's what's new…

  • Time Machine is an automated backup system that regularly backs up everything on your Mac — music, photos, movies, documents, etc. You can even keep multiple snapshots so you can restore back to a particular point in time.
  • Spaces allows you to organise windows and applications into sessions or virtual desktops that you can easily move between at a click.
Stuff we've seen before in current and earlier versions of the OS that has been upgraded is…

  • Mail brings in lots of new and fun stationary templates and also gets Notes and system-level To-Dos that can be accessed from any Mac or PC.
  • iChat now lets you use video backdrops and iChat Theater lets you set up virtual slideshows or a Keynote presentation and you could use Photo Booth to create a video alter-ego.
  • Dashboard adds new web-oriented widgets that let you clip web pages onto your Dashboard and you can now build your own widgets using DashCode.
  • Spotlight gets a few new search options and also gets the ability to search across network mounted volumes.
  • iCal goes multi-user and gets intergrated with Mail's To Dos.
Some of the above does sound useful. An integrated backup solution is a major step forward and I'd like the ability to search mounted server volumes. As for Spaces, it's something Unix has had for a long time and, given that the Mac is built on a BSD subsystem, I'm surprised we haven't seen this earlier. You could try the excellent VirtueDesktops just now to get an idea of what's it's like. Of creating my own widgets I'm not that sure as I really don't use the ones I've got that much.

Of course it's all now 64-bit processor compatible, has some new accessibility features and should be on the shelves by next Spring so get your credit card ready.

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