So the cats out of the bag! Leopard, the newest addition to the OS X operating system for mac, was recently released this past Friday by Apple. With over 300 brand new features and a slight change to the overall look of the OS I have to admit that Leopard is one cool cat. Being a "mac fanboy" I had to get my hands on the new operating system as soon as possible and so I did by pre-ordering Leopard via the Apple Online Store. In typical Apple fashion the package was shipped the same day it was released. I popped in the disk and about an hour later Leopard was installed while leaving all of my previous documents and settings in Tiger untouched. My first reaction was that Leopard wasn't a very noticeable change from Tiger but I soon learned otherwise while I continued to explore Leopard. After using Leopard for the past week or so I have to admit that the new features have made my computing experience much more efficient. Here are some of my finds from using Leopard so far.
The New Desktop/Dock:
With the new transparent finder menu and 3D dock, the look of the OS has evolved from modern to futuristic. This alteration makes the mac look even more elegant than before and I would say it is definitely a great upgrade from the basic look in TIger.
Spaces is one of my favourite features in Leopard. The concept at first seemed useless to me seeing as I have never been bothered by keeping all my applications in "one desktop" but after using spaces for the past few days now I feel as though I can't live without it. It helps to keep me on task while doing school/business related tasks meanwhile keeping all of my different work flows separate and organized. It helps especially with computers that have limited screen space like my macbook as it transforms the relatively limited 13" screen into an exponentially larger screen. Being a university student I have found this to be an effective feature to keep myself focused on work while I have my social life just a few clicks away.
Being new to iChat I have to say that I am very impressed with the program and it is a shame that I cannot use it on a daily basis. After giving it a thorough run through, iChat works just as advertised by Apple. It offers fun tools and effects to deliver an entertaining video chat but also many useful business tools such as iChat theater and shared screen capabilities to make it an effective video conferencing program for business related tasks. In the near future I hope to see iChat gain compatability with other chat clients like Adium does to make it a viable alternative.
With the finder now offering new features such as preview and cover flow to view files, it offers an even easier way to browse through your files. The preview feature has already proved to be very useful for looking through such files as PDF and powerpoint documents meanwhile I have found cover flow to be most useful when looking through my pictures and applications. Spotlight has also been improved with better search results and the ability to search for definitions and basic number calculations right from your desktop.
The new safari offers some great new features to improve your browsing experience. One of my favourites is the new dashboard cut out option which takes any part of a webpage and transforms it into a widget for your dashboard. I also like the new "Find" search engine for locating words on webpages which is now much more usable than the previous one.
My recommendation for mac users who are unsure about upgrading is that unless you use your mac every day or some of the features would be helpful for your daily computing tasks, I would not upgrade until Apple releases a few more updates to fix some of the minor bugs. If you are interested in buying Leopard I would highly recommend checking out Leopard on GetItNext to find some great deals.