Leopard Lots of Show, Little Go?

24 Comments

So the argument goes that we saw a lot of eye candy from the Keynote yesterday, but there was a lack of useful features – of substance. In order from disagreement with this position, to moderate agreement, I present you the list of features.

First off, Stacks. We’ve been hearing about patents along these lines for maybe a couple of years now. It’s nice to see that come to fruition. And I see a lot of potential in this new feature, for helping to keep my Desktop clean. I like it spotless as much as possible… So having Stacks at the ready is an interesting new feature I’m excited to play with, and expect will enhance my workflow. Will it knock Quicksilver off the top spot for accessing files quickly??? We’ll see.

Icon Previews will be huge for me. I love that I’ll be able to see the document in icon form as a super quick preview – quicker even than Quick Look, which looks decent in and of itself. This new feature seems like a no-brainer, but I’m sure will enhance many a user’s experience while looking through their documents. Spring cleaning anyone? The prospect of switching my icons from their current extreme (small, small, small) to the other end of things (big, big, big) suddenly seems like a good idea. (mental note, get larger LCD…)

Quick Look is a nice idea in practice, but I wonder how useful it’ll actually be to me, if only for the above mentioned reason. Couple the preview icons with the new CoverFlow capability and I doubt I’ll get much use from Quick Look.

Transparent Menu Bar. Um, short of [maybe] looking neat, why? Either hide the whole darn thing, or leave it be is my stance. I don’t see the use in the partially visible Menu Bar. Sorry Steve.

So I think the All Show and No Go argument is a bit harsh. There’s definitely some usability in the features we saw demonstrated. Don’t forget this is Apple, who’s design-centric strategies are partially to thank for where they are today. Just because Windows Vista tries to copy the eye candy and lacks in the functional area, doesn’t mean Apple’s following Redmond now.

24 Comments

GeMenRe

I think, Steve Jobs didn’t live up to the hype he created with his, ahhhhhh, secret features…
I got the impression, that it’s still the same Leopard as half a year ago

Without the hype you have to tell, that Leopard looks better than ever.
Come on:
– backdrops on iChat… every 3rd party webcam offers that…
– cover flow… I like it on my iTunes, to see what song’s playing for everything file related else I’m an old fashioned “Norton Commander” user
– different dock attributes… not an enhancement but just some toying on the desktop
– transparent menubar …whoaaw, took them how long to make it Vista-shiny?
– spaces… I’m a big fan of the existing “Virtual Desktop” which sadly won’t be continued and it’s motion detecting screen swapping
I consider these things as mere cosmetics than revolutionary unrevealed secrets…

I was really surprised, that Apple came up with Safari for MS – since I use it for years on my MacBook(s) Pro I installed it also on my MS XP…
…I like it but it crashes when I try to report one of the non-properly-displayed html-pages – but on my XP Firefox is still being my browser, as I can share my bookmarks (thanks to all these nifty little extensions) are able to make my surfing easier…

DynDNS integrated into the Mac is a clever idea. I can see its potential and I hope that Core Animation will be visible and toying around the desktop like Linux does with a proper 3D integration. :-)

Rithster

All of these opinions are based on what we have SEEN… let’s hold our final judgement for October when the final version of Leopard ship. Shall we? (When we can ACTUALLY get our hands on it.) After all, I believe Steve mentioned in the keynote that he only displayed 10 out of the “300 new features.” Personally I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Let’s see how futher it will go over the next more months…

banjodrengen

Leopard is s**t! Apple keep saying that they are the most innovative, but this new release is a joke! The small number of updates does not warrant a new OS. The should have released these as updates for Tiger. I love my Mac, but Apple is no better or worse than Windows, it all depends on what the individual user prefers and with the lack of innovation in the new OS, I believe Apple will lose the attention they achieved with Tiger as an innovative OS.

hmurchison

You can’t do Quick look now regardless of application from what I can see.
You can get close to Time Machine but not close enough
What chatting client allows me to do 3-up conferencing and sharing?
The Finder improvements are substantial. Spotlight now searches shared computers found via Bonjour.

Leopard is impressive

Jason Terhorst

It’s not so true concerning Leopard – the OS itself is great, it’s just that the sessions are pretty flat in some areas, and the expectations that we developers had were squashed.

EV

Is the Notes feature in Mail meant to co-opt/replace Yojimbo type applications?

Jim

I saw absolutely nothing in the Leopard preview that you can’t have today with a few freeware and shareware apps – and they aren’t RAM/CPU hogs like they probably will be in Leopard.

They look cool, but is this really all their is??? It took them years to copy a few small apps and put them in the OS? They already bought coverflow for iTunes, so that technology was already around. Quick look? There are dozens of CMs that will give you the same features.

I’ll reserve judgement until I get it on my machine, but I’m not overly impressed just yet.

Galley

It looks like Overflow launcher will become obsolete with Stacks.

Honza

I didn’t see a mac mini (I have G4) in the lineup when he said “Leopard will run on NEARLY all current macs”. But then, my video wasnt so hot either…

Scotty H

all the eye candy looked pretty good in keynote (tho jerky on Australia’s rubbish broadband)).

my question is; Will it all look so nice on an older G4? or even G5?
and seeing as I was about to buy a MacBook, will the graphics card be able to keep up?

scott (hoping for a hardware announcement really) H
;-)

Dave M.

If they make the menu bar transparent, then maybe there is a preference to make it hide and show like MenuShade. Anything is possible. We can only hope. :)

Mirri

Menubar is lame.
Coverflow – coverflow is going to change my world.
-Raven

Charles

Stacks are just the beginning. Quite a few years ago, Apple patented a series of new GUI paradigms called “Piles.” This is the first implementation of it. It is so radical that it will take a while to roll it out in stages, so people can get used to it. I think you’ll see even more Piles implemented in the Finder, I suspect we’ll see a few more secret features when the final Leopard version ships.

Jonathan

I see the coverflow/quickview as a great solution to the problem I face way too often. Say I do a research through literature and download tens of .pdfs. They usually end-up in a directory with automatically assigned meaningless names. When I want to look at a particular document later on, search terms usually pop quite a few matching results, so I either have to check the “info” for each, hoping that files have explicit metadata (which is usually NOT the case) or, guess what, open each file one by one until I get what I need. Painful.

Having the possibility to see documents in a format large enough so I can read their title and recognize quickly their content (quicklook) in a fluid manner (coverflow) as if I was quickly looking covers of documents in a pile of hardcopies seems just natural and efficient to me.

To me, this is much easier than
1- renaming/metadata-filing every file myself upfront, and/or
2- icon previews, where all publications of a certain journal, for instance, will look just the same.

j2d2

Love the addition of Cover Flow. It may seem like just gloss, but in reality it’s a step in that company-wide effort to establish new “front ends” for viewing our content. Front Row and Apple TV, and now the iPhone, then Cover Flow. Very consistent way of browsing our “stuff” visually.

It may get to a point when finding our files through the Finder is the “back door” approach — when we really need to mess with stuff under the hood so speak.

So in a way, I see adding Cover Flow as a more significant part of a larger trend in usability for OSX, then merely gloss.

Alex

Just think of quicklook plugins for Textile, Markdown, HTML Pages, Image Previews with EXIF Data and Code Preview… There is so much more..

Richard Hather

I was more impressed with the demo with Core Animations and the live video and searching. THAT is what I can see as a future desktop environment for Apple.

Alex

The technology behind quicklook is interesting. If there’s a quicklook-plugin for a particular filetype you can use that preview in many ways, like cover flow, itunes and surely tons of other programs that will use this programming interface.

Also core animation which the stacks and shiny dock are built upon is a strong technology that will help create advanced user interfaces.

Seems like you didn’t get that the technologies to build all this fancy standard user interface will be in the hands of creative 3rd party developers (or actually are for the beta subscribers).

Jorge

All the new features unveiled yesterday may be cosmetic, but they do lend themselves to a better touch screen experience. Anyone agree? Maybe this is a transition.

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