10 Updated Features of Leopard

wwdc07204wm.jpgAt the WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs described ten key features of the upcoming Leopard operating system.

1) Leopard has a new Desktop. Instead of putting another blue pattern up that you'll put your pictures over, their dock and menu bar will adapt and adjust to whatever background you set.

"Stacks," a new feature that helps you clean up desktops. Stacks sits on your dock and gives you a stack of items that pops up when you click on it. Works with folders and downloads. You can put any folder there, and access them quickly.

wwdc07216wm.jpg The dock is changed as well, and has reflections/transparency/3D-ness.

Stacks can also work as an app launcher if you put all your apps there, and will pop up a square with all your app icons so you can launch stuff with it. Demoing the stack with pictures and movies. HE SAID BOOM.

wwdc07242wm.jpg New sidebar, which looks like iTunes and has the capability to search other Macs & servers. Things are grouped, and collapsible. It also has a "Search" group, where there are smart folders that can group stuff by when you modified the files, for example.

Back to My Mac: .Mac knows all your IP addresses of your computers, so you can use .Mac to communicate over the net (encrypted) and grab files off your home machine from the road.It's easier to browse and share files on a local network. If you're a subscriber with .Mac, you can share stuff with other machines.

Also, Cover Flow. Details: Same views as before, list, columns, and now, Cover Flow view.

wwdc07250wm.jpgYou can read PDF pages in Cover Flow. Cover Flow can view PDFs and scroll up and down through pages. When it's on a movie, you can preview the movie right in Cover view. Presumably the same for music as well. Steve says it's a great way to find things, but if you've used Cover view then it's more of a cool slideshow app rather than finding things.

Network view: One of the groups on the left side is network computers, so you can view other files as if it were on your own machine, including Cover Flow view. Back to My Mac: Click it on the left (if you're a .Mac subscriber), click Start, and it'll hook up all your machines that are also signed in to .Mac.

wwdc07267wm.jpg Boom Count: 2. You can also use Spotlight searching to search other machines over the network.

Boom Count: 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. I think he did that on purpose.

3) Showing preview in Finder to preview Excel docs, PDFs, and Word docs without launching Preview.app. You can preview movies in the Finder Cover Flow, but if you hit space bar then it pops open and gives you a big view. And that's "Quick Look."

4) Leopard is entirely 64 bit. One version of Leopard runs 32-bit and 64-bit side by side. You can run both 32-bit and 64-bit apps on every copy of Leopard. "First time 64-bit goes mainstream." Demoing a 64-bit and 32-bit version comparison. Their demo app loads a 4GB image that can only be kept in memory on the 64-bit version, and 32-bit has to keep accessing the disk to load part of the image when you zoom in.

wwdc07291wm.jpg 5) Core Animation. It's automatic animation that makes it easy to add "high production value" to your apps. Text, images, video, OpenGL. Compose things on Scenes of Layers and auto-uses the GPU acceleration. Demoing the starting movie in AppleTV with the giant screen of videos. This is interactive, and you can search for stuff by tags. Search for water, all the water videos come out. Pops out all with a fancy animation. Easy to add stuff to your apps if you're a developer.

bootcampnew.jpg 6) Boot Camp is built-in and better than ever, letting you run XP or Vista with native speed. Since it's built-in, no more burning CDs to install drivers. Interestingly, Steve-o says that it complements Parallels and VM Ware, which they're "helping...as much as we can." Over 2.5 million downloads of the Beta. Leopard has Boot Camp built-in.

spacesnew.jpg 7) Not much has changed with Spaces since last year—you can group apps into (only four?) separate "spaces," (pictured above) or virtual desktops, and move between them with the arrow keys. You can also zoom out to scope all of them at once and toggle from there.

dashboardnew.jpg 8) Dashboard gets an upgrade, but nothing we haven't seen. WebClip is in full force: you can make a widget out of any web page, like Rotten Tomatoes. New, kinda meh, kind cool: partnership with Fandango for on-the-fly movie times, tickets, and previews in Dashboard.

leiaichat.jpg9) iChat is spiffied up with AAC-LD (low delay), tabbed chats (<3), Photo Booth effects, iChat Theater, and Backdrops—the latter three are for video chatting. You can expand your iChat video conference to full screen. Better still you can cooperatively view anything that's supported in Quick Look (see above).

timemachinenew.jpg 10) Time Machine also hasn't changed much since it was demoed, but that doesn't bother us too much. The sweet Cover Flow interface that's everywhere rears its head here, too, as it flows through your typed keywords. Click and restore, essentially. It automatically backs up to a local HD or network server, plus you can back up every Mac in the house to one shared drive. Lost files can be hunted down with a Spotlight search, which are spot-checkable with QuickLook.

windowsafari.jpg One More Thing: Safari 3 on Windows XP and Vista. Besides sporting all of its OS X Leopard features, it supposedly smokes IE 7 and Firefox 2, rendering twice as fast as IE and 1.6x faster than Firefox. Grab the public beta here.

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