Leopard's new features, a brief tour

by Giles Turnbull

So Apple has posted a Sneak Peek section giving us much more information about all the cool stuff announced at WWDC today. What does it tell us, exactly?

(Warning to dial-up users: this is a screenshot-heavy post.)


2006-08-07 14:35:09
I too was hoping to hear of some improvements for mail with IMAP. Just out of curiousity what do you use instead? I tried thunderbird, but wasn't happy with it...
Small Paul
2006-08-07 14:39:34
there's a lot more lurking in there that we didn't see

Well,that's what Steve would have us think. I won't be holding my breath for anything more whizz-bang (although I'm hoping with everyone else that iCal drops brushed metal).

That screen-sharing thing is cool: like Co-Pilot (https://www.copilot.com/), but for the Mac. Apple didn't mention it, but that would be awesome (well, possibly) for tech support at companies. (I say possibly, as it might result in people calling IT whenever they've forgotten how to do something, just because they know IT can fix it via screen-sharing.)

2006-08-07 14:40:37
@sng: I left Mail for Thunderbird, then abandoned that to return to Eudora; after another year or so of happy Eudora-using, I switched to Gmail. So far, so good.
The Oracle
2006-08-07 16:41:47
With the new Screen Sharing feature, you and a colleague can share the same desktop. Who has control over what isn't exactly clear; Apple's blurb says: "You both have complete control at all times," which seems odd (if both parties claim control at the same time, which one wins?) but the concept is an excellent one.

If I understand properly, the fact that both persons have control over a Screen Sharing sessions means, simply, a way of collaborating for, let's say, modifying a document. One of the participants make some changes that can be modified by the other and so on. Just a collaboration tool. The question, however, is if Screen Sharing is just this or also some kind of 'Remote Assistance', giving the possibility of changing certain files in the computer of the one who invited. Seems too much for a chat application, so I'll stick with the simple theory.

You said "if both parties claim control at the same time, which one wins?". Well, I guess the one who invited a third party has to have the power of ending the session at her/his own freewill. But if both are working in the same document, it's not clear who has precedence of operation. I guess we need more documentation on that.

"how will Spaces and Expose work together, I wonder?"

I don't see both features as mutually exclusive. I guess that for each Space you can use expose as usual. For instance, you can have several opened windows (say, 15 PDFs) in one Space, so Exposé will help you to locate what you want.

"Not sign of a new Finder"

There's not everything unveiled. You also said it Remember, there were rumours of a UI change (in the demo videos you can still see brushed metal coexisting with the new mail look. And iChat lost the metal if you look at it).

The most interesting thing I found here is that, for the first time (if I recall properly), Steve said he was keeping some things under wraps, not showing them. So I guess the big ones are the surprises that will not "inspire" Vista.

2006-08-07 17:00:36
Spaces : I'm happy with Expose. What I really wanted was something similar to change my app set on the dock - a simple 'one-armed bandit' style reel would be good, so that I can collect my web apps, media apps, etc, on different dock, without a third party solution.

As for hidden features yet to come : If they are developer-level features MS will find out about them through the NDA sessions anyway, so that limits them to end-user apps (new Finder, core animation revamps to the UI on other apps?). I suspect some others may simply be technologies only at alpha level that missed the WWDC deadline, given Apple's reluctance to announce features that may not make the final cut.

That does mean the 'only' points of developer interest are :
Obj-C 2
XCode 3
Core Animation

Of those, Core Animation is the only major new API (at least announced so far - obviously there will be time machine and todo APIS) - but that does seem a smaller rate of change.

Nothing on resolution independent UI so far.

2006-08-07 18:07:39
"there's a lot more lurking in there that we didn't see." What makes you say that?

And I was expecting something different from an O'Reilly website. Instead, I've foun screenshots already displayed by Apple (including that dork in the iChat demo).

2006-08-07 18:50:32
Is there anything that actually makes the OS more useful ? Or even easier to use ?

Time Machine: Looks promising but I hope we can opt to have files NOT be backed up !!

2006-08-07 22:31:19
Pretty much, all of the features announced are either aquisitions of already established ideas (backup, virtual desktops) or fairly natural improvements to established programs. it seems to me that Steve has some truly innovative things he is worried about Windows ripping off in the last moment before Vista launches. I was a little dissapointed that he didn't announce the ability to drag widgets out of the Dashboard.
2006-08-08 00:32:11
Zac, dragging widgets from the Dashboard onto the Desktop is a feature you already heave in your Tiger: Just have a look at
Martin McDonald
2006-08-08 02:21:29
It's going to be (something like) eight months before Leopard is released; I'm not surprised that Steve wanted to keep some secrets to sustain interest as we wait through autumn, winter and spring.

There's a kind of and....? Feeling about this WWDC and I guess that's a result of the huge effort Apple have put into the migration to Intel. They have acheived this brilliantly, but it's left a hole where the innovation should be.

kuku man
2006-08-08 06:40:08
Some feature kept close to the chest... :)
Will be shown on Macworld Expo Jan!

-Expose Everywhere! Don't want Vista to copy/mimic that!
-Advance Finder browser(not the desktop part)!
-Aqua 2.0(adjustment to some UI,animation,effect and theme)!
MS may tweek thier UI and all!
-True Powerful Media center(Front Row 2.0 a UI for TV/HDTV output)
-others... iGame?

All these new feature were not shown are relatively easier to copy/mimic So apple will wait a little longer and let the developer debug and test the new core existence Technology that are to takes longer and harder copy/mimic.

2006-08-08 06:42:38
Leopard is another release like Tiger: it's notable not so much for the end-user stuff (I mean, I don't know about you, but I don't use Expose, I find Spotlight notable mostly for the performance it sucks out of the machine, and I can never remember to go to the Dashboard for anything, even though I want to, and would find it useful...).

The real power of Leopard is in the developer bits. Apple's taking seriously the role of the platform in creating an ecosystem for awesome developer innovations. If you're at WWDC, this is even more readily apparent. As much as Tiger advanced the services available to developers, Leopard leapfrogs Tiger.

That all said, I'd put money down on a total replacement or major refinement of Aqua for Leopard final, (possibly along with additional widgetry), along with a Dock revamp. Possibly Finder, too. It's just way past the expiry date on Finder, Dock, and Aqua. Dashboard widgets need first class UI status.

2006-08-08 11:43:29
Santa, please bring Apple a Cocoafied Finder.
Rainy Day
2006-08-08 12:32:08
For how the iChat screen sharing will work, look to Timbuktu, VNC or Apple Desktop Remote.
2006-08-08 13:46:10
We know that Finder is being replaced because there were public ads for the job, so don't worry on that score.

Q. Go to the new Macosforge. Look at the client apps for the calendar server. What is 'Apple Teams'??

Neal Saferstein
2006-08-08 17:55:38
I wish ICHAT was cross platform capitible like ADIUM.

Neal Saferstein

2006-08-08 17:58:08
There seems to be the usual amount of disappointed comments here, but, compared with what we got with Tiger (very little to shout about) a couple of things at WWDC are very interesting. In particular, allowing true conferencing and talking head style presentatons through iChat has incredible potential in the education and training fields -- especially if it's an OS standard and not an expensive add-on. Platform regardless, this is an expensive option right now. Also, no one's yet mentioned Leopard Server (http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/leopard/). Again education potential is huge.
Charles Albrecht
2006-08-08 18:26:50

I'm just hoping that I'll be able to Mail's stationery to do top-quoting by default.

(and still do plain text)

It's the one thing that's consistently bugged me about Mail since its introduction

2006-08-08 19:02:41
On Leoprad, open a PDF in Preview. In the inspector you can add links and chapters to the PDF. And you can highlight the PDF too.
2006-08-08 19:10:13
yes, time machine works with open apps such as a text file, as long as you have the textfile open with whatever app, and it has the same name.

much the way the wwdc06 demo did with the search term "sonya" in the address book.

it's very open ended.

2006-08-08 19:22:54
Perhaps you mean subset, not subsection?
2006-08-08 21:14:33
I was curious about the iChat demo where they say "iChat gives you more features... with a built in iSight camera". Does this mean an external iSight won't work with the new features? Sounds like a typical Apple move where they introduce a new feature but to use it you have buy a new computer like iDVD, Frontrow and Photobooth. Then a year or 2 later everyone can use them.
2006-08-09 02:17:19
As far as incremental changes - they are very small, usually, and keeping them as deltas makes them even smaller. I wrote my own small version of this in Python/Spotlight (no GUI, only runs daily) and have been running it since February - and it has only cost me 20 GB so far. I don't edit video or massive photo albums, though.

This could be a real lifesaver.

2007-04-27 09:08:34
"Time Machine: Looks promising but I hope we can opt to have files NOT be backed up !!"

1. I think this looks like an improved ripoff of the Windows XP System Restore (Mac copies stuff too!!!)
2. I would think that doing a "Secure Empty Trash" would exempt stuff from being found in Time Machine.

2007-07-05 07:36:49
Time Machine is nothing like Windows System Restore.