With Steve Jobs’ keynote over now, it is now time for us to talk about the new features Jobs’ talked about at his keynote. With 10 new features being demoed at WWDC, a way of developing applications for the iPhone, and Safari for Windows, we’ll take this a step at a time. First: Mac OS X Leopard.

Steve Jobs spent the majority of the keynote talking about Leopard for good reason; it’s coming out in four months and contains over 300 new features. Also the fact that at MacWorld, he spent the majority of the time, around 1 hour and 3o minutes, talking about the iPhone and shoved everything else aside.

#1: Desktop. In Mac OS X Tiger, the menu bar at the top of the screen is opaque; in Leopard, it’s transparent. This lets you see your photo on your desktop with out as much interference. The dock has been 3d-ified by having the icons sit on a platform, instead of stapled to a transparent rectangle. The dock also includes a feature called Stacks. Stacks lets you categorize files and documents into groups on your dock. For instance, if you have a lot of files related to a vacation you are going to take and need to access them frequently, you can put them in a stack in the dock and when you click on it, a list of all the files in the stack will come out.

#2: Finder. Finder has needed an overhaul for quite some time. Nothing has severely changed from previous versions up to Tiger. Leopard brings in the cool iTunes 7 feature; Cover Flow. The Finder edition of Cover Flow lets you browse through snapshots of your documents and pictures and then you are able to select the files, just like you could do in iTunes. A new feature called “Back to Your Mac” allows you to remotely connect to your other Mac, such as your office Mac or a Mac from around the world. This way, you can connect and download files from your remote computer and bring those onto your personal computer.

#3: Quick Look. Quick Look, as I see it, is Windows XP’s picture preview feature, just taken to a whole new level. Quick Look allows you to preview text documents, PDFs, and images, without actually opening up the editing program to preview it. This saves time and resources you can put to better use on your computer.

#4: Completely 64-bit. Mac OS X Leopard is the first mainstream operating system to become fully 64-bit. This means that the speed of the operating system will increase because you now have full access to the full speed and bandwidth of your processor and memory. You can run older 32-bit applications as well on your 64-bit system, without having to run separate operating systems that Windows Vista makes you do.

#5: Core Animation. Core Animation in Leopard will enable developers to take, for example, a movie and make it into an interactive application where users will be able to choose certain items. Not much else is known on this subject.

#6: Boot Camp. The Leopard version of Boot Camp will be out of beta and will be able to run Windows XP, Vista, and many flavors of the Linux OS natively and at full speed. You will not need to burn a CD full of drivers to get everything working properly on Windows, it will automatically work, going along with the Mac OS X mantra.

#7: Spaces. Spaces takes on what has been in Linux for quite some time. In Leopard, users will be able to run multiple applications in multiple spaces. A space is a separate interface where you can sort out applications. For instance, if you had Safari, Mail, and iChat open, you could move those applications to it’s own space for internet applications. You could move your gaming windows to a “games” space. This is a de-cluttering tool so you will be able to have a clean desktop. Until then, Microsoft has their own “Spaces” application in their “Powertoy’s”section and Mac OS X users can use VirtueDesktops.

#8: Dashboard. Over 3,000 widgets have been written for Dashboard, and now in Leopard, you will be able to make your own. Users will be able to take a “snippet” of a web page and have it live update it’s content. For example, one can put a comic on their Dashboard if there is not already a widget for that certain comic. Another example is a “Picture of the Day” from a certain website.

#9: iChat. In the new version, users will be able to customize their video chat experience by putting in backdrops. Users will be able to “fake” where they are by putting in stock or custom background pictures, in case you have something embarrassing in the background. You can also use tabs in chats instead of using multiple windows.

And for the grand finale:

#10: Time Machine. Time Machine will allow users to go back in time (on their hard drive of course) and get files that are backed up. This is much easier than current backup solutions because instead of having to dig through folders to get a file, users can simply go back to a certain date they new they had the file on their computer and drag the file to their computer. It will also back itself up automatically, making this a very simple process to backup.

Leopard is shaping up to be a great upgrade to Tiger and the verdict will come out in October when Leopard is released for $129.


Zach Flauaus also blogs at his site, MacFlauaus.com.

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