Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard’s top secret ingredient: 3D everywhere, including new 3D Finder?

Apple Store“Ars Technica’s Infinite Loop blog has, in my opinion, unraveled one of the top secret ingredients in Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 release, aka Leopard: complete 3D graphics and animations. Given what we know and have seen of Leopard features such as Time Machine and the new iChat and in existing apps like FrontRow, this would make perfect sense, especially if it were implemented in OpenGL. Applications get their own canvases in a 3D world, and the OS is responsible for keeping those canvases updated and visible in various orientations. One visual 3D imaging model for all apps that the OS manages and keeps sorted. Sweet,” Carl Howe writes for Blackfriars’ Marketing.

Howe writes, “What this means for Apple users is that we can expect a new Finder in Leopard. I’ve written before that I believe that Leopard will also support Multi-touch gestures and new sensors to take the user interface the next step for users. From a competitive point of view, this 3D Finder will probably be the biggest shot across the bow for rival Microsoft. Why? Because the Aero 3D interface is the major differentiator today for Vista over Windows XP; most of the other features of Vista are significantly less visible to average users. But on Vista, these features are usable only on the highest end PCs, while I believe that Apple intends its 3D features to become a part of every device it builds. That means we’ll see 3D features on iPods, iPhones, Apple TV boxes, and of course in Leopard.”

Full article here.

Iljitsch van Beijnum writes for Ars Technica, “Obviously the OS can simply move windows to the front and to the the back without support from the application itself, much like how Exposé works, but to really flabbergast us, applications would have to support the new 3D user interface and have different windows, inspectors, and requesters move around through Leopard’s three dimensional space. Core Animation takes care of the movement, and resolution independence makes sure text and UI elements align and look good at different zoom levels. The only thing missing is an easy way to manipulate virtual objects in three dimensions. Or do we just pinch them?”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Number 5” and “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
RUMOR: Some Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard ‘top secret’ features leak out – January 26, 2007
RUMOR: Apple Mac OS X Leopard to replace ‘Aqua’ with ‘Illuminous’ – December 11, 2006
Apple confirms ‘resolution independence’ and more coming in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard – October 23, 2006

68 Comments

  1. This I don’t believe. A 3D interface is quite simply counterproductive in most common applications. It might be usable in the Finder to some extent but it would have to be miles ahead of current 3D interfaces to be really usable.

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