Wired review: Apple’s Leopard adds polish and productivity to already elegant Mac OS X

“Several times during the past five days, I’ve found myself entranced by the most mundane tasks. Flipping through documents, browsing other computers on my network and cleaning up my desktop — such things are hardly capable of sustaining one’s interest for more than a few seconds, let alone producing joy,” Michael Calore writes for Wired.

“But joy is exactly what I felt as I pointed and clicked my way around the visually immersive world of Mac OS X version 10.5, better known as Leopard,” Calore writes. “With Leopard, Apple has added a thick coat of polish to an already elegant operating system. The upgraded OS isn’t all glitz and glam, though. Mac’s core applications have been rendered more friendly by the addition of stronger visual cues, animated actions and detailed user interface refinements.”

“Wired News obtained a copy of the developers’ release, which was provided only to Apple’s software partners under strict nondisclosure agreements. We didn’t sign anything… Since the copy of Leopard I tested was a developer’s preview and not a fully baked OS, I concentrated more on new features than raw performance. However, it should be said that some core system tools like Spotlight searches and the Dashboard engine have been greatly improved… When it’s released for real in October, Leopard is sure to be a hit among newcomers and the Mac faithful alike,” Calore writes introducing his unofficial review.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Michael” for the heads up.]

20 Comments

  1. I’m glad to hear about the Path Finder-like features in the Finder, but I’m a bit queasy about the “flaky” performance on a Core Duo MacBook. Has to be a beta thing, right?

  2. A couple of (annoying) things:
    Aside from the new, reflective, 3-D dock at the bottom and the translucent menu bar at the top (slyly borrowed from Vista Aero),
    So, the menu bar at the top letting light shine through is a Vista feature? Isn’t the bar at the top an OSX feature? It isn’t on my XP system, but is on my Tiger and Panther systems.
    the visual influence of Windows Vista is evident as well.
    This interface was shown to the public what … a year ago? And Vista was offered for Beta when? A few weeks later? And this is due to Windows Vista?
    Dude, they share many similarities. Mostly because they are tracking the same concepts. Yes, they each ‘copy’ some things from each other – and from Linux, don’t forget – but the more obvious features noted in Leopard are not ‘copied’. Even if they DID ‘come later’. Many of these have been in the works since Jaguar!
    frisby had a good point about going back and noting how wonderful the new iteration was – though I’d take it back to Jaguar. Each gets better, and you have to wonder if they can keep up the pace. Apple couldn’t, not quite, they had to extend the wait between updates from a year to over two years. Maybe this version won’t be faster (on the same system) than the previous one – as was 10.4, 10.3, 10.2 and 10.1! Still … spaces alone may make it worth the price.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  3. I had the distinct (dis)pleasure of using Vista for the first time this weekend. I went to Best Buy and tried it out on a desktop and a laptop. The laptop was a Toshiba with a Core 2 Duo processor (1.88 GHz, I think) but it was not the new Santa Clara chip. Boy, was it ever freakin’ S L O W !!! Every click took 5 seconds to register.

    The desktop was an HP machine with a 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo chip. It ran much smoother on this machine, but there was still a slight, noticeable delay with each click. The GUI looks better than XP but looks very Fisher-Price-ish if you ask me. Ironically, the shoe is on the other foot for Winblows users and their frequent comments about OS X looking like it was made by Fisher-Price! The transparency is overused and makes the active window nearly impossible to discern.

    Many things were much harder to find and use on Vista vs. XP. The Start menu is even more convoluted and crappier. The sidebar is almost a joke. Very few gadgets can be customized. For example, you can’t change the time zone on the clock gadget – it always displays the local time that you have already set up. What a freakin’ joke!!! Also, some gadgets have buttons that do nothing when clicked on. On a positive note (one of the rare ones), you can access your system specs much easier with Vista but not nearly as easily or as detailed as System Profiler.

    Winblows users bend over! Here comes Fista! Make sure you have plenty of Vaseline on hand for it.

  4. Matt: “I’m glad to hear about the Path Finder-like features in the Finder, but I’m a bit queasy about the “flaky” performance on a Core Duo MacBook. Has to be a beta thing, right?”

    Are you for real? Or you some paid for FUD astroturfer employed by Microsoft??

    Yeah, sorry you have to be. Otherwise you’ve got to be one of the most dim witted bulbs on the internet. This is a DEVELOPER BETA.

    Stop spreading FUD.

    No shove off.

    MDN “makes” ignorance makes me angry.

  5. I’ll never understand this crap about the Leopard interface copying Vista.

    All the elements on the desktop have been there for 6/7 years. The dock has been translucent for most of that time. The menu bar is now made translucent to match the dock, for the sake of making a change.

    In comparison, Windows doesn’t have a dock or menu bar. It has a Start bar at the bottom which is black…

    The Leopard Finder is simply continuing the progression of making it like iTunes, which has been around in Windows for 3 or 4 years now, and leaves Windows Explorer in the dust…

    I won’t even bother mentioning all the cool features and functions in Leopard that aren’t available in Vista…

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