Apple Mac OS X Leopard’s dumbed down Dock and how it’s really supposed to work (link to video)

“So, during the beta stages of Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) there were some key features that Apple decided to add to the new OS, and advertise publicly on their website in order to create buzz and get people excited about the new OS,” reports.

“One of these features was what Apple calls ‘Stacks’ in the new 3D glassy looking Dock area. Some people love the new dock, and the way the stacks work on the dock, some don’t. This article has nothing to do with either side,” reports.

“Instead I’m going to show everyone the way it was ‘supposed’ to be. This is not a hack, this Dock was taken from one of the Leopard beta installations that was seeded to developers and beta testers before the official release. Up until the final release of Leopard, this part of the feature was not only present in the beta versions, but was also included in the description of the new Dock features on Apple’s website,” reports.

“In fact, this capability still seems to be present in the current/final release code, at least it still has all the descriptions and settings intact. How to enable the feature? I’m not sure, maybe someone can figure that part out for us. All I know is that the feature is really cool, and useful and I can’t for the life of me figure out why it was ever removed or disabled,” reports. also reports that “there was also a major change in the way the folders on the right side of the dock behave, I’ll post a video of that later.”

Watch the video of the full-featured Leopard Dock in action in the full article here.

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

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, something caused Apple to dumb down the Dock at the last minute which, on the bright side, gives us hope that useful functionality will be restored by Apple ASAP.

Mac OS X Leopard’s Stacks’ default curving fan is ugly and virtually useless. The optional grid view is better looking, but just as pointless. Of course, users of former versions of Mac OS X who are now on Leopard know that what we’re really bemoaning is the loss of hierarchical folders in the Dock. What a stupid backwards step Apple made here! Where users could simply drag their drives to the right side of the Dock and “Boom!” in previous Mac OS X versions, now they just get an ugly dead end. “Stacks. An ugly dead end.” Some slogan. So, Apple, what was the goal, to make the Dock much less useful? To force users to go through the new Finder to see the snazzy new Cover Flow view? Seriously, what’s the point? Here’s hoping Apple fixes this (a third-party fix would be nice, but Apple should restore the lost functionality themselves) in a future Leopard update as soon as possible.MacDailyNews Take, November 30, 2007


  1. If you check VersionTracker, there are numerous fixes to restore heirarchical menus to the Leopard Dock.

    I’m still waiting for a few applications’ Leopard compatibility updates before jumping to Leopard full-time.

    Personally, I don’t use the Dock very much, opting for LaunchBar & Spotlight.

  2. The reason why the stack curves is because our hands do not move in a straight line easily – they move in a natural arc. Try it. Move your cursor across your screen and see the subtle arc. This is why the Dock has magnification that makes it curve. Stacks follows the same principle.

    It curves to the right because 89% of people are right-handed (sorry lefties).

    I, for one, prefer the grid arrangement, but I cringe every time I see the icons refresh when you open a stack with a lot of documents in it – so Winblows-like. Improve it Apple!

  3. Just looked at the video… now THAT looks useful AND pretty darn cool.

    You can BET some third party will be able to add this Dock functionality and probably a few surprises.

    Give it time. Apple was trying to get Leopard out the door. Think of all the refinements & enhancements that every previous Mac OS X version has received during the update process.

  4. I agree. Sometimes Apple adds features that I just don’t use, but still make sense. This grid and fan are both ugly and more difficult to use than the prior options.

    There needs to be a haxie or pref to disable these.

  5. Clearly a Steveness marketing gimmick. Useless except for the visual – which always has on dispay – which is the essence of Apple’s approach these days – form over function.

    Gloss over substance.

    But, hey, it’s better than the worst other OS – another milestone in Mac’s new standard

  6. Is it just me or does having a folder/stack of apps on the right side of the Dock feel inconsistent. I think grouping a set of applications (by company or function) on the left side of the Dock, with all the other apps makes a lot of sense. The Dock has only some much space.

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