Leopard - First Few Hours

I stood in line today for Leopard and was amongst the first in the Western Hemisphere to get my hands on this predator. Quite aside from the fun I had actually spending my hard-earned cash on this upgrade, installation was a breeze and the feeling overall is very positive.

Initial Impression
To label this a minor release would be preposterous. It is a major release in every way and well worth checking out the list of 300 new features of Leopard on the Apple website. The main thing with all the new gizmos I've been using on Leopard is that yet again Apple has come up with something where everything 'just works'. Exactly the way it should and without further fuss. I've not had ANY issues after using 10.5 for about 3 hours, editing video etc, everything has been a breeze. If there are major bugs, I haven't come across any.

Notable points

  • The system runs faster. This is apparently a speedup specifically with Core 2 Duo systems (like mine)
  • Spaces works as advertised. It could be a little bit confusing for someone who's not familiar with the mac and it's also not turned on by default. After using it for a couple of hours now, it really is a great productivity tool. It is one of those things you just end up using naturally which proves its usefulness.
  • FrontRow has finally adopted the Apple TV Interface which is nice. It doesn't have YouTube though which I feel should have been included as it's a useful option. With the lack of fancy integrations from the desktop, Apple has given Frontrow its pride of place in the home entertainment arena. It feels more like a mode of the computer rather than an app that is depending on there being enough RAM to play a song. You can now also specify the sources like you can on the Apple TV.
  • The new improved Dock is an evolution of the familiar tool we've come to know and love. It now features reflective 3D effects which work well. 'Stacks' is a neat feature which is fast and enables clutter free access to your files.
  • Spotlight has been improved and seems faster. It launches apps by just selecting the item and tapping the space bar. That's nice because you end up not having to use the mouse to open applications.
  • The main thing I like in the new Finder is Coverflow. It works fantastically and until you use it in the Finder, it's hard to describe how useful it is. I would have said that finder had its limitations when compared to Windows Explorer. But with Leopard in Coverflow, it really makes it easier to go through your files and find what you are looking for. Coupled with Quicklook, you end up being able to go through your files and find what you like without launching a bunch of applications. The smart folder and networking capabilities work fantastically and if smartly set up, negate any need to rumble through your computer for hours, trying to find "that one file".
  • Time Machine: I don't have an external hard drive (yet) so wasn't able to test this one.
  • The only issue I found is that Quicklook should include previews of folder contents. Its such an obvious omission that it will surely be included in a future software update.
I would highly recommend this upgrade to any Mac User. If you are looking for a renewed computing experience, get your hands on Leopard and see for yourself. I have already been using the new features a lot. They prove themselves in the way they work so well and how effortless their implementation seems to be. Productivity is obviously one of Apple's key focuses and their ability to tie entertainment and productivity into one easy to use package deserves praise at the least. Kudos to Apple for another great product and for pushing computing forward. –Felix Kunze.