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Apple previews Mac OS X Leopard

updated 03:00 pm EDT, Mon August 7, 2006

Mac OS X Leopard preview

Apple today at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) previewed Mac OS X Leopard, the next generation of its operating system featuring 64-bit application support and a new "Time Machine" backup application. The company noted, however, that it would not show all of its "top secret" Leopard features yet, preventing Microsoft from "starting the photocopiers" too early. Time Machine automatically and transparently backs up data, allowing users to restore entire drives or just specific documents from a specific time/date using visual navigation based on a timeline. Time Machine also automatically configures any attached drives for support, backing up music, photos, documents, and more.



Apple said that roughly 26 percent of users back up files, and the majority of these do so manually. The company's new Time Machine software automatically backs up files when alterations occur, and users can perform backups to a hard drive or a server.

Time Machine literally builds a timeline of file changes and Finder windows, allowing users to scroll back in time to recover overwritten files. Time Machine is built into iPhoto, according to the company, allowing users to easily recover deleted photos.

Boot Camp, Spotlight, and "Spaces"

The Mac OS X Leopard desktop appears very similar to Mac OS X Tiger, but features a Spotlight icon in the Dock. Leopard will ship with the company's Boot Camp software, as previously announced.

Additionally, Spotlight will pre-buffer recently-used applications, allowing users to access recent items quickly and easily while searching other machines when possible. Spotlight features new advanced search functions such as Boolean, file type, and others while adding a launcher for applications.

Leopard features "Spaces," new virtual desktops that allow users to manage different environments by grouping different applications to easily switch between and work on various projects.

Core Animation

Core Animation enables developers to deconstruct a scene into layers such as text, images, opacity, and OpenGL. A demonstration screen saver that totaled 4,000 lines of code totaled just 400 lines with Core Animation. Developers can specify start, goal, and any keyframes, allowing Leopard to take care of the rest. Developers can also create "Scenes" using layers of video, text, images, and OpenGL-enabled content.

Additional enhancements

Leopard also features built-in Rails support, as well as improved Universal access that includes VoiceOver with variable speed control and Braille support.

Apple has also added notes, to-do items, and stationary to Mail.app. SStationery uses HTML standards to ensure each message looks the same in all mail clients, while notes is a new mailbox intended for information storage. Mail offers closed captioning support in QuickTime, better VoiceOver technology for natural-sounding text-to-speech voices, Braille support, and more. Mail to-do lists are similar to iCal to-do lists, and other applications can post to Mail's to-do lists, working with iCal.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Secret features???

    Leopard looks to be another solid upgrade to Mac OS X although most of that in my opinion is the fleshing out of apps and technologies found in earlier versions such as Tiger. Mail seems to be a more serious app and iChat will conferencing for the masses to a great new level. Make sure to check out the Quicktime movies on the Apple site "Sneak Peek". This of course leaves us with the "secret features" that were not shown today. Either Apples is really concerned about M$ stealing these features or these features are just not ready to air, as in still in alpha. I guess we will have to wait till MacWorld 07 or M$' commitment to a ship date for Vista to see what Apple has kept hidden in the coming Leopard.

  1. JEB

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mac OS X "CAN OPENER"

    OH, BOY, IT'S THAT MAC-ELECTRIC CAN OPENER AGAIN -- THE WHOOPASS IS EVERYWYERE (EVEN W/O THE ""SECRET FEATURES") . . .

    GO APPLE!!!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mail

    I hope its possible for people to use all the new features in mail without having to actually use it to send/receive mail. Mail isn't a very good mail program. Maybe it'll make a better microsoft Entourage (which is what they're making it into, right?)

    And will to-do items in Mail map to to-do items in iCal, or are they going to be separate?

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re:Mail

    What do you expect out of a mail application? I don't get your mentality. Have you ever talked to a non-geek before? Most of them would tell you that MS Office is more complex that it needs to be.

    Mail is used to send and receive email. That is exactly what is is supposed to do. It also allows for grouping by message thread and has smart folders. What is missing?

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mail

    One feature I would like is better rules - maybe rules base on regular expressions, or the ability to run mail through a script. The HTML feature is certainly nice.

  1. FastAMX79

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    i need

    to get back to the year 1985! Time machine is going to kick a** if it works like it should!

    Go Apple!!

  1. JEB

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: Mail To Do / iCal

    I actually got to using iCal's To-Do's list last year . . . the functionality of taking parts of a Mail message, as proposed, is fantastic.

    Productivity, ahh, sweeet productivity.

    Go Apple!!!

  1. MacnnGregor

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re iCal

    How about recurring to do's!?!?!?!??

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: mail

    What do you expect out of a mail application? I don't get your mentality. Have you ever talked to a non-geek before? Most of them would tell you that MS Office is more complex that it needs to be.

    Mail is used to send and receive email. That is exactly what is is supposed to do. It also allows for grouping by message thread and has smart folders. What is missing?


    I don't know what anyone else expects from a mail app, but I expect it to perform a good job at managing email. For me, Mail doesn't cut it, but that's just me.

    However, what Mail is used for is apparently immaterial, as Apple has decided that Mail needs to add to-do lists and notes ("let's see, I need a place to write notes, where should that be, I know, a special Mailbox in Mail!").

    To me, it seems like Apple is trying to MS'ing their apps by now merging all this stuff together, which, as you've stated, only makes things complicated.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Saw this on MacNightOwl

    Noticed no price mentioned. I just figured $129 (or maybe $139), same as normal.

    Then I read this on macNightOwl

    Jobs also said that all of the needed applications would be bundled with Leopard, including a revised Front Row and Photo Booth. He didnít say anything about iLife, but since itís critical to getting the most power out of Leopard, I wouldnít be surprised if they were included.

    That also means, of course, that the price may be higher. Iím betting on $179 to $199, but that, and a broader picture of the scope of Tiger, is still to come.


    Woohoo! Of course, we can at least say we're $100 cheaper then XP Pro....

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