updated 01:35 am EDT, Wed June 13, 2007
Leopard demo videos
As part of its website overhaul, Apple has posted a series of videos highlighting new features that will ship as part of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Much of the functionality is demonstrated in greater detail than presented in Steve Jobs' keynote address. Among the features shown are the revised Finder (Cover Flow, sidebar, and more), Mail.app, iChat, Time Machine, Quick Look, and Spaces. The overhauled website also features new navigation elements, improved navigation and metallic graphics as well as an updated Spotlight-like search interface with "live" results displaying nearly instantaneously.
The Finder demo shows the sidebar, which can easily store remote file locations and preset Spotlight searches. It also shows how icons can display actual document content, making them significantly more meaningful. Finder-based Cover Flow, which can not only quickly scroll through the first pages of text documents, first frames of movies, etc., but can also navigate through the pages of text documents and deliver live previews of movies, etc. is shown. Choosing the Cover Flow view is just like selecting list or icon view in the Finder. Furthermore, with Cover Flow view selected, Spotlight search results are automatically displayed as such.
Apple's Leopard videos also show the new Dock, which has a 3D look-and-feel. Application and document icons appear to float on a glass surface that other windows actually reflect off, rather than simply resting on a translucent backdrop as in previous releases of Mac OS X. In addition, menus are semi-transparent. Stacks are demonstrated -- both in fanning and grid mode. Stacks are created by simply dragging a series of files to the Dock.
Quick Look's demonstration is straightforward; the tool allows previewing of various document types without launching any applications other than the Finder. The video mentions PDF files, Keynote presentations, Word and Excel files as capable of being displayed using Quick Look.
The Time Machine demonstration shows Spotlight searching through the past for specific files, which can be immediately restored. No mention is made of performance impact, though this is sure to be an area of concern.
Perhaps most impressive in the Spaces demonstration is a feature that allows windows to be dragged from one space to another.
Finally, the iChat and Mail.app demonstration videos show previously announced functionality: custom backdrops and "theater" (allowing live sharing of documents) for iChat and stationary/to-dos for Mail.app.
Macworld UK notes that the pages also confirm several improvements, including an improved interface for DVD Player, which now lets users navigate through their DVDs using a new Image Bar with small pictures of each DVD chapter.