MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2008 (#36)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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112 MacDirectory REVIEW | PRODUCTIVITY After all the hype, Leopard has finally arrived. Despite the more than 300 new items touted by Apple, there's really no single 'must-have' feature that's strong enough to require the upgrade. Having said that, there are quite a few things that lead us to recommend purchase, aside from the obvious. It typically behooves the serious user to keep up with OS updates, simply because future applications will require Leopard just to run. Here we'll document our findings with the most-used features – your mileage may vary. The Desktop The most obvious of the changes occurs on the Desktop, where the Dock now sports a leaded-glass appearance, with lit glass spheres to indicate which applica- tions are currently open. These orbs are just unobtrusive enough to be almost unnoticeable, which may please or annoy you, depending on your taste. If you prefer a side-aligned Dock, the glass effect goes away. There are a few hacks available over the Web that help modify the new Dock a few different ways, including bringing back the old appearance. Additionally, default folders have been added to the Dock: Applications, Documents, and Downloads. These have a new way to display their contents, called Stacks, which fans the files out in a single column arc. There is a representative icon for each file, which is a welcome interface improvement. If the number of files exceeds a certain amount, opening a folder will display files in a grid. Depending on how many files you have, however, this can be confusing, with so many icons sharing the space. The Downloads folder is meant to contain all downloads you get from Safari, Mail, or iChat. If you don't use Safari, however, you're out of luck, though there will probably soon be a hack out there for integrating the Downloads folder with other browsers. The Finder A new method of viewing your files is added to the standard list: Cover Flow. Just like browsing through your songs in iTunes, you can quickly breeze through your standard files by simply scrolling through them. Making this functionality even more powerful is the new Quick Look feature. Quick Look lets you preview many types of files without having to open them completely – simply select one or more files, and tap the Spacebar. You are given controls to display your files slideshow fashion, or in a gridded, contact sheet format. Spaces This is a brand-new feature and is Apple's take on the desktop virtualization idea. Essentially, you can have a separate desktop for each application you choose to open, and switch easily between them with a customizable keystroke. You are allowed up to 16 Spaces, arranged how- ever you prefer. It's possible to look at all Spaces at the same time, and drag appli- cations from one Space to another at will. This feature is useful for users who want to have his or her own special work space and application selection. iChat The new version of iChat is notable mainly for a fantastic new function: Screen Sharing. With two computers running Leopard, an iChat session can be shared, allowing both users to control the desktop of either user. Audio chat is automatically enabled, making it easy to troubleshoot problems on a remote computer, or simply to experience the fun of collaboration. Other notable features include the smoothly running Boot Camp; recording features in Automator; the useful Dictionary; and the powerful Time Machine. Again, however, with the possible exceptions of the Screen Sharing in iChat and Boot Camp, there is little in Leopard that makes it a required installation. It is the future, however, so read up on it and decide for yourself. MAC OS 10.5 LEOPARD > IT'S FINALLY HERE Product Mac OS 10.5 Leopard Made by Apple Price $129 Pros Numerous graphical and functional improvements Cons Certain features require adjustment Rating HHHH WORDS BY KEONI CHAVEZ > IMAGE COURTESY OF APPLE

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