Mon Jun 11 12:33:04 PDT 2007

All About Leopard...

Apple's Steve Jobs gave his ``SteveNote'' this morning at the 2007 WorldWide Developers' Conference in San Francisco, CA. Those of us continuing to hold out hope for an ultralight or even tablet Mac were disappointed, but Steve showed us some new features in Leopard that should keep technolust for that update high.

Among the features Steve highlighted is a dramatically redesigned dock and desktop, featuring ``stacks'' -- lists of files, folders, or apps meant to simulate the ubiquitous piles of books, papers, and other detritus on most of our physical desktops.

Time Machine, the built-in backup application in Leopard, appears to be much more useful than it sounded in earlier announcements, as it allows backups to other machines or to external disks plugged into Apple Airport wireless access points. I think it will probably work out well for our users.

Steve also debuted a development option for the ``closed'' iPhone. Web-based applications (more or less the same as Mac OS X's Widgets) will be supported on the iPhone, which opens up many possibilities (although I'm not seeing the Free Software Foundation rewriting Emacs in JavaScript, so that may take a while yet...).

In other web-related news, Steve announced a public beta for Safari version 3, which features rearrangeable and expandable tabs and finally makes Safari a worthy competitor to my beloved OmniWeb. Oh, yes, it also runs on Windows, meaning that Windows uses can now have QuickTime, iTunes, and Safari running natively on their platform.

(Interestingly, Safari on Windows has a whole bunch of features related to tabs and pop-up blocking turned on, although these features are turned off by default on Mac OS X. With luck, we'll see these on by default in Mac OS X, too, as I'm tired of turning them on every time I create a new account.)

Safari also includes some of the classic Mac OS X fonts, so sites designed to look sharp with Mac fonts will now look just as good in Safari on Windows as they do on the Mac.

There were no new hardware announcements (sigh), so no tablet Mac, no aluminum iMac, no new displays with cameras (despite more improvements to iChat being announced). Also not mentioned was ZFS, anything about iWork (so no Excel-killer), and nothing about Microsoft's progress (or lack of same) on the new version of Office.

Posted by Claire Connelly | Permalink