Highlights of Mac’s New OS Upgrade

On the heels of the excellent operating system OS X Tiger, Apple presents innovative new features in the highly anticipated Leopard upgrade. Leopard features are already presented on Apple’s website. With many to choose from (the site claims 300+ innovations) we’ll take a look at some of the more noteworthy features below.

Spaces

This new feature reminds me of the multiple desktops feature available on the Linux-based operating system, Fedora. In a way, that’s exactly it. Instead of having all your applications cluttered on one desktop, you can have a separate Space, almost like a separate monitor, with which to organize your workspace. Creating a new space is easy. Spaces is configured from the Expose & Spaces pane in System Preferences. There you can add any number of rows and columns of Spaces that you desire. Assignment of specific applications to their own Space is also possible, such that you will always know where your most important applications are. Making the Spaces even more efficient, Apple allows for movement applications from one Space to another Space, as simple as drag-and-drop. Spaces themselves can be reorganized, and when you click on an application on the Apple Dock, you’re taken to the Space that contains the open application. Spaces make working on large projects and even general multitasking easier than ever.

Finder

The characteristic Apple Finder, analogous to Windows Explorer, has been brilliantly updated. The new Finder looks almost exactly like the new iTunes. Everything on, and even connected, to your Mac is shown on the left-hand side. Icons give a preview of their contents. A brand-new feature of Finder is Cover Flow. This displays your documents, almost as if they were individual albums in iTunes. Cover Flow allows you to select a document in and click through multiple pages to view the contents. You can even select a Quicktime movie, and watch it right there in the Finder. Cover Flow is also designed to work with Apple’s search engine, Spotlight. Searching networked computers is easier than ever with both Cover Flow and Spotlight’s seamless integration.

Quick Look

This feature is available anywhere in the Finder, including while browsing through Cover Flow. Instead of opening a file to view its contents, quick look allows you to look through any type of file, quickly and easily, without ever loading the program that created it. Browse through Excel documents or PDFs. Watch a full-length, full-screen movie, without ever opening Quicktime. To use Quick Look, one only has to click the eye icon on the top navigation, or tap the spacebar while selecting the desired icon. It’s the quick and easy way to find what you’re looking for.

Time Machine

Forget those tedious back-ups with PCs, and put Windows Restore behind you. In Leopard, take advantage of the innovative Time Machine. Using an external hard drive, Time Machine automatically makes a complete copy of all your files. In essence, it takes a snapshot of your hard drive for any given day, and keeps it in such a form that if you want to find a file you may have deleted you can utilize Spotlight and Quick Look within Time Machine and restore the file to the present with one easy click. Time Machine is also highly customizable, so you can pick and choose which items to backup, or if you want them encrypted or not.

Along with a brilliant and streamlined Desktop, Leopard features many more highly innovative features besides the few covered here. For more details and videos highlighting OS X Leopard features, visit Apple at http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard. All mentions of Mac, Apple, Leopard and features of Leopard are part of Apple Inc. This article is not affiliated or endorsed by Apple Inc.

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