Mac OS X Leopard – my story so far

I couldn’t pick up a copy in the USA as the Seattle store was closed for remodeling and when they said October 26th, they meant at 5pm and not 9am, go figure! Thankfully IQ in Guernsey had them in-stock when I arrived back home Saturday.

The Good

  • Upgrade process went flawlessly.
  • Safari’s find function dulls the page and highlights found instances of the word(s).
  • Safari supports in-line HTML editing… with some line-break and styling issues (at least in WordPress).
  • Safari now renders Aqua-like buttons in HTML pages instead of the nondescript grey buttons.
  • Safari lets you drag textarea’s to be bigger on any web page
  • Speech’s new Alex voice is pretty impressive.
  • Terminal now gets themes and tabs.
  • Internet Connect is gone and properly integrated with a rewritten networking preference pane.
  • FrontRow is now a standard accessible application and looks like Apple TV (Mmm HiTech theme)
  • Interface Builder seems to be rewritten, with designers for toolbars, drawers, core animation, transparent windows…

The Bad

  • Safari still has no option to ‘open new windows in new tabs’.
  • Safari resizes images to fit the display and lacks the option to turn it off.
  • Stacks doesn’t show the contents of sub-folders and fires up a Finder window I must close after I launch the right app (I’ve had my apps grouped and launched from a folder in the Dock since 10.2).
  • Use Interference Robustness for Airport is gone and you still can’t see WiFi speed.
  • Some third party issues have problems and require upgrading providing the vendor has a fix out – not helped by Apple not giving them the final release until so close to launch day.
  • iChat still doesn’t support MSN or ICQ and lost the hologram effect previously demonstrated.
  • Login Window… still has no global short-cut and Universal Access fails to work with the top-right menu.
  • NTFS support is still bloody read-only!

The Ugly

  • Mail-style tool bar buttons now appear also in Preview. The ugly surround means the icons themselves are tiny and mostly monochrome making them difficult to distinguish.
  • Folder icons are now only differentiated by a subtle imprint on the folder itself making it difficult to distinguish between them having lost the elements of color and shape.
  • Menu bar transparency just looks wrong and is quite distracting. It’s tempting to edit my wallpaper to make that part solid white…
  • Transparency ‘glass’ effect on the menu bar is also distracting and looks like a poor knock-off of Vista’s Aero.
  • Dock’s 3D new perspective effect is suitably not-quite-right to be distracting. I’ve moved it to the left for now so it’s off.
  • Help > Search is a massive ugly blue band like Spotlight.

It’s good, but I wouldn’t say twice as good as a usual OS X upgrade… which is almost how long it took.

ThinkMac has a great visual summary showing some of these problems.


2 responses

  1. Avatar for Daniel

    Can't you use AIM accounts to chat with ICQ accounts? In Adium, I can chat with myself from my ICQ account to my AIM account if I wanted to. You probably cannot use your ICQ username from iChat, but this is hardly a real issue, like with MSN incompatibility.

    You can turn off the glass plate effect for the Dock (even if at the bottom), so it could be worse.

    Anyway, thanks for your opinion on Leopard, since I haven't yet experienced it myself (have to wait a little to decide whether it will come bundled with a new MBP :-) ).

    Daniel October 29, 2007
  2. Avatar for Adam

    I've already upgraded my Macbook to Leopard and so far it's working very well. The upgrade went easily and the tools are pretty cool. The ones I liked most are the new Finder that imports the Cover Flow function from iTunes and the new iChat which allows the insertion of images and films. If you haven't upgraded yet, there are some interesting videos I've found that show Leopard's new tools and effects:

    Adam October 29, 2007