First Look: Picking our favorite Leopard features

Jason Snell

My strategy: My approach was pretty simple—spread the love when possible (I could’ve picked four or five iChat features, easily) and try to hit the most important features of Leopard, even if that means picking features that have been available via downloadable hacks or add-ons or features that have been available for a year and a half in a public beta form. And I made sure to pick an Automator feature somewhere during my draft, because it’s just so darn useful now that Automator supports variables and looping.

My picks:

  • Time Machine: Backup Everything

    Like picking Alex Rodriguez or LaDanian Tomlinson, isn’t it obvious? The star of Leopard is Time Machine. The feature that will sell millions of gigabytes of external storage, Time Machine is destined to safeguard the data of Mac users who have never backed up regularly, so that when all is lost, it isn’t. Sure sounds like a Most Valuable Feature candidate to me.
  • Boot Camp

    It’s been a year and a half since Apple introduced Boot Camp in a pre-release beta version. But that doesn’t lessen its importance. Boot Camp makes it okay for long-time users of Windows PCs to switch to the Mac with a fantastic fallback: the ability to boot into Windows XP or Windows Vista when you absolutely need to. Yes, most of them won’t ever need Boot Camp. And yes, tools such as Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion do Boot Camp one better by letting you run Windows programs within the familiar Mac OS X interface. But Boot Camp started that ball rolling, and it’s still the fastest, most compatible way to run Windows on Mac hardware.
  • How can you hold a mock draft and not take a Time Machine feature with your top pick?

  • Tabbed Chat in iChat
  • Multiple Logins in iChat
  • Improved iCal Interface
  • Search by Filename in Spotlight
  • AAC-LD Codec in iChat
  • RSS in Mail
  • Workflow Looping in Automator
  • Apple TV-like interface in Front Row
  • What I’d never pick: Grammar Check—at last, the most useless feature ever added to Microsoft Word has been added to Mac OS X! With this feature, an infinite number of monkeys will analyze your writing and present you with useless grammar complaints while not alerting you to actual grammatical errors because computers don’t understand grammar. Sure, it sounds great on a box—or a promotional Web site—but anyone who knows, knows that grammar checking is a sham. Just say no.

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