First Look: Picking our favorite Leopard features

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Philip Michaels

My strategy: I went into the draft with two goals in mind: 1) Grab the major enhancements to the OS X features I already use and 2) keep an eye peeled for organizational tools that will help me bring order to my cluttered Desktop. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are quite excited about all the under-the-hood additions to Leopard (see Griffiths, Rob), but I wanted to focus on improving the apps I already use to handle my daily to-dos.

My picks:

  • Screen Sharing in iChat

    iChat’s Screen Sharing feature might seem like an odd choice for the first overall pick of the draft, especially with the rest of Leopard’s 300-plus features there for the taking. But it’s not so difficult to understand when you realize just how much I use iChat to stay in constant communication with far-flung editors and contributors. Right now, iChat’s an ideal way to dole out assignments, check on the progress of a story, and bandy suggested edits back and forth; the prospect of also being able to collaborate directly on these projects via Screen Sharing makes OS X’s built-in messaging client about as essential as an app can be for my needs.
  • The No. 1 overall selection in our draft—iChat Screen Sharing.

  • Core Animation

    I realize my second-round pick of Core Animation flies in the face of my stated draft strategy to avoid features that had little to do with my day-to-day existence. Core Animation may be aimed squarely at developers, but I believe this Leopard addition will dramatically affect the look and capabilities of the apps we use on our Macs for years to come. So when it was still available at the end of the second round, I grabbed it before anyone else could get their mitts on it. Sometimes you go with the best available talent.
  • Stacks
  • Enhanced Find in Safari
  • Cover Flow in Finder

    If you watch the NFL Draft on television each spring, you’re likely familiar with the scene that accompanies every New York Jets selection. Because the draft takes place in New York, the auditorium is jammed with Jets fans, who, more often than not, greet each of their favorite team’s picks with a chorus of boos and catcalls.

    I can now sympathize with the beleaguered Jets front office, after my fifth-round pick of Finder’s Cover Flow feature inspired howls of derision from my fellow editors. Let them mock me—rather than just being eye candy, Cover Flow, if properly implemented, has the potential to help me easily sort through files by offering at-a-glance views of every document I scroll through.
  • iChat Theater
  • Spotlight Application Launching
  • Stronger Encryption for Disk Images
  • Quick Print Preview
  • Autosave in Text Edit
  • What I’d never pick: About the time movie ticket prices spiraled north of $10 while the theater floors remained sticky, the refreshments stayed overpriced and unappetizing, and the rest of the audience continued to gab during the feature presentation, I stopped going to the local cineplex. So I don’t really need a Movies Widget in Dashboard to tell me all about the mediocre blockbusters I have no intention of paying good money to see.

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