From looprumors.com comes information about the next big rev of Mac OS X. Of course, one shouldn't put total stock in any officially unreleased info, but there are a couple of features listed that I welcome greatly!
1) Dashboard improvements. The dashboard will see major speed changes in Leopard. Widgets will load and run in the background so when Dashboard is launched, there is no delay or load time before accessing the widgets.
It pees me off when that big pause occurs when first booting Dashboard. Even with a small array of widgets, it's too long. Although it will consume RAM -- and some widgets take up over 20MB of physical RAM each
-- the responsiveness will finally make Dashboard work "as advertised" on the first launch.
2) Full-Screen Applications. The latest release of iPhoto has given us a preview of what we can expect in many of Apple's iApps. A full screen calendar (iCal) that can be used as a desktop picture. iTunes will also allow users to run in full-screen, optimizing the screen real estate on displays such as the 17" iMac.
With live updating off data, this could prove to be a lot handier than another app running in its normal mode.
3) Home Integration. We're receiving early information that Leopard will have tighter home integration allowing users to control certain features within their homes. Controlling iTunes wirelessly through your home stereo already exists. However, information we're receiving suggests that applications such as iChat, Keynote, and iPhoto can "photocast" and "videocast" images, video and music to your television allowing for videoconferences, presentations or slideshows on your television. We've also received information that Apple is testing ways to monitor your home remotely, using the iSight camera, and control turning on and off lights, alarms, etc. Whether this feature will make it to the final version is unknown.
"Open the pod bay doors, HAL." This automation could be very handy -- unless it screws up
4) Completely revamped Finder. We’re learning that not only is Leopard’s Finder entirely redesigned, but most of the Finder is being rewritten. Additions to the Finder include Smart Folders where the content of a folder is viewable at a glance by control-(right) clicking on the folder to reveal a hierarchical tree (directory) of the contents. Significant speed improvements are also being made to the Finder, particularly in resizing windows. There is also information we gathered that the windows will be resizable from any side by dragging that side. If true, this would be a first for Macintosh and a page from Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
SPEED is always good. And if Apple FINALLY cops the age-old Windows convention of being able to resize a window on any side or corner I will jump for joy like a little schoolgirl on Christmas day! I believe that Mac OS only allowing resizing from the bottom-right is RETARDED and inefficient.
5) Perfetching. This is a process in which the operating system loads key pieces of data and code from disk into memory before it's actually needed. Rumors have been circulating that Apple may introduce a flash-based laptop which would take advantage of perfetching. Of note, Windows XP already takes advantage of perfetching and is being implemented into Windows Vista.
Perfetching = MORE SPEED. Great. DO IT!
With all this perfetching (shouldn't it be "prefetching"??) by the system and Dashboard, they better start shipping all Macs with 1GB RAM!
It'll be interesting to see how Leopard comes along.