Tiger: How to Wow… Kinda
Mac OS X Tiger is out. Normally I wouldn’t comment on this, as it doesn’t affect me. Walt Mossberg said this is the best OS ever, which rocks. I have a lot of respect for Walt.
However, reading the review of Tiger over at MacInTouch, I have a hard time understanding what’s so exciting.
Let me summarize the “key features” (according to the review):
Spotlight: Does less than every other desktop search tool out there, with less flexibility, less files, no email and it has crashed for a large number of users.
Dashboard: Some really nice widgets. But the widget toolbar’s useless. To quote:
Removing non-active Widgets breaks the “widget bar” at the bottom of the screen, causing the icons not to match the Widget they actually launch, or causes the entire Widget bar to be unclickable. Again, we’re not sure how this got through QA; these are bugs in basic functionality.
Similarly, Dashboard does not always notice if you add a new Widget to the Widgets folders, and new Widgets may not display in the “widget bar.” Double-clicking a widget in the Finder causes Dashboard to notice, displaying the Widget both in the “add widget” bar and creating an instance of the widget on screen.
Nice. I can’t imagine what folk would say if Microsoft released these “undocumented features” in Longhorn. Ah well, at least Apple gets some stuff right in this release. The flight tracker sounds cool, even though I’d rarely use it.
Safari RSS: Sure, it does RSS, but you can’t “subscribe” to feeds, you HAVE to bookmark the page. Wtf? Oh, and actually implementing parental controls breaks the RSS feature.
iChat AV 3: Requires dual processors. Yeah, and you thought Longhorn’s requirements were stiff…
Automator: I hadn’t heard of this. This sounds killer. Seriously. Apparently, some more QA issues here:
In practice, however, we also noticed that the Automator application can be slow, and it frequently went into “spinning rainbow” mode for brief periods. We found that some Actions, such as the “View Results” debugging Action, did not always appear in the Workflow, even though other Actions made space for it and renumbered themselves correctly.
Still, sounds kickass. Well done Apple.
QuickTime 7: Minor upgrade. A few nice features. It’s not like Quicktime had any issues in v6, so it’s not like Apple could have done a lot for v7. They kept it stable, which is great.
.Mac Sync / VoiceOver / Parental Controls: All solid, nice features, if you need them. No flash or anything here. They just work.
Apple Mail: It seems that Apple isn’t giving users as many choices as they’d like in terms of how to manage mail and such. It’d be interesting to see how the time and mail management courses I’m helping develop for Microsoft would play with this new mail client. Apparently the interface is confusing and such though, which sucks. Thankfully there are other, better, programs for mail available. This still isn’t a decent PIM though. It’s just wanky mail.
All in all, it seems like a decent upgrade. I will never get over that Mac users have to pay for what is effectively a service pack, but I guess it’s just a different mindset. Windows users pay through the nose for the new OS (if they don’t buy it with a PC), Mac users pay for it (through the nose) over time.
I’m concerned that the reviews I’m reading seem to be all “well, this sucks and this doesn’t work and this is badly designed and this blows… but it’s great anyways”. That really concerns me. As Apple goes more mainstream they need to be held to a higher standard. And, considering their hallmakr has always been how much stuff “just works”, you’d think their QA will be better. Like all major OS releases, expect at least 3 major rounds of patches, several of which conflict. My mac friends always hate new OS X upgrades for this very reason. Hang in there guys, it’ll be stable and rocking again in a few weeks :)
Good luck everyone, and well done Apple. In spite of the negativity around this post, Tiger looks rocking. I’ll be looking to play with most of these features first hand when I’m in Vancouver next week.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Jeremy Wright on April 29, 2005 at 10:05 am, and is filed under IT Thoughts. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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