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Apple Debuts More New Leopard Features [UPDATED]

TMO at WWDC - Apple Debuts More New Leopard Features [UPDATED]

by , 2:25 PM EDT, August 7th, 2006

In addition to Time Machine, Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" promises a slew of other new features, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who outlined some of them during his WWDC keynote Monday morning. Boot Camp will be included in Leopard, and Mr. Jobs promised it will be "better than the Beta" released earlier this year. In addition, Front Row and Photo Booth will become an integrated part of the operation system.

Leopard also promises improved searching via Spotlight, with the ability to search the contents of other computers on a network, assuming the user has permission to do so. Advanced search features, such as Boolean searches and recent items, will also be added to the technology.

Leopard will also enable users to create virtual desktops with sets of applications and files unique to them. The feature, called Spaces, will display thumbnails of open workspaces and allow users to switch between them.


Four virtual desktops in Spaces

Mr. Jobs also showcased CoreAinmation, a layer similar to CoreAudio and other elements that reside at the heart of Mac OS X. CoreAnimation will handle 2D and 3D animation, and the demo shown during the WWDC keynote displayed album art flowing into a screensaver on the fly, with 3D rotations and other effects.


CoreAnimation in action

Universal Access will also receive a makeover in Leopard, with support for Braille, closed captioning in QuickTime, and improved navigation. VoiceOver, which reads text, has also been improved with natural-sounding voices.

Mail, which Mr. Jobs said is a "big one," will have Stationary and Notes added to it. The former enables HTML e-mail, while the latter has a Notes mailbox, with the ability for users to send themselves Notes as reminders. To Do lists will also be added and will become a system-wide service.


New features in Mail

With more than 2,500 Dashboard Widgets available, Apple also plans to release Dashcode, which enables developers to design, develop, and debug Widgets. It also offers templates for easier Widget creation, along with a graphical tool for developing and outputting HTML and CSS, a Parts Library, and a full Javascript debugger.

For the end user, Dashboard will offer Web Clip, which will allow turning any part of a Web page into a Widget. During the keynote, Mr. Jobs demonstrated a Dilbert cartoon that was turned into a Widget that updates daily with the latest comic strip.


Grabbing part of a Web page with Web Clip

Finally, Mr. Jobs showed off several changes to iChat, including tabbed chatting, the ability to record video conferences, real-time Photo Booth effects, the ability to play QuickTime videos in a chat session, and more.


Changing the background during an iChat session

Apple's CEO closed by saying that developers attending this week's WWDC will receive preview versions of Leopard. The new OS will ship next spring.

3:34 PM, EST: Updated article with screenshots from Apple's Web site.

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