On a new Mac, Tiger is the most advanced, user friendly, powerful, attractive, productive operating system ever. Microsoft’s Longhorn is already long in the tooth. Here’s what you’ll love about Tiger.
It was last June when Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced Mac OS X “Tiger” and said it would ship in the first half of 2005. When was the last time a major computer manufacturer shipped something noteworthy, and on time?
Unless you’ve been chasing Iraqi insurgents around Baghdad, you’ve already heard about Tiger and most of the nifty neato features. Frankly, for awhile there, I was hoping Tiger wouldn’t ship until later this year because OS X Panther was running oh so well on the family PowerMac G5.
What could be better than speed, stability, attractive graphics, awesome utilities, security, dependability, ease-of-use, no crashes, no pop-up ads, no spyware, no malware, no viruses?
Our family server is Mac OS X Panther Server using Postfix and Cyrus for email. Even that is set up to reduce spam by 1/10th what it was a year ago.
How could Mac OS X Tiger make something so good become better enough to fork over another $199 (Family Pack) just 18 months after the last major upgrade?
How is it possible to get better than what we’ve got already?
Head over to Apple’s Tiger pages to find out. The list is long and attractive. The QuickTime movies of the major feature changes will astound you.
Amazingly, Tiger appears to be a greater leap forward than Panther was to Jaguar.
First, let’s go down the list so you can see why it matters. There’s nothing on Panther to equal Spotlight. Our lovely Miss Tera says the new found media focus on search tools is overrated, but I disagree. It takes forever to find something that gets lost on Panther (relatively speaking).
Tiger’s Spotlight will change that. Finding, indexing, could not get easier. And Spotlight is here now. Microsoftie’s won’t seen anything comparable until Longerhorn ships sometime this millenium.
Even the eye-candy of iChatAV gets a workover in Tiger that amazes when compared to Panther. Remember, there’s nothing on Windows XP, Windows Longerhorn, or Windows Dreamhorn that compares to iChat AV on Panther.
On Tiger, Apple ups the ante again with 10-way audio chat, 4-way video/audio chat. With broadband Internet access now in over 50-percent of American homes, real-time video conferencing is here. Big time.
Tiger validates RSS big time by building it into Safari 2.0. In true Apple fashion, Safari finds the RSS XML links for you, clues you in, and let’s you decide to keep or not. Sweet. RSS is mainstream thanks to Mac users.
Mac OS X’s Mail.app gets some improvements and gets tied into Spotlight so searching for email messages will be easier. Finally. Smart Mail Folders makes organization easier, too.
There are a few other major changes, including a better tie in with .Mac Sync. You have to be a subscriber to .Mac to take advantage of all the scrumptuous coolness, but Apple needs to drop the price or add even more goodies. If it were not for the need to sync AddressBook, iCal, Safari bookmarks, to multiple Macs, I wouldn’t spend the money.
Three other changes, one not-so-obvious, and the other two quite remarkable, round out the major new items in Tiger.
First, the not-so-obvious. There’s a new QuickTime (version 7.0) shipping with Tiger. This version uses a new compression technique called H.264. It’s the standard you’ll see in future DVDs and HD DVDs.
H.264 is also used in iChat AV. Smaller file sizes, and higher picture quality. Much higher.
The other two waaaay cool items in Tiger are Dashboard and Automator. We’re all going to love Dashboard and the utility Widgets that come with it (trust me—hundreds more are on the way).
You know how you can flick your wrist (or us a single keystroke) to bring up Expose’ in Panther? Imagine a whole screen of Widgets that just sit there awaiting your instructions to be used.
For those more into productivity, work flow, and actually getting something done, Apple has provided an new feature called Automator. Think of Automator as AppleScript for the rest of us.
You’ll still have to think, but you won’t have to know scripting code or anything else. Just line up all the things you want do in a series of steps, and Automator’s “Actions” perform them.
Automator works with Finder, iLife’s iPhoto, iTunes, and iDVD, as well as Address Book, iCal, Mail, Safari, QuickTime, Spotlight, and TextEdit.
Is there more? Apple says there’s over 200 new features and advancements in Tiger so a bunch of them have to be under the hood, but the big ones will make life much easier for Mac users.
Oh, and you’re about to see many new Mac users. The fabled “iPod halo effect” appears to be real and Apple is selling more of everything—iBook, PowerBooks, eMacs, iMacs, Mac mini’s. More—except the huge and expensive PowerMacs.
Any negatives? Yeah, the need to fork over another $200 for the Tiger Family Pack just 18 months after the Panther upgrade (barely a year after the $129 “upgrade” from Jaguar). Am I happy about having to shell out still more money to be entertained by Apple’s talented engineers?