At this point, having actually acquired the software itself, I will make the obligatory Tiger post that all the other cool people on the web are talking about. Before I go into it, though, I’d like to say that all the Sour Patch kids I have left in this bag are red through a mere chance. Normally you have to work to achieve this kind of pleasure.
Actually being in control of the software puts me, I think, at more of an advantage than the others. I can fully say that I am not impressed right now. The problem here is that Apple wowed us with Panther, blowing us away with all the new features and enhancements. It really seems to me as if they’re grasping at straws here, trying to come up with things that might be useful to people so that they’ll upgrade. On that note:
- Dashboard is somewhat useful, but it’s just a rehash of stuff that’s already out there. I’m sure that when Tiger actually comes out and smart people start developing gadgets for it, it’ll become more useful but… maybe not. Right now the biggest thing about it is the god-awful load times for gadgets. You want the World Clock? You get to wait for almost a minute. If your machine doesn’t crash. Obviously Apple will clean this all up for the final release. As far as contributing to the net worth of the product, though, I can’t say it does, much. Also, you can’t assign Dashboard to a corner of the screen, like you can with Exposé. You have to use a keyboard command to access it. All those gadgets listed on Apple’s site aren’t here yet, the only ones I’ve got are Address Book, Calculator, Calendar, iTunes, Stickies, World Clock, and Tile Game.
- Spotlight is, for me, hardly even worth the space it takes up on the menu bar. It’s very annoying: since it’s blue, the same blue as the menu highlight color, I constantly think I’ve got my mouse clicked on a menu there. The other thing Spotlight does is start up a bunch of transparent processes that (presumably) troll your hard drive for stuff to add to its metadata database. I’ve been running for about two hours now (not including the time the system crashed, but hey, it’s beta), and those processes are still sucking up all of my processing power. For such a personally useless feature, I wish there was a way to turn it off. I can only hope that once done probing my hard drive, I’ll get the use of my processor back.
- Safari RSS is another letdown at this point, because it won’t even parse RSS feeds for me. Possibly an error specific to my configuration, or just an error due to the pre-release nature of the software. Interestingly, Safari seems to be rendering colors differently now, so that the graphics and the backgrounds on my sites don’t look the same any more. It also seems slower, but that could be pre-release stuff.
- iChat AV 3.0, seems like it works okay. It’s no different from iChat AV 2.0, since right now I don’t know anyone else that has the newest version so that I can conference with them.
- Automator is apparently called Pipeline right now, it’s hidden within the AppleScript folder. From a cursory inspection, it looks an awful lot like Apple finally just took all the possible AppleScript commands and put them in nice categories that you can drag to build a workflow. This might be useful, but again, it might not.
For some reason typing seems faster, I can’t say why, it just seems like there’s less lag. Text rendering is much, much worse. I’m starting to get used to it now. You know how when people take pictures of screens, and text gets those rainbow-colored halos? Most text has that. I hope to God it’s just a beta “feature” and not something that Apple actually changed. It looks terrible. Overall, I think Tiger will probably be a solid OS. I can’t see it not becoming that. But it doesn’t pack many new punches, the new features all seem to me like bloat that Apple made to try and create an OS that people would buy. So far, I haven’t seen anything that can’t already done, and I haven’t seen anything that makes me say, “I have to upgrade now!”. If you have Panther, you have a great OS. If you don’t have Panther, then you need to get it.